Saturday, December 28, 2013

Last post of the year... maybe

Another year older, another Christmas without him, another year without him. Another day farther from him, and another day closer. Such a paradox.

So I think I'm going to conclude this year on my blog with the following:

Don't hurt the grieving mothers you may encounter. Just stop hurting them. Stop blaming mothers for their kids' death. I have yet to meet a mother who caused her child's death. Stop comforting yourself with the ideas that you can prevent bad things from happening to you. You're not perfect.

Start loving, seriously put all your ignorance and bigotry and bias to the side and choose love.

Start being present, just be in the moment because you never know if your sweet baby boy chewing gum in your ear giving you hugs and kisses will walk out the door to his death.

Learn! Learn that sadness, grief, that the madness of existing as a bereaved parent isn't wrong. Any combination of emotions doesn't make a parent a bad parent. Humans are emotional beings, if emotion makes you uncomfortable, then move along. Grief it doesn't take parents away from their living children. It's just apart of them.

Breathe. Slow down. Take your time. Do not let society pressure you into being a mean parent, into wasting moments. Because you can't get them back.

Be nice. Just choose to be nice. Hold your tongue if you have nothing nice to say.

--

I still don't know how to live, or breathe without Bram. It's exhausting to live this life. It hurts. Every stupid day without him hurts. But we still find joy in each other, we still pour every breath into our children to wrap them in love. I can't say I'd do this all over again, because given the chance, he never would have died. Given the chance I would change so much.

May the new year be kind to all <3

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Including Bram

We have 2 Christmas trees this year. They're both pretty small, and they were both free. One of them has our non-breakable, the kids can un-decorate and redecorate to their hearts content, ornaments, and the other has the ornaments we received for Bram.

The kids LOVE the Bram tree. They love all the transformers, and the optimus prime mask from Bram's funeral service as the tree topper. I love that we're getting to include Bram in our memories. The boys love making new memories with Bram this way.

There isn't a day that goes by that T or K talks about Bram. We don't prompt them, they simply want to talk about him. It makes me smile that these special guys won't let death sever their connection to their brother and best friend.

I love my kids. All 4 of them.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

December 1st

Nothing going on in our lives.

One breath at a time is my mantra.

I barely remember the holidays last year and I'm trying to pull it together this year. We put up 2 trees, a "regular" tree with baby safe ornaments, and a Bram tree.

Just kind of holding on the best I can right now. Loving my boys, loving Bram, talking about him, doing our best to love fearlessly as he taught us.

This is the month of birthdays. The hubs is 30 in just a few days, followed by K on the 17th, me on the 25th, and our wedding anniversary on the 31st. Just keeping it low key.

The grief is STILL overwhelming and I've been stewing on a few thoughts that I may or may not blog later. Idk.

It sucks that my kid is dead, it sucks to do thing right and still wind up with your child dying, it sucks that my boys are triggered by things like Santa because Bram should be here to celebrate Christmas.

This path sucks.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Funeral anniversary

Yet another year long marker. Amazing how you can do EVERYTHING right and have everything go so absolutely wrong. Losing my perfect boy was and will remain so absolutely wrong.

I started watching a video with him in it, and there was his big beautiful smile, those eyes that were filled with silliness and curiousness, and his voice, and his laugh, and that eerie video taken THAT morning where he is wrapped in light and glowing and I want reach in and pull him out and hold him and save him. 

This year of grief has been a time of incubation of growing into this new place of being. This existence as a raw and vulnerable person. I've never had such a guarded heart. I'm excepting that the year ahead of me is going to be as hard as the year behind me, in similar ways, in different ways, in learning how to be me, in how to be mom, in learning how to shift out of survival mode and into the land of the living.

I tell new loss moms that I run into, you can't do this wrong. I keep reminding myself. I can't do this wrong. I'm afraid this feels like "moving on" but I still feel so close and connected to Bram. He doesn't feel like the little boy who left this earth though, he feels bigger, he feels like he's almost 4. I like feeling like he's actually growing up, like he should be. I just wish I could actually see it/ 

Monday, November 18, 2013

365 days

Technically today is 1 full year without Bram. A year ago yesterday, in the morning, I still had Bram. Today is the 1 year anniversary of having to wake up without him, of having to learn to live without him.

Yesterday overwhelmed. I am touched at the continued outpouring of love and support. Hubs tells me all the time I have the best friends in the world, and I really do.

I woke up to this




My yard filled with balloons for Bram. you can see up front there are 4 pictures of him, and below that there are 5 balloons saying "Bram Xavier you will never be forgtotten" it gave me joy and it touched my soul. I can't believe that people love my family this much.

Then I went to make breakfast and a knock on the door, more friends, coming to clean, and let us do whatever we wanted. We went to a park, and lit Bram's candle. My mom was with us, the boys, the hubs. We talked about where we were in those moments the year before, and how painful it was to remember, our oldest, T, sobbed. He wailed. And the baby, A, cried too. K, had the hardest time, he doesn't like to feel the pain, he doesn't like to talk about it but we held him and loved him and helped him be ok with the big feelings he had.

We came home, spoiled, and cuddled as a family, watched man of steel because Bram would have loved to. A friend delivered dinner, and we just hunkered down.

I check face book and I have 100's of notifications, and my blog has 130,000 views! And people are talking about Bram, they are lifting us up, they are spreading his ability to love fearlessly, they are hugging their babies, and they are being attentive drivers! So many people changed their profile pictures to Bram.

I wish thank you was enough, I'm really blown away and appreciate everyone who has just gone above and beyond, I had no expectations of what getting to this place would be like, what yesterday would be like, yet I'm here. I've made it through the first year of moments, I know I have decades of moments ahead, but I have a phenomenal support system, I have beautiful people in my life because of Bram. I am grateful. Thank you for making it this far with me. Thank you. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Afraid to sleep, ready to wake

Can't sleep.

I've been in this delusion that we'd get to today and when I woke up it would be that day again. That this had all been a nightmare.

I can't sleep because I know when I wake reality will crash down on me and it won't be that day, it'll be today. A year later.

Not ready...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What I've learned...

What I've learned this past year is there is no wrong way to go through your grief process. Losing a child is the most devastating thing a parent can go through, it doesn't matter how long they've been that child's parent, it doesn't matter how a parent loses a child, there is nothing as painful. And it's ok to not be ok! Grief is not weakness, the process of mourning is not weakness, the trauma that you endure following your child's death is not weakness. As a beautiful friend said to me your grief reaches the depth of your love, grief is your loved turned inside out.

I learned that not all those who come to support you are there for the right reasons, I also learned that it's ok to let go of those people. You deserve to be free of those who break you down instead of build you up even if they are family. I learned that some people aren't able to handle to weight of childloss and it's ok to let go of them too.

