Friday, April 12, 2013

Imagine

Imagine walking past the baby girl section at Target and becoming promptly sick to your stomach.

Imagine the anxiety involved in running a race to honor your daughter and wondering how you will breathe through the tears.

Imagine the pain of running a race in honor of your daughter - not to inspire her, encourage, or support her, but in honor of her ... because she is no longer here.

Imagining hardly being able to look at babies without feeling a painful jab at your heart.

Imagine wondering everyday if God has something else like this in His plans for you.

Imagine living in a postpartum body ... with no baby.

Imagine yearning for the "what-ifs".  What if she were still here ...  

Imagine staring at baby pictures of your husband and son and wondering if she might resemble them.

Imagine a grief so great that the effort of socialization seems overwhelming.  Imagine trying anyway.

Imagine a tiny bit of sadness even in your happiest moments.

Imagine being snuggled securely in your husband's arms, your toddler son wrapped in yours and thinking, someone's missing ... 

Imagine the mixed emotions involved in setting up a crib that should have already been occupied.

Imagine the heart-wrenching memories - the "news", the doctor's visits, the funeral and memorial planning, leaving the hospital with empty arms - and wishing it could all just be a bad dream.

Thus the life of a bereaved mommy.  The reality of what I've lost hits so hard sometimes.  As another grieving mom told me, "It doesn't really get easier, just longer in between breakdowns."  How true that has been.


If you're a bereaved mommy, what scenarios would you add to this list?

38 comments:

  1. I completely agree with your statement: "Imagine a grief so great that the effort of socialization seems overwhelming. Imagine trying anyway."
    I still struggle to see anyone, it's such an effort. Last week I only managed 10 minutes of church before having to leave because it was too overwhelming.

    I think I would add:
    Imagine that the news someone else is expecting is both joyful and a punch in the guts.

    Imagine having a handful of dates (or even just a certain day each week) that make you breakdown just thinking about them

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    1. It's all so hard ... especially the dates. I'm so sorry Larissa <3

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  2. "Imagine walking past the baby girl section at Target and becoming promptly sick to your stomach." -- shopping completely stinks.

    <3 I'm so sorry, Sarah

    Maybe less "bereaved mommy" and more ..."I don't know what I am"

    ...imagine not having a face to put with the person you miss so much.
    ...imagine hurting so deeply and not having the understanding of the one person you count on for support.

    ...imagine the fear of failure that comes with thoughts of family and pregnancy.
    ...imagine the guilt that comes from thinking that your fear and initial lack of excitement caused you to lose your baby.

    ...imagine the glimmer of excitement that comes each month when you're "late" - and the disappointment and pain that always follows.

    ...imagine constantly feeling 'pregnant' (weepy, tired, crampy, bloated, nauseous, angsty) due to hormones but never with the hope and excitement of a baby.

    ...imagine constantly hoping to make your 'guestroom/office' a nursery but never getting the chance to.
    ...imagine feeling as though the door that leads to what you want most keeps getting slammed in your face.

    ...imagine being a 'stay-at-home' ... ?

    ...imagine not being able to cry because your not allowed to talk about it- at home, at work.

    ...imagine trying to keep a smile on your face -and keep your eyes from tearing up when friends tell you they are having another baby.




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    1. Lauren ... I'm so, so sorry. I don't have much else to say except, I'm sorry and I validate the pain and confusion you feel. And I plead to the Lord on your behalf all the time that He will redeem your sadness <3

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  4. ...imagine a few months after her death that you don't know whether to stand up or not in church on Mother's Day when they are asked to.

    ...imagine how guilty you feel to say you have three children when you know it was four but they wouldn't understand or, even worse, care.

    ...imagine even eighteen years later that something still feels missing, that doing a head count of your family still seems "off" after all this time.

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    1. Feeling someone is missing ... that's so, so hard. I'm so sorry for your loss <3

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  5. Imagine having an "out of the blue" moment of sudden emptiness in your heart and stomach and knot in your throat-pains of missing him so much.

    Imagine having to calm the fears of a 4 year old about dieing young

    Imagine not being able to sleep or suddenly waking up having the entire worst day of your life play over and over in your head, wondering if there was something you did wrong or something you could have done to prevent it.

