|Sweet Declan...10 weeks old|
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
Today I sit and reflect on my weekend. Memorial day weekend... a weekend to honor those who have proudly served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice. I thought about my wonderful husband and the sacrifice he made for this great country... thank God his sacrifice was not his life, but instead time away from his family. Twenty two months spent away from his then 7 month old son... 660 some days away from first steps, baby giggles, squishy arm hugs and open mouth slobber kisses. Time that he will never have back. Memories he will never have. I think about that and how sad I once was for those lost moments, how crushed I was at the time stolen from both dad and son. Over the past 15 weeks life has been put into a perspective I wasn't prepared for. What once was so sad is not but a brief bump in the road...a detour on the journey of life. My heart now aches for the memories we both are missing out on... for the first steps, first roll overs, first baby food adventures, first words and as all parents know this list goes on forever.... Nate missed 22 months of my oldest sons life, but he still gets to go fishing with him. He still gets to sit at his football games and cheer him on. He still gets to sit him down and have 'the talk' with him. We have a life time of memories left to make with our living children.... it is the memories we know we could have had with Declan that pull at my heart...that make me sick with pain and shake with anger! It is the neverness that is overwhelming.... It is coming to terms, 15 weeks later, that there is no end to this. The curtain can close there is nothing more to tell of his story, never will there be another story to tell.... we will come to a time when Declan will have been gone 1 year, 2 years... 5 years.... 17 years.... it doesn't stop at 15 weeks. Next week will be 16 weeks.... it doesn't stop. This death... this end of life continues every day that I am alive and I often feel smothered with that knowledge. I feel beaten down and tired by the day to day reminders of our loss.... but somehow each day comes, I get up and go about my life.... I take pleasures in the small things.... a kiss from Courty and story from Noah.... I'm learning to say "who cares" to messes and "yes please" to play dates... each day holds something different... some crazy new emotion I wasn't prepared for or expecting... but I had been preparing myself for the first time I would see Dex's headstone.... I expected it to be hard. I expected tears....but I am not sure you can ever be prepared to see your child's memorial... there are no words for how emotionally draining it was for both Nate and myself to see it. It is beautiful and wonderful and exceeds our expectations and at the same time was gut wrenchingly hard to see. "I lift my eyes until to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth"...we will get through this....
The toy tractors are from Noah's birthday cake this year.... The pinwheels are something I picked up because I thought they were fitting for a child.
One of my ALL TIME favorite books to read to the kids is Guess How Much I Love You.... where the baby bunny is trying to have his dad guess how much he loves him... the baby bunny tells his dad all the different ways he loves him... but the father bunny always can 'one-up' him. In the very end of the book, the baby says, "I love you right up to the moon" thinking nothing could be further than the moon and then he falls asleep... the dad bunny then says, "I love you to the moon and back." The kids and I say that to each other frequently... although Noah has gotten pretty clever with how much he loves me lately... and is hard to 'one-up'!
Those are Declan's actual hand prints we had taken at Children's. The verse in the corner says, "If tears could build a stairway and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven and bring you back again."
Friday, May 25, 2012
Tonight we are heading down to see the headstone. I can't wait. I have ants in my pants I'm so excited! It's really strange. I think maybe because this is new and we haven't had anything new for Declan since his baptism really.... and buying something new for him is a privilege I no longer have. I won't be able to buy him more clothes. I won't be able to buy the cute little shoes I see in the stores.... I have nothing left to give him except this headstone. This is my last gift to him... the last... the last anything and everything. It breaks my heart because it is so final now. Not that it hasn't seemed final for 14 weeks, but I had in my head that this would be the last thing and then it would be over. The reality is there is no "over" but "new" things have subsided and we are left with what is still here... Memories. Heart ache. Love.... but nothing new for my sweet Dex. I wish I could have given him more. I wish I had something to be excited about that wasn't my son's headstone. He would be 6 months old now... I wish I could be sharing with you that he was sitting up on his own or starting to walk along furniture. I wish I was telling about new teeth and baby sounds. I wish I could have seen just once Declan put his little arms out to me to pick him up. There are obviously SO many things I wish we were doing... but I suppose once again I am forced to deal with the life I have been given... which makes checking out my son's headstone about as good as it can be.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
|You never know how strong you are |
until you have no other choice.
To top off the already emotional day, I also found out that Declan's headstone has arrived and I have so much anxiety about seeing it...I know it will be awesome. I know it will add a finality to Declan's death. I know it will be the last big decision we have to make for our son. I had to resist the urge to drive down to the cemetery to see it after work today. I am excited to see it (probably sounds strange to use that word to describe seeing Declan's headstone, but it's true) I am anxious to run my hands over the words and his photo. I think its going to be breath taking.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
|The last kiss Courty gave her little brother.|
Monday, May 21, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
|Here fishy fishy...|
Monday, May 14, 2012
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Friday, May 11, 2012
Missing you a lot this week and always little man...
