Tag Archives: Grief

And it still hurts: Just a Rant

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What is it about the invention of social media that has made everyone feel like they need to plaster their daily life on it? I do it too. That’s not even what my rant is about.
I know some things are best kept to yourself, but there are times when it feels just so dang GOOD to get it out for all the world to read!
I suppose it might be a good thing I deactivated my FaceBook account a while back.

Anyway, to the point of this rant. A while back, someone I put a lot of trust in hurt me pretty badly. Someone who any person should be able to go to when they need help. And honestly, her word weren’t meant to be hurtful, I don’t think. But she used a conversation we had as a springboard, and that is what made them so painful. You see, that day something that cost her a pretty penny had went missing, and we spent a good portion of the morning searching. One spot in particular had all 4 sets of searching eyes on and inside of it at one point, but the item was never found.
When she arrived to work, we got out of the car and she decided to check that spot one more time….and wouldn’t you know it, there the missing item was, tucked away safe. She pulled it out and says to me, “See Portia?! God WILL answer your prayers if you actually have faith.”
Now, normally, this wouldn’t bother me, but the conversation on the way to her place of work passed to my daughter, and the moments when the officer knelt down and told me there was nothing they could do. I dropped to me knees, I prayed, I begged, I pleaded for God to let me take her place. But we all know that’s not how these things work. God gives you the things you need, not what you want.

And so, I couldn’t help myself, I was angry. “Oh, I am so sure God thought your stupid *insert item here* was just SOOOOOO much more important than my daughter’s life, right?!” I shouted at her, not even thinking before I decided to open my mouth. Now see, smart Portia would have just kept her mouth shut and smiled. SMART Portia would have nodded and said “I’m so glad you found it”. But no, this was stupid, angry Portia speaking.

And so, she says back to me, “No, you just didn’t have faith. That’s why you lost her. This is God’s way of telling you that you need to live for HIM.” And she just kept making me angrier. Shut up Portia, just let it go. You KNOW you won’t win here.

“I HAD faith until she died! Don’t you DARE tell me that I didn’t. Don’t you DARE tell me my daughter’s death was a LESSON.” I hissed this last word.
Dang it! That is NOT what you were supposed to say. You were supposed to just keep your mouth shut.
“I am NOT going to argue with you on this. I prayed to God that this would be found, and it was. I have my faith. That should be enough proof for you.”
 Smart Portia took over here. This is where I shut my trap. She won, and I got to stop listening to the most insulting things to come out of the person I trusted more than anyone.

It’s been a couple months since then, but there are nights, like tonight, when I am sitting all alone, when my husband is at work and my children are asleep, when there is nothing good on TV to watch, and my heart is already aching like it does every time the memory of that little red haired baby floats into my mind, that those nasty words replay themselves. And I start to cry, and I start to shake, and my resolve to let it go and forgive start to weaken.
My relationship with that person is more important than some stupid words that I am sure she didn’t mean to be hurtful, but I am weak, and I am angry, and I am easily offended these days.

Does that not make me human?

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“Why don’t you just move on?”

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December will mark one and half years since my daughter, Robin, passed away. I should probably have a better grip on her loss by now than I do, but…well, how do you control your depression and sadness when you lose a child? It’s not a death that’s natural for anyone to handle, no matter the circumstances of the passing. Parents, friends, pets, even our significant other…these are all deaths we know loom in our future, but the passing of a child is not one a person could ever expect. It’s not something you plan on, not something you think you will ever have to experience.

And so, when I hear that, those words…”Why don’t you just move on?” I’m normally left raw, confused, and without an answer. Because, how do you explain to someone who has never lost a child what it feels like, why it might be a daily part of your life, why you might be angry with the world, or find it difficult to get out of bed. I know I have my other two children, and I am grateful for that. But that doesn’t change the fact that I should have a 1 and half year old girl running around my house right now. I should have three bodies to bathe, three mouths to feed, 6 chubby cheeks to pinch, and three foreheads to kiss at night.

But I don’t. And my heart and body feel that emptiness. The first couple months after her passing were the hardest. I was breast feeding, and my body argued with me day and night, demanding I get up to feed the baby that was no longer there. And my mind would hear her cries. I would wake up in the middle of the night, hearing her little lungs yelping for her mommy, demanding her feeding. And I would sit up, staring into the darkness that was suddenly all too silent.

It wasn’t until December of 2013 that her death became real for me. I think for the longest time I was honestly holding onto hope that I might have just been in some near fatal car accident and was actually dreaming all this hell as I laid in a hospital bed in a deep coma. Silly isn’t it? Unfortunately, her death was all too real. It was then that we were given a copy of her death certificate. That piece of paper that told me: Hey, I don’t now who you have been trying to fool, but this isn’t a dream. She’s gone. Wake up.

And my heart broke all over again.

The holidays are my most dreaded time of the year now. My stomach clenches, my chest tightens, my throat aches, and my entire body goes numb the moment I walk into the store and hear those Christmas carols. Right now everyone is busy planning a heartwarming special time with their families, and while I will be doing some of the same, my mind will be wandering, my heart will be heavy, and the tears will be flowing again. My family is incomplete now. There is a piece missing in my life so big that I’m not sure why anyone would ever ask me to be as strong as to move on.