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    1. All such hard things to have to face. I'm so sorry <3

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  6. These are so true! Sending hugs!!

    Imagine only having pictures... feeling so thankful to have them but so sad that you will never add new ones.

    Imagine waiting until Heaven to meet your child.

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    1. The pictures! I agree ... so thankful for them, so sad they will never change

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  7. Hey... I met you today a Ruby Tuesday. I am so sorry for your loss, I couldn't imagine the everyday pain and struggle you go through. I am sorry I showed you a picture of my baby girl, I really wasn't thinking. You are a very strong woman! And your son is absolutely precious. I told you about how I lost my daughter's father 6 weeks before she was born, which is in no comparison to losing a child, but is pretty significant. I battle with it daily, all the what ifs, would haves and should haves. I feel like I could have some how saved his life. My baby looks just like him and somedays its very heart breaking! We are in the same situation but kinda flipped in a way. Wish I had more time to talk to you today and you will be in my prayers! What a wonderful site you have here... xoxo you can email me sometime if you ever need to talk...bstry1991@gmail.com

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    1. I miss her dad so much he was a great guy, we were together for 3 years and all I needed was 6 more weeks so he could meet her. He was to young to die as well, he was only 26. My baby was a miracle as we were together for 3 years with me not getting pregnant (weren't trying but not being careful because I was diagnosed with pcos when I was 16) and when I got pregnant I was only 20 and I knew it was to young but I KNEW it had to be for a reason. I knew that him and I would struggle for the first year or so after she was born but I knew I got pregnant for a reason. And its sad to know the reason was to keep a part of him here on earth because it was his time to go home, to heaven. We broke up for the first time a month before he died and I packed my things and moved out of our apartment and we literally did not talk one time after I moved out. He called me one morning at 3 am which was an odd time for him to try and call me so I answered. He needed a place to sleep for the night so I picked him up, almost 9 months pregnant and we came back to my house and set up the nursery and made peace with eachother, went to sleep and he never woke up. He died with his arms wrapped around me, and I was holding his hand on my belly, our daughter. I was only asleep for 1 hours, he died on December 2nd, not even 5 months ago. God had me leave him so I could prepare myself for not always having him there like he had been for the past 3 years and god sent him to me that night so he could say bye to me and the baby. God has a plan for everyone, all mapped out. Even though his plans may not always be fair, there is a reason. One day everything will make sense to you and its always going to hurt to have lost your daughter, I couldn't imagine. My heart goes out to you!!

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    2. Brittany, that is such an amazing story, thank you for sharing. I am so sorry for your loss too <3

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  8. Imagine hearing "It's a BOY!" on the birth of our son and instantly thinking back to the birth of our first son 10 years earlier in the same week.

    I wonder how he'd enjoy sharing his birthday week.
    How would he celebrate with his sisters?
    Wonder and know that God sent our miracle son as a reminder He still loves us and trusts us with such wonderful gifts of children.

    The stab of loss never goes away. God has shown and given us grace more than I can know ever since. The stab? It's still there. But today it doesn't hurt so bad especially when I get to spend time with the Father who in turn has started spending eternity with one my favorite people, my son.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing <3

      I like what you said about the Father spending time with one of your favorite people. I'll have to think of it that way too. :)

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  9. That last part...about how it "just gets longer between breakdowns".... We got an email today saying that our cousin lost their baby Sunday. Stillborn at 20 weeks. I was just with her on Easter talking about the baby...planning to bring her our air conditioner...didn't see it coming. And I have been reading your blog for some time--which brought back old memories, but it didn't hit hard until today. It all came flooding back.

    Having it happen to family makes it hit home again. 14 years ago we lost two babies. Our first and then our oldest daughter's twin. There are no words.

    I had to come and read some of your words today just because I knew it was a safe place to go. I was able to regroup and send them some encouragement (hopefully) afterward, so thank you. <3 rach

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    1. Rachael, I'm so sorry ... for your cousin's loss and for yours. It's all just so, so sad. I wish I could hug you both right now ...

      If there is anything I can do for your cousin please let me know - I'm happy to give my phone number if you think that would be helpful or email or whatever. Praying for your family. <3

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  10. Imagine watching your nephew-- just 8 weeks younger than your son-- loving him so much but grieving so hard everytime you see him.