I learned that most people actually want to help. I learned that most people have no idea how to help and just want you to tell them what to do. Even if it's ridiculous, don't be afraid to ask. Though any loss parent can tell you the one thing they want more than anything is their child back. I learned it's ok to be helped and held by your community. I've learned it's sometimes the ones who remain silent are those who are so devastated for you they don't know what to say. I've learned that there is an invisible string that connects those who love you and support, even if they can't find the words their heart reaches for yours when you are hurting.

I learned that numbness is self preservation. I learned that running on autopilot can keep your head above the darkness long enough that you can gulp enough air to survive the next grief wave. I learned that grief waves can come out of no where, they can knock you down and drag you about all over again.

I learned that often the negative perceptions and expectations I had were me being too hard on myself. I learned that it's necessary to be kind and gentle to myself. I learned it's ok to say know. I learned that  it's not always necessary to push my own limits all the time, sometimes coasting is the perfect thing. I learned that body work was more healing for me than therapy. I learned that  it's ok to use medicine to get over the hurdles. I learned that what I see as weakness others see as strength. I learned that I've got a long road to ok-ness ahead of me.

I learned that my love is bigger than life or death as it reaches my son beyond the parameters of living. I learned that my husband is my rock. I learned that my community loves me and accepts me as imperfectly as I am. I learned that God is everywhere in all things encouraging me every step.  I learned that losing a child doesn't ruin your marriage.

I learned that even babies grieve. I learned that my boys are changed forever. I learned that my boys are beyond capable of empathy and awareness. I learned that my boys still have a long road ahead of them and they still find the strength to step forward.

I learned that I have no idea how I've made it a year. I've learned that all the moment of the last year feel like they happened in a flash. I've learned that even though this is a path that is walked alone there is still a community who understands the walk. I learned that no one will hurt like I hurt because no one else was/is Bram's mom. I learned that this will never get easier, that this pain has not gotten better or lighter, that this is a terminal pain. I learned that I will avoid sharing this with another loss mom because it is a terrifying reality.

I learned that I am safe because my community protects and supports me. I learned that I am brave because Bram taught me how. I learned that I am loved because Bram loved me and he loved his life, he lived every moment. I learned that Bram matters and that he will never be forgotten.

I learned that my life isn't without him, he's still here, and that we might just be ok, and we might actually be ok with being ok.

I can't believe...

We are days away, 5 days to be exact. I can't believe it.
I can't believe it's been 360 days since you took a breath, since you smiled, since you laughed.
I can't believe it's been 360 since I've hugged you, kissed you, tickled you, read to you, or played this little piggy.
I can't believe all the people in my life who continue to share you with the world, who continue to make the world safer.
I can't believe the people in my life who have gone out of their way to send love in anyway.
I can't believe the things I've learned
I can't believe the support.
I can't believe the year of magical thinking is coming to a close.
I can't believe it hurts just as much, if not more.
I can't believe I don't get a do over.
I can't believe that my you should be 3.5.
I can't believe you're dead and we have to keep on going.

I can't believe the world will ever be as beautiful as it was with you in it.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

31 days of gratitude

It's October for just a few more hours, I challenged myself this month to speak of my gratitude. In 2012, 2011, I did a 30 days of thanks thing on facebook. In 2010 I spent a lot of time talking about everything I was grateful for. Last year Bram died during my 30 days of thanks. Oh the irony. But I did it this month because I respect that November might be too much for me to find the sunshine. There were days that I had to call TJ home because I couldn't make it another hour, there were days I had to dig through the bible to find something to hang on to, there were days where I was in bed all day long. I still reached and stretched and it, for the most part, felt good to do. So I'm sharing below my 31 days of thanks, I challenge everyone who reads this to take the next 30 days to speak to what they are thankful for and come back and comment with how it's made you feel.

I also want to say above all, I'm thankful for love. I receive so much love from my family, my friends, strangers, acquaintances. It's a power greater than anything on this earth. Keep spreading it, show it in the way you know how and if you don't know, find a way!

Day 1: So I'm taking the leap of faith and doing 31 days of thanks/gratitude/whathaveyou. So today I give thanks for Alden, who is 20 months today. He has been a gift. He has an amazing sense of humor and a stubborn streak. He knows his mind, he knows how to love, he knows his limits, and he knows how to get what he wants and needs. 


Day 2:  I'm thankful for my chiropractor and her lovely assistant for being there. For the help they've given us emotionally and physically. For curing TJ's back pain. For really truly being a place and source of love in the world.

Day 3: 
Thankful for 4 babies who have all been great sleepers, and toddlers who make sure I remember albeit not often. Alden was up at midnight and is still awake. Love you dude, you crazy little turkey.

Day 4: 
Thankful to have a roof over our head. I know it's truly a privilege.

Day 5: 
I really couldn't find anything to express gratitude for. So for that day I'm thankful for second chances and do overs.

Day 6: thankful for TJ who will be 30 in 2 months. So many reasons. It would take years and a book or 2 to describe everything about him I am thankful for. My sweet, patient, generous, dedicated, handsome husband.

Day 7: 
thankful to have food. Such a little thing so often taken for granted. Before you roll your eyes at having no room in your fridge, or complaining there's too much, gently remind yourself there are children and families that would graciously take that food off your hands, there are families standing in line at food banks hoping beyond hope to get enough food to feed their kids just a few more days, there are parents starving themselves to feed their children, and families so poor the food they have still isn't enough to feed those hungry children.

Day 8: 
grateful for those who were with us the first day, their faces twisted up pain, shock, confusion. Grateful for those with us in spirit that first day, sending messages of love. Grateful for all the prayers and loving energy and efforts send out to us globally from mothers, grandmothers, fathers, children, women and men who knew my pain, who didn't but couldn't imagine not sending love in whatever way they could. Grateful.

Day 9: 
thankful for Judi's house. The boys had counseling today and I got involved. We painted a picture of our worries, our sadness, our fears, and our anger. Then we threw wads of soaking wet toilet paper and yelled at it. We threw a few for Bram too. 

Day 10: 
grateful for my AAMI sisters, midwifery sisters, and fellow mamas who have been my legs when I can't walk. Who planned Bram's funeral. Who took me to the funeral home. Who held me as I wailed for Bram. Who flew hundreds of miles at a moments notice. Who changed their pictures to Bram. Who sent money and cards and love from every corner. Who came together a made a book of all the places Bram is.

Day 11: 
I saved this day for Carla Hartley. She was probably the first person I had known to grieve so publicly and unapologeticaly for her husband. Their bond unbreakable even in death. She's a woman who loves unapologeticaly and genuinely until it hurts and then she some how manages to love some more. She's brilliant, generous, thoughtful, and knows how to laugh. I'm so thankful for her. For so many reasons.

