Damien "Joey" Joseph Kam

Damien "Joey" Joseph Kam
February 11, 1965 - August 28, 2009

Honoring the great Memories...

Damien's Memorial Plaque was installed January 16, 2010. It is located in the Garden of Reflection Memorial Book. Inquire at the mortuary office if you are not sure of the location, and they will give you directions.

Pacific View Memorial Park
3500 Pacific View Drive,
Corona Del Mar, Ca 92625


One day we'll disappear together in a dream

However short or long our lives are going to be

I will live in you or you will live in me

Until we disappear together in a dream


Damien's Memorial Plaque

Damien's Memorial Plaque


If you would like to contribute to Colin's College Fund in Damien's Memory:

Send a check to:

College Savings Iowa

P.O. Box 55119

Boston, MA 02205-5119

Reference #450079529-01 on the check

Or if you use Online Bill Pay you can issue a check as referenced above.

For more information regarding this type of account please visit: https://collegesavingsiowa.s.upromise.com/

A special thanks to Judy, Cyndie's Cousin, for putting together Colin's college fund.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Goodnight Moon

Long day today. Colin was begging me to read Goodnight Moon to him in his crib (a ploy to stay up just a little bit longer, I think). It suddenly brought back a memory ... Damien, Colin, and I had gone out to dinner one night ... Colin was still little and in his infant car seat. It was a little late, we were driving home, Damien was sitting in the back with baby Colin, who was fussing a bit, and Damien started to recite "Goodnight Moon" to him, which he had always read to him, every night, since the day we brought him home from the hospital. It had immediately calmed Colin.

I miss sweet moments like that. Especially after a long day.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Some days I still have a hard time wrapping my mind around everything that has happened ... today has been one of those days.

Miss you so much Joey.

Monday, October 18, 2010


His clothes. They've been quietly hanging in the closet and neatly folded away in the drawers for over a year now. And today I was feeling like it was time to face it. Or at least make a start at it. I spent the entire day trying to make my way through it. I managed to get through the drawers, and it was completely draining. I'm exhausted. Just from looking at them. But I'm not quite ready to decide what to do with the clothes just yet, so I packed them away in boxes and put them in the garage. *sigh*

There are a couple of t-shirts and sweatshirts of Damien's that I like to wear sometimes, so I kept those out. I may give some of the stuff to family and close friends if they want anything. And of course there are some things I will save for Colin. I plan on having a blanket (or two) made from his aloha shirts.

Why does dealing with his clothes seem so difficult? I guess for me they represent so many memories. I can remember what he was wearing when we went here or there, did this or that. And they are the one thing that "looks" like him, if that makes any sense. The pajamas and t-shirts he wore to bed every night, the dress shirts he wore to work, the suit he put on for interviews and special occasions. The jeans and t-shirts that made up his weekends, and his "nicer" button down shirts for when we went out. The aloha shirts and bowling shirts he typically wore when we went dancing. His favorite pull-over fleece jacket. His snowboarding gear. A box full of ties, a drawer full of socks ... a lifetime of memories from every single day we spent together for the last 10 years. How am I supposed to deal with all of that?

Only time will tell, I suppose.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yes, please share this blog!

I have had many people email me wanting to know if it's ok if they forward this blog to someone, usually because they know someone going through the same thing. Please, by all means, share it. I can only hope that I can be of some help to anyone else going through the same thing out there. I have had others reach out to me, and I want to do the same. It's horrible to think that you are alone in all of this, because, unfortunately, there are many others out there going through the same thing.

There is nothing in this blog that I don't want people to read about. I'm a pretty open person. So please pass it on. You can contact me via email as well ... PenguinPatrol@sbcglobal.net. You can also follow this blog ... there is a button on the right-hand column.

And if you are reading this and are in the same situation as me, please know that you are not alone. Stay strong.



There are many days that I find myself saying "where's my head"? I feel overwhelmed by the things I know I have to take care of, and I seem to forget everything that I don't write down. Apparently it's called "widow brain", and functions much like "bridal brain" and "baby brain". Stress & emotions cause you to forget what you are doing, thinking, saying, going, etc. I've found myself driving and not remember where I was headed ... kinda like my brain was on auto-pilot, but sure where we were headed. It's so frustrating sometimes. What did I need from the store? Wasn't I supposed to do something today?

