There's no tragedy in life like the death of a child. Things never get back to the way they were.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monday, Monday

Monday is the day!!! We will meet our baby girl!!!
Unless she decides to make her appearance before then, I will be induced on Monday, Nov. 2 at 6am. Please keep us in your prayers. Especially pray that our three big sisters will have peace during this time of adjustment...they are so excited, but have been through so much. I want them to feel all of the joy and excitement without the anxiety.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Big Brother

Dear Mark,

Congratulations son! You are about to be a big brother! How I wish that you were in our picture here on earth. I can imagine you sitting next to me there in the grass with your sweet little hands on my belly. How wonderful it would be to have you here to welcome your new baby sister. We are so excited to meet her!

I often wonder if you have already met heaven. Do you know more about her already than we ever will? Has God told you all about her and let you look at her sweet face? Have you seen all of the days of her life...of ours? Do you know when we will all see you again?

Your big sisters miss will always hold a special place in their hearts. You will never be replaced by another are our Mark and there is no other like you. There will never be a day here on earth that we won't long to have you back with us.

I am a little nervous about holding our new baby in my arms. It will bring back such sweet memories of you and how much I loved to rock you and snuggle seems like yesterday. I will sing "You are My Sunshine" to her...just as I did to you not so long ago and I will cry. Will she ever understand our tears? She will grow to play with many of the toys that belonged to that have been packed away since you left us. It will all be so bittersweet.

Yes, you would have been able to teach her so many things if you were here as her big brother...I can only imagine! I long for the day that we will all be together; but until then, we will miss you and give your baby sister a little extra love that she would have received from you.

You will always be my baby boy. I love you.

Looking forward to Forever,


Thursday, October 15, 2009

My box

I didn't wake up this morning expecting the flood of emotions that would hit me. These days, I can usually function better than I had ever expected that I would...mostly it is more about learning how to cope with the loss of Mark, instead of the pain actually lessening. I don't feel that the pain, anger or absurdity surrounding Mark's death has gone away...I only know that I am learning, very slowly, how to manage it. The only trouble with grief is that you never quite know when it is going to spill out of the nice box that has been made to contain it-the place deep inside that forms as a response to deep pain. The place reserved for all of the ugliness and rawness of grief.

My "box" started out plain and always open...tears started my morning, accompanied me all day and were especially intense at night . As the weeks and months pass, I have started to decorate my that it is more presentable in public - a box that everyone is more comfortable with being around. Also, a box that I can take with me when I go out and see precious little boys running around or riding in the shopping carts at the store. The box even comes in handy at home now when I come across one of Mark's toys or lost socks. I have put a lock on my box for just such occasions. Oh, everything in the box is pounding and pushing and trying to get out, but the lock holds it in...most of the time.

Having my cup of coffee and my youngest daughter still in bed, I sat down at the computer to catch up on all of the blogs that I follow. Even with the first blog that I read, I learn that today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Mark doesn't quite fit into this category, however, the pain of losing a child is the same pain. Always different circumstances, different families with different lives, but all with the same, very real pain.

It is true that most of the blogs that I follow have the same element of loss or trial and so, of course, today, most of the posts are tributes to the sweet children who aren't here with us anymore. From miscarriages and stillbirths to medical complications and many parents have suffered the loss of a child. And, as I look at the pictures of their precious children, I see Mark in my mind...laughing, crying, running and hugging. I feel his arms around me and hear his sweet voice saying "Mama". I look over at our family picture that now does not include him sitting in my lap...and I begin to cry. And cry. The lock has failed on my "box" and the lid has been thrown wide open.

I decided to write this post...wanting to do something with all of the sadness, but knowing that there isn't any way that my words can really make anyone understand what it feels like, unless you have been there. As I struggle to make sense of it all, my dear Macy wakes up, climbs in my lap and wraps her loving arms around me...still half asleep and oblivious to the turmoil in her mother's heart. My tears slowly dry and I gather all of the grief that has spilled out and place it neatly in the box once again...until next time.

I love you Mark...I miss you.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Bereaved Parents Wish List

Bereaved Parents Wish List

I wish my child hadn’t died. I wish I had him back.

I wish you wouldn’t be afraid to speak my child’s name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that he was important to you as well.

If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me. My child’s death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child, and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.

I wish you wouldn’t "kill" my child again by removing his pictures, artwork, or other remembrances from your home.

Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me. I need you more than ever.

I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you; but I also want you to hear about me. I might be said and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child, my favorite topic of the day.

