Monday, October 7, 2013

The Day After Tomorrow

Its been 9 years since we welcomed our sweet little Landon to our family.  Sometimes it feels like yesterday.  Sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago.  This should be a time of celebration but we were not lucky enough to get that.

Every year is much the same.  The weather cools off and Fall comes.  The anticipation of "the day" starts about a week before then comes the "I should/shouldn't be" game. "I should be planning his party right now"- "I shouldn't be here, I should be shopping for party plates".  And that game leads up to the dreaded Day Before.  

The day before is often the hardest day of the year.  My grief hits me on this day like a giant brick to my chest.  The world stops yet keeps going at the same time.  I find myself hiding out and avoiding anything that might spark a tear in fear of once they start they may never stop.  I go to sleep that night exhausted from grief and wake to the day that would have been.  

If there is one day of the year that can stir up a lifetime of double dip feelings its this day.  This year I felt grateful, disappointed, loved, sad, bitter sweetly happy, angry, lucky and lonely.  It was long, but, I made it through even though I didn't think I would, like always.  And, like always, I wake up the next morning.  

Today is the day after.  I'm exhausted.  I'm angry.  I'm loved.  I spent the morning with my sisterfriend then took my Kayrs to have lunch with Nathan and the girls at school.  It does my heart good to spend time with the ones that love me.  My body is exhausted.  I'm crying for myself and for my little boy.  I feel sad and selfish and angry!

Its been 9 years and the pain from grief is there.  I wonder if there will be a day when it is not?  I know this day will come again next year, always for my lifetime.  And I know that this day will feel much the same next year.  I do hope that one day my grief will not hurt as much.  I wonder and hope that one day the gratitude I feel for getting him for 4 weeks, the memories I was able to make and all the things loosing him taught me will outweigh the pain of not having him?  Time will tell.  I have a lifetime of days to find out.  

Happy belated Birthday my sweet baby boy!  I hold you today, in my heart, knowing that you are close as my breath, as clear as the sky and as loved as always! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Exhausted mom meets grieving mom...

Have you ever read something and thought "I couldn't have said that better myself"?  Me too, just now actually.  And since I can't say it better myself I'll just leave you with this...

 Being a mom is exhausting some days, being a grieving mom is exhausting every day.

When the hustle and bustle of the ballgames are over, when the laundry is folded and put away, when the kids are fed and clean, the dishes washed, preparation for the next day is done, homework is complete, prayers spoken and everyone kissed goodnight, exhausted mom can go to bed to rest. But there she meets grieving mom that has accompanied her all day, every second.  There she cannot escape the presence of grief or the absence of her child any longer. There in the still of the night she sits.  Exhausted mom's duties are over and grieving mom is taking over.

Exhausted mom wasn't able to yield to grieving mom throughout the day, however, exhausted mom was very aware of her presence every moment, every moment. While exhausted mom functions to keep the house together, making sure tasks are handled with care and keeping her composure, grieving mom sits right beside her trying to balance the surge of emotions as she wishes she had just one more pair of socks to more fork to more baby to kiss goodnight.  For grieving mom never forgets there should be one more...
Exhausted mom is very protective of grieving mom and the cord that binds them together.  Grieving mom tries to be strong so exhausted mom can carry on throughout the day, but sometimes grieving mom needs a minute or two...Exhausted mom gives her all of the time she needs.

Exhausted mom will get an occasional day of "rest."  Perhaps Mother's Day or her birthday, but for grieving mom, these days only amplify the rawness and reality of her duties.

There is never an end of the day for grieving mom, rather a cycle that just repeats.  She wakes up (if she sleeps) to missing her child, she shops missing her child, she talks missing her child, she works missing her child, she does EVERYTHING IN LIFE, MISSING HER CHILD.  There is never a schedule for her grief, or specific time allowance for such. There is no calendar end to missing her child here on earth.  There is no relief squad to come in and lighten the load, this, only a grieving mom can carry.

When the season has ended, the kids have grown, and there are gray hairs and fine lines, ("Beauty Marks") that are evident to all, exhausted mom retires, but in those tender years, those golden years, grieving mom keeps going...until her last exhausted breath she grieves...

The original post can be found at Facets of Life

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Stolen Easter Eggs

One good thing that has come to me because I lost Landon was some very good friends.  "Baby Loss Friends" you could call them. One, in particular, has become one of my closest friends and our babies are resting in the same cemetery.  It has become a tradition that on holidays we make special gifts and leave them for our babies.  This year my friend made Easter Baskets for her girls and one for Landon and those special baskets WERE STOLEN off their stones. 

This isn't the first time this has happened, but this year it has bothered me more than before.  I can't imagine what is going through someones mind when they take something off a gravestone.  The only thing I can come up with is that they just don't know what a special place that is.  If I were to run into this person I would want to scream at them and say...

Do you have any idea what I went through when I lost my baby?  Do you have any idea what memories that stone holds?  Did you know that I had to sit in the office of the cemetery just one week after loosing my baby with a beaten body and mind to order that for him.  Did you know how hard it is to walk into a store and buy things for my baby's stone only to hear the questions "are these for your sons birthday, how old is he?"  "Yes, 8", I have to answer not being able to say what I'd like to say, which is "his name was Landon and he was wonderful and he would have been 8 this year"?  Do you know how special it is to have someone remember your baby and love them so much that they go through the same thing at the store for him (and you)?  Do you have a heart at all?

When I detach from my anger and hurt I can see that the only reasonable answer to those questions is NO.  They can't possibly know.  And for that I am truly glad.  With all my heart, I hope they will one day be able to answer those questions with a YES, not because they have a stone to visit, but because they can hear my heart saying this...

The cemetery holds much more than the bodies of the babies we lost.  It holds the heart of every mother who placed them there.  A stone may seem like a small physical symbol of a life lost but for most its the ONLY physical symbol left of their baby. The little gifts that sit on those stones are not for decoration, but for love. We can't hold our babies, rock them or feed them but we can leave them gifts on their stone as a way of saying "we remember you" and "we love you".   We visit there, cry there, smile there and sit in silence there.  It is sacred. 

There is a red fox that lives at the cemetery where Landon and my friends girls lay.  He comes out from time to time.  He doesn't seem scared or timid but he doesn't come up to anyone.  I often see this fox in the early morning running through the sea of graves.  He is red, he is beautiful and he is a wonderful Bodhisattva.  He understands the sacredness of this place.  Kwan Seum Bosal.