Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Just get over it

So as many of you know I run a local loss group this has been the subject of many of discussions here recently.  Family and friends just wondering when we will ever get over it...

We are soldiers that have been wounded greatly.  The flesh of our flesh the bone of our bone has left us forever.  If a solider had lost his left leg in battle you wouldn't expect him to just get up and deal with it and get over it.  You would expect him/her to be taken to a medical facility and the healing process begun, the wound would need to heal, they would need rehab to learn to walk again, to learn how to do everyday things again that they never would think would be hard for them, then there is the mental portion that they have a piece of their bodies forever missing and their life has been altered traumatically.  Not to mention the trauma of how and when it happened how it felt to have it removed from their bodies knowing that it would forever be gone.  You wouldn't tell that soldier to be thankful they still have the right leg,  you wouldn't tell them at least they are young and they can learn to walk with a "new" leg.  That leg they made will forever be missing the pain will forever be there.  Though they will learn to walk, smile, have a great time and sometimes yes love life and seemingly be on cloud 9.  They still miss that leg they are still reminded when they look down that there is emptiness. The memories are still there the pain, the trauma and yes over time that person gets stronger each day it doesn't make that their leg being gone is a okay thing.  You wouldn't say that to a soldier.  You wouldn't know what to say because you have never had your leg removed from your person.  You don't know what they are going thru.  So why would you say these things to a mother.  We have lost part of our souls, we have lost our flesh, blood, bone, sweat and tears and hopeful dreams.  We are PTSD sufferers and some of our stories would bring you to your knees in agony if you were to just be a fly on the wall for a bit of them.  But we slowly get up, we slowly get stronger and figure out how to live without that piece of us being there for us to see and touch and feel.  We learn to breath and walk again.  We learn to do things that we think are so common but forever changed and altered.  I never say we heal because we don't it hurts just as bad as the day they left us but I will say we get stronger each day.  We deal with the pain and manage it and live with it and become almost friends with it knowing when it will worsen and lessen.  We will smile again, we will live life and even love it again, we will enjoy our time here on earth and know how magical and special it really is.  We won't take things so for granted and will actually have a deeper perspective on life and what really matters.  But please you can't expect us to just get up and get over it.  It takes years for that soldier to start the path of living life with a piece of them gone, give us time and empathy and a shoulder if we ask for it.  Please don't try to speed us along as this isn't the correct way to learn anything in life.  Please be understanding and kind and respectful.  We don't expect you to have the answer, we know that's not on this earth.  We just expect you to love us and pray for us and hold our hands or listen to us when asked.  Let us know your there if needed and loss parents will let you know when they get strong enough.  You can let us know how sorry you are about our loss, you can let us know how much you love and care for us, you can help us with daily life things especially in the beginning, you can ask questions and talk about our children, you can ask us what we need from you directly.  All these things are okay.  The advice unless you are a loss parent, unless you are a trained professional on how we should or shouldn't grieve though is a insult and can put us a step further back in our paths.  You don't have to be scared to talk with us we know your scared we know you don't want to say the wrong thing and that's okay.  We know you can't possibly know what we are going thru and for that we are grateful because we don't want you or one more person to join our sister and brotherhood of loss.  Love unconditionally no matter our choices and understand that we are doing the best we can to learn to walk again.....

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Worst night ever....

