Wednesday, May 19, 2010

All my thoughts ...

I have so many thoughts and emotions still swirling. I want to try to share some of it, because I know everyone is wondering - some ask and some don't. Some want to know and some don't.

I know that everyone wants to help - and I am appreciative of that, I really am. In all the ways it comes, I am thankful. I am blessed to have a few friends and family that "get it" - and keep asking how I am, knowing that this is a long journey, knowing that I want and need to talk about Jackson & the whole experience, that understand my tears are a good thing, that this process isn't pretty, that I need to hear his name spoken, and that I just need them to listen.

Everyone I love is hurting. I don't know how to help my children or my husband, much less myself. I know that I may need counseling. I get it. I know that I might need help walking through this - and if/when that time comes, I will seek it out. In the meantime what I need are friends and family that aren't afraid of my grief.

I am in awe at the power and intensity of this grief. I've had my share of losses and life events that required grieving, but this is just different. So much heavier. Tomorrow will be one month since I gave birth to my sweet boy and I am amazed at how deeply I still mourn. I could not have imagined this a month ago. I am shocked at what a scatterbrain I've been, how little focus and energy I have. Its exhausting. Physically, mentally, spiritually and obviously, emotionally.

I am usually a pretty open book. I don't typically hold things in. And because I love to write (and talk), I have plenty of words - its just hard to know what to share and with who (whom?). I have literally felt like I was losing my mind. Like I was going crazy. So, I kept things inside.

Until last weekend. I read the book, I Will Carry You by Angie Smith. She made me feel normal again! I used to read her blog and pray for her sweet family as they grieved the loss of their daughter just hours after her birth. I cried through the whole book - partly because I felt like she was telling MY story and partly because I so desired what she had - TIME. She knew months before her baby passed away that it would happen. Before I lost Jackson, I would have seen that as a horrible, awful turn of events. But from where I sit now, I see it as a beautiful gift. I'm not trying to minimize their pain at all, just pointing out that she had something I longed for! She got to say goodbye. She gave birth to a live baby. She was able to look into her daughter's eyes. I so wish I'd have known to say goodbye. I wish I could have looked into Jackson's eyes. Just for a moment. And, yet, I know that if I'd had a moment, I would have longed for another. There is no 'enough' in something like this.

Jackson's body was very fragile and deteriorated quickly. Because he had been deceased for over a week in my womb before birth, his bones had collapsed and his body was "squishy" (technical term for it)! But, it was easy to see that he had Eddie's mouth (a Kermit-the-Frog mouth, as I like to call it) and Eddie's brow. That is a beautiful treasure for us. The pictures I have are treasures as well. I have a hard time taking myself back to those peaceful hours that I held him - I want to remember it so badly, but there are too many painful memories that cloud it out. For now.

I know God will give me that again. I also trust that this pain I feel is where I am supposed to be right now. This is the season that God has chosen for me and I trust that walking through this pain is part of the work He is doing in me to bring about the good that I know He has in store. I have yelled at God and cried out to Him and expressed every emotion ... and at the end of it all, I have trusted Him. I know He can handle my grief and I know that He is walking me through this. I haven't felt like I could "hear" much from Him ... except to REST and TRUST in Him. I have heard that repeatedly. Those very words were in a song we sang at church on Sunday and I just smiled as I felt God affirming what I already knew I was hearing. He is so very good. Even when my circumstances are anything but.

We spent last week staying at a beach house on Galveston island. It was wonderful and a much-needed getaway for all of us. The kids needed some fun and distraction, Ed needed some fishing and I just needed some time away to think and process the events and emotions of the past few weeks. Its amazing how relaxing the sound of the ocean can be. I loved walking on the beach and looking at the waves crashing and being reminded of just how little understanding I have of the mind of God. So little understanding of just how big and amazing He really is.

By the end of our trip, I was feeling desperate. I'd gone to the beach for some down time and some relaxation, some fun, of course, but also in hopes of "pulling myself together," or "figuring out my emotions;" of finding some end to my intense grief. About the only thing I 'figured out' is that this is for sure a process, a journey - and a long one at that. Just like everyone has been telling me. I was sure hoping I could bypass the process. :) Maybe deal with it all at once? In a week. Nice, tidy little package of grief. Done.

I don't think I really know what my expectations were (or are), but I do know that I have to find a way to move forward while still mourning my loss. Life continues on ... whether it feels like it should or not. My children need me. I am praying every day that God will cover them with His grace - to meet their needs when I can't. To give me the energy I need to be the mom they need. Sure, I have much to be grateful for and I am. I have an amazing husband, a beautiful marriage and four wonderful children still here with me. I am blessed beyond what I deserve, for sure. But, there is a void as well. A hole. A missing piece. SomeONE missing. Someone I think about every second of every day. Someone I long to see again. To hold in my arms again. To hold his little hand again. To look into his eyes.

7 comments:

Debbi said...

You know I understand so much of what you are feeling and dealing with. You know when you told me you were going to Galveston and I told you we went to Santa Barbara. The ocean, God's ocean, was a huge comfort to me. I was going to mention that at the time but thought you might think me odd. Silly huh? I love you girl. Hang in there!

Stacey said...

I love you! I am here if you need anything. Continued prayers for you and the family.

Anonymous said...

Angela,

I am still so sad for you. I cried through most of your letter. I had a hard time for quite a while when I had my miscarriages. I am sure nothing near the grief of getting further on with the pregnancy. there are still a few things that have changed me forever. I am still very sensitive to any kind of loss, especially when it involves children. Even when it's not real on tv, when people loose someone. It always makes me cry, and I am not much of a crier. Grief is definately a long process. In some ways I don't know that you ever get over it. You are an amazing mom and your kids love you. You have always been an inspiration to me of the kind of mom I want to be.
Love you and praying for you
Naphtali

Jen Mumm said...

Angela~
3 months tomorrow and I still am a mess. I wish I could bypass the process, eliminate the grief, somehow feel like a normal person again. Instead the past few weeks I have experienced some of the most intense grief I have had since the end of February. Your blog made me cry~I love you and understand in a small way that pain of feeling like someone in my life is missing. I keep thinking back to that drive to Milwaukee and feeling the panic that I knew we might lose one or both of our babies. And I wish I would have taken more time to cherish Hannah's little kicks, that last ultrasound showing her beautiful face--instead of letting time rush by. But as you said...there is never enough time...

Olivia said...

Sweet mama, I continue to pray for you and your family! I am so glad you were able to read Angie's book. Know that many people are praying and will hold you and your husband, and your children up in prayer. God's grace is enough! Let God be daddy to you and hold you!

Love, Olivia

Naomi said...

Anglea,
A feel deeply for you and cannot even imagine what it would be like to be in your shoes. I know that I wouln't be as strong and faithful as you are, and I am touched and inspired by those characteristics in you. Thank you for sharing you experience and thoughts. I will be first in line to read your book when it's published :) I think you are awesome. And I know that God is awesome too, and that He will help you make the long journey to finding peace. There will be a day when you will meet Jackson again, I am sure of it. I am so, so sorry that you are going through this, but it is obvious that you have many friends and family supporting you. Day by day, setp by step ... it's the only way you can take it right now. If there is anything I can do for you, let me know. I'll take the kids for a day so you can have some alone time :) I am still thinking of and praying for you.

Dara said...

I am crying with you - i know that I don't have the right words.
I am praying for you
and asking people to pray for you as well.
You are amazing,
You are strong,
You are right that rest is exactly what is needful. This is a season that you are going through which means God will see you through it.
I love you and you are continually in my heart and prayers.
Dara