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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.

 

 

 

 

October 8, 2016

sleepy

Before Gift was born one of our roommate gave us a little hat.  White, with a smiley face embroidered on it.  I can’t believe I don’t have a picture of at least one of the kids wearing it.  The first four did.  Usually home from the hospital.  I think it got lost at the hospital when Cupcake was born.  I was sad, but it wasn’t like I didn’t have memories of it, and I wasn’t going to have more children.  So, maybe someone else would find it and love it.  Then all their children would wear it and it would be a beautiful story they would share.  About how they found this adorable hat and that all their children wore it.

Then I was so sad when I realized that Cap would never get to wear it.  Wear his big brother’s hat.  I kept that to myself because it was such a silly thing to cry over.  We had very little for ‘the new baby’ so my Love took me out and we bought the outfit he is wearing in the picture above.

That hat.

It has the same shape as the hat.  But the new colour is just so wonderful.  And talk about soft!  I love this hat.

For me there is some kind of link.  An unreasonable connection. I can’t share the other hat and Cap will never know Gift.  But this hat.  This inanimate object made me feel good.  Safe.  In control.  For no reason.  I loved this hat.

But it has been lost.

I tried to not think about it.  It’s just a silly hat.  We have more hats.  Cuter hats.  One that my Love bought specifically for Cap.  But it isn’t the green hat.

But really, it isn’t about the hat.

It is the fear objectified.

The thought process of ‘If I just do…’ or ‘If I just get..’  then things will be better.  That control one tries to gain after the unthinkable happens.

It becomes an obsession.  ‘If I can just control how clean the underwear drawer is then the feelings of loss will be gone’.

No.  No, they won’t.

And when you lose control over that then you have to face the reality that it really was never about the underwear drawer.  But you could label your anxiety, and while you had the underwear drawer under control, your anxiety was the underwear drawer.  But not really.  Your anxiety is still in you.

You are not your anxiety.

My grief and anxiety are linked. I miss Gift.  I can’t bring Gift back.  I can’t share Gift’s hat with Cap.  But I could get Cap a new hat.  It was the best I could do.

Then I lost the hat.

I lost the hat!

It is gone.  It’s a stupid hat!  But losing it makes me feel like if I can’t keep a hat safe, how can I keep Cap safe?  I couldn’t keep Gift safe.

I know they aren’t related.  But there are moments that in my head they are.  And I have to talk myself back from a full blown anxiety attack.  About a hat.

A hat.

Because a hat shows my love. It objectifies my love.

Is love an object?

No.  But sometimes in my head it is.  This hat shows how much I love Cap.  It will show me I can keep him safe.  But not like how I kept Gift safe, because I failed at that.  And I feel terrible because if I can’t keep a offing hat safe how can I keep Cap safe?!

But that isn’t love.  That is fear and anxiety.

We don’t live in fear.

We live in love.

I don’t need that hat to show I want to keep my children safe.  Nor does it show my love.  The fact that I walk around with his vomit on my shirt because I don’t want to put my sleeping baby down shows that I love him  It makes him feel loved and safe. Not a hat.

Not a hat.

Not a hat.

 

 

 

Hey Cap!

September 10, 2016

In Sparta only two groups of people were permitted to have their names inscribed on their tomb:  Spartans who died in battle and women who died in childbirth. Both are warriors.

As anyone who has ever been in labour can attest, it is quite the battle.  Time has no meaning, you are not in control of your own body and you are in pain.  A lot of pain.  And it is hard work.

I have never been in battle.  But I have been in labour.  Just never birthed in the traditional sense.

Last month I had another caesarean.  My first planned section, and it was done in the classical line.  It has been the best experience to date!  I feel AMAZING!  My recovery is going great! I feel so powerful and defiant for the same reason:  I have had my children cut out of my womb. MacDuff style.

Because of my previous sections, my body carries a lot of scar tissue and it becomes a startling concern for the obstetrician performing the surgery.  Seeing as my first section was performed vertically, but the subsequent ones were horizontal, the intersection of the scars is horribly formed.  There isn’t enough vascular support for it to heal well anymore.  So, my very experienced surgeon decided to go into the first scar again.  And avoid the lower area all together.  Even on my uterus.

There is a difference between an emergency section, an unplanned section and a scheduled section.  I can no longer have anything but a scheduled because of the new ‘special’ scar on my uterus, but I’m ok with that.  While I didn’t die in child birth, I am still a warrior.

I have the scars to prove it.

warrior

And he is so worth it.

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Welcome to the family, Cap!

Things I Learned

June 10, 2016

I tried doing the #mayweallheal this year.  I found it really hard.  Not because the prompts were difficult (they weren’t), not because talking about Gift’s death is hard (it’s not hard).  But because I don’t feel like they apply to me.  That somehow I am ‘broken’ and don’t fit the mold of a bereaved parent.

I don’t.  No one does.  Each of us are on our own path.  And for me that means that I decided that I was going to navigate my own path.  That I needed to follow my heart and God’s direction on this.

In the beginning people gave me things that they thought would be helpful, CDs, pamphlets, ‘guidance’.  I didn’t read them.  I put them aside and waited.  Slowly, very slowly at times, stumbled through until I started to feel different.  Like this loss, as horrible as it still is, isn’t the end of me.

I still love the same things.  I still feel deeply.  I still miss Gift daily.

But is healing the right word?  What about adapting?  Or continuing?  What about living?  When bad things happen we have to choose which direction we go.  I want to live fully.  I refuse to be held back by something I had no control over.  I want to hold two places at one time:  bereaved parent living life to the fullest.  No regrets.

Devastation CAN cause growth, but only if you allow God to shape it.  I’m not saying that you won’t feel like you can’t move forward.  Sometimes staying where you are is what you are supposed to do for the time being.  I’m not saying that you have to be accountable for your pain, the pain is real and needs to be explored.  But don’t allow that to be what shapes you.  I still live with regrets, but instead of them being the focus, they are the catalyst for change.  God is the one who will guide you, please let Him.

I am not the typical bereaved parent.  I don’t know if there is such a thing.  I just want to be more than that.