Defining a Mother by Deb

Mother’s Day and May in general can be a difficult time for those who have lost a child or have lost a mother. We often dwell on what should have been, could have been, or would have been. But it’s important to look beyond the traditional definition of “mother” and think of mother as “nurturer.” In that sense, we are all mothers regardless of our situation. To nurture is to provide love and influence, to care for, support, educate, encourage, protect, and teach. To nurture is to help someone to grow and develop. We nurture our families by caring for the elderly, supporting our spouse, and guiding siblings. We nurture others in our communities by providing food for the poor, helping our neighbors, and volunteering. And we receive nurturing from others in our community like nurses and teachers.

Viewing motherhood in this way makes it inclusive, not exclusive. While for many of us it is hard to get through this month and season, take comfort in the fact that no matter what your situation, you are a mom. And it sometimes helps to mother ourselves during times of grief.

Deborah experienced the loss of her grandson, Liam, in January of 2019. She has two grown children, both adopted, and two grandchildren. Deborah lives with her husband, Keith, and dog, Kovu. Now that she is retired Deborah volunteers with several heart-health focused organizations. She is the author of the book “A Journey of the Heart: Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive, With Congenital Heart Disease.

Lost & Found by Deb

“Just as every grief narrative is a reckoning with loss, every love story is a chronicle of finding,” writes Kathryn Schulz in her eloquent memoir, Lost & Found. “And so, much as my father’s death made me wonder about the relationship between large losses and smaller ones, falling for someone made me think about what finding love has in common with the broader act of finding anything at all.”

The premise of this book is deceptively simple. The acts of losing and finding often seem so unremarkable in everyday life that we rarely pause to think about their significance unless it comes to losing and finding people. These experiences are among the most profound of our lives and go to the heart of what it means to be human.

I read this book as part of a memoirs book club, and it really made me stop and reflect on the concept of loss. We have experienced or someone close to us has experienced the loss of a baby. We use the same word “loss” to describe missing things that can be found and changes in our lives (loss of mobility, loss of hair, etc.) that often can’t be found. We also use the word “loss” to describe things we might not want to find, such as weight.

I also found the juxtaposition of loss and found to be interesting. The two can and often do coexist. This often impacts our grieving process—we may mourn the loss of our child but still have others requiring us to be present. We often feel we should not be happy in our time of grieving, but our joy does not negate our grief. We should not feel guilty in finding joy after a loss—it helps us appreciate our humanity and the gift of life.

Deborah experienced the loss of her grandson, Liam, in January of 2019. She has two grown children, both adopted, and two grandchildren. Deborah lives with her husband, Keith, and dog, Kovu. Now that she is retired Deborah volunteers with several heart-health focused organizations. She is the author of the book “A Journey of the Heart: Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive, With Congenital Heart Disease.

Our Hearts by Deb

February, known as “Heart Month,” is special to me for a number or reasons. It’s a month for expanding our awareness and understanding of heart disease and proclaiming our love for those close to us. Smack in the middle of the month is Congenital Heart Disease Awareness Week.

Congenital heart disease affects 1 in 100 babies. But a lot has changed over the years. When I was born, my mother was told I would never survive. Doctors could not even diagnose what I had because the diagnostic tools were so limited. Fortunately, I was eventually diagnosed with Ebstein’s anomaly when I was a teen and started getting the care I needed.

During this month, I think of all the little heart warriors who did not survive. I also think of all our angel babies this month. We hold a special place in our hearts for them. Our hearts may be broken, but we survive. We can remember those lost this month and honor them by living a meaningful and full life. We may not be able to heal our hearts but we can mend them by living a life of purpose.

Deborah experienced the loss of her grandson, Liam, in January of 2019. She has two grown children, both adopted, and two grandchildren. Deborah lives with her husband, Keith, and dog, Kovu. Now that she is retired Deborah volunteers with several heart-health focused organizations. She is the author of the book “A Journey of the Heart: Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive, With Congenital Heart

Hope Again Collective by Lauren

Miscarriages and pregnancy loss bring out a lot of emotions in a person that often make it hard to express to others what exactly they are going through. For me, I first mourned the dreams I had for my family with that baby included, the experiences we would go through as new parents, and the picture I had created in my head of what our life would look like. I mourned the fact that I wasn’t pregnant anymore but didn’t have a cute little baby to show for it. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that it just happened – quick as can be. In a split second it was all over, and I felt like I was still grasping for the rope to pull me out of the nightmare I was in.