I’m not that strong at all. I’m weak. I’m lost. There have been many times since her passing that I have wanted to give up. It’s not my strength that keeps me going. No, I’m not sure what it is anymore, but it’s not strength.

Moving on just isn’t an option for me.

The Month of October: My short article on SIDS and SIDS Awareness month

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The month of October is often filled with pink and rallying women, but for this mother, and many other mothers and fathers across the world, it’s filled with bitterness and sadness.

What is it that makes these parents so sad in this month? Pink and blue.

Much like pink represents Breast Cancer Awareness, the ribbons of pink and blue represent the babies gone far too soon. The ones lost to miscarriages, or like my own daughter, the ones lost to SIDS.

SIDS stands for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome; the death in a child under the age of one that just can’t be explained.  These unanswerable questions haunt a parent who has to bury their little ones. An emptiness that is so largely unimaginable is left in their hearts, their minds, their entire lives, and they may never see that void filled in their life time.

When one loses a child, it is a life long struggle, but when you lose a child to something that has no answer, things are never able to be settled. How do you come to terms with a death that has no explanation?

And so, these grieving parents silently slip through the day, surrounded by a sea of pink, their struggles to spread awareness for their own cause largely overshadowed.

SIDS has risk factors, much like any illness or disease. Overheating, tummy sleeping, crib bumpers, premature birth, mothers who smoked during their pregnancy, and infants who are in frequent contact with second hand smoke. The list can go on. Avoiding all the risk factors may be difficult; however awareness of it can help save other parents from the same grief.

Researchers still ponder over SIDS, with thousands of infants being lost to it yearly in the United States alone, according to the Center of Disease Control’s website. For a parent like this one, they are left to wonder why more people don’t know of SIDS, or care to understand it.

SIDS is not hereditary. Unfortunately any family can be affected. It is more common in infants under the age of six months, with the most deaths in ages six to 12 weeks.

According to Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services, vaccinations are not a cause of SIDS. Research has shown that there is a 50 percent risk drop in a child who has been immunized as opposed to one who hasn’t. Breast feeding is also not a risk as research shows that breast feeding actually tends to lower SIDS rates.

However, until a cause for SIDS is found, parents will continue to be confronted by this largely unavoidable tragedy.

Remember while you sport your pink paraphernalia to give a passing thought to these grieving parents. Squeeze your own little ones a little tighter, and if you have an infant, or are expecting, it never hurts to be a little more informed, and a little more cautious.

This is, after all, the month of October. The month of pink and blue.

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My Musings: How I survived Year One

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So, this isn’t a craft blog entry either. But, As I figured I’d be using this blog for a little bit of everything, I don’t suppose it matters.
My youngest passed away July 3rd, 2012 at 6 weeks of age due to SIDS. When friends and family heard about it, they called, they texted, they e-mailed, the posted. None came by though, for I was just too far. There were condolences, and promises to be there for any time I needed someone to lean on, anytime I needed to cry, talk, or scream. Those promises proved empty as a month passed.
After the end of month one, I was expected to be over it…scratch that. I had someone tell me at the end of a week that I needed to get over it and just be thankful I had my other two.
Empathy is something that is lost in today’s world. You learn that rather quickly when you are a parent mourning the loss of a child.
I guess a lot of people are afraid. Afraid that something like that could happen to them. So, they try to blame the parent. It was their own fault. They should have done this, or that. In all reality…you can’t protect your children from everything. Much as I wish I could, I learned this lesson in a very hard way.
And so, the next months were the hardest of my life. For a while, I would wake up and not remember that she was gone until the grogginess wore off, and I had to replay that day in my head all over again. 
I was shattered. The person I was before died along with my daughter. I hated the world for not knowing her, for not seeing my pain, for just being HAPPY. I wanted everyone to be miserable. But, you know what they say: Misery loves company. How true that is…
Holidays, her birthday…and the anniversary were the hardest days. The anniversary especially.
I stayed in bed for the most part of the day. I cried, I threw things, I kicked the bed, I punched pillows, and I begged God for answers. Answers never come. Sometimes things just CAN’T be answered. That’s another lesson you learn.
When morning broke on the 4th, I knew I had made it through what would be the second most difficult time of my life.
The truth is, the old me did not make it. The old me was buried right along with that tiny baby girl. My children, my husband, my parents, my sister, and everyone I know…they lost who I used to be. I am not the person I was July 2nd, 2012. So, that part of me may have died, but this part? This part has survived. I’m not strong, by any means. But, I have made it through. If I can get through the first year, then I know I can work through the years that may come.
I say may…only because of another life lesson learned: Tomorrow is never promised.
They tell you this, you read it, you see it on t-shirts, hear it in church, or see it in black cursive print on a pretty picture of a gentle sea scape while scrolling through your FaceBook account. But you never really understand that until you have to bury someone you love so much. Someone so young.

And so, here I am. One year of pain. One year of anguish. One year of whys, pleases, and give her backs! But, also a year of change.
I will never be over it, but I can face each day with a new kind of strength.
I will never stop thinking about her, but one day I smile through my tears, rather than feel my heart break all over again.

You never really survive after you lose a child…
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