Love you to the moon and back!
Thursday, May 10, 2012
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
|A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, |
and man cannot live without love.
|Flowers whisper what words cannot say|
I have been so blessed to have many friends and family who have supported me through my journey of grief. I have cried on their shoulders, looked to them for laughs, and have flipped my lid while they listened. In the midst of my storm, God has given me these people to use and turn to in my time of need. This week has been hard, it is the 12th week... Saturday IS 12 weeks, 4 days... Declan was 12 weeks and 4 days old when he passed away.... meaning, the first day that Declan will have been gone longer than he was present in my life will be mothers day. What a cruel, unkind trick....it doesn't seem fair... but what does lately!? Thank God I have friends and family who have shown their support for me and without having to be reminded of my anxiety about this week, have sought me out to make sure I am doing ok! Thank you to my many many friends and thank you, Jen, for the beautiful flowers you gave me yesterday! I have found myself staring at them multiple times when I am experiencing overwhelming emotions! I am humbled by all of YOU....
Monday, May 7, 2012
My Little Butterfly
Today a little butterfly flew by me. I thought to myself, 'where have you been lithe guy? You came into this world as a cocoon, all by yourself and blossom intone this beautiful butterfly and fly off to see the world. What you don't realize little butterfly, as you flutter through your days, is how you touch those around you in your soft gentle way. You don't realize the wonder and awe you create around you.' He fluttered his wings towards me as if he was waving good-bye as he headed towards the horizon. He looked very happy and content as we went on his way, as if to say to me, "don't worry, I will be ok." I was sad to see him go, for he had touched my heart in such a way that knew life would never be the same. He had left an imprint on all the beauty life has to offer. I knew each time I looked at another butterfly or horizon I would remember our moment in time when it was only him and I. I knew I would be a better person all because this little butterfly flew by me one bright sunny day.
© Barbara Ann Rogers
We released butterflies at the Tears, Tributes and Transformations" bereavement service on Saturday. They lingered just a moment, but long enough to create amazement at their beauty. It was a terribly sad service. Each family was allowed to light a candle and read their child's name and after that there was a slide show. Beautiful faces that will always be remembered, but never again seen. I didn't want Dex's face to float across the screen, but it did.... there he was, beautiful, smiling, full of life... creating a deep ache within. It was gut wrenching to be surrounded by the families of the other children's whose lives ended way to soon.... I wanted not to be there....I wanted to be sitting at our house, watching movies with my family, listening to the rain against the house... I wished I wasn't part of this group... I wished I could be the one looking on with sadness at someone else's pain. The reality is, however, that this life of mine is real. My nightmares are true. My child did die. I am not able to be on the outside looking in...I have to accept what I have been given. I have to deal with the loneliness, the constant ache, the hurt I feel... the families at the bereavement services have experienced pain that echoes mine... they have walked my walk and traveled this journey. My grief is not unique to death's healing... it's only unique to me. As we watched our butterfly fly away, I could understand the correlation between butterflies and death... I understood the analogy perfectly. While I gazed to the heavens, with the rain falling softly I realized that like the butterfly, not everything was meant to be kept.... somethings... some people were meant for far better places than here.
|Releasing our butterfly!|
© Barbara Ann Rogers
|Looking, but certainly not touching!|
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Today is a blah day...the skies are gray, the air is damp... we will be heading up to a bereavement service for children who passed away at Children's hospital later this morning.... the weather is fitting to my mood. I feel yucky. I feel lonely.... which is funny because I am not alone, the kids are here, Nate is here... but I feel alone. There are times when having your spouse with you in your grief is very comforting, but there are days like today when we aren't in the same place... and that makes grief very lonely. To be lonely when you are surround by people is strange. It feels different than I've ever felt. Days like today are tough... I don't want to feel this way, I don't want to be surrounded by people and have such a heavy heart... I want to laugh, I want to play football with Noah without an constant ache... but all I really want right now is to be comforted in someone's arms... to be held while I cry, to be told it's ok. I want relief from this pain. I want relief from my fears. I want to get off this roller coaster of emotions and feel like my old self again. I want a lot of things... but what I am trying to remind myself is that going through the grieving process makes me super sensitive, makes me read into situations more than I should, I over analyze every comment, every action... I came across this Bible verse today, Job 6:2-3 "If only my anguish could be weighed and all my misery be placed on the scales! It would surely outweigh the sand of the seas - no wonder my words have been impetuous." I have to remind myself to look to Him for support... there, in the Bible, are the answers I need... but the truth is reading His word, living my life for Him... is great, but I am still pained.... but His word is where I find my hope. His promise that I will one day see Declan again... healing with God doesn't provide a promise that the path will be pain free, just that in the end it will have been worth it.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
have loved, still love and will always love Declan. Now if only my love were enough to change something...