After my second miscarriage I still mourned the same things – the hopes, the dreams, the experiences, and the picture I created once again but I also started to focus on the pain I was feeling being part of this horrible group. I felt like my body was so broken and it made me angry that so many women and couples knew exactly what I felt and had been in that exact place before. It made me sad to think that I will always know what it feels like when someone posts about their miscarriage. It made me sad to think that I will always have to fill out the section of the medical papers that ask how many miscarriages I’ve had. It made me sad to know that I will always have to wonder why this happened – why me?

In all this grief and sadness, I kept searching for a way to find the smallest bit of hope to help me move forward. I started to look at social media sites that had posts that could explain my emotions better than I could. While on this search I found a post on an Instagram account called Hope Again Collective. Her words were so perfect. They put my emotions in writing better than I could ever explain. After looking into this account more I found that she too is a loss mom who wanted to make a difference for other loss moms. I found that she makes personalized earrings and other jewelry items that provide grief resources for a grieving loss mom. I felt connected to these stories, to this cause and I had to know more.

After looking at her site for months I finally decided to make a purchase – the perfect item for me. The Hold Hope Ring. I felt that finding hope in the smallest places is what helped me move forward from my losses and continues to help me. I knew that wearing this ring every day would not only remind me of the path that I have been on, but it will remind me to push through every day – even when it’s a rough one. I have since added to my purchases and paired my beautiful ring with the Hope Studs. I love knowing that there are small businesses like Through the Heart and Hope Again Collective that are here for grieving families when they feel that there is no one.

Grief is Love by Deb

For this self-expression, I was looking at books about grief. The holiday season can be difficult for those who have experienced loss, whether it be recent or many years ago. One book in particular struck me. In Grief is Love, author Marisa Renee Lee shares her grief journey as someone who lost her mom and suffered a miscarriage. She speaks of the importance of honoring your loss by not plowing through your grief. Living with loss doesn’t mean ignoring it  but acknowledging it and allowing grief to move through you in order to be whole. It means honoring what you can and can’t deal with. Lee elegantly offers wisdom about what it means to authentically and defiantly claim space for these complicated feelings and emotions, which will ebb and flow throughout our lives, without shame. Grief, like love, cannot be contained and writing or speaking of it lessens its power.

Lee writes of the importance of self-care, which can take many forms. It can be something tangible, like going away for a weekend to be with your thoughts. It can also be valuing yourself and giving yourself the space you need to heal and allowing yourself access to all the things that healing requires.

I think women often don’t give themselves the time and space to grieve. We often have families and other children to care for and a host of other responsibilities. And for women dealing with medical issues after a miscarriage, this grieving process is even more difficult.

Lee’s thoughts are poignantly explored in the fiction book What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. The main character, Alice, forgets the past 10 years of her life after a fall at the gym. She does not remember her three children or the fact that she and her husband are separated. Her sister, Elizabeth, struggles with fertility issues and has had several miscarriages. She struggles with the concept of still having hope about having a child. However, she recognizes that she cannot be around child-centered events, such as birthday parties, since they are a painful reminder of what she has been through. I think she shows great clarity and strength in recognizing this about herself and not feeling obliged to attend such functions.

Lee’s book is a reminder to approach our grief with honesty, grace, and self-love.

Deborah experienced the loss of her grandson, Liam, in January of 2019. She has two grown children, both adopted, and two grandchildren. Deborah lives with her husband, Keith, and dog, Kovu. Now that she is retired Deborah volunteers with several heart-health focused organizations. She is the author of the book “A Journey of the Heart: Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive, With Congenital Heart Disease.

Bittersweet by Deb

One of the books I am currently reading is Bittersweet, by Susan Cain. She posits that suffering, loss, and pain are not feelings simply to be medicated or avoided but instead to be processed and absorbed. Bittersweet is the embrace of sadness and the longing for beauty, for something beyond our existence. Holding together these seemingly disparate experiences, Cain believes is the pathway to “creativity, transcendence, and love.” Bittersweet, she says, can draw us together in the shared experience of longing for the transcendent.