I think this will forever be the night I dread, this night brings the most hurt and sorrow for me and still 5 years later I never know how to deal with it.  Do I want to be alone?  Do I want people here?  The answer is usually alone.  Tonight alone it is.  My grammar might not be perfect in this post as it never is when emotions are flying over the keyboard keys.  This night 5 years ago my first born daughter was still inside me.  She was alive and right about now I was checking her heart tones because I felt off.  She had hiccups down low which I thought was odd.  It was a feeling I can't describe like she was far away.  They had a odd echoed feeling to them.  I remember talking it over with John and we discussed if we should go to labor and delivery to get checked out.  Then I pictured me walking in and telling the nurse "Oh my baby has weird hiccups and I just feel off", I knew they would more then likely roll their eyes at me and laugh about me all night.  I came up with excuses to put my mind at ease and they all made sense.  I was farther along and I could have just been dropping like people  normally do around 32-36 weeks.  Yep that makes sense.  I went to sleep telling myself I would get up first thing in the morning and go to the doctor to put myself at ease.  That night I said a prayer a weird prayer I know now.  I prayed to my brother Micah and to god that if something were to happen to this baby let her come out before it happened so that I could save her.  By the morning when I woke up I knew she had left me.  She was gone I couldn't wake her up and in my heart I knew why.  I have written this story I think every year more in depth other years then some.  Tonight I don't have the energy to go over every detail as I am doing it in my mind constantly this evening.  Grief never gets easier over time it just grows on you and you become accustomed to it.  Like a auto immune disease.  You always know you have it and it always bothers you.  Its bad when it flares but then goes into remission from time to time so that you can go thru every day life and smile, laugh and live as some "normal" people think.  Its incurable, it flares when it wants to and you have no power over it accept to learn how to ease it with practices you have learned over time.  I look at people all the time sometimes sitting in restaurants, coffee houses, parks and playdates.  I look at them and think of what they are or may be carrying with them.  You look at them and they appear normal, solid, and even happy.  You look at me and think the same things.  But little do you know I carry grief with me every day I fight the flare ups and try to keep it in remission but looking at me you can't tell the wiser.  Grief has taught me to be kind to others because you truly don't know what beasts they are silently battling even if they are smiling and laughing you don't know the measure of strength they are pulling thru to do those simple tasks.  Her lessons in life will be never ending.  I just simply miss her tonight. I simply want to hear her heartbeat again loudly thumping away and judging how proud and strong she is.  I want to giggle over her red little locks of hair and kiss her sweet face and chubby cheeks.  I want to sniff her sweet skin again.  I want to feel her warm against my face again.  I want to watch her daddy proudly hold her while he faced the window holding her face close to his.  I want to watch him sway around the room almost trying to calm her as if she were alive.  I know tomorrow she would be 5 years old.  She would be begging me for a silly cake of some sort.  I would be planning a over priced over worked party that would exhaust me and I would be thankful when it was over and flop down on the couch and prop my feet up and count down the months until the next one.  I would be sticking her back in bed for the 5th time tonight because she would be to over excited about her special birthday tomorrow.  Turning a whole hand.  She would be excited that she would be going to kindergarden this year.  She would be driving me I am sure crazy.  I wouldn't know to be thankful for it at that moment.  I wouldn't know that I was ever missing anything.  I would take it all a little more for granted as most "normal" parents do.  I wouldn't know,  I wouldn't even be able to imagine knowing how it could be without her.  But here I am without her.  I have her sister and her brother but that doesn't make me miss her any less.  I wish my love tonight you hadn't slipped away.  I wish it would have went different for you.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Grief Gremlin...

First off I know I always say I am going to start to try to blog again then never seldom do but again I say I am going to try to start again...

So there is this mother in our community that everyone is rallying around in support and care.  She was a former nurse for the same hospital system I use to work for and I had her a few times in both pregnancies with the girls.  She then took a job at a local school as a school nurse where her husband was a coach for the same school system.  For some reason I have always thought of her and liked her even though the conversations we have had with one another were few.  When I was pregnant with Kinley and on the cardiac unit she had came to see me and do heart tones even though they really didn't have too. I was just barely 13 weeks but it was a nice friendly face on a horrible floor and to hear the lovely pitter patter heartbeat of my rainbow baby when they could get them.  We had known each other it seemed thru many friends and I always seemed to be updated on her life because she lived close to me as well.  She lost her husband last year tragically and my heart broke for her and her two young sons.  Well this year she had a whole new grief process to enter because she was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer which also led to a malignant brain tumor.  This is all recent and I don't even have all the facts I am not even sure if the whole family does.  It was terrible news and I felt like I got hit in the stomach when I heard it thru a friend before it was even out in the public.  I can't even imagine what she is going thru as she is trying to learn how to fight this beast.  I saw her the other night late in the night on face book browsing thru posts and liking comments and such.  It put to mind a phrase I have always said and never wrote about in the past.  I thought to myself the "grief gremlin" has got her and more then likely tormenting her.  Now I am not comparing my grief to her's as everyone's is totally different.  I remember staying or trying to stay busy all day and wear myself out as much as possible.  Because I dreaded the night time, that's when your at risk for the grief gremlin....I would tease myself don't feed it after midnight because it gets gross and scary and plays dirty tricks on you.  It's a grief gremlin....In the stillness of the night when everyone is sleeping and lights are low that's when it can get you and tends too.  You are there alone and your thinking and you think and think and get deeper into thought and my friend's before you know it the grief gremlin is there and you have already fed it your tears and quiet thoughts and its off until you are so exhausted you fall asleep.  I have had many of these nights.  It always for me was way harder at night.  The lonely dark thoughts in the stillness of the night.  You try your best to keep your head busy and get on face book, watch a movie, read a book etc.  But the night was always so scary you almost just wanted to get it over with.   Now thru time it did get better.  I never say its because you heal with time I really hate that phrase.  Because to me you do NOT heal.  You get stronger each day, you learn to live with the pain and you learn a new normal of life.  But if you ask me today is your pain less intense I would say NO, the pain is the same it always will be because she is still gone but I am stronger I grow stronger everyday each moment and become tolerant and function with the pain.  I even smile, laugh and enjoy life everyday.  In no way am I moving on or forgetting her but I am still alive and I am living, I am still missing her daily.  I still have nights with the grief gremlin but not as many.  I think because I have mastered a lot of this path of grief.  Every day and every stage of life is a lesson you learn from it and grow stronger.  Just keep getting stronger don't give up.  Embrace your grief and learn from it. Its not a gift, its not a treasure but it is a life experience to learn from and grow and re balance yourself.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I am a rainbow