Day 12: Today is for Ange La and her perfect boy. I never got to know N while we was living, only 6 month younger than Tate, a boy who loved orange, a boy taken at 2.5. A boy who's love hasn't stopped even though he's been gone 5 years. A story with so many parallels to Bram's. And his sweet mama who has kindly connected to me, taught me, and loved me in the ways of being a mom to a baby you can't hold but instead have to allow your love to transcend physical and reach your baby on the other side. I've grown to love these 2 people so much. I'm so grateful to know and to have the opportunity to know N through you.

Day 13: 
grateful for lazy Sundays with the fam. We don't get them often so they are precious. Cuddles, watching the game, chicken soup, then the big guys (daddy included) playing with Tate's birthday present. Grateful.

Day 14: 
thankful for Tatum who is 8 today. My sweet boy  I had no idea what motherhood would be like, he has been so patient in teaching me how to be his mom, in forgiving my failures as a mother and loving me anyway. He is an amazing big brother. I see how broken and hurt his heart is without his little brother. While his other brothers drive him batty, I can see how he treasures them because of Bram. I love this boy so much!

Day 15: 
grateful for the space holders, grateful to know them, grateful for the babies.

Day 16: 
thankful for this day 11 months ago. When my life was great, when we were so innocent, when my family was whole, when a certain little boy danced around the house in nothing but his new shoes, gloves, and winter hat. Grateful I didn't taken it for granted when I had it.

Day 17: 
I'm grateful for Kaleb, who will be 6 in 2 months. He is hilarious. He says the funniest things like "misking" when trying to pronounce mixing, or his take on meditation  He is the boy I have no worries about where he will go, he is strong, powerful, persistent, unyielding, and when he can take a step away from his emotions to see the bigger picture empathy, compassion and understanding shine from him. He is the most challenging parts of TJ and me, which means he knows exactly how to push our buttons. But it makes him a great person and Im grateful he's here.

Day 18:
 grateful to pay our bills. I actually love paying bills. I love knowing that for another month we're ok. I love taking care of my family this way.

Day 19: 
The last 2 days have been agony, emotionally and physically. Thankful for people who have my back, who empathize with all bereaved mothers, who are so kind and gentle to me even if my hurt seems crazy.

Day 20: 
grateful for young readers. Grateful to listen to my boys reading a comic book and giggling.
Day 21: 
I'm struggling with how to articulate my gratitude for today. It's so much at once. Perspective, humility, forgiveness. The ability to see my flaws, to see my failures, and to forgive myself. I'm grateful to be on the path of learning to let go of the burdens and regrets that keep me from loving myself and keep me from being the woman I know I am capable of being.

Day 22: this is a larger gratitude, something were all grateful for and hope we never need, and it's really in response to today's early morning fires. I'm grateful for our first responders, Im grateful for their courage, their ability to face horrors and keep going. I'm especially grateful to the first responders who came to our aide, who knew Bram was dead but fought for him anyway, the ones who held me while I wailed, and bravely and broken-heartedly confessed that he had no heartbeat. To see any child the way Bram was is devastating, but they didn't want to give up on my perfect boy. They tried for him.

Day 23: 
grateful for family, the ones I came from, the ones I married into, and the ones who have stepped into my life as sisters, second mothers, or even grandmothers. I love my family, I love that they are there always, I love that they are the best people I know. For my mom, for TJ's parents, for our cousin's, for the friends that became my family. I'm grateful to you!

Day 24: 
trying to find something to be grateful for but falling short. Grateful for public transportation. It gets us where we need to be, and where it doesn't our legs will.

Day 25: I'm grateful for my mom. She loves her family so much, she gives when she doesn't have anything to give, she hangs on no matter how hard it is. When she's able to relax and just be herself she is so fun, has a great sense of humor, is so brilliant and insightful. I love her, I love listening to her stories, I love spending time with her, I love watching he love on her grandkids and teach them, I love that even though I'm all grown up she won't hesitate to take care of me. I hate living so far from her and hopefully within the next year that will end. Happy birthday mama. I'm grateful for you!

Day 26: 
Grateful for a new beginning, for second chances, for hope

Day 27: 
ashamed of my gassy night, my husband farts loudly and declares "there! Now I can't tell where the stink came from." Grateful for the humor, the potty jokes, and being able to laugh at ourselves.

Day 28: 
grateful for TJ's new job that he starts on Friday. It's taken a big leap of faith to go for it because it's going to mean some serious sacrifice for a couple weeks/month due to the smaller base pay. It's inside sales which are so much easier to close, it's only about an hour commute, and the commission is much better. We've been grateful to his current employer and how they've been there through the past year. So proud of my love! Trusting the right things will happen.

Day 29: 
grateful for my rights as a woman, specifically the right to birth where and with whom I choose. The right to choose as much or as little medical intervention as I choose including the choice of NO intervention. 

Day 30: 
Thinking of this time last year, this time when I had 2 cuddly boys in bed with us instead of just one. Bed hogs, both boys hated sleeping with a diaper on and both have always been great about not peeing through the night. Neither boy could keep blankets on but loved pulling the blanket up under their armpits before falling asleep. The smaller one in my armpit, and the bigger one held by daddy. Mommy and daddy acting as bed rails to keep them safe. Being able to wake up with baby to my front, and a baby wedged against my back. I can't say every night was comfortable, but every night was filled with love and contentment. Grateful for every moment used purposefully for bonding and connection.

Day 31: 
grateful for Bram. Grateful for 2 years, 8 months, 4 days, and 59 minutes I got to have him in my arms. Grateful for the 40ish weeks he grew in my belly. Grateful for every hug, every kiss, every giggle, every silly face, every serious complaint, every moment of sass, every moment of wonder, every moment of quite spent listening to his sleeping breath. GRATEFUL FOR BRAM!!!!!! 

Everyday day. I don't know what I've done so right to be blessed enough to be Bram's &T's &K's &A's mom. But so grateful I am.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

I miss Bram

I miss Bram. Those 3 words are said daily in our house. So simple, so insignificant to the feeling that we hold.

Even the definition doesn't seem to be enough:

miss 1  (ms)
v. missedmiss·ingmiss·es
v.tr.
1. To fail to hit, reach, catch, meet, or otherwise make contact with.
2. To fail to perceive, understand, or experience: completely missed the point of the film.
3. To fail to accomplish, achieve, or attain (a goal).
4. To fail to attend or perform: never missed a day of work.
5.
a. To leave out; omit.
b. To let go by; let slip: miss a chance.
6. To escape or avoid: narrowly missed crashing into the tree.
7. To discover the absence or loss of: I missed my book after getting off the bus.
8. To feel the lack or loss of: Do you miss your family?

I fail to reach him. I fail to experience a life with him. I fail to accomplish getting him to adulthood and all the little things along the way like kissing his boo-boos, washing his cloth, teaching him to read, to write. I fail to attend the life he should have. I fail to perform as his mother. He's been omitted from my life. Every day is another way of discovering how his death has left a void in our life.

