Saturday, September 24, 2016

100 days, Thank Yous

100 days
Sharry can you believe we’ve been apart for 100 days!? Or that your beautiful baby boy has been on this earth for such a milestone? To celebrate his 100th day Shar I want to share with you all the good people and things that have helped me survive and for which I am very grateful.

To begin with let us be totally clear I am NOT thankful for life in general right now! In fact I kind of loathe it and long for any kind of reality (alive or dead) where I am still by your side, where I can hold you in my arms, hear your voice and see your beautiful smile. Unfortunately in this reality that is impossible and I must carry on adapting to a sad new normal. But Shar I did want to let you know what is helping me survive.

Baby girl you are first and foremost on my list. I am blown away by all the amazing experiences, notes, music and surprise treasures that you have left behind for me and JJ. I think I fall more in love with you all the time. I am about to finish your last journal and that honestly fills me with dread as that probably means no more amazing wisdom, memories and private undiscovered love notes. Thank you for filling our 12 short years together with so much love, adventure, passion and goodness. You were an earthbound angel and continue to be one that I hope and pray watches over and guides JJ, Lola and me.

Shar your baby boy is a 100 day super star. He is chunky, smiley, super cute, incredibly social, has long Buhanan digits, and pipes...the kiddo can scream! He is my exhausting anchor and I love him to pieces. He is my literal piece of you and I can’t wait to see him grow and develop where I discover his angel mama in his attributes, let’s hope there are many! I am grateful to our beautiful boy.

I am so so grateful to the NICU staff of the Murray Intermountain Medical Center. Shar these talented doctors, nurses and staff took such great care of your family. They obviously knew the whole tragic situation and they responded with amazing kindness, expertise and compassion. I learned much from them. I slept many nights in the NICU (they have a room for parents) and I loved going in at 3am and having a loving and comforting nurse who was there taking care of JJ and taking care of me. I sincerely miss them.

Another note on the medical front our fertility clinic has waived the cost of keeping our six embryos frozen for the next couple of years. I have no idea what to do with these living pieces of you Shar but my tentative plan is to find a proxy mama in 2-3 years and have a baby girl. We’ll see, regardless, their generosity gives me time to figure things out.

Sharry our families have been extraordinary. On June 16th Scott was the first responder to the hospital when I needed love and support desperately and he was followed by the SOS Buhanan-Decker grief and love aid. They have been deep wells of love and support. My cousin Jamie, Brad, Justin, Lisa and Josh and their families have been amazing helps for both me and JJ. Shar you should see how much JJ loves his cousins and other little kids it’s so adorable. However it is important to note that Sara informs me “she is JJ’s favorite”.

Oh man Shar I’m getting emotional writing this one but I am so grateful for our amazing moms. They are consistent, reliable, loving supports in my life and I’m pretty sure JJ likes them both a bit more than he likes me and I think I’m totally ok with that. Your mom watches JJ 3 days a week while I’m at work and he always seems so happy when I go to pick him up. I think it’s good for your mom and dad too because he is such a powerful connection to you. My mom is a super hero. In the hospital when I weeped literally all night long she would cuddle and comfort me. Now she takes the more difficult of the JJ night shifts every single night. I love and am so grateful for these two amazing women.

Shar you would not believe the outpouring of love and support from people online for our tragedy and learning from your light and example. People are so drawn to you Shar, you have inspired hundreds if not thousands to try to live more full lives that focus on relationships and experiences. Individuals and families have been incredibly generous emotionally, spiritually and financially. One of my awesome cousins setup a gofundme that was shared six thousand times! Thanks to that and your good financial habits JJ and I really have not had to stress about finances which is pretty great in a time so full of other stresses, sadness and loss. There has even amazingly been a great amount of milk (both breastmilk and formula) donated to our family as well which is so thoughtful and generous in a way that I would have never anticipated. One individual in my parent’s neighborhood has be especially helpful with our milk supply. People can be so good.

