I posted this on facebook September 8, 2015. It's a great reminder...
If you are struggling with grief or in the fog with a child that has a terminal illness... be gentle with yourself and try not to worry too much about what other people think. They are not walking in your shoes.
My perspective has completely changed. I fear I am now in a minority. I use to be so judgmental and not even in an obvious way.
Like yelling at the car that is in front of me that seemed confused like they weren't sure where they were going. Can't you see I'm in a hurry. I have things to do. Pull over till you figure out where you are going.
Or looking down on the woman in the grocery store that ignores her kid saying mom, mom, mom, mommy, mommy, mommy and then yells at her kid.
Or criticizing the woman who "loses it" taking it out on a complete stranger.
New perspective :
The other day I was trying to get my kids, stuff and strollers out of a cab. You have to watch your kids closely, move quickly, pay correctly and all the while people behind you are honking. The woman behind us yelled something. I was already at the end of my wits and didn't hear what she said but assumed. I yelled at her to give me a break my kid has cancer. She said I was telling you to take your time. I was completely humiliated.
I was driving yesterday in a town I have never been in. I was by myself trying to find some floatie arm bands so the girls could go swimming. I pulled out of a shopping center a little too far, looked again at GPS to make sure I was turning the right way and made a woman so angry she called a very bad name. My pause, due to stress brain, caused her a fraction of a second out of her day but clearly I haven't forgotten.
I too have been in a public place trying to get my GPS to work to figure out where I am while taking a call from the clinic about an upcoming appointment while having a texting argument with my husband all the while my kid is trying to get my attention til I just want to scream which I usually do at my kids. Then the judgemental stares come because people assume why my focus is on my phone and not my kid.
WE DO NOT KNOW where someone has been or what has happened. Maybe she's really a B#=÷× and deserves our condemnation. Just because someone doesn't do what we would how we would when we would does not mean they are wrong. Maybe they could use a kind word instead.
I feel I must add, I AM NOT PERFECT. I haven't stopped judging myself I'm just tired of all the anger and attitude and writing down my thoughts.
(Originally posted August 9, 2018)
I posted I was tired and that I've not had time to be still.
I am being starkly reminded that when grief and loss are our reality that we cannot avoid the work of it.
If we don't stop and meet grief head on, he will find a way to be heard.
Sometimes through health. You get sick and are forced to stop.
Sometimes through a memory or a smell so vivid, its like running into a brick wall.
I've experienced both of those but this time around i'm having dreams... nightmares.
I learned years ago in psychology class that WHAT you dream should not be the focus but how do you FEEL. Your brain and your emotions team up to create a masterpiece theater that best displays in picture what you are feeling.
In my case every morning for about a week I wake up deeply sad and sometimes scared. So I ask myself, what in my real life is causing me to feel deeply sad and scared?
Grief! It finds a way out! For me it's at night when I show down, it comes out in my dreams.
I miss Emily terribly. No matter how busy I am she's always in my thoughts. I must make time to mourn her death and loss of the future she was suppose to have. (Yes even 2 years later, grieving the loss of a child includes the grief of years of what will never be).
Be gentle with yourself.
(Originally posted on July 27, 2018)
Before I start my blog today I would like to say that if you're looking for a post everyday its not going to happen. If you're a grieving mom, you understand that some days I just have nothing to say.
However I also want to state that this blog is helping me reconnect with God because how can this blog be a help to anybody else if it's just about the pain and loss and grief. So therefore it's making me look for opportunities, stories of how God is there for us.
So I hope that you can read this and have a little laugh and enjoy the chaos and comic relief I had this morning and also gain some re-connection with a God who still has large enough hands to rescue us.
I think I might be losing my mind. But look at this little gal. I swear she was saying "please save me". Both my cats had her cornered between the screen door and the sliding glass door. She had burrowed herself into the side track, and the screen door wasn't open enough for the cats to get to her.
At first I tried to crack the door to open the screen door so they could get to her because I don't want mice in my house. Mice bring snakes and disease. But this little gal...
So I ran and I got that little cup... what the hell was I thinking??? I open the sliding glass door and I put the cup down and she promptly ran right past it into my house. I started screaming oh s*** oh s*** oh s***! Luckily I didn't wake anybody up in the process.
I found her cornered thinking she was hiding so I got a bigger bucket and a yardstick and lo and behold she ran right into the small cup. I took her outside and put her OVER the fence. I told her to run and never come back. Yep I think I'm losing my mind.
But then as I stood there, in the quiet, thinking about that little mouse with nowhere to go and two very large and dangerous enemies ready to pounce and end her life, I thought that's how I feel sometimes. Trapped in a tiny space with my very large and dangerous enemies, HOPELESSNESS and FEAR.
I want to crawl into the smallest space and close my eyes and try to wish them away. But they don't go away! They remained ready to pounce just as soon as I open my eyes.
But just when I think that my situation will not change, HOPELESSNESS and FEAR crouching closer and closer, here comes THE hands. I don't often realize that I'm being rescued until I'm free.