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    1. Oh my, that is so hard ... I'm so sorry <3

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  11. Imagine never knowing the "right" answer to the question, "How many children do you have?"

    I didn't move on, I moved forward. One step at a time with my little girl running up ahead of me, just out of sight. ((HUGS))

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    1. Such a hard question ... do you really want to bring up all those emotions in a causal conversation with a stranger in the grocery store? A real heart dilemma.

      Thank you for the hugs - sending one right back <3

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  12. Hi, I just had this awful thought last week. they'll knock at my door and say 'Oh i'm so sorry we've made a terrible mistake, here's your baby'. And hand me my Gabriel.

    One of the hardest things (on top of losing 2 of my little ones) is the feeling I no longer truly have 'free will' to believe because the idea that there is no God or heaven means never seeing them again which turns my stomach. that it all means nothing.

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    1. I know what you mean about wishing it was a mistake. While running the half marathon last weekend I thought, "What if she's waiting for me at the finish line!" Such a sad reality. I'm so sorry.

      For what it's worth, I know there is a Heaven. Your babies are there and if you have trusted Christ as your Savior, you will be there one day too. There is a book called Safe in the Arms of God, by John MacArthur - it addresses the question of where children go after they die. I have not read it, but it comes highly recommended by a well-known baby loss mama.

      If you ever need to talk more, please feel free to email me at sarahjrieke@gmail.com. Blessings to you. <3

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  13. Imagine going to a play date with your two little boys and being asked if you are going to try for a girl knowing you already have two girls, twin girls, who left earth for heaven two weeks after they were born four years ago.

    That is my story.

    www.aubreyandellie.blogspot.com
    www.teamotionstea.com

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    1. I am so sorry. There is never an easy answer anymore.

      Your girls are precious, thank you for sharing <3

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  14. Imagine calling your family from the hospital to say their grandson/nephew would be born still. The agonizing wait in the hospital to birth your dead baby. The moment your son is born... the happiest and saddest day of your life combined into one. Seeing my sons Papa (grandpa) hold him with so much pride in his eyes, yet knowing he will never see his grandson grow up. Leaving your baby in the hospital nursery and walking out of the hospital emptyhanded. Imagine your breasts painful and full ready to provide nourishment for your baby, but no baby to give relief. Imagine a handful of your friends having babies within months of you having yours, going to visit them in the hospital and walking by the room where you saw your baby's still heart on the ultrasound, and those horrifying words from the doctor, "I'm sorry..." Imagine not knowing why, and having no answers at all as to why your child was "picked" to be in the 1%. Imagine the inner turmoil when someone asks if you have children. To say no, is like saying your baby never existed, and to say yes just makes things awkward.
    It sucks. It happens to way too many of us.

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    1. I am so sorry. Leaving with empty arms ... one of the saddest days of my life. I'm so sorry you had to experience it. I'm sorry anyone has to. And nursing ... I wanted to nurse Evie so badly. Little things that hurt so much.

      I'm sorry for your loss. Sending love and prayers your way <3

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  15. I just saw the conversations with Micah on your sidebar... Our sons name is Micah also. :)

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    1. Great minds think alike ;)

      What is his middle name? Ours is Micah David.

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  16. Micah James. Same middle name and initials MJ as his daddy. And the meaning of Micah, "Who is like God?", was very fitting for our situation. His presence was very evident through it all.

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    1. That's so perfect. Evie Caris means "life" and "grace" - I always felt that was so fitting for our Heaven-bound baby girl <3

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  17. I have an infinite amount of respect for all of you. I watch my sister and brother in law go everyday with only their memories of my niece and eealizing she will be 13 days old forever. These are some that I see her go through and she has told me:

    Imagine being excited to share your birthday with your daughter and then having that become one of the saddest days.

    Imagine having to make a decision to decide whether your daughter continues to struggle to breathe and know she will never be able to walk/move or to take her off her ventilater and live without her.

    Imagine having to take her room down when you move and wish you were putting it back together for your baby's new room

    Imagine seeing your nephew accept his new cousin and become excited and be crushed beyond belief.