For me, a manifestation of bittersweet is resiliency. Resiliency is getting out of bed each day after a pregnancy loss; it’s doing all your daily activities when you would rather crawl under the covers.

Resilient and bittersweet people recognize the pain in others and look for ways to help. Somehow, helping others eases our pain and almost gives a purpose to it. It gives us a sense of community. I believe this is why so many volunteer for organizations or causes that have impacted them or someone close to them.

Thank goodness, we do not need to suffer alone with pregnancy or infant loss. We can share our experiences, and this sharing brings comfort not only to us but to others. We can take action by volunteering with organizations such as Through the Heart.

As we recognize Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month, let’s remember our babies lost too soon, families dealing with this loss, and those who work tirelessly to support those grieving.

Deborah experienced the loss of her grandson, Liam, in January of 2019. She has two grown children, both adopted, and two grandchildren. Deborah lives with her husband, Keith, and dog, Kovu. Now that she is retired Deborah volunteers with several heart-health focused organizations. She is the author of the book “A Journey of the Heart: Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive, With Congenital Heart Disease.

The Power of Touch by Deb

“Touch is far more essential than our other senses. … It’s ten times stronger than verbal or emotional contact.”

— Saul Schanberg in A Natural History of the Senses

Grief can be a very lonely experience. Some who are grieving prefer to be alone with their grief, while others are inclined to reach out for support and comfort.

Those trying to comfort someone grieving face similar issues as well. We often don’t know what to say, what to do, how best to comfort our friend or family member who is grieving the loss of a child.

I tend to throw myself into activity after a loss. When I lost my grandson, I threw myself into helping make his arrangements and provide meals for my son and his family. I knew I didn’t yet have the words to express my feelings for the profound sense of loss I felt.

I don’t consider myself a very tactile person, but I’ve discovered the power of  touch. It has often sustained me in times of loss or difficulty. I remember visiting my dad two weeks before he passed away. My husband snapped a picture of me holding his hand. I treasure this photo as my last memory of him. Whenever I see it, I think of his love for me and feel his presence. I also remember placing my hand on my grandson Liam at the funeral home. I felt a deep sense of connection and also felt the presence of this angel. I recall telling my Weight Watchers leader about the loss of my grandson. I’ll never forget her coming out behind the counter to embrace me the first meeting I attended after his loss. I was truly touched by her show of compassion.

These touches helped me feel loved, cared for, and understood. Touching others has helped me show love, care, and understanding to others who are grieving. Yes, our words may fail us, but a simple touch or hug is worth a thousand words.

Deborah experienced the loss of her grandson, Liam, in January of 2019. She has two grown children, both adopted, and two grandchildren. Deborah lives with her husband, Keith, and dog, Kovu. Now that she is retired Deborah volunteers with several heart-health focused organizations. She is the author of the book “A Journey of the Heart: Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive, With Congenital Heart Disease.

Lauren’s Story – Part Two

I feel like this part of my story is well overdue. I know I don’t have avid readers that are waiting on the edge of their seat for part two of my story but when I started this journey, I told myself I would use it as a platform to share my full story in hopes that I can reach as many people that need support during an extremely difficult time. One thing I have learned, as a mom that has experienced loss, is that some miscarriage experiences are more difficult to write about than others. With my first miscarriage, while extremely devastating, it was more straight forward. After finding out my baby had passed things progressed as they should, so it wasn’t a long, drawn-out experience. With my second miscarriage, not so much. So here we go…

About a year after welcoming our rainbow baby to the world my husband and I were overjoyed and thrilled to have been given the opportunity to experience parenthood. We knew our little girl was a pure miracle because she was the strong little baby that pushed through when everything felt so hopeless. She showed us that there are rainbows after the storm and that dreams do come true. We so desperately wanted to give her a sibling and thought that maybe it was time. After just a short few months of trying we saw those two pink lines – positive! We were thrilled, excited, but obviously nervous. This go round I was much more aware of the fact that I could miscarry again but tried to suppress those feelings because my body had carried a full term, healthy baby so why couldn’t it do it again? I remember saying everyday to myself “the outcome of this baby has already been determined. Nothing you do will change that outcome.” It helped me to not dwell on whether or not this baby had already passed because I didn’t have the ability to change what was meant to be. I also had continued morning sickness which to most is super annoying, but to someone who has experienced loss it can be a positive sign of a healthy pregnancy. So, I welcomed it.

