Everything that I have written since Rees’ passing shares one thing in common: it’s from my perspective – the grieving father who lost his only boy.  The pages of text I have placed out into cyberspace have documented my struggles and doubts, my ups and my downs.  In return, countless people who I do not know, and most likely will never meet, have showered me with support and urged me to continue documenting my grief and sharing my hopes.  Through it all I have remained the voice of ReesSpecht Life, and by extension Rees.  As much as I may represent the voice of my little boy, there is no doubt about who is ,was,  and always will be the living heart of who he was and what ReesSpecht Life is all about; my wife, Samantha.

Samantha and I are a couple that defies the odds.   We met in the summer … Read More

Of all the words that I have written, and all of the feelings I have expressed, the one thing I have yet had the courage to say, (or write) is goodbye.  I never liked saying goodbye.  It always meant the end of something good, something positive.  Goodbye’s are often temporary, and sometimes forever.  We rarely, if ever, say goodbye to things we do not like.  In those cases we say good riddance, or “see ya”, but goodbye is reserved for things we wish to see again.  I have always found it ironic that the word goodbye is used with the intention of hopefully seeing that person again, though the word itself seems so final and makes no mention of future acquaintances.   Interestingly,  the expression goodbye has analogs in other languages, but their meaning is slightly different and often does reference the hope of future encounters.  In German, for instance, the
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431722_4737461955428_110405206_nMemories are like a dream.  I know that for 22 months I dreamed about a little boy who took possession of a part of my soul that simply completed me in a way that words cannot adequately describe.  In my memories, Rees, born with a true knot in his umbilical cord – a cord wrapped around his neck twice, defied death and entered the world undaunted.  The more I recall this dream, the more detached I find myself from its narrative, a spectator, not a participant.  It’ s as though I see some alternate version of me, an avatar of my real self,  lifting Richie, singing to him, cradling him and telling him how much I love him.   From afar, I see little Rees growing from a plumpy, buddha-like baby into a skinny, yet solid, little toddler – filled with curiosity.  In these memories I witness the dream-like version of … Read More

me and my sisters

Tonight I was reminded of yet another change wrought by the loss of my little boy.  While out at our local deli with my girls, Abby and Lori, Lori accidentally closed the sliding door of the freezer on her sisters hand.  Abby’s immediate, and deafening response stopped me dead in my tracks.  I instantly felt the same fear I had upon my discovery of Rees after the accident… memories and feelings of helplessness instantly flooded me and paralyzed me.

Before Rees’ accident I was always very level headed with my children concerning injuries and pain.  Sam counts on my measured response in those situations, and up until Rees died I always kept my cool when things went wrong.  The day Rees died, in one terrible moment, my imperturbable nature instantly eroded and I was a frantic mess.  I knew CPR, but couldn’t remember the timings.  I couldn’t remember where my

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Ebb and flowI wrote the other day about what I am now labeling the hurricane effect: the creation of something beautiful from a devastating storm – and thought about how appropriate a metaphor a storm is concerning the loss of a child.  Storms are intense, violent and destructive forces of nature that are indifferent to our seemingly insignificant lives.  Losing a child fills you with intense feelings that roil like the waters stirred up in the wake of a storm.  Much like a storm initially bellows with a surge of water, the loss of a child fills you with a deluge of despair, and anger.  And just as we are powerless to stop the tidal surge from a storm, a parent who loses a child is powerless to fortify themselves against the raw emotions that ravage their souls.  The turbulent, storm fueled,  wave of despair fundamentally disrupts the natural rhythm of our … Read More

IMG_0419Edward Lorenz coined the term “the butterfly effect” when he tried to explain chaos theory and the consequences of  small changes on an overall system.  He rationed that in chaos, it was possible that the flapping of a butterfly’s wings weeks before could set forth a chain reaction of events that eventually leads to a hurricane somewhere else on the globe.  This effect is  difficult to quantify and effectively impossible to predict.  The very nature of chaos dictates that we should not be able to witness the butterfly effect in action, however we can easily discern its result.  I always believed that Lorenz was right, until tonight…

Tonight as  my family and  I attended the First Annual ReesSpecht Life Kindness Games at Tackan Elementary school in Nesconset NY I looked at all the people present and could not get over the fact that every single one of those people was … Read More