I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child’s death pains you, too. I wish you would let me know things through a phone call, a card or a note, or a real big hug.

I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die.

I am working very hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child, and I will always grieve that he is dead.

I wish you wouldn’t expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy". Neither will happen for a very long time so don’t frustrate yourself.

I don’t want to have a "pity party," but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.

I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I’m feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.

When I say, "I’m doing okay," I wish you could understand that I don’t feel okay and that I struggle daily.

I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I’m having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I’m quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

Your advice to "take one day at a time" is excellent. I wish you could understand that I’m doing good to handle him at an hour at a time.

I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.I wish very much that you could understand – understand my loss and my grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. But I pray daily that you will never understand.
-taken from Compassionate Friends (an organization for Bereaved Parents)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More Thoughts

Do you know what these are??? These are the most amazing, flexible, coolest...I mean, these are the stickiest, messiest pieces of string that I have ever seen. Pieces of rainbow that can decorate just about anything and leave a waxy residue on everything that they touch. However, there is no denying that my children LOVE their BENDAROOS! (a present from Mom and Dad for Madison's 7th birthday this past April. Oh, and we didn't order them from the infomercial...Walgreens has a whole section of those "As seen on TV" things!) Aaaaaaaand, if you notice in the above get 500 of them in one box! Talk about non-stop fun.

It seems that once this "box of fun" has been opened, these wonderful, stick-to-anything strings become stuck to, yes, everything! And not just at the designated arts and crafts area...noooooooo. I find them on the walls, on the table, wrapped around old milk jugs that have been pulled from the recycling container and mostly, I find them stuck in the carpet. Yes, our house becomes one huge BENDAROOS canvas.
Which brings me to my point. Are you under the impression that I am opposed to these silly, over-priced pieces of fun that occasionally take over my house? Does it seem that I would like to just make the box magically disappear? The answer is no...absolutely not!
Honestly, before Mark died, my answer may have been "yes"! It probably would have depended on the day that you asked. With four children around the house...all 7 years and under...things got a little messy around here. Okay, things got a LOT messy around here. And there were definitely days that I would have just loved to have a house that was perfectly picked up and clean. Now, well, I still like a clean house, but I would much rather have a house that has evidence of children. Proof that I am living with three little miracles straight from Heaven.
Toys in every room...crumbs on the floor and even BENDAROOS in the carpet. It is all a reminder that I have children that God has blessed me with. Each dirty sock in the yard, empty yogurt container that didn't get thrown in the trash...every splatter of toothpaste on the bathroom mirror and each and every one of the kids 200 stuffed animals that grace each bedroom...well, they give me perspective like never before. They remind me that three of my children are still here with me!
Yes, I am so glad to have my children's belongings strewn all over the house. I only wish that Mark was still here to participate in the mess. As much as his sister's toys remind me how thankful I am to have them here with me, each of Mark's toys brings heartache. I would give anything to be washing sand from his hair and play-dogh from his shirt, picking up his building blocks that he would carry around everywhere, and cleaning the half-eaten fruit puffs from his high chair...not to mention the "artwork" that he made on the couch with a ball point pen! Oh, those sweet chubby hands that got into so much mischief. How I wish that I could hold them again. How I wish that he was here to hold me.
I miss him.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


I wanted to share thoughts about my morning.

The breeze was blowing and the clouds were rolling. I don't normally walk outside with Joe and the girls as they leave for school...mostly I just watch them leave from the window. This morning, I walked them out, helped them get in the car and watched them drive away. I watched them until they drove so far down the road that I couldn't see them anymore. And then, I thought the same thought that I think almost every morning...what if that was the last time that I see my family in this life?

Life can change so suddenly, certainly without our permission or approval. When I think back to the day of Mark's accident, we were just carrying on as usual. Mark had taken his nap, he had eaten his snack and was just being his very active and cute self. It seemed that nothing could have ruined the great time that we were all having. Safe, responsible, in control...laughter, games, bike riding and sunshine. Who knew??? God knew.

Now, life is different. Reality is, well, real. So, each time I tell my husband and children goodbye, I will know that it may be the last time that I speak to them. Each morning, I will continue to watch them drive away and know a little better the pain of what it would be like to live here without them. Ultimately though, I will leave them in the hands of the One who knows them better than I ever will...the One who loves them more than I can...the One who knows every breath that each of us will take in this life...and the One who is holding my son, gazing upon the sweet face that I will see again soon.