At 9 weeks I decided it was safe enough to schedule a peace of mind ultrasound with a private ultrasound place. We had seen this lady before for my previous miscarriage and my full-term pregnancy. She knew our history and was happy to see us for this pregnancy. We went into the ultrasound with hesitation but excitement. Just a few short minutes after she put the probe on my belly, I just knew. The baby did not look like a healthy 9-week baby. The ultrasound technician kept trying to find a better view of the baby to see if we could see a heartbeat. She kept asking me when my last menstrual cycle was so that just maybe I was off on my dates and earlier in the pregnancy than I thought. I wasn’t – you see, I invested in a band that I wore that was 90% accurate in determining my ovulation dates. I knew exactly when that baby was conceived and how far along I should have been.

After 45 minutes of the sweet technician trying to justify the look of the baby we left, and I looked at my husband and said I just knew it. The tears started to flow down my face as I thought “how could this happen to us again??” Later that evening I had to make the dreaded call to my parents – a call that no daughter wants to make, and no parent wants to hear. I said to my mom, “So I have some news to share with you. I am pregnant but don’t get excited. We went to an ultrasound today and things did not look good. I’m pretty sure the baby has passed but we will go to the OB to confirm.” My mom didn’t know what to say. I mean what do you say? She told me she was sorry and that she was sad. She told me that she was there for us and that she would do what we needed to help. I told her I couldn’t talk long because I was still going through the motions but that I would keep her updated. Ugh, so very heartbreaking.

I called my OB on Monday morning and told the individual on the phone that I was pretty sure my baby had already passed and that I needed to be seen earlier to confirm this information. I don’t think the scheduling lady on the phone knew what to say. It’s not every day you pick up the phone to schedule an appointment and hear from the individual that they needed an appointment only to confirm that their baby was in fact dead. She put me on hold and asked someone what exactly she should do. They brought me in later that day for a confirmation of pregnancy. For some reason this time I was so numb to the experience that I just didn’t feel as shocked or initially devastated. I felt like I had been there before and that I was just going through the motions of doing what I needed to do to move past this. In hindsight this was probably just a coping mechanism because I had no idea what was to come.

When I walked into the OB office, I wasn’t excited. I kept my head down so I didn’t have to look around at the excited women who would walk away with pictures of their growing babies. I checked in and waited with my husband to be called back so we could receive bad news again. It felt like forever but about 5 minutes after checking in they brought us back and performed all the normal check in items – weight check, blood pressure, etc. She asked why we were there, and I informed her that I had gone to a private ultrasound the other day and was pretty sure my baby had already passed but I needed confirmation. She apologized, gave me the gown and told me the doctor would be in soon. My husband and I didn’t talk – we just stared at the ground and waited. The doctor came in and asked the same questions – this was the third time I had to tell my story. It was so difficult. He told me to lay back so we could take a look. After a few short minutes he looked up at me and said “Okay, it does look like the baby has passed. I cannot find a heartbeat.” I looked down, held back my tears and said okay. What next?

Just like before he gave me the same three options – wait for it to pass naturally, take Cytotec to induce the miscarriage, or schedule a D&C. Because the Cytotec option worked for me in the past I decided to go with that option again. He told me to schedule an appointment in a week to make sure everything was okay and that he was sorry. I am sure he said more but I was ready to leave. I was over the small talk at this point and just wanted to cry in my car.

We were in the middle of COVID, so my husband had to rush back to work. We are a military family, so the pharmacy is on base and full of many different people. I had to wait a long time to get my prescription and when I finally walked up to the window to pick it up the lady promptly asked me “Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?” I looked at her with tears in my eyes and said, “well I am pregnant, but my baby has died so I guess I’m not anymore.” She looked at me, apologized and handed me my prescription. I walked out, drove home, cried, and after an hour of being home took my first dose of Cytotec. With my first miscarriage I took the pill orally and it worked just as it should. This time I was told to take it vaginally which was weird to me, but I did it. I followed the instructions and waited. While things started to work, and I started to pass things I also passed the Cytotec pill. Because I hadn’t taken it vaginally before I didn’t know if that was normal or not. I waited and proceeded with my next dose. The same thing happened – things started to pass but I also saw the Cytotec pill in the toilet.

