Friday, October 2, 2015

Capture Your Grief 2015, Day 1 "Sunrise"

Every October (which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month), CarlyMarie over at Project Heal does a "Capture Your Grief" photo challenge.  I can't say I will do them all.  But I will do the ones that speak to me.

Since the mornings are getting later, I am usually able to watch the sun rise as I take my older kids to school.  This morning, I okayed an update on my phone, which took a lot longer than I realized it would, so I didn't have my phone to get a picture until after I got home.  I wasn't feeling well, so I drove my Bigs the whole block to the school, watching the sunrise, listening to my four loud rainbows in the back of my minivan.  Many mornings I am irritable.  Mornings and I are not friends.  But this particular morning, watching the bright ornagey-pink sky get ever louder, listening to laughter, I was struck with a profound gratitude.  The gratitude that only comes after losing something precious.  I looked at my kids in my mirror, and I imagined one more.  There is one more seat belt back there, she would fit.  But there is an empty space, and the pain of that simultaneously takes my breath away and heightens the ecstatic joy of the four spaces filled with little, ever-growing bodies.  My life is blessed.

I took a picture once I got home.

PS, I find it funny that today is "intention" when I totally intended to post this yesterday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Is this what acceptance really is?

I've discussed the stages of grief before, this isn't really what this post is about.

Anyway, I finished reading the book Allegiant by Veronica Roth last night (Spoilers if you haven't read it already!!)

I made a post on Facebook about how it didn't end the way I expected it to.  How I *expected* it to end was that Tris and Tobias would lose a lot of friends, but still end up being together.  Although part of me suspected that Tobias might die or have his memory accidentally wiped.

I didn't expect Tris to die.

And the read of the aftermath was very hard in the moment because his grief was so fresh and she was making his processing of his loss so real.

But I didn't hate the end.  I actually do think that the series ended decently.  Even hopefully.

But I had SO MANY of my friends comment on my post about how it was a terrible ending and that they hated it.  And many of these same friends haven't minded other deaths in other things.  So I had to stop about what made this particular death so much worse.

And I realized that it was the grief.  It's the grief, more than the death, that people are having such a visceral reaction to.  Why else would a series be able to continuously kill off main characters and still have people think it's great, but this one kills off one and it's terrible?

Don't get me wrong, I sobbed through all of the last chapters.  I've been there.  I've felt all that before; the numbness, the need to just forget everything, the clawing ache.  I, more than most of the people I know, feel like I have a right to hate that ending.

But I don't.  I'm actually glad to know that many of the things I feel are at least normal enough that an author can describe it and have it be the same range of emotions.  But since I have felt it, and am surviving it, I am not afraid of it.  I am comfortable in my grief.  Not that it doesn't hurt as badly sometimes as the day the doctor told me Cora had died, but more that I have accepted it as a normal, regular experience.  The same as being sad when a friend moves away, or disappointed when you don't get something you want badly, or being angry when someone says something mean.  I don't fear anger, or disappointment; I don't fear grief.

I have accepted it.

"Saying her name still gives me a little twinge of pain, a pinch that lets me know her memory is still dear to me." ~Tobias, "Allegiant"

Saturday, July 12, 2014

It's been a long time.

I feel bad that I didn't post about her birthday.  I haven't posted much at all anywhere lately.  My life feels like it keeps getting away from me.

But we had a birthday celebration.  Cora's butterflies arrived and hatched early, so we released them on April 26th instead.

and then we played at the park for a bit.

Happily, we had also ordered baby ladybugs, and so had them to release on Cora's actual birthday

And had ladybug cupcakes

And Erin decided that Cora would like IHOP for dinner, and I think we decided to make it a tradition for her birthday.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

When things whisper to me....

Shortly after Cora died, I felt like everything I saw around me symbolized her.  We were very very poor, and I could imagine myself up to my ears in pictures in figurines if I bought every one.  So I made a promise to myself, that I would buy things when, and only when, something really and truly whispered to me.  So, I have a few things.  It just so happens I find more things around Christmas, and maybe that's because it's such a sentimental time.  I had managed to get something for her every Christmas until last year.  I just didn't see anything that spoke to me.  And I accepted that.  If limiting myself from buying too many things is okay, I need to accept the opposite as well.

But when it was happening again this year, it did upset me.  I have an ornament for everyone in our family already.  I love walking through the Christmas stuff, and I love decorating, but it just made me so sad.  Maybe because we're yet another house further removed, and I'm just not feeling her here as much yet (we haven't gotten her shelf up yet, I only located the shelf last night).  I guess I needed that connection or something.

So I was just wandering at Target, when I saw this ornament.  A single, ceramic white feather.  It was almost electric, my fingers went tingly.  One of my original baby loss mother friends (I can't for the life of me remember who), mentioned that when she saw lone feathers floating around it made her think of her baby.  It felt like her telling me she was still there, and I really needed that.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Yep, we're moving.  Quite unexpectedly.  Matt got an amazing transfer offer, and it's the kind of thing that would be a great opportunity and we had no real reason to stay where we are.

So right now, I'm in the process of getting the house ready to sell.  Part of that is "de-personalizing."  Apparently it's better not to have your personal family pictures up on the walls, so the prospective buyers can picture themselves there, rather than just seeing you.

So tonight I'm packing Cora's shelf.  I hate putting it away.  The other pictures...well...I have the rest of my family HERE every day to look at, so that's not really a big deal.

But it's so sad to me.  Her whole life fits into one small box.

There's the added emotion of moving further away again.  It's not just time that separates us, it'll be another few hundred miles as well, and it's amazing how much that hurts.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Happy 7th birthday Cora

Seven years ago today I held a perfect redheaded angel in my arms. For just a few moments the grief slipped away as I was surrounded by and in awe of her. I didn't get to hold her in my arms for long, but separation will never change that she was, is and forever will be mine, because families are forever. 

I love you sweet Cora Rei. Thank you for all the gifts you have given me, and the person your presence has helped me become. I hope you are celebrating your beautiful day will all the other angels in heaven who love you. Thank you for the friendship of their mothers. You have more impact than I could ever have imagined.

We went out for her birthday dinner yesterday

And today we had her cupcakes.  Blackberry, because she told me to.  I passed by them in the store yesterday and a little voice in the back of my head said "Ooooh, put THOSE in the cupcakes!!"

It snowed yesterday and was still chilly today, so we didn't get to release the butterflies.  I'm really hoping some are still alive to release tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I hate this day.

April 30th, the last day Cora was alive.  As much as I have come to terms with some things, it's still hard.  I STILL have the "if only I'd done this," and "I should have done that," thoughts that pop into my head, forever haunting me.

In the end, no matter what, she's not here.  She's not here.  And that hurts more than anything I could ever express.

I'm supposed to be planning a birthday party.  Instead I'll make cupcakes and release butterflies.  As much as I love that tradition, it's just not the same.