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Circles

November 17, 2017

I often feel very lonely. I don’t think that is all that uncommon in this day in age. I try hard to move around my circles to meet people. But another circle pulls on me, causing me to be on the fringe of any circle I am in.

Like a Venn diagram. Circles of interactions: military, church, home educator, bereaved parent. Some of the circles overlap. I like it when they overlap, giving common ground and understanding. I love meeting people and hoping we click.

You see, I love deeply. I’m not very good at ‘social graces’. Back when my Love and I were in university the catch phrase was “authentic”. People searched for others who were honest and vulnerable. Apparently I am one of those people. Being told often that I am “so real”. What ever that means. I hide a lot of myself. Afraid to show the tender parts of my heart. Because I love deeply. And I want to love people deeply.

The next thing people were searching for was “community”. People wanting community where they can be real and vulnerable. I got so sick of talking about “what is community”, “what does it look like, and my favourite “how can we each live community a little more”. My solution: stop talking about it and live it!! I would expose my tender heart and find the person in the room who looked as hopeful at the idea as I felt.

There have been a few people who have accepted the love I offered, the olive branch extended. A few. People who accepted me loving them. And allowed me to love them deeply.

As I have gotten older, moved around, had more children it has been harder to find people who are willing let me love them. And even fewer who love back.

You see, that is where the Venn diagram comes into play. I could say I am alone. Stuck in the centre as there are very few Christian-home educating-army wife-bereaved-blogging women. I allowed myself to be stuck there, alone. But look at all those circles! I am not alone! I have several circles that I can draw from. And I have been trying.

I’ve also allowed myself the space to release those who aren’t as willing to accept the extended branch as much. It’s ok. I still love. And I know that for some they just don’t have the time right now. There is space for that too.

I have been trying to extend myself into the circles I inhabit. I don’t have experience moving father into some of them. Being a military wife is not a big circle in my life. But the friends I met there are near and dear to my heart. And those that share my faith are so important because I can share with them the troubles of my beliefs. My homeschooling network is so special as we can share our daily struggles with understanding and humour. The circle with the smallest amount of people, but one of the heaviest is the bereaved. I don’t know many who have to carry this burden, thankfully. The ones I do know I am ever grateful for because they just know. No words needed.

But to those of you still reading: thank you for allowing me to feel the hurt of being lost and lonely. Thank you for allowing me to extend live and accepting it. My tender heart is feeling more open again. Thank you to those of you who see the real me and allow me to love you. Thank you for the few of you who love me back.

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November 10, 2017

Some of the hardest things about having had a child die is the knowledge that at any moment your life can change. As you put a child to bed the terror that strikes you: will your children still be alive in the morning? You stand at the door with the logic of Schrödinger’s Cat, but in child form, playing through your mind: if I don’t open this door then my child is still alive for as long as I can hope, but if I don’t open this door and my child is in distress (or worse) and I did nothing. The conundrum eating at you, anxiety growing. The flash backs of death so real you may actually throw up. Every night. Before I finally give way to sheer exhaustion I wonder if tomorrow my children will be alive. The panic. Knowing what it feels like to have your heart smashed, and it never fully healed. And you wonder if you can survive another catastrophe.

And the knowledge that you precious child is forgotten by everyone else. The loss that won’t be replayed as people remember more important losses.

It doesn’t make my loss less significant. Just less noteworthy.

12 years difference

September 11, 2017

I didn’t usually put the tv on in the mornings. And normally my Love would be at university. But as I turned on the television everything was wrong.

I hadn’t gotten food. We had been away all weekend and I hadn’t planned meals properly. So Gift didn’t take the school bus. We took his father to work and the I ran in to the grocery store and got food.

There was smoke. Billowing smoke. Commentators seemed as confused as I felt. Holding Gift on my hip, I had brought him out to feed him breakfast. Then the second plane hit. Silence.

I threw some pepperoni sticks, juice and pears with some cookies into his lunch bag then dropped him off. “I love you, go learn something.”

I don’t know what I did the rest of the day. I called people. Shocked. I cared for Gift. I called to book a time for our small group to go and donate blood.

My mother in law arrived as I finished making a dessert for supper. It was still morning, but I had an appointment with my Love and I knew he was already having a bad day, so I had made him supper to take to him.