After the 3rd or 4th day I still hadn’t passed the baby. I had a feeling things weren’t right so I called the nurse on call at the OB and explained the situation. They prescribed me another dose of Cytotec pills. I had to pick them up in the pharmacy again and again the lady asked if I was pregnant or breastfeeding. I cried again – this time more and for longer. My first miscarriage wasn’t so drawn out. I didn’t have to tell random people my situation multiple times. I didn’t have to relive the devastation over and over again. After two doses of Cytotec I went back into the OB office a week later. They checked me to see if I had passed everything – I didn’t. The baby was still there. Still dead and in my body. I went home and that night I had a melt down to my husband. I was devastated. I was angry. I kept telling him that he had no idea what it was like to carry a dead baby around in your body for weeks and not have any control over it. I told him that I didn’t understand why my body didn’t know what to do. Every time I miscarried it would hold onto the baby for weeks while it had already passed. How could you not be angry at that? I felt like my body had failed me once again. And this time it failed me in such a huge way. I was so very angry. I just wanted it to be over, but my body wasn’t doing what it needed to do to make that happen and I just couldn’t understand that. I kept telling my husband that my daughter would be an only child because my body was broken and could never carry a baby again. I…was…angry.

They prescribed me another dose of Cytotec – this time orally and things started to happen. While absolutely devastating, I was so happy to see things were progressing the way they should, the way I remembered. I went back to the OB a week later and he confirmed that the miscarriage had completed and that I should wait for my period to come in a few weeks. I left that day relieved but still angry, confused, and hopeless. Four weeks passed and shortly after my first period came. It was light and only lasted a few days, but it came. While I was thankful I finally got my period I also noticed some other symptoms I was having that were not normal for me.

After a few weeks of feeling off with my body I called my OB to be seen again. Thankfully the OB I was seeing was super responsive and agreed to see me throughout my journey. I was grateful for this OB – he listened to me. He let me advocate for myself. And he never gave up. I went into the OB and informed him that I was having vaginal itchiness that I felt was uncommon for me. I was also having weird vaginal discharge that I had never had before. I felt off and that something was wrong. He performed a vaginal ultrasound, took swabs of different areas and did a urine collection. I went home with no answers but felt hopeful that I had found a doctor that was willing to listen to me. Two days later (and a week and a half after finishing my period) I woke up and noticed some bleeding. I thought nothing of it because my body was all messed up with hormones and periods and I had just had a vaginal ultrasound. I brushed things off and went through the day. As the day went on the bleeding continued to get super heavy, the blood was bright red, and it was painful. I was going through pads very quickly and things just didn’t seem right.

After talking with my husband, we thought it was best for me to head to the ER just in case. I was seen by a military provider that was the most unhelpful person ever. She downplayed my issue, my miscarriage experience and told me that it was normal to bleed like that after a miscarriage. She told me to follow up with my OB and sent me on my way. I was frustrated. I knew in my mind that something was wrong but had no idea what it was, so I went home and waited to call my OB. After a week of heavy bleeding, I finally got an appointment with my OB and explained to him what had happened. He was open to finding answers and told me the best course of action would be to take a biopsy of my uterus to see if they could get some answers. He also scheduled me for a pelvic sonogram with radiology to get more detailed sonogram pictures and hopefully figure things out. I got both procedures done and waited. And waited some more. It took almost a week to finally get all the results and hear back from my doctor. I had retained tissue from the miscarriage, and it was making my body sick. All the symptoms I was having were fully explained by the retained tissue.

My D&C was scheduled for four days later and pre-op started with blood work and paperwork. Thankfully even with COVID running rampant my husband was still able to accompany me to the surgery. We walked into the hospital, they set me up in a room and got me prepared for surgery. It took a few hours to go back and go through the surgery but thankfully we got the good news that everything was removed and that it all looked okay. After four months of going through my miscarriage, I had finally reached the end. It felt like a lifetime, like I had been dealing with this for so long. I didn’t think I would ever reach the end and be able to start the grieving process.