I am not sure if I have ever blogged on this before...but I am a rainbow baby.  My mother gave birth to a sleeping baby boy April 5th 1980 his name was Micah Ren Gerdes.  Looking back at my childhood I had always felt a huge respect towards Micah Ren like he gave me his place.  I always felt in times of danger or need I could tell myself Micah Ren is watching over me he will protect me.  My mother came from a time where people just didn't let mother's mourn their lost babies as they do now and it's more accepted.  That breaks my heart for all of you loss mothers in the past not getting what you needed to help your long grief process.  My mother and I were always close on matter of Micah Ren and we always remembered and quietly celebrated his birthday together.  There has never been a time when I have not remembered.  Most of the time it was just us.  I have always been so intune with him.  I hope Kinley Raye has the same respect and feelings towards Delanie Faye.  I look back to the night before Delanie Faye left me.  This night kills me.  That night, the night of Micah Ren's birthday April 5th 2011 I remember my prayers.  I had asked the lord if anything should be going wrong or happen please let me go into labor or have the knowledge to go to the hospital before something worse happens.  I asked the lord please don't let her be stillborn like Micah Ren.  The next morning she was gone.  Sometime that night something happened to my sweet Delanie Faye.  I will never forget my prayers that night.  I will never know if it was something intuned in me like I knew she was leaving.  I don't know if there was anything I could have done about it, I don't know if this was a goodbye in a way.  I don't know if maybe Micah was her guardian and took her that day so I would know it. 

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My heart is still broken...

Yes if your questioning a grieving mother's timeline of grief.  My heart is still broken.  I often have couple's look at my hopefully and ask the question does it ever get better?  Regretfully I have to tell them the truth.....No.  The hurt is always the same as I have written my theories of that in past posts.  Time is like pain medication.  The throb does numb some because you grow use to the pain and learn to live thru it and function daily.  We are forever chronic pain sufferers.  The pain does not change in my eyes, you my friends just grow stronger day by day and we learn to take this large amount of pain and live daily lives.  Delanie never leaves my mind.  Daily I think of her and wish life had been different for us.  I wish I could complain how tired I am and how I still have so much to do for my sweet Delanie's birthday party next week.  It's a wish and I understand the fact of life is...there is no birthday party next week.   There is only her father and I staring hopelessly into each others eye's and holding back tears at times and then at other times letting them flow freely.  There just no planner and no how to's, to plan your dead child's birthday.  Yes you see other people celebrate it or do cool things in honor of their children and say I am going to do something like that.  But the truth of the matter is you treat it as if it is something sneaking up on you almost like it's going to catch you and you know it and fear it.  Yes I am blessed I met that beautiful soul that day I loved holding her warm little face next to mine and seeing how beautiful she was.  But the fact is I can't erase the pain and hurt the day came with.  And though we want to plan something that day that would be "awesome" the grief in us just wants to run and hide in a hole and hold on tight like a tornado whipping above us and pray we survive it.  I am usually polly positive but I do have days where I feel so let down.  I went the the pain of carrying my sweet baby girl and then delivering her by c-section and yes I would do it all in a heartbeat again even with the same outcome just to let her live and be happy in my belly but the other side of it is I did the work and walked away empty handed.  People might say OH Holly but look at the beautiful baby you have now.....YES she is beautiful and I am thankful and grateful and blessed.  But look at your maybe grown children let's say you have three and they are well into childhood.  TAKE away the middle one...why not you have two more...you should be grateful.  Rainbow babies are not a replacement.  I did not replace my baby girl Delanie Faye.  Kinley I always say IS my bringer of light in the darkness.  She was my beacon of light in the storm of loss.  She brought me light and happiness when my days were rainy and dark.  Just as Dustin did as well.  But neither the first child or the third child is ever a replacement for the second.  I wish all my children were with me but I am very thankful for each and everyone of their souls and every second of time I will spend with them, in Delanie's case have spent with her.  I am grateful Delanie was with us and I gave her a warm loving place her whole life.  I guess it's just crazy each year us grief parent's almost live in a episode of ground hog day...replaying years events.  I would be this right now or that right now and looking at pictures of us this day before this or that.  Why do we always count so much?  Maybe it's because we are always searching for the time lost.  Maybe it's our way to create more or make it last.  It's all we have....

