All posts filed under: Grief

Look Out :: Heidi Lee

Heidigirl, I bet you’ll be my best pregnancy and my best birth. I was at my best when I carried you and when I brought you into this world. Do you remember all the things we did and all the moments we shared? Do you remember being born at lightning speed? I want to relive the memories with you, Heidi Lee, so you wanna look at some pictures with me? Your Daddy and I were SHOCKED- to put it mildly- that we were having a baby. We wanted to keep the announcement on the DL, so we waited till you’d been around for 16 weeks, and then we had these pictures taken on Memorial Day weekend (by the ever talented Abby Vencil & Emma Potter- they both got to meet you when you were born, remember?). Good ol’ Luke- he was getting worn out from a life well lived, but he kept himself going till you came along. And good little Molle…. I’m sure you remember all the crazy loud, ridiculously wacky moments I had with …

Through the Window :: a Light

At the window I stand, staring through a dusky pane out at the clouded horizon. The weight of gathering shadows overhead are like the weight of growing doubt in my heart. There is a dim sliver of light at the far edge of the horizon. When I am alone and lonely, I wonder if I should let my gaze fall heavy into the clouds or if I should strain my gaze into the small beam of light. And then I read, “The Lord also will be a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in time of trouble; and those who know Your name will put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.” At the window I stand, watching the dim sliver of light as it grows brighter. The weight of the clouds still hang low, but the weight of my heart is lifting. When I am alone and troubled, I realize that the Light has always been there, that it has never dwindled, flickered, shifted, or faded …

Honesty: Grief & Trauma

You know that old adage- “Honesty is the best policy”? Well, sometimes I wonder if we’re truly honest with ourselves. Are we truly honest enough about our own frustrations, failures, and fears to… change? Change what, you might be wondering…. Three and a half years ago when my husband and I got married, we would never have imagined we’d face the hardships we’ve experienced. Not only do we have opposite personalities, we also come from very different upbringings, and we have very different interests; every newly married couple has to work at understanding each other, but add to our scenario the fact that my husband was gone (military training) more than he was home the first two years of our marriage. We didn’t have time to get to know each other, to invest in one another, to build a life together. The tension was mounting between us, but we had our first unplanned baby on the way. And then she suddenly died a few days after she was born. We were already disconnected – add to that …

The Struggle :: Why Me?

Have you ever wondered, “Why me?” My guess is that most of us have asked that at least once. Questions like this: Why did I get caught in that traffic accident? Why did I have to suffer that injury? Why did I get stuck growing up in that freak house? Why did I have an abuser? Why do I wrestle with these addictions every day? We’re human, right? Every human questions life itself, the reason for being, and the Master Mind behind it all. I mean, we’re only human – we’re frail, tossed about by the winds of change, limited in our understanding, cautious, fearful of the next curve ball. It’s only natural. You wanna know what my big question is? …. Why did it have to be me that held my firstborn daughter in my arms to wake up and find she was dead? Which then begs these other gnawing questions: Why did I have to suffer that trauma of losing her? Why did she have to die? Why do my husband and I …

To: My Firstborn

Dearest Firstborn Child, Hello from down here. I think of you all the time, dearest Heidi Lee. I know you already know that. Somehow it just feels right writing to you. I guess we won’t have those earthly mama-daughter conversations, but I’ll write you earthly letters to keep you in the loop, and then we’ll talk forever in person in that sacred place. You know, your little sister’s life makes me grieve your life all the more. When she cries for me, I remember what it sounded like when you cried; when she rolls over, I realize I never got to see you learn that; when she feels my face while nursing, I remember you clutching my shirt while you nursed; when she sleeps soundly through the night, I remember the horror of waking up to find you not with me; when she smiles, I wonder what your smile would have been. I wonder so many things. You know what else I wonder? I wonder why this is my pain. I wonder why you and …

