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Zach’s Story

If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together...there is something you must always remember..You are braver than you believe, stronger the you seem,and smarter than you think...but the most important thing is, even if we're apart...I'll always be with you.-Winnie The Pooh Zachary Thomas West 08/25/2000-05/11/2013Zach was born a healthy typical boy, until around the age of two when he started to have trouble walking and talking. We have been on a journey ever since. It took us over 5 years to get Zach properly diagnosed and in the meantime he lost the abilility to walk and talk. He has a very progressive disease called Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD)

Latest Journal Update


It’s been 460 days since I held my sweet boy.  Oh man does that number sting. In those 460days there hasn’t been 5 minutes that has gone by that I haven’t thought abouthim, or longed for him.  I think aboutwhat life should be, what he would be like? He would have turned 14 on Aug 25th.If this awful disease didn’t get him would he have a girlfriend, be a sportsstar? If this awful disease didn’t take his life would he still be smiling,laughing? I grieve the loss of my typical boy and my very sick boy. I grieve everystinking day!

As a mom you really worry about if people are forgettinghim. I am now a year and 3 months out from losing him and meeting people everyday that never had the chance to even know Zach. I walk outside or at the malland still think man these people don’t know that I had an amazing son and I ama grieving mom. 

I think I do a really good job at putting on a front that Iam ok. I can get up every day and get on with my day. I work, I take care of myfamily, I socialize, and I go out with my friends. I still am living. I have alot of people tell me that they can’t believe how good I am doing. I feel like everytime someone says that to me I get a little jab in my heart because I want toscream out that I am not ok… That it’s not fair to Zach that people think I amok. Weirdly I feel by people telling me that I am doing well; I am disgracingthe love and grief I am actually having for Zach. I am not over losing him, Iwill never be but I am ok- but I really am not ok! I will never ever be ok-because my flesh and blood, my baby boy, the boy that saved me is not here withme!

So I guess what I am saying even though I am living life, puttingon a front that I am ok, I really will never be ok with what happened to him. Iwill never have a full heart, I will never know how to answer the question howmany kids do you have? I will never know what life really should have been forZach, or me or my family. What I do hold onto is that people continue toremember him, to celebrate him.  Pleasehelp me celebrate him, remember him and never forget him. Help me continue togive value to this amazing boy’s life. Help me always celebrate him! Pleasenever forget him. Please Zach Attack. Please continue to help me turn this awful crappy disease that Zach wasdealt into something so positive.

I read the other day this quote about losing a child "Itis like a physical wound with scar tissue. It gets covered up, but emotions andevents pick at the scab until it opens itself up again” I have learned eventhough on the outside you look like you are doing great, but on the inside itrears its ugly head. I must be really good at internalizing it all because myinsides are taking the brunt of my grief! I just had three shots in my skull tohelp relieve the tension and stress that is causing the physical pain. I waswondering out loud that getting old is not fun to have my friend exclaim that it’sprobably stress- a big date is coming up “Zach’s 14 Birthday”  Grief comes in all ways even physical pain.

So now that I laid all that on you, how about you help meZach Attack on Zach’s 14th Birthday. If you don’t have cards that’s okyou can make your own! Make sure you send them back here so we can see them allcelebrate this amazing teenager’s 14th birthday!! I know they aregoing to have a huge celebration in heaven!!

With Faith Comes Hope,

Zach’s Grateful Mom


9 people hearted this


2 Comentarios

Larry Bunch
By Larry Bunch, Clarkston, Wa.
It has been about a year since I met Rachele briefly at the grave yard in Jordan. I had not visited my Grand
Parents grave before and she helped me locate the grave not far from Zach's. I could see the grief she was
feeling easily and was very saddened by it. Zach remains in my prayers. Take solace in the fact that his
suffering is over and pray that Rachele's suffering will subside. There is nothing stronger than a mothers love!
1 person hearted this
kirsten mulraney
You have such a moving way of writing. I appreciate you sharing this emotion. It is a good reminder to me to know that people might look one way on the outside but fighting a huge battle on the inside. I can't imagine your pain...I try, and to be honest, it hurts too much to put myself in your shoes. That makes my heart break that you you are suffering something I cannot even allow myself to imagine. Keep living life and showing the joy you showed when you had Zach on Earth. When I became a mom, it was a joy I had never experienced before. My first born son gave me that, just as Zach gave that joy to you. Do not feel like you are betraying him when you do feel a little joy in the midst of your never-ending grief. Feel like you are honoring the gift of joy he gave you when he made you a mom. Your sweet boy is smiling down on you.