I don’t know what I did that day.

I don’t know what I did that day. But the police found out.

I watched as the world changed. My infant son would never know a world without war.

As the sun set, my world had changed. I now faced a world without my son.

The Survivor Tree, charred, but alive. The scar of the burns under the new bark, no longer visible to show what it survived.

My surviving hides scars in the same way that the tree does. The difference is I don’t walk around with a plaque explaining why I cried so hard at the 9/11 Memorial. How this day, the 11th of September, is more than just the day the world changed: it’s the day that changed my world.

Father’s Day Redux

June 18, 2017

 

The first year we did this my Love was gone.  We got two years with Gift doing this tradition.  The third year was hard.  Very hard.  My Love’s only response was that he missed the last pair of feet.

I didn’t do it again.

Just one year skipped.IMG_3839

While THAT foot kept developing.  My Love said that this is his favourite ultrasound picture ever.

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Now, even though we will forever be missing one set of feet, our family is full again.

Happy Father’s Day, my Love!!!

 

 

 

May 20, 2017

There are some friends that it doesn’t matter how much time you spend apart you just pick up and carry on.  This blog is not one of those friends.

But there are many things that have been rolling around in my head.

We have done so much in the past 5 months.  Birthdays, holidays, my Love returning to work.

I have had great days where I feel like I have it all together and then other days where I think I am failing miserably.

What I know is that I want more.  More living, more loving, more connections.  Just MORE.  More good days, more time learning, more time with friends, more nights cuddles together doing nothing.  More writing, and music.  Just more.

Advent

December 3, 2016

The first Christmas that we had without Gift was pure agony.  I couldn’t imagine celebrating ever again.  It hurt.

tree

This is our fourth Christmas without him.

It is the first time I have been excited for Christmas.  Just for the sake of the joy of the season.

Ever.

I am SO excited about Christmas this year.

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The anticipation.  The traditions we have as a family.  The happiness we have being together.

I don’t think it is all because of this lovely addition, but it certainly helps!

adorbs

I think really what has happened is that I have accepted  this new place.  That 12 years and 238 days was all I was ever going to get with Gift.  And I am thankful for every single second I had.  I can move forward.  I don’t have to be stuck lamenting my loss, but celebrating what I once had and all the other miracles God has given to me.

Death isn’t the end.

This season, more than any other we can be reminded that there is MORE.  That as we count down to celebrate the birth of the One who reunites us with our God, we can rejoice in knowing that we will see our loved ones again.

October 21, 2016

I was afraid to go to sleep last night, knowing that my dreams were going to be heavy.  I knew this because dear friends are now walking this road of loss too.

I dreamed this morning that I was walking along my street, with a friend (not the same friend), barefoot. She asked me why barefoot.  I told her it was a physical representation of my grief.  People could see and relate to the pain of being barefooted.

Then I woke up.

There were feelings still, remnants of the dream.  How my feet were sore and how my Love’s flip-flops that hurt his feet were at his work.  Her presence made me happy.

I wish no one ever had to walk this road.  I wish I could take their pain away.

When I don’t know what to say to my kids, or how to talk to my kids about things I start asking them questions.  I started with Curly because this lovely girl, Bea, tutored him.  I asked what he remembered about Bea.  Did he like his time with her?  Why did he like his time with her?

By that point he became suspicious and asked about the questions. His broken heart shows through his eyes.  His big, beautiful eyes.  And the sorrow was obvious.  I could see all his pain and loss brought back to the forefront.  ‘Bea has siblings, you know.  What would you tell them?’

“When ever you start feeling more sad and can’t really understand your emotions, try not to take it out on anyone else, or get a hug. That helps.”  Poor boy.

Grief hurts.  It hurts everywhere.  In my dream I was showing my grief and the pain my grief caused. Every single step hurts during grief.  And I don’t just mean figuratively.  It hurts to walk.  It hurts to breath

Knowing that my friends are going through this pain is unbearable.  I remember thinking that so many people were unaffected.  That they were going on with their lives and had no idea that my world was falling apart.  I feel like I shouldn’t be going on about my daily life. Not with their world is falling apart.

God has not abandoned them.  And I know that they know this.

But I still wish I could make it better for them.