Blizzard :: Blogging

You should see the blizzard conditions outside the windows of this old farmhouse. Fields and fields of white! It’s a pretty impressive whiteout right now. Well, maybe you’re like me, cozied up in a nordic knit with a side of bacon and a hot drink. (Don’t add too much rum to it, now? 😉 I have some time to think and to write. Unlike recently. I can’t remember when I last posted something. To be honest – which I assume is what you expect as the reader of a blog – I’ve hit a whole new level of grief. The truth is – which you can’t relate to unless you’ve experienced some level of grief in your life – I’ve been locked up in my own fears and doubts and anger. I’ve been trapped in my fear of the next worst possible scenario, trapped in my doubt that God isn’t compassionate, trapped in my anger that Heidi isn’t here. That’s the gist of it. There’s a whole lot more ugly, but I’m sparing you and …

Tomorrow :: Hope

Here I sit late at night, when I should be in bed, by the native pine that’s now drooping with the weight of homemade, wooden and yarn ornaments of memories from the past four Christmases. In the dim light of the twinkling tree I hear the quiet of the countryside and the chimes from the wind blowing by. And I’m thinking about “2016”, “Happy New Year, ” and “Hope for Tomorrow”…. You may say, “2014 was horrible because your daughter died. But 2015 was beautiful because your second daughter lived.” And then you might wonder, “So aren’t you happy about the future?” It’s difficult to explain, and if you’ve never lost like I have, you just won’t understand. But try to understand, just a little. We who suffer every day the devastating truth that our loved one is gone and is not coming back to us here look on to the future in a very different light. We are hopeful yet burdened, we are grateful yet bitter, we are healing yet wounded, we are blooming …

Giving: Gifts for the Grieving

My love language is certainly gift giving; I find much joy in receiving a simple well intentioned gift from a loved one, and I thrill in thinking up what sorts of gifts to give someone for any occasion. Naturally, it meant a great deal to receive meaningful gifts our first Christmas without our daughter Heidi. Since she was born in November and we had anticipated sharing those nostalgic winter holidays with her, we barely made it through the season. But many friends, and others we don’t even know, reached out to us with presents for our pain. We’ve decided to use Heidi’s stocking to fill each Christmas with gifts for those we know are suffering. Since we’re in the midst of the twelve days of Christmas, here’s a list of twelve gift ideas for the grieving: I received a crocheted purple prayer shawl, which I loved curling up with while reading and contemplating on those dark somber winter days. Obviously I love to read and a childhood friend saw that I was pinning many books …

Sunset: Intuitive Art

This evening we were cruising along the country hill roads to a friend’s house for dinner, and I sat in the back with Everley since we didn’t bring her apnea monitor (for longer drives we feel safer keeping her hooked up if she’s slumped or sleeping in the carseat). As the sun was setting behind those blue hued mountains, the low clouds had that slight mauve, lavender gray shade, which always makes me think of my Heidi girl. Her nursery was a woodsy lavender theme (see here: Sneak Peek: Nursery Picks). While staring at the clouds, thinking of Heidi and how much I miss her, I felt a tightening grip on my finger; my girl Everley had taken hold of my finger and would not let go. I suddenly had a flashback to holding Heidi in my arms and feeling her firm grasp of my shirt while nursing, and then I remembered a powerful moment after she was gone of staring at those same mountains with those same clouds and hearing in my mind as if …

Why: Trust & Pray

Today I was hit yet again with the frailty of life. My husband subscribes to AR15, which is an online community of family oriented conservative firearm fanatics, and last year when Heidi passed he shared publicly his story of trying to revive her in the middle of the night and failing to bring her back even as a career paramedic. He stated in the post that he would still trust that God was in the midst of our dark sorrow and that God would remain faithful. Manly’s story was viewed over 10,000 times and he received more than 600 condolences from AR15 users. It was astounding. One man responded with just a picture, and this picture is worth more than 1,000 words: A year later, this same month when Heidi passed, another AR15 user posted that his fifteen month old son had suddenly died in his sleep days before. He wrote that the child seemed unwell though it wasn’t anything serious; their little boy was found lying face down not breathing in his crib and …