Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation Promotional Video

Thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive!

Dear Mattie Blog Readers,

It means a great deal to us that you take the time to write to us and to share your thoughts, feelings, and reflections on Mattie's battle and death. Your messages are very meaningful to us and help support us through very challenging times. To you we are forever grateful. As my readers know, I promised to write the blog for a year after Mattie's death, which would mean that I could technically stop writing on September 9, 2010. However, at the moment, I feel like our journey with grief still needs to be processed and fortunately I have a willing support network still committed to reading. Therefore, the blog continues on. If I should find the need to stop writing, I assure you I will give you advanced notice. In the mean time, thank you for reading, thank you for having the courage to share this journey with us, and most importantly thank you for keeping Mattie's memory alive.

As Mattie would say, Ooga Booga (meaning, I LOVE YOU)! Vicki and Peter

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation celebrates its 7th anniversary!

The Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation was created in the honor of Mattie.

We are a 501(c)(3) Public Charity. We are dedicated to increasing childhood cancer awareness, education, advocacy, research and psychosocial support services to children, their families and medical personnel. Children and their families will be supported throughout the cancer treatment journey, to ensure access to quality psychosocial and mental health care, and to enable children to cope with cancer so they can lead happy and productive lives. Please visit the website at: and take some time to explore the site.

We have only gotten this far because of people like yourself, who have supported us through thick and thin. So thank you for your continued support and caring, and remember:

.... Let's Make the Miracle Happen and Stomp Out Childhood Cancer!

A Remembrance Video of Mattie

September 13, 2020

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Sunday, September 13, 2020 

Tonight's picture was taken on September 24, 2008. By this point Mattie was in his second month of treatment, but before any of his limb salvaging surgeries occurred. That day, Mattie was invited back to his preschool to play with Alex, a preschool buddy and to see his preschool teachers. The photo shows Mattie and Alex in the sandbox. I can't tell you how many hours Mattie spent in that sandbox when he was in preschool. In fact, practically every day after school, when the weather was nice, Mattie requested to stay on the playground to play with friends. Which was exactly what we did! I am so glad in retrospect that I never rushed Mattie into the car after school to follow my schedule. When I was with Mattie, he was my priority and if he and his friends wanted to get together to play, then I always made that happen. 

Quote of the day: Today's coronavirus update from Johns Hopkins

  • number of people diagnosed with the virus: 6,512,451
  • number of people who died from the virus: 193,976

A friend of mine sent me the article below entitled, "Grief doesn't have five stages." In jest she asked if I wrote it! Clearly you can see I didn't, but apparently the thoughts and feelings expressed in the article reminded my friend of what I express often on the blog. Seeing articles like this confirms for me that I am absolutely right..... grief and loss are not something you get over. 

When we think of grieving and loss, our society tends to think of the process in stages. Perhaps in five stages (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) according to psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross. Kubler-Ross devised these five stages in the 1970's after speaking to terminally ill patients as a way of helping them deal with their own impending deaths. Unfortunately the Kübler-Ross model was taken out of context and instead became the well known framework for all responses to death. This popularization of the stages of grief concerned Kübler-Ross as she felt the steps were “not stops on some linear timeline in grief.” 

Make a long story short, it is now understood by those who live with grief and grief professionals that mourning and loss are NOT a linear process. In fact, it is rather a life long process and as the article says, the relationship with your deceased loved one continues, "loving them in absence, rather than presence." The bullet points below, I captured from the article, as they resonated with me. 

  • Grief is like an impenetrable force field around the person left behind, the person who used to be like you.
  • Back then, my head invaded by grief, I couldn’t find the words to explain the shifting size of it: unbearably huge one day, forcing endless crying and dwelling on the past; small and tucked away the next day, freeing me to just live for a little while.
  • Grief goes in circles. I think we are slowly coming to realize as a society, that it is okay to grieve your whole life.
  • The grieving process is complex, isolating and ongoing — requiring emotional energy to find meaning in the vast unfairness. This goes on under the skin, invisible to the outside world. It’s what you do just to continue living at the same basic level as everyone else. Certainly this involves feelings of denial, anger, and depression. Sometimes all at once, or not at all, and then again.
  • Mourning is so much more than an act of endurance. Really, grieving is the task of taking the love that was once shared between two people, and transforming it to fit inside one broken but still-beating heart.

However, the article stated..... “mourning can be one of the most enriching, vivid things you ever do, if you lean into it fully. There’s a feeling of joy that eventually arises.” I have no problem with the first part of the statement, but when you want to lump in feelings of joy from the process, you lose me. Certainly grief forces us to learn, cope, and grow. We don't have a choice if we wish to remain part of the land of the living. But I can't ever see myself saying this has brought me joy, nor do I foresee that happening in the future. Mainly because attaching joy to my loss process, would mean that I am okay with the fact that Mattie died in the first place. Which won't ever happen, I don't care how much time lapses since his death. I also would like to think that I am a self actualizing person and that there are much better and more enriching ways that I could have matured, grown, and developed in my life than having to experience the death of my only child. Yet it's not just this article that discusses this concept. Many of our psychosocial researchers and clinicians we interact with, also use this line of reasoning with me. I get what they are saying, but that doesn't mean it sits well with me. 

Grief doesn't have 5 stages:

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