    Imagine holding your daughter and having to say goodbye to her.

    ♡ I pray for everyone who ever has to feel any of this. I cannot Imagine how any of you feel. :(

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  18. Thank you for your prayers ... I'm so sorry for your sister's loss. I know how deeply it hurts. Please give her a hug for me and let me know if I can do anything for her. <3

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  19. Imagine being due the same day as one of your friends from church and losing your baby at 32 weeks. Every Sunday you sit in church and glance across the auditorium at her bump and cry. Eight weeks later she has a beautiful baby and every week for the next three years you watch as her son grows, smiles, walks, talks, and imagine your daughter being there doing the same.

    Imagine leaving the cemetery after you just watched your baby girl being lowered into the cold, dark ground. And the words of comfort your family offers is "Well at least it wasn't one of your 'real' kids!" Or their words of advice: "Don't spend a lot of money on a headstone, it's not like she was a toddler and you really knew her."

    Imagine life moving on for everyone around you. No one remembers her. No one says her name. They look at you pitifully when you do. But you are reliving the day you lost your baby over and over every day of your life.

    Imagine leaving the post-partum ward of the hospital after packing your bags, releasing your child's body to the funeral director. On your way to your car to drive to the cemetery and attend your own child's funeral. Your husband wheels you to the elevator and "Brahms' Lullaby" begins playing over the loudspeaker. Someone just delivered their baby, a living, breathing baby. And you're leaving the hospital with empty arms.

    Imagine a year later, on the anniversary of your child's funeral, attending a family wedding. Everyone happy and celebrating. They announce the father-daughter dance and the song "I loved her first" begins playing. The song that came over the radio on the day of your daughter's memorial service, and the song that you have never been able to listen to since. You break down sobbing and have to excuse yourself from the wedding.

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    1. Chelsea, I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry for the insensitivity you've endured. Your baby is special ... don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise <3

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  20. Imagine running into someone who knew you were pregnant and having to explain what happened after they ask you, "so when did you have the baby? " that one is very hard for me! That was an amazing article!

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  21. ....Calling your mother on the way home from the hospital and telling her that he died and saying how can that be because you're still bleeding.

    ....Before hanging up the phone when family call telling them you have to go because you need to scream and doing just that.

    ....Your whole family showing up to your house; the same who haven't gotten together for years and all driving or flying over 600 miles in less then 16 after hearing that your son died.

    ....your sisters walking through your front door after flying 6 hours dropping food on your coffee table and telling you to eat because they know you because you haven't eaten for over 18 hours.

    ...your brothers driving up and saying to them "I didn't think you could make it." and them looking at you like your crazy and hugging you harder telling you of course I'd be here you are my sister and he was my nephew.

    ....your sisters wrapping your boob up with an ace bandage, cabbage leaves and giving you decongestant to dry you up soon after they get there.

    ....Driving across country with his ashes in your lap to bury him in your home state and thinking it he really should be in a car seat.

    ....finding out 10 days AFTER he died that he died of whooping cough, but that's not the worse part, the worse part is they call your mother in another state first.

    ....People telling you that you're still young (at 35) enough to have more.

    ....People being to afraid to talk about his because he "only was 18 days old" when he died.

    ....Coming home and not being able to walk inside so you sit/lay on the porch until you get to cold/hot and have to go inside because you have no where else to go.

    ...Listening to the lies of your extended family calling after he died and saying we'll keep in touch and screaming in your head "ya right sure, you'll never call again." because you know they won't.

    ....having that one magical person who lived out of state and couldn't make it to his funeral call you almost every day for months because she promised! That was a life saver at time.

    ....defend yourself because you where in the paper and tv about whooping cough ~because your son died of it and you want to get the word out that it's out there and it can kill~ to people to who found your number and call and tell you if you did X or Y that he would still be alive. <---f* you!!

    ....People telling you that you're still young (at 35) enough to have more.

    ....People being to afraid to talk about his because he "only was 18 days old" when he died.

    ....screaming, crying and moaning when you get a + when you get pregnant again and not telling anyone but your husband for weeks because you're afraid what they'll think because it happened so fast!

    ...when your rainbow baby is born you cry and cry because you want this child so much but you will always grieve for your baby who died.

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