I don't know how to live with such a huge void, such a huge ache, forever and ever until I die. Yet so far I've managed to make it through every day without him. I have no clue how. I have no clue how I've lived this many hours and days, and taken how every many breaths, and my heart has pumped however many times since he died and yet it was yesterday.

I miss him. I wish I could articulate what that means, the weight of that, the hurt of that. I can't explain it. I've been away from the kids before and missed them, but that was absolutely NOTHING compared. I miss him because of how much I love him, my love didn't die with him it just keeps getting bigger. Just like it has every year for each of my boys, it just grows so much bigger than I could have ever imagine.

I miss him. I miss Bram. Bram. A name I thought I'd be saying constantly now only mentioned here and there. Yet I never hear it. I never hear it outside of my home. I see it, but seeing and hearing are so different. I want him back.

Monday, October 7, 2013

For his Bramiversary

It's approaching too fast, the anniversary of his death. We want people to remember him. I'm not sure what I want everyone to do. So here's a list, I'll post a link to the Facebook event so you can add photos of you doing what you felt right to remember Bram.

  • Do somethings to love fearlessly. Go grocery shopping for the food bank. Compliment strangers on whatever you see. Hug your loved ones. Go 24 hours without an unkind word passing your lips
  • Light a candle from 10:39 the time of the accident to 11:07 the time of death
  • Release orange balloons
  • Wear orange
  • Tell people about Bram and remind them to be safe for Bram
  • Eat to your hearts content, that boy loved to eat. His favorite meal was mac & cheese with meatloaf
  • Watch all the transformers movies, and the amazing spiderman
  • Play with your kids, whatever they want and enjoy it
Do 1 thing, do all the things, but no matter what please remember Bram.





Sunday, September 29, 2013

Fall...

Fall was my favorite time of year. The cool crisp air, the lengthening darkness in the evening, the crunchy leaves, pumpkins, Halloween. It was my FAVORITE.

Was.

Now it's here and as much as I'd like to enjoy it, everything hurts. I can't describe it as bittersweet, because that to me means there is as much bitter as there is sweet. I don't have that.

Every day as we near his bramiversary, the days get harder. Some of this is the anticipation of the day, but most of it isn't. It's something else. It's these final moments with him, like we're approaching a second death of sorts. Everyday is an anniversary of a final moment with Bram. Every Halloween decoration, every time we go to target (which is a lot, we are target junkies), the need for sweaters, salted caramel cake pops, football season, A beginning to talk and say things that Bram way, planning Christmas presents, T's birth day. There are so many little moments that seem mundane but in it they are HUGE, huge reminders of him.

I'm dreading the thought of knowing I haven't heard him say "I la you mommy" in over a year. That I haven't felt his arms arm around my neck in over a year. That I haven't gotten one of his big dramatic "MWUUUUUUUAAAAAH!!!" kisses in over a year.

I half expect to get to his last day and have it be that day all over again. Not to relive it, but to save him. To be able to take back this year of hell. I'm ready to be done. I'm ready to hold him, and see him, and love on him.

But

that won't happen. Reality is cruel.

I want to be surrounded with friends in these moments, but I can't ask. I can't burden them more than I already have.

The hubs and I are struggling with flashbacks that increase on the daily. Even now, he just went out with the baby and I made sure to tell them both how much I love them in case they don't comeback. I had no idea how much this would change everything.

But I feel Bram. I think of him, and then I feel him. Or I'll feel him and then think of him. I'm still so grateful to be him mommy. I love you billar. I wish you were here. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Feeling normal

I'm sure some are jumping for joy to see that title. But it doesn't not mean what you think it means.

Today I can't help but think of a fellow warrior mama I met at Judi's house. The first time I saw her she was sobbing away. So hurt to have lost her son and it had been well over a year. Every meeting she openly expressed her pain. She popped in my head today because she was a gift I didn't realize I had received.

Last night we had gone through cards, and his clothes looking for someone's info and couldn't find it. The process of going through it, of seeing that he was actually here, feeling him so close, and so far.... it wrecked me. I couldn't eat, I was sick to my stomach, my heart was pounding a hole through my ribs, I could barely breathe. My sweet husband was brought to tears. So we stopped and held on, to each other, to the memories of our family complete with Bram, to our precious babies living and dead. Learning how to just BE with this ache.

So this morning as my eye peeled open from yet another restless night filled with nightmares the beauty of her came to me. She taught me that there is nothing wrong with the way I feel, because for a warrior mama this (and you women know what I'm talking about) is normal. This is never going to stop and it's brave mamas who have shown me that they still hurt years and decades later, and that is ok.

Thank you C, thank you for sharing your handsome wonderful son J, and for gifting me with truth without ever knowing it. <3

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Birth is as safe as life gets

I've talked about Bram's birth a few times here, even shared the story. This weekend was the Trust Birth Conference in Sydney, Australia, so friends were posting some great reminders. This past week a local station once again ran a story on "Freebirth" or as many call it family birth.

Bram's birth was an accidental family birth and it was amazing. I read some commentary on the local freebirth story and it was overwhelmingly "I'd rather be safe than sorry" and "If I gave birth at home I would have died" but these are apples and oranges. Birth starts at safe, everyone you know was born, every person who has ever walked the planet was born. Yes there was death and problems, but they haven't gone away. Childbed fever was spread because physicians thought it was silly to wash their hands between examining a dead person and a healthy living person. We've also made extreme advances in sanitation and nutrition. But this is a tangent and not my intent. And even then, even birthing with every technology available, we still lose babies because we cannot control life and death.

Bram's birth was perfect. I allowed him to enter the world on his terms. Peacefully. Protected. Loved. I am SO thankful for how he got to begin his life. All this hope and promise bundled into a tiny beautiful person. He was born at home, without assistance, and we aren't lucky, that's just how it worked. Because birth works. It matters how we treat our babies when they are born. He was never scrubbed roughly, or treated for STDs in his eyes or body, he was never separate from his mama.

Life is not safe. Obviously people die. Children die. Babies die. No matter where your child is born there is no promise of a tomorrow with them. There is only now. Make the now count. Make the now everything you wish for them to know in their life in case that's where your life or their life stops.

Birth matters. Trust birth.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Gratitude

I posted a couple things on facebook, but I want to share here as well.

"I was told Bram has been sending me messages all along. I wonder if he's been with me longer than I realize. Long before he was born, long before I met TJ. The number 17 has been a constant in my life. Every time I think of Bram for some reason 17 finds me."