So this is the picture I took this time actually this time in 10 minutes 3 years ago.  I had just gotten in Dustin and Delanie's shirts for her day of birth.  They were perfect.  I was so happy with how they came out.  Sadly in the back of my mind I have to come to grips with is I could never picture them both wearing them and that became a fact.

The fact is I always in the back of my mind knew I would lose Delanie.  I had it blocked well.  But looking back on things I did or how I felt I think in my heart I knew she wouldn't be leaving the hospital with us. With Dustin I always knew he would come home.  He would be very sick and things looking grim but I always still knew he would come home to us.  With Kinley as well I really didn't have the fear as badly as I expected I pictured her with us.  It's really hard to explain its just a intuition type feeling.  But its one you never knew you had until it's passed and you learn over time and experience what it actually was at the time.  I feel so very old from all these life lessons and experiences.  I have had enough to last a life time and then some but they are valuable although very hard to learn.  My heart is heavy tonight and I expect will be over the next coming weeks as I relive one of the most beautiful loving times of my life and also the most raw heart wrenching brutal painful times of my life.  I miss you sweet girl I will always want you.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Life as we know it

Life has changed and is so busy and going by so fast I feel like from the moment I wake to the moment I lay my head down is nothing but that a MOMENT!  Course Kinley is still waking through the night and has recently had her first illness which turned into croup.  Which that then landed her in our bed inbetween two parents mindlessly watching a baby girl breath while she slept.  The croup was not that bad at all I have been thru much worse and a WAY sicker child.  I was telling friend's that it is amazing the difference on how a person can change with life.  I was the mother to a very sick little boy who coded many times with a long NICU stay and then came home on multiple medications, oxygen until he was older then 5 years old and a heart montior until he was over a year old.  I handled him without breaking a sweat and seemed like I was forever sure of my actions and routines in his care.  Then there is this chubby faced little cherub of a girl of mine and she gets a virus and floors the whole house.  The first night I was so scared and she wasn't even that sick I slept sitting up with her on my chest just to feel her breath in and out.  I was a nervous wreck.  It just seems with the unthinkable does happen to you in life you understand how easy it is to be chosen again.  Logically I know she is fine but in my crazy brain I have to convince it.  It really is a mess up there!  Kinley is almost 11 months and I don't understand where the time went and how fast it really flew by.  Dustin will be 11 in March?  I can't picture him being 11 years old he is still very much my small little baby.  Your always at a cross roads as a parent wanting to see your child to the next stage whether it be crawling to walking to riding a bike but then in the same breath you want to revert them back to a tiny fragile newborn.  They both never stop amazing me daily with their new growth and love towards eachother.  Their bond is so incredible and really one of life's greatest treasures to me.  Kinley is so very much wanted by all of us especially Dustin.  I see now how much he needed her and how much he cares deeply for her.  I know that when we leave this world they will have eachother and they will have a forever bond.  Dustin knows her worth he worked just as hard and Kinley feels his unconditional love and devotion and returns in even as small as she is.  I love looking at her look at him and her eyes just sparkle and light up with amazement and I get a little giddy because this is only the beginning of her watching him and looking up to him.  I am excited for the years to come but so much want them to slow down!  I feel like I am not doing enough and not savoring each day enough.  Lord knows I will try harder tomorrow!  Well at least that is what I say each night in prayer = )

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Beautiful gift

Just when I think my first daughter can't get anymore beautiful something comes along in life to remind me her essence is still very much here and she is still very cared for.  I recently came in contact by CHANCE with a local NILMDTS photographer for those of you who do not know the organization it is a non-profit organization that takes pictures of babies that have passed away usually at the hospital or birthing center where they are born into this world.  I was not offered this service and have deeply regretted not hiring a professional to capture the brief wonderful moments we had with our sweet daughter Delanie Faye.  We took pictures with our camera as best as we could but were so caught up in the moments that we really did not take many as we were just trying to soak up every minute of time with her and feel her warmth and love.  This wonderful local photographer asked to see the pictures and she returned some beautiful images to me in a beautiful slide show as a surprise.  I was taken back by how wonderful a gift I have been given and loved watching it about the first billion times I played it.  John and I thought many times on if we should share it with family and friends and decided the safest way would be to put it on our blog.  I know I have not been blogging lately but I do plan to restart blogging soon.  I did want to share this beautiful gift with everyone that loved and cared for Delanie Faye.  Please no sharing, no copying we are very private with Delanie Faye because in this world their are sick people and we would be crushed if her pictures got in the wrong hands and were used without our consent.


Here is the link to her slide show and the password is Delaniefaye
larger view on the weblink 

Or watch below

Thank you to the beautiful angel photographer that helped us out with this wonderful gift