Sharing my mourning journey as my family learns to live a new normal after the death of my 19 y.o. son in an auto accident on 10/12/08.


Having another child in college is turning out to be the roller coaster I imagined. Merrick was home for his Fall break two weekends ago. When I made his reservations to come home all I could do was cry when I finished. I thought of Jordan and how life would be so very different now if he had come home for his Fall break in 2008. He and I talked about it, given that he had 5 days off from school. A part of him wanted to come home but he was trying to budget his money and be responsible and told me, “Thanksgiving is soon. I’ll wait until then.”

When Merrick’s fall break came up, in my mind there were two choices, stay at school or come home. Neither he nor his dad and I could imagine any other possibilities. We’re all skittish about travel, remembering what happened to Jordan. Merrick was home until October 11th and my heart ached having to send him back to school knowing he wouldn’t be with family on the anniversary of Jordan’s death. I told him he could stay another day if he needed to, but he didn’t want to miss his classes. He left worried but steady and my words to him were, “Please confide in your friends. Let them know about your brother and what October 12th means to you. You don’t have to be alone on that day. If they are the friends you say they are then take a leap and trust at least one of them.”

“Maybe you’re right Mom. I’ll think about it.”

Later on the night of the 12th he told me that he’d talked with one of his friends and they were able to console each other. Her grandfather had died in the days that Merrick was away and she hadn’t told anyone either.

“We talked for a long time and I was glad I told her about Jordan. It made me feel better.”

Long distance parenting is tricky stuff. I worry so much about Merrick, knowing all the mixed feelings October brings for him. His birthday is coming up and he’d forgotten until a call from his grandmother asking him what he wanted. His 19th birthday is on Thursday and the memory of losing Jordan clouds and threatens to cover a day of celebrating life. Merrick has had to grow up and rectify in his heart the loss, longing and need for his big brother with the reality that he has a life to live and he wants it to be long and filled with goodness and prosperity. I watch him struggle with these emotions knowing there are days when all he wants is Jordan, only Jordan to be his sounding board as he navigates college. Gratefully he shares his concerns and anguish with me even though most of the time all I can do is listen and tell him his feelings are perfectly normal. I wish I could do more.

I have another son about to be 19 and I’m praying that it won’t be a year to simply get through so that we can usher in age 20 and feel some superstitious relief. It is Merrick’s time and my greatest prayer and hope is that he continues to thrive and that he learns to trust that Jordan hasn’t left him completely, but is so close, still ready to be a big brother to him.














Jordan lighting the candle's on Merrick's 13th birthday


Comments on: "October!" (2)

  1. Jackie, your boys are so beautiful. To me, from the photos I have seen, they both look like you, and the girls look like their Dad.

    I know October is a terribly trying month for you. You are on my mind. Your soon-to-be 19 year old son will continue to grow and thrive, and the path that his big brother helped you clear for him will reveal itself as he goes.

    Big hugs to you, Mark, and the girls.

  2. Neyza Reyes said:

    Jackie, I had no idea. I can’t express how sorry i am for your family’s loss. Merrick popped into my mind yesterday, I had a flashback of me dancing on my knees with him at the then Rosary College day care center when he was 3 years old. He was such a great little guy, I was thrilled when you asked if I’d be willing to babysit for your two boys!!! Of course I started thinking about the whole Moore-Fields family and how I enjoyed spending time with your boys while you and Mark went out on date night (till 2 in the am haha) and then the girls a few years later after a chance encounter at the Walgreens on Lake St. Your family left a lasting impression on me and has popped into my head every now and then throughout the years, I wonder how you all are, what the kids look like, wondered what their personalities have developed into. Well yesterday my curiosity got the best of me and I Goggled Merrick. What I found was Jordan’s picture below a caption that had the word Memorial in it. I was in disbelief and my search for more information began. Since then I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you and your family and I keep reading your blog over and over. The image that keeps repeating in my mind is that of Jordan at 10 years old helping me put Lindsey and Kendall to bed on a night I was babysitting all 4 kids. I wasn’t able to calm one of the girls down and Jordan very lovingly and patiently rubbed her back while singing ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’ over and over to comfort her. I remember thinking — what a loving little boy. I didn’t have the privilege of knowing the young man Jordan became but thru your words, I now have a glimpse.
    Love, Neyza (
    May the peace which comes from the memories of love shared,
    comfort you now and always. -Anonymous

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