Just like the mouse shaking in that little cup terrified that what has picked her up is worse than what had her cornered, sometimes in the midst of those dark emotions when God reaches down the fear get stronger as my faith and trust are so very weak. But on the back side of things I find that He was there all along. And for a moment, I'm free.
So does this fix me up?
Now I'm good to go!
I'm all better...
That would be a big fat NOPE.
I'm certain I will find myself cornered again. Maybe by the same 2 enemies, and maybe next time it will be debilitating grief or loneliness or exhaustion... All those things that we go through moment-by-moment in trying to deal with this new normal of living life without our child.
But for today But for this moment, I'm going to enjoy my freedom, God's hands rescued me again.
Blessings momma, keep holding on.
(Originally posted July 20, 2018)
Hebrews 4:12-16 (NLT)
12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. 13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.14 So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. 15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
STOP! If you've not buried your child please don't talk about how brave and strong I am. I may be but I certainly don't feel that way MOST of the time. And showing you how strong I am is NOT why I'm started this blog.
If you're reading this and you have buried your child (I am so very sorry. Its the absolute worst thing ever) you might be thinking that you could never "handle things as we'll as me". I want to be transparent about why I started this blog.
It's not to show anybody how much I have it together.
It's not to show anybody how strong I am.
I have been angry with God since June 29th 2014. When the doctor told us that Emily had cancer the person that I was ceased to exist. That innocent blind trust that I had went away and as of yet it has not come back.
I don't take care of myself. I often forget to take my medications. Sometimes I drink too much. I yell at my husband and my daughter. I forget important events if I don't put them down on paper. I don't reach out to my friends. And going to church is really painful.
I started this blog because I've been trying to reach out to God and when I look online for some kind of devotional that would help me with how I feel everyday I can't find one. Not saying it's not out there I just haven't found it.
So using devotionals I have, I've started journaling which I hate by the way. I've never liked to journal that's why I have about 14 journals with maybe three pages written and the rest is empty.
What I've discovered is that reading the word of God, and being honest about how it makes me feel, and when I don't feel like praying, praying anyway, is helping me.
It's not a magic pill. And it's certainly not making a huge impact, yet. But I'm finding that this is something that actually helps. Therefore maybe, just maybe, if this blog reaches other moms who have buried their babies and are struggling in their faith but cannot move forward by telling themselves and the world, we are just fine and putting on a fake smile trying to fake our way into a new way of feeling, Maybe I can help somebody else and in the process help myself.
"The Word of God...exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable".
He already knows the deepest hurt, anguish, feeling of betrayal, disappointment, fear, and anger that has been festering deep in my heart.
"let us hold firmly to what we believe"
Remember, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. The TRUTH I knew about God BEFORE cancer is what i hold firmly to. Some things i thought were truth but were disproved when Emily suffered and died are things i must work through but the basic TRUTHS... God loves me. God loves Emily. Because of Jesus, heaven is my home. When i pray He listens. I hold firmly to these. I don't want to stay in the valley of the shadow of death. Its dark, scary and very lonely. So i desperately cling to the lifeline that i hope will see me through.
So I don't know what to pray. Pray anyway. Be honest and grab on to that lifeline that promises to get you through.
(Originally posted on September 3, 2018)
I saw a poster in the library at my school about this book. I checked it out and read it to my daughter. And then I read it again by myself.
I found myself surprised by what happened in the book because this was quite different from the story I grew up with. If you think about it, the childhood story that I grew up with was kind of dismal. Poor Humpty. Shattered in a million pieces. All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again.
Yet in THIS story Humpty is afraid. He's put back together with Band-Aids but you can still see his cracks. And as much as he loves to climb the ladder and be up on the wall with the birds when he fell that changed everything and he knew fear and danger and pain.
His dream and passion was shattered along with him. He healed from his wounds physically. But the fear that he now carries with him and the scars, a continuous reminder of what happened, keep him from trying again.
As time goes by, and fear begins to subside a little bit, the pain isn't so fresh, he takes a chance and climbs the ladder to the top of wall. I'm not going to tell you what happens next you'll have to read the book. It's worth it!
So what's the point!
I fell off my wall. I shattered into a million pieces. And although I was put back together with love and support I learned that there is fear and danger and pain and it made me afraid.
When you have faced in your life the unthinkable, when something has happened so awful that it stops you cold in your tracks and makes you not want to go on. When fear and pain steal your happiness and confine you to a prison you think you can never escape...
God promises hope. God promises restoration and a future.
But what if the thing that knocked you off the wall also brought confusion about that very God? What if when you fell your trust and faith in God fell with you? How do you climb that ladder back up on that wall trusting the same God that allowed you to fall the first time?
Unfortunately I do not have an answer for that. But just like Humpty Dumpty, I believe that eventually the fear quiets, the pain subsides, it doesn't feel quite so dangerous and what you experienced on top of the wall calls to you to come back. And when you do relationship is restored beyond doubt and fear and confusion
I'm not there yet but it seems as if the poster on the wall in the library in my school pointed me toward a book that gave me a glimpse of what is to come. As long as I keep on looking forward and challenging myself to climb that ladder once again.