Why would I sit TODAY and continue sharing my journey with loosing my son? The answer? It is very simple. My calendar marks a special date for sometime during this very week. A BIRTH. My son’s DUE date.
My heart is mourning FRESH right now. I should have been going to the hospital, with freshly washed baby clothes in a new dresser tucked neatly beside the reassembled crib.
It’s time to hold my baby.
I wanted him so bad. I still do. I want him now. My ARMS ache to hold him. I want to see how his big sister, my little FIVE, would react to her baby BROTHER. There is so much we are missing right now. ONE pointed out that she wished she could have felt him kick from within my womb. I do to!
It still hurts so much. It is still so real. And surreal too.
Oh, my sweet BABY BOY. How much I love you!
Why would I choose to share any of this? While it is a good outlet for me to deal with some of my thoughts and feelings, that is not enough of a reason to share all of this. It is so sacred! It is PURE love in my life. It is so incredibly personal and private too. Yet, here I sit posting it on a blog. To be read by who knows what random people. Most of whom I have NEVER met and will likely never met.
Because I would have DIED during what I experienced without friends that I could turn to, a completely compassionate and supportive husband, and finding help and support that I needed so badly from unexpected source on the Internet. Well, I guess I felt blessed with a whole load of support, BUT it was still – and still is – a hard experience to deal with. I decided that perhaps I could share MY story with someone else that might need to know that SOMEONE understands – even if only a little. While the Savior is always there and understands better than me or anyone else ever can, I know it helps to know that others have felt some things similar to what I am going through – especially something that is THIS hard and personal. My hope is that I can offer that kind of help to someone else. A repayment of some portion of the help I received and continue to receive through this experience.
There were times that I felt like I had no one – not anyone – that I could talk to. HUBBY was there and I knew he WOULD talk to me. But he was hurting too. I didn’t want to burden him more. I could talk to my mom, but I couldn’t at the same time. And at first I didn’t want to have to try to EXPLAIN any of what I was feeling or experiencing because I knew words could never express any of it – not really. Plus, I felt like some kind of over-dramatic odd-ball for my NEED to bury my son. There was NO other option available to my mind or heart. I HAD to take care of his sweet and precious body. I had to. Yet, it felt so strange and people didn’t seem to understand. They were not bluntly rude or anything, but I could tell. They did NOT understand. But I did. HUBBY did. We simple HAD to. Our SON deserved that.
There were SO many feelings that swarmed around in my head. So many that PLAGUED my heart. My soul hurt and all the thoughts just made it worse. Some seemed contrary to my testimony. I wondered if I was abandoning God, or if He was abandoning me. I knew I wasn’t. I knew He wasn’t. Yet I still felt the questions float about in my head and heart. Some of the questions were downright SCARY. I wondered if I could FACE it all. I had failed my son. I KNEW he loved me. I had hurt my husband, my kids – I took away THEIR baby. But I knew they needed me to help THEM face THEIR pain. It was MY fault. NO. No, it was not my fault. It was the PLAN all along. I knew it. I wanted my son! Wouldn’t it just be better to die? Then I could hold him NOW. I would rather just cease. Cease to exist. It is better than feeling the pain any more. No. It is wrong to think that way. But, I don’t have a purpose here. My JOB is to hold that little boy! NO! My job is to be HERE, right NOW! I have to help and love and serve my family. My family that is still HERE. They need me! I NEED them! I have SOOOOOO much to do before I will be worthy to mother a perfect baby in a heavenly place. It was so confusing and I felt like there was something wrong with me to feel all of these intense and conflicting emotions. I felt like I was loosing my mind. I wanted to just go crawl in a hole until my heart was numb. Or go hide long enough to come out and have everything be different. Right.
It was torturous and frightening and lonely and horrible. I prayed, but I knew I had to do more than that. I KNEW – absolutely knew – that if I hid and allowed the pain, confusion, fear, and heartbreak to have control of my life, I would not be able to let God help me the way I was asking Him to.
It took me a long while to decide what I could try to do to refocus and start trying to help myself cope. I decided to reach out to an INCREDIBLE woman that had lost her son at almost 20-months old. He was in that beautiful phase of life, filled with learning and discovery, and surrounded by so many things to learn and explore. And then he was gone. He went to bed one night and never woke up in the morning. My heart broke for their family. As I faced the swirling thoughts of my own grief, I found myself chanting to myself, “If SHE could do it, I can do it.” I am not sure how well I was doing at living up to that idea, but sometimes that MANTRA was the only thing that helped tip the scales of falling-apart in my favor. Eventually, I sent a message to this friend. I didn’t say anything huge, but I had to say something to SOMEONE that would be able to understand. She responded with some supportive thoughts. Nothing I didn’t already know, but it came from someone else. Someone that was NOT ME! It mattered so much! It helped so much to know, from someone else, that it is OK to feel the pain. It also helped me to feel like it was OK to move forward and begin to feel OK again too. Before then it felt disloyal to even think about “moving forward.” How could I move forward without my baby? He deserved to move forward, but couldn’t any further. If he couldn’t, then I SHOULDN’T. Right? Wrong! I am so glad my friend helped me realize that – and I don’t even know that it was any of her specific words that even told me that. She just LIVES it. It helped immensely!