Remember how you had a pretty amazing Amazon wish list of children’s books and you wanted our kids to have the best library ever? Well it happened! Another fabulous cousin shared your list with people online and hundreds of books were delivered along with diapers, clothes, homemade quilts, chairs, accessories wipes and so much more. You have great taste Shar and the cool thing is many of the books come with a little gift note with well wishes and support. People can be so thoughtful.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how good absolute and complete strangers have been on reddit and elsewhere. In two different scenarios I have turned there for help and people deliver with compassion and kindness. The first was when I found some of your recorded songs in a format that I could not figure out so I turned to a music subreddit and people delivered mp3s of your angelic voice! Then in the last little bit I am trying to figure out the preliminary steps to make your treasure hunt scholarship happen and once again complete strangers who don’t know me from Adam responded. It’s totally going to happen Shar this spring your amazing creative giving idea is going to happen.

Wise and compassion supports have entered my life from unexpected places. I have had students from Midvale and their families become a big source of compassion and friendship in my life. I have reconnected with old friends from middle school and high school that I can turn to for total love and support. I have made new friends who share my burden with patience, kindness and faith. After a decade of not really wanting or needing any new friends, (you were all I ever wanted) it’s been kind of weird, in a good way, to have such promising friendships blossom.

Sharry I have been so grateful for my new job. I honestly am pleasantly surprised by this one. I was always nervous about counseling at a high school and the prospect of moving back to St George. But the teachers, counselors, parents and especially students have given me a giant source of purpose and love in my life when I desperately need it in a location where I can be near family and get the support that JJ and I require.

You and I always cherished our time in nature and the wilderness and I do now more than ever. I like to think that I feel your presence in the red sands of snow canyon, hiking with loved ones (or alone), watching the full moon or as the wind blows through my hair. I am so grateful for the amazing beauty of southern Utah and all the cherished memories that you and I shared exploring many of its nooks and crannies.

Baby girl I doubt there will ever be anything that completely fills the giant Sharry size hole in my heart and soul but people are helping, at least a bit, and for all this I am grateful. And if you have any ability whatsoever I pray that in addition to being our loving guardian angel that you send some good angelic vibes of gratitude to all of the amazing people who have showed the BD3 such compassion and grace.


  1. Wow! Such support and sustainment in meaningful ways since you lost Sharry. God bless your little family.

  2. I love reading your blog posts. I am inspired every single time by something that you've shared.

    I know that Sharry isn't physically here influencing us but I know she still exists and is influencing you, JJ, all of her loved ones and friends, and so many countless people. Her reach is not limited by a body now. She has the freedom to influence so many people and has done an amazing job.

    The way you both chose to live and are choosing to live now are inspiring to me. JJ is lucky you have you as a father and to have so many special treasures from Sharry.

  3. Hi Jared, Thank you for sharing your beautiful reflections, your sadness, and expressions of gratitude. You have approached your challenge and burden with such tenderness and love. I have gotten to know, love and appreciate Sharry in so many new ways as you have shared your reflections and your journey. I was so glad to see you and JJ at Rob Davies' lecture Wednesday evening. You both looked so good. I miss you tons, but am glad we can keep in touch. I know you have so much on your plate right now, so don't expect responses from my notes or calls. Take care.

  4. Much love, Jared! Your family has been in my thoughts and prayers. Such a sweet tribute to your wife.

  5. I have just come across your posts and wanted to share something as I feel a connection- I was pregnant with my BBIII, a boy, this summer and due July 22. I like to think that your wife saw her baby boy or at least knew he was going to live. As a pregnant mama you worry about your baby always- it is a very real concern that you could lose him that he could be stillborn or have any complications. You don't once think about yourself because you are already a mama even before he takes his first breath. It aches me immensely to think of my children growing up without my love or presence on a daily basis- BUT I would die tomorrow if it meant they would grow up. That is my purpose- for my children to live on. I imagine she felt the same way and althought I know it does not ease yours or his missing her, I hope it helps in some way. Love that baby twice as much, hold him twice as much, look at him twice as much- and each day he grows, know how happy that makes her. Much love and prayers to you and your family.