At any given moment, the things running through my head go something like: Where is my cell phone don't forget to return those phone calls Colin has music class tomorrow morning don't let the wet laundry sit in the washer all day my car is due for an oil change how am I going to find health care we can afford I need to call Verizon and turn off Damien's phone service clean out the cat box I can't find my sunglasses don't forget to put gas in the car Colin needs milk call the contractor about the doors what was it that I need to do tomorrow get a pumpkin for Halloween don't forget we're leaving for Hawaii in a couple of weeks make that dentist appointment etc, etc, etc.

Really, it's like that. A lot. All squashed together and going a million miles an hour. It has gotten better, but my mind still feels like its running round in circles. I used to be such a well-organized, put-together person. Having a baby shook that a little bit ... but when I lost Damien, that's when I really seemed to have lost it. I hope to get it back again someday.

Then I find that I just have to give up some of the control, and it's ok. As long as I get the important things done, the rest can wait. I simply need to remember to breathe somewhere in there.

Now, what was I doing???? Someday it will get better.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

October 16

It's hard to believe, but today would have been Damien's and my 6th wedding anniversary. Where does the time go? I feel like I was just facing this date last year.

It all started yesterday, when I had the honor of being a bridesmaid in my friend Tammy's wedding. It was to be one day before our anniversary, on the Queen Mary, where Damien had proposed to me and where we had our wedding reception. For a long time, I wondered if I could do it ... if I would be up to it. I had a fear that I would fall apart while standing up there, have a massive anxiety attack or something. But over time I pushed that out of my head. After all, I was really happy for my friend. She really wanted me to be there, and I wanted to be there for her. And so there I was ...

I actually felt fine being up there, except when the priest got to the part of vows where he said "in sickness and in health". It brought forth a flash of Damien's last days, and just how very sick he was, and how we had no idea what was to come. My stomach started to turn. But I snapped my mind out of it, looking at the bride and how beautiful she looked in her dress, how happy I knew she was feeling, and all was right again. I know he was there with me, helping me get through it. It was a beautiful ceremony.

The reception was a lot of fun ... I got to see some old friends of ours that I hadn't seen in a while. We ate, drank, talked, and of course, danced! It felt strange without Damien there, but I know he was there in spirit. I kept expecting to see him walking back to our table with a drink for me. I could totally envision it ... he'd be wearing his dark grey suit with a red shirt, and he'd have that great big smile on his face that he was known for. And we would have danced ...

I miss him more than ever today, and I have to fight my mind from thinking what we would be doing today, if he were here and healthy. We would be spending this weekend somewhere else, the 3 of us together. Maybe a trip to the Oregon coast, or back east to watch the changing of the leaves.

So I'm having a glass of wine here in Damien's memory. It's quiet except for Bruddah Iz playing in the background. My heart still aches ...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A lost treasure found ...

While Colin was napping today, I decided to try to clean up and organize the garage. I was sorting through stuff that was to go into the "garage sale" and "donation" piles, when I came across something that I hadn't seen in a long time. There, in the bottom of a large shopping bag, was Damien's old light blue cotton blanket. I think he had it since he moved out of his parent's house. It went with his old blue comforter that he had in his apartment when I first met him. The comforter was long gone, but somehow the blanket has always stayed with us. You never know when you might need an extra blanket, right? But we have so many blankets, and it made it's way into the garage over the years. I always meant to donate it to Goodwill. But in the garage it remained. At the bottom of that old shopping bag. It was like it was waiting for me. So I washed it and put it up on my bed.

Damien never had much "stuff". He just wasn't that kind of guy. So it's little things, like this blanket, that mean the world to me.
Happy Birthday to my friend Denise ... she would have been 39 today. I've been thinking about her a lot today ... all the fun birthday parties she's had in the past. Which in turn has lead me to think a lot about Damien.

It's just been one of those days ...