BUT, not everyone has someone like my friend to turn to. Hence, I am writing this. Perhaps someone else can find SOME amount of support from me, an essentially perfect stranger (which would be essentially all of my readers).
One other major blow to my soul during this time was a result of my faith. That may sound odd, but please hear me out. Being LDS, I felt this pressure to simply “take heart” in the PLAN of Salvation and the knowledge of eternal families. That knowledge did help. Actually, I can’t IMAGINE facing this without knowing that I would get to hold my baby again. But while it helped, it didn’t mean that the pain magically disappeared. I felt guilty because it didn’t. When I lost my sweet BABY BOY, I felt like I must not have ANY faith at all. None. Why? Because I was ANGRY. Angry with a Father who LOVES me PERFECTLY. Even while I KNEW that, I was still mad at Him sometimes. It all seemed so UNFAIR. Why would He do something so hurtful to me? When I had prayed and prayed for this baby to come?! I had tried so hard to let Him be in charge of our “family planning.” But we had tried for so long to have another baby come to our family. I had felt – for so long – that there was another little person waiting to come to us. And now, here he was, laying there without a single breath of air before he was already gone from me. It felt like my faith was being rewarded with pain. I felt so many feelings of hurt, betrayal, fear, confusion, misunderstanding, and guilt. It just added to that guilt to find myself criticizing God’s wisdom.
I realize now that I needed to feel what I was. I was going through a grieving process. ALL the parts of the process helped me to cope with what I had experienced. It was REALLY OK to feel that way. Really. I hope that by honestly sharing my experience, someone else might be able to let go of some part of their guilt a lot sooner than I did. Just because you hurt or feel “picked on” or see the “unfairness” and feel the anger that comes with heartbreak, does NOT – ABSOLUTELY NOT – mean that you have no faith! Please, look for your faith. Then when your faith is week, do as one father did with the Savior when his own son was in danger. Say, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Give Him your pain. Give Him whatever faith you have. Then LET Him lift you up and cradle you in His love. His grace is sufficient! It really, really is. EVEN when it feels like it can’t ever be. That is what the Atonement is for. It heals and cleanses from sin, but it also gave the Savior the ability to PERFECTLY understand EACH and EVERY one of our HURTS. He knows how to succor us through our pain, because He has FELT our pain. For us. Let Him carry it WITH you. For you. Because He loves you. Perfectly.
Throughout this week or as time permits in the following months, I will add to this page. I will add links to each of the pieces of my journey that I write about on my blog. I will also share links to things that helped me along this journey of mine. I hope that some of it might be able to help someone else too. That really is why I shared it after all.
LINKS from here:
Links from here – from my past:
LINKS from other folks:
Heaven’s Gain (They were so much support and help. They are so beautiful in what they do and helped us know how to care for our baby’s tiny body and made us feel less alone in our need to bury him. They also have a page of links. I especially appreciated – and needed – the beautiful and inspiring videos/music that they shared there. Music speaks to me when nothing else can the same way.)
Nelson Funeral Home (They were so amazingly kind! I can’t even begin to express my gratitude for them. We are “poor college students” and could barely figure out how to come up with the finances to obtain a burial plot for our baby and had nothing with which to order a casket or anything else. We knew that we had to have a vault of some kind for the cemetery and the cemetery fellow directed us to this wonderful funeral home. We were completely unsure what to do, but when we went everything was so peaceful and beautiful and they were so understanding of our need to bury this very tiny baby. We felt their love – genuine Christlike charity for us. They showed us some tiny vaults – though they all seemed huge compared to BABY BOY, even compared to the pretty little wooden casket that HUBBY and I had prepared for him. But we still did not know how to afford any of them. I don’t know how they knew we were not able to afford to do this ourselves, but they made it possible for us to have a lovely little white vault for our son anyway. Not only that, but they gave us a beautiful and inspiring book in which to keep our thoughts about the events and the important details of his birth, death, and funeral/burial. They also handed us a lovely package of thank you cards that had a most wonderful verse on it that made it so much easier for us at that time to say thank you to those in our ward and community that helped us so much. They were simply an answer to prayers and so uplifting and loving. I don’t want to imagine how we would have faced it all without them.)
What’s Mine is Yours (song by Katherine Nelson)
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