It's not just the number 17, but the number 11 too. 11 that has pulled me and the hubs together from the beginning. His mom died 11 year to the day that my maternal grandmother died. Hubs and I celebrated 11 years together this summer. My maternal grandfather's birthday was 11-11. Bram was born at 11 o'clock at night. Bram died at at 11 o'clock in the morning. He died on 11/17. I enrolled in midwifery school the November I was pregnant with Bram and have to give annual reports that

I've committed myself to trusting this process of awareness, trusting where it leads me, being mindful being present. I see these lights from Bram. Things I assumed were negative but have been him always. I posted this on facebook after a phone call connecting with 2 women who have lost as well.

"Bram lead me today, he lead me to knowing I am loved, I am supported, I am not alone. Thank you Bram, thank you friends. I wish I could tag you all so you can know how much I love you. "

Its quite healing allowing him to lead me, to see what PTSD has blinded me from. Bram is a beautiful soul who keeps on loving me. I'm am so thankful for him, so thankful that I get to be his mommy.

I'm also thankful for those I've connected with because of him. I am humbled, honored, and forever thankful to you for being there. Thank you beautiful souls, thank you for standing with me, holding my space, being present. I know that this hasn't been an easy walk and I'm not sure if it ever will be for me. But I know I have you, and that's everything.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Grief wave the September edition

I cried all day yesterday. First time in a while. I've done really well at ignoring my feelings, shoving it down, like some crappy commenters have suggested.

I gave up sugar, it's acted as a filler for the void that has re-shown itself without my comfort and coping mechanism. Health wise this has been a great thing to be rid of sugar. In the long run, emotionally I know this is a good thing. Feeling everything, to not avoid it, to be with the raw pain.

The pain is raw, it hasn't gotten easier, frankly I don't know where the last 10 months (in 3 days) have gone. I can't remember moments but frankly. It feels like he died yesterday. It feels like a thousand lifetimes without him. I just want to hold him. I just want him. I want to see his face. I want him to climb into my lap. I want him to play with his little brother.

We're heading into birthday season for us. And then holidays. The holidays came right after last year. So we just kind of white knuckled our way through. We were blessed, a dear friend's work adopted us and sent their Santa and Mrs. Claus. The boys had so much fun. And my friends gifted us with a book that brings me to tears every time I see it. I was able to give the boys everything they wanted. This year we don't have that luxury, but we'll find a way.

I also don't think there is anyway we can get to legoland for Bram's deathiversary. Maybe for his birthday. When he should be 4. I should have a 3.5 year old right now. And I don't and it's too much to see the gaping hole in my family, in our hearts every day.

I don't know, this post is about nothing, and everything. I miss my Bram.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My rock

It's been a hard week here. I don't know where it came from but I was blindsided. Grief is humiliating. 

My husband is my rock. He held me as I wailed. He got me inside when I became so paralyzed by fear and panic I literally could not move. Too terrified to take a step forward and lose more, too terrified to step into our Bram-less house. Standing raw and vulnerable in our drive way, at the mercy of any passing on-looker. He rescued me.

I screamed at my rock that this mess of a human is me forever, he shouldn't have to deal with this. But he reminded me that this is ours. That Bram is ours. That everyday of hurt we live through is because we got to have Bram at all. 

Maybe he didn't say it so eloquently, but I knew what he meant while he insisted on holding me and told me "Im never leaving you" 

I don't know how we would have gotten this far without him. Our family rock, our safest place. Thank you my sweet husband. I love you and I appreciate you more than I could ever say. Im so glad Bram is ours.



Friday, August 23, 2013

Dreams

I dreamed of him last night, the same way I dreamed of my first, T, and him being a boy.

It came from a bear. <3

It makes me smile. I love bears but in the dream Bram was a bear, a huge black bear, with a gentle spirit full of love. Of course he'd be full of love it's Bram.

In the dream I raised this cub, from infancy, he was able to speak to me, I don't know if I was a bear too, or if he spoke telepathically, or whatever, but all I remember is the overwhelming sense of peace and love in our parting. It was time for him to be a bear on his own, it was time for him to go into the woods and be. And as I said goodbye he held me, and said what I've ached to hear since he left this earthly place "I la you mommy, I'm with you, I'm going to be ok" and even though I cried, I cried with joy instead of sadness, and instead of the void I will filled and complete.

Thank you Bram. My perfect boy. I la you too. We all do!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Parking lot safety for drivers

Part 2

The distraction of a person behind the wheel of a 2-3 ton machine lead to Bram's death. It was violent, it was bloody, and my family watched someone so beyond special to us die long before his time. Choosing to be fully present when driving, not treating your car like a living room where you get to relax, remaining vigilant, that would have prevented his death. So please, take these things seriously, it would be terrible to be in the shoes of a person who took a life, or a family forever in mourning.


  • Put your phone away, seriously. My mom now puts her phone out of her reach. Put your purse in the trunk. There is absolutely no reason to touch your phone, answer your phone, read text messages, while you are moving a giant machine. Even if you live an on call life style that call can wait long enough for you to stop moving the car.
  • Turn off the radio, you need to be able to hear what is going on outside of your car.
  • Roll down your windows. In combination with turning off the radio, it was shared with me after Bram died that they now do these to things so they can listen to who is around them, so if a parent screams for their child they stop moving the car
  • Stop talking to anyone in the car the conversation you're having can be finished when you stop moving the car
  • Grooming can wait, don't mess with your hair, don't apply make up, don't check yourself out. Just wait until you stop moving the car.
  • Remember pedestrians have the right of way, your car weighs 10-15 times or MORE than an adult, they are not in your way...
  • Stop looking for a better place. Take what is available. More than likely (handicapped friends excluded) your body is capable of making it from 20 parking spots away from the door. I myself have walked that or farther, even with a newborn, in the cold, and in extreme heat.
  • Look for small people around your car . Before you ever drive (or purchase) your car figure out your blind spots, apply mirrors where necessary, get a back up camera, make sure that short people will be safe from you. 
My friend said it beautifully "Multitasking is a terrible myth that not only keeps us from enjoying the moment - it has us preforming multiple tasks *part of the way* at one time.   Kinda driving,  kinda listening to the kids, kinda listening or talking on the phone.  When we stop "multitasking" each task becomes better, richer, more vibrant!  When I drive I'm fully driving. When I talk you have all of me. When I'm with my kids I am fully with my kids.   It takes practice, but if people try, within a week you feel your stress drop and your quality of life shoot through the roof." -G

So protect pedestrians, protect yourself from taking a life, and PAY ATTENTION. When driving there is nothing that needs as much attention, nothing that needs to split your focus from the task at hand. If something comes up that does need you, stop moving the car. 