Throughout this entire process I can remember many nights where I would just cry, randomly. My husband would remind me that it was all going to be okay, but I didn’t think it would. I never thought I would be okay again – I felt like I had given up on my body and the dream of having a second baby. I didn’t trust my body anymore and it would take a while for me to be ready to try again. After 2 weeks I went into the OB for a follow up and got the green light to try again, when I was ready. They confirmed that everything in my uterus looked good – no more left-over tissue, no fibroids, cysts, or anything abnormal.

I took a month to mourn the whole experience, and decided I was ready to try one more time. On our first try we got pregnant and in April 2021 we welcomed our second rainbow baby. While I am thankful that I was given my two rainbow babies, they do not replace my two angel babies. I often think about what life would be like with those two babies. I think about what they would look like, what their personalities would be. One day I will meet my babies and will get the gender reveal of a lifetime! I named our two babies because they were real, they were alive, and I will always say their names so that they are never forgotten. Baby Hope (5.7.2018) and Baby Gold (3.9.2020).

Live in the Moment by Deb

I must admit I am a worrier. I needlessly worry about what might happen in the future. After my daughter-in-law miscarried Liam I worried about whether or not she would be able to have another child. I worked myself into a state before my open-heart surgery, worrying about things like the breathing tube, chest tubes, and whether or not I would even survive.

But my worries proved to be unfounded. My daughter-in-law gave birth to a beautiful rainbow baby boy who will be two this year. And I did survive surgery—I found it ironic that the things I worried about never materialized; it was the things that I never considered that did!

I am slowly learning to live in the moment—not to dwell on the past or worry about the future, but to appreciate today. This is so challenging when dealing with grief or illness. We often resort to a “could’ve, would’ve, should’ve” mentality. But today is all we really have.

I’ve come to realize that each day brings its own set of challenges—why add to them by rehashing the past or worrying about the future.

Finding some quiet time in the day can help us refocus and recenter ourselves, bringing us back into the moment. After my surgery, I spent a lot of time in my recliner in the den. My husband placed a birdfeeder right outside the window where I could see it. I just got lost in time watching the birds come to feed.

Finding joy in the quiet has helped me through my struggles. After Liam’s loss I felt paralyzed. My heart ached for my son and his wife. We all experience grief differently and at various times. But you don’t need to deal with your worries and struggles alone–reach out to friends, find a therapist, meditate, practice gratitude–whatever you need to help you.

Deborah experienced the loss of her grandson, Liam, in January of 2019. She has two grown children, both adopted, and two grandchildren. Deborah lives with her husband, Keith, and dog, Kovu. Now that she is retired Deborah volunteers with several heart-health focused organizations. She is the author of the book “A Journey of the Heart: Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive, With Congenital Heart Disease.

Grief Never Ends by Lauren

Filling out medical history has always been something I never really loved doing. While I never had anything overly crazy to report I just hated having to remember specific dates and information about my past and my family. Now, after my miscarriages, it’s something I dread entirely. It provides a moment of pure grief while you fill in the section of pregnancy history and the D&C you got under procedures.

Recently, while filling out medical documents for a new primary care physician I got to the pregnancy history section and found these options: total pregnancies, full term births, premature births, abortions-induced, abortions-spontaneous, pregnancies-ectopic, pregnancies-multiple births, and living. I thought to myself okay, lots of options and I started…Total pregnancies: 4. I’m grateful that in the full-term births I am able to put two.

As I scroll down the list looking for the section to inevitably report my miscarriages, I couldn’t find it. I read the options over again. Abortion. That was my option. While I fully understand that the medical term for pregnancy loss is abortion, to me that implies that I had a choice. While abortion is not defined by having a choice, I feel society has demeaned it as something we do because we have a choice to end the pregnancy. To me I never had a choice. I walked into the doctors that day to see my baby, to hear a heartbeat, and it wasn’t there. My baby died. I did not abort it, it died.

I refuse to categorize myself as someone that has had an abortion. I had a miscarriage. Totally different in my eyes. To finish filling out the section and show my distaste in their verbiage, I crossed out the word abortion and wrote in miscarriage. I marked in the number two and continued down the list. After finishing the documents, I sat there and felt the grief. I thought about both days when I found that there was no heartbeat. I cried. I mourned, again. And then continued on. Grief never ends. It visits you randomly and in many forms.