Be safe for Bram.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Parking lot safety for the parent and child

I hate writing this. It's dumb, but thank you friends for being a sounding board without even knowing it! You've encouraged me and I appreciate that so much so this one's for you ladies <3

It's ridiculous to put the responsibility of preventing auto/pedestrian accidents in the hands of pedestrians. The human body is no match for the the human body inside of a 2-3 ton machines. We would never tell the victim of a violent crime that they should have prevented the crime, because it's not the a victim's job to not provoke violence. You can do everything right and still have it go horribly wrong.

So suggestions:

  • Children should be the first things to go into the car, and the last things to come out of the car 
  • Do not park near open spaces, you cannot assume these spaces will stay open, or that a distracted driver will go ahead and pull in without seeing you or your child in that space
  • When parking, pull nose in around other cars
  • Make sure none of the cars around you are moving or will be moving
  • DO NOT let your kids walk toward the back of the car
  • DO have them walk to the front of your car where it sits infront of another non-moving car, have your head light be a safety zone, where the can put their hand while you close the door
  • Have your children all come out of the same door, you'll get feet prints on your seats but eh there are worse things, obviously
  • If possible park next to a cart corral, have children stand between your door and the cart corral.
  • Do talk to your children quickly before exiting the car on how to stay safe in the parking lot
  • Be vigilant, you can't trust the drivers in parking lots to pay attention, 
None of this can ensure 100% safety, but why not be safer if you can?

Edit*
If your child is a runner wear them, put them in a stroller, or use a child safety harness. It's inconvenient but nothing in comparison to a life interrupted by child loss.

Next post: how to drive SAFELY in a parking lot.

Love you Bram, it's been 9 months and it hurts just as much, just as big, and I ache so physically to hold you again. Once day my perfect boy. One day! 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

*trigger warning* Pics from the funeral home

Before


After


And then I wailed. I screamed that's not my baby that doesn't look like him!! Where's my baby? He's still alive! GIVE HIM BACK!!!!

But it was him.... That's how death will change your baby... This is how death changed my baby. His body was stiff and cold yet felt still like him. 




Friday, August 9, 2013

The images invade every thought, not just the waking ones

This morning I woke long enough to roll over, as people naturally do. Unfortunately in that brief moment I was flooded with flashbacks. So much so I couldn't breathe. Instantly a migraine induced by anxiety drilled itself through my head. Like the tires that crushed his skull. I shouldn't have to see my baby that way. No one should. Yet these images seem to have etched themselves into my grey matter. So I was up... for a few hours...

Eventually I was able to lay back down because A needed to nurse and we did. I got sleepy and started to drift off. I was seeing Bram. My beautiful boy. I thought I finally had him back, I felt like I could touch him but the more I tried to focus on him, the more fuzzy he got. But I kept trying, and in doing so fell asleep. Nightmares of zombies, and murders, and pleading for life, and children being killed infront of me. So tired. So tired of anxiety and trauma consuming every second, waking and sleeping, of my day.

His killer stole so much from us. Killer took our baby, our family's wholeness, our children's innocence, our collective mental health, and for some our physical health. The ripples from Bram being killed weren't tiny. They are tsunami sized, and there is no obvious end in sight.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Breastfeeding Bram

It's world breastfeeding week. I love this poem, and I love my breastfeeding experiences. I'll share a bit of Bram's with you




I loved nursing Bram. When Bram was born we were so in awe of the quickness and ease of him being born that he really didn't care until everyone settled down. He just hung out and checked out his new world. Once we were all ready to finally go to bed he latched on and we all went to sleep, somewhere between 2-3 in the morning. He never had an issue, tandem nursed with his older brother K for a few short months, nursed through jaundice that first week, and got milk on cue without ever having to cry or get mad. It was such a beautiful, blissful, normal breastfeeding experience.

He called his milk "boueys" so that's what we continue to call breasts for A.

In labor with baby A, Bram nursing every chance he got <3

Nursing as a big brother while insisting he hold HIS baby.
We elected to donate Bram's organs and tissues. It wasn't even a question, we knew it was the right thing to do. When your loved one dies you have to answer a questionnaire to determine if the donation is a healthy one. Because Bram had my milk 5 months before he died I had to answer the questions for him and for myself. It was heart wrenching, but he was worth it. I still remember the conversation, sitting in my bathroom (the only quite room in the house) holding back the tears to answer the very kind gentle man from donor alliance.

Every drop of milk my body gave to him was worth it.

Normalize breastfeeding, support breastfeeding mothers, support all mothers, and support each other.

And if you want to you should also read this beautiful blog of adoptive breastfeeding!

I love you Bram! I miss you! And I can't wait to hold you again <3



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Supporting a bereaved parent.... Or How to avoid sticking your foot in your mouth....


And on her facebook the question was posed of "well, how do I support you?" so I wrote this;

  1. No time limits, don't assume we should be done in a certain period of time
  2. Dont bring God into it. Just don't. Even if the person is known to be religious. For some God is a huge comfort, for others God is not, and at different points in healing even the most devout believer could be on either end of the spectrum. Don't talk about them being in "a better place." Just leave the spirituality about it alone, if the parent brings it up, listen WITHOUT JUDGEMENT or CORRECTION. 
  3. Be present, use your poker face, simply tell the bereaved "Im here" if you are capable. If you're not capable of simply being there, be honest and don't waste our time. Speaking for myself I'd rather have an honest aquaintance and know I can't talk to about my son then the anxiety of you ignoring me when I reach out to you.
  4. Hold no expectations of us, speaking for myself I'm flaky because triggers will knock me down and continuing with plans can be physically impossible. Today I broke down sobbing while we ate lunch downtown. We rarely meet our own too high expectations, how dare you shove your expectations of us down our throat. You're the only person you can control, so work on that.
  5. Ask about our special person but don't press for stories/information/details. Respect that when and if we are ready to talk about anything about our special person, that you previously asking has allowed us the opening to talk (or not) about them. Knowing you're willing to listen to the good and the gruesome is a comfort. Like taking off a restrictive bra that has under-wire poking you and knowing no one around is going to care and they may even be as relieved as you are! 
  6. Don't tell us what we "need," do offer to help fulfill the needs we articulate to you if possible. We lost a child, we did not become a child. We know what we need, but better than that we know what we DON'T need, and we don't need people telling us what we think. 
  7.  Don't tell us we'll be happy again(see previous blog on the subject). It's like nails on a chalk board when I hear "It's good to see you smile" or whatever, I know your intention is good but there is unintended implication there. So think it but don't say it. Do be happy to see or talk to us, because that feels good. 
  8. Don't tell us were doing it wrong, because there isn't a wrong way. Do remind us if we're struggling of just that, there is no wrong way to continue on this path of grieving
  9. Don't whine about your kids doing normal kid things to the bereaved. I'd give my own heart to have that back.
  10. Practice unconditional love. Treasure your children and don't be afraid to express your love for your children in front of the bereaved parent. Speaking for myself seeing a mama love her littles fearlessly because of my special person fills my heart with love.

    That's about where I ended on my friend's facebook, but I've since though of few more
  11. Do not tell a bereaved parent they can just have more children. It doesn't work that way. People are not replaceable.
  12. If you have supported your bereaved parent friend, or find yourself in a position to support a bereaved parent, do not bring up later how you supported them. It sounds like you're stroking your ego, and without knowing you've treated that parent like a pet project. 
  13. Don't be offended if we do not immediately accept your offer for help. I know for myself, I figure I've done something so wrong to have deserved the ultimate punishment then I certainly don't deserve support. So keep offering. It's appreciated even if we never take you up on it.
I hope other loss mamas, warriors, will chime in on how to support the bereaved parent. <3

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'm gonna talk about Bram all I want....

More irked than I wish to admit by that comment from yesterday so: Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram. K.

And I love my sons, all 4 of them, I'm the mother of four and death will not stop that. And today I was sad, and I'm allowed to be sad OK?! When you see your child's SKULL and them BLEEDING, and feeling their PULSE FADING, then you get to have a freaking full time wallow fest until your own death. And I NEVER EVER EVER EVER claimed to be the only mother who lost a child. But I am the only mother who lost Bram. Just like my friend's who have lost their sweet perfect babies are the only mothers who lost their sweet perfect babies(you know who you are warrior mamas, your sweet babies names dance in my head just thinking about you, sending you love, and even if I don't know you I'm sending you love). I don't know what it's like to ache with every breath for their babies, but boy can we relate to that ache. SO PPFFFFFTTTTTT!

Bram Xavier Venn, my chunkin'st, plumpin'st, heafiness, zestiness, my perfect boy; I LOVE YOU! Your brothers love and miss you. Your daddy sees you in EVERYTHING. We can't wait to hold you again, our sweet brave boy, who knew better than anyone how to love fearlessly, how to enjoy every second and make a life no matter how short count. You are loved and I will NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Did you really say that?

So I just got this comment:

"Perhaps when you learn to let go, realize that your other living children really need you to be present for them, and stop feeling sorry for yourself, you will heal just a little bit. You wallow in self pity, acting as though you are the ONLY woman who has ever lost a child, but you are not. No, you'll never forget it, but there comes a time when grief becomes misery and ruins ones life. Live for your children and family, let the moments of grief turn into something else. You blame and blame and blame, but you never share what you really are thankful for. Count your blessings and the days will change slowly. "

I'm sure my friends will pick this apart as well. But geez person, this is not helpful. I'm not forcing you to read my blog, and if you noticed the frequency off postings have slowed considerable. I blog so I don't have to keep the negative in my head allowing it to interrupt my daily life, or interrupt my kid's lives. You've assumed an awful lot about me. 

I get to have this pity party as log as I want and Im still present with my kids. The living AND dead. I'm not going to live for other people, I've already lost so much of me, Im not going to lose the rest by living for others. 

P. S. I'm pretty thankful, all the time, and I was on the up swing.....

Monday, July 22, 2013

You'll be happy again!

You know whats something that bothered/bothers me so much. People telling me I'll be happy again, comparing it to a non-child loss, and telling me how they were happy again.

1. no I won't
2. didn't lose a kid? you have no idea
3. I'm glad YOU were happy after you lost a loved one, but you're not me.

I'm telling you now. I will not ever be happy again. Experiencing happy moments does not make a happy person. A child going to Disneyland, but living with a child abuser does not make for a happy childhood, Disneyland was a happy moment in hell.

I remember happiness. True happiness that swells from with it, that makes the crappy dark world bearable, that you can feel radiating from your bones filling you with joy and hope. That died with Bram. Now my happy moments are tainted, like my dna, like my soul, with that looming pain and darkness.

I miss Bram, in every moment I miss him. And there are moments when the weight of that isn't enough to knock me down. I keep standing not because the pain is less, I keep standing because I anticipate the pain to come crashing on top of me and can brace myself. When I don't expect it though, when I haven't braced myself and it hits me, it floods my body and spirit, I can feel it filling every space within me burning and choking me all at once.

I won't be happy again, things will not be ok, and I hate admitting that. I'm sorry not to offer any comfort, I'm sorry that this life that I never wanted is uncomfortable. And if you're reading this and know what I'm talking about better than the rest of the world, I'm just sorry.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A mother's ache

Sweet child
Born from my heart, born from love
Coveted
Complete
Bringing forth joy
Bringing forth fullness
In a second
life taken
body crushed, body destroyed, perfection ripped apart
family crushed, joy destroyed, fullness ripped apart
Sweet child, come back to me
Sweet child such a blessing to me
Never ending 
the ache comes and swells
consuming
devastating

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

8 months..

http://www.gofundme.com/3lk3ig The day approaches, help us get to Legoland for Bram?

I can't say much. I've shut down mostly. Running on autopilot. I'm so broken without him. Our family is broken.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Afraid of what's to come

I feel ok most of the time. Not a forced ok, not just functioning. This ok-ness is like a baby learning to walk. I can't do it on my own. I'm wobbly, I might take a step here or there just to drop to my knees and go back to crawling again. I need a hand, I need support, I need cheerleaders, and I need to be soothed when I fall hard on my butt and break down. 

But Im afraid to live. I'm afraid to really be ok and I don't know that Im yet capable.

I'm afraid that if I enjoy life, if I dare say I'm happy people will forget the gravity of the loss, the chunks of our souls (as individuals  and as a family) that have been ripped from this earth. Im afraid people will forget the sadness and pain that bubbles just under the surface aided with the perfect image or sound or words will knock me over and I won't be ok. I'll blow up, or shut down. 

I'm afraid of this new chapter. I'm so insecure and unsure of what to do with this life. To lead a life well lived for the life Bram didn't get. 

I'm afraid to talk about Bram. I'm afraid of being a downer. I'm afraid the boys will think I love Bram more than them because I talk about Bram. When really I love all of them with every cell in my body (and considering how fluffy I am that's a lot of cells!)

If I do find happiness people need to know the happiness that exists now is nothing like the happiness in the before.  But I will be grateful to feel something that Bram shined on all those he knew everyday of his life.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Still no difference...

Tonight at the grocery store I watched as a cart pusher was backed into by a woman driving a large SUV and not paying attention. She had to yell multiple times to get the driver to stop.

His death, my sweet perfect innocent little boy's death, was pointless. People are STILL stupid, people are STILL driving distracted, people are still completely oblivious to the fact that when they're behind the wheel they are propelling a 2-3 ton BOMB that KILLS by the minute.

Please world I'm begging you, quit breaking me, quit making Bram's murder pointless, quit hurting people because you're too involved in yourself. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

The weird people that wish for this life.

I have encountered a lot of weirdness in losing Bram.

The weirdest of all being those who wish for my kind of life, the life of a bereaved parent, to be their life. Wishing they had this.... I guess: "attention" or wishing they could have fund raisers. Cause yeah, raising funds for your kid's funeral is super fun.

Let me tell you this for me and every parent who has ever had to hold their dead child, who had to decide burial or cremation, who had to decide closed or open casket, or pay extra to be present when their child's body is put into and incinerator be burned into ash, or pick clothes for their dead child to wear and be asked to bring a hat, or decide whether or not to donate their child's organs if they had the luxury of having the option to make that choice, or who had to get a heart sinking phone call from the corner to discuss the cause of their child's death, or had to hear the answer "no" when asking if your baby at least has a heartbeat: THIS IS OURS! You do not get this pain, you do not get to make this about YOU, and no YOU don't get it. So don't ever, ever, ever tell us how to feel, or what we need, or how to act or whatever.

Only those who get it don't dare make it theirs. Only those who get it, validate. Only those with the truest of empathy and genuine hearts offer up love and support. And wow was my world rocked, and continues to be, by those who get it even in the smallest of ways. They are people I want to be like when I grow up.

So dear creepy mentally messed up people in this world, who in some twisted way want THIS to be your life, APPRECIATE THE LIFE YOU HAVE. You don't want this one. I promise.

And the rest of the people: you're freaking rockstars.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hurt


I love this version. I loved it when it first came out. It's echoed through my head as the fear of pain have compounded "everyone I know goes away in the end... I will let you down.... I will make you hurt"

If I was a better person, I could be there for my friends and family in all the ways they need.

If I was a better person, I would have protected Bram better.

If I was a better person, Bram would be alive.

If I was a better person, no one would leave me.

So stay away, because I am toxic. I will hurt you. I've been told often enough in my life of how horrible of a person I am. Bram shouldn't have been the one to pay for who I am and what I've done. It should have been me. But I guess losing him is my own personal version of hell. Sorry Bram. I'm so so sorry.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Talk about him, because I can't

Talk about Bram. I always want to, yet in the past few weeks I hesitate. I hold back. As long as you don't mention him I assume you're too uncomfortable, that you can't handle it. My everyday is TOO uncomfortable and I can't handle it. But until you say his name I assume I can't talk about him, because suddenly everything will be sad, and I'll be ruining everyone's day.

There are so many situations where I feel I can't talk about him. I can't bring him up in parenting groups when people start talking, or occasionally whining, about their current set of parenting challenges. When all I want to say is "I'll take your freaking problem!" because I want him here to be my current parenting challenge. But he's not so I resent you, and I'm jealous, and it hurts to see you taking for granted even the hard moments. Yet that's crazy, parents need and deserve to vent, but it hurts anyway.

So talk about Bram, because I can't. I don't know when it's ok to bring him up. So I hide in my room, and post about him on facebook, because you can't make me censor myself there, though it's come up.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Trying, trying, trying.... failing

I'm trying, trying to be present and do things, function, help, enjoy life.

I'm failing. I'm flailing.

My heart hurts. And my body hurts. By the end of the day the lightest touch feels like hot razor blade slicing and searing my flesh. I have a head ache that doesn't seem to ever stop, and it moves from my head down my whole spine. I'm confused, so confused all the time, disoriented. I forget where I am, I forget how to get places, I forget which direction home is, I forget what day it is.

I'm so messed up and I'm failing my friends, and I'm a crappy friend. I want to be there for them. When I am it exhausts me until I'm so weak I can't lift my arms above my head, I can't lift my baby, and taking steps is painful and slow.

I'm trying, and I'm failing, and I'm sorry.

Grief is a whole lot more than emotion, this physically rips through your body. It destroys you, from the inside out.

6 months without and a new wave of grief has pulled me from shore. But I'll keep trying to make my way back.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

expectations

I feel these moments of expectation from myself, from outsiders: it's time to be ok.

I want to be ok, and some days I can feel it on the edges. But we're still not there. I'm still not there. When you look at natural disaster or acts of terrorism, somethings never get to the point of ok. It's been nearly 70 years since Hiroshima  and the whole world is still being effected by that devastation. It's been 8 years since hurricane Katrina  and it's still not the same. There's a link to obesity in families that have experienced famine, 2 and 3 generations out. That's genetic change from devastation!

I assume I'll heal, as someone who's lost most of their skin to fire, I'll be me, I'll be functioning, I might even be happy, but I'm disfigured, I can't feel things the way I used to, and I don't see myself the same way. Only no one else can see the devastation I've endured, no one can see me and ask about my scars. It's just assumed I'm some self absorbed messed up chick.

In the therapy we've been doing I feel an undo pressure to get better, but I'm not. I'm getting better at faking it. I'm getting better at being a fraud and putting on my face, laughing, smiling, reassuring, making jokes just for the sake of making everyone else feel better, to make everyone else more comfortable.

I feel like my time for being sad is expected to be over, it's time to get over myself and this "issue" and start taking care of others as I used to.

I'm not there. I'm sorry. I'm still a wreck. I can hold it together for short periods of time and then I'm knocked down recovering from the emotional exertion that is the equivalent of triathlon.

And if one more person tells me to pull it together for the boys, because apparently being sad and respecting your healing process means you suddenly stop mothering and loving and taking care of your children, I will lose it. I will go off on you, I don't care who you are, or what you think you know about me. You have no idea, how much I do for my boys, how much time I spend loving on them, nurturing and nourishing their bodies and souls. They have not, and will not be forgotten. Thankyouverymuch!

Today I miss him. Every day I miss him. Every day I shed a few more tears for him.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's day

Tomorrow is mother's day. The first without him.

All my life I've only been sure of one thing: I want to be a mom. Dream fulfilled and then some.

I get to be T's mom, and K's mom, and A's mom. I get to be Bram's mom. Forever and ever and all that it means. Joys that reach higher than satellites, lows that I can't begin to describe but some mothers know these lows.

For mother's day though, as much as I'm hurting, I'm thankful for them.
 
I'm thankful that I get to be their mom.
I'm thankful that I get to hold them for however long they are here.
I'm thankful for their smiles and laughs.
I'm thankful for their big hearts.
I'm thankful for their passions.
I'm thankful for their humor.
I'm thankful for their insight.
I'm thankful for the lessons I learn because of them, and the lessons I learn with them.
I'm thankful for the moments where I can look at them and my heart swells so big I squeal with the delight that "I did that!"
I'm thankful for the moments where they act as my mirror, making me become a better version of myself for them.
I'm thankful for their "isms" like Bram's "oh yeeeah?! oooooh noooo!" or "peig? nooo i noo peig....." or K's response to many things with "it's my destiny!!!" or T liking his trips to the "chirofractory" and of course baby A's "gub!"
I'm thankful for every toy I've tripped over, and every lego I've stepped on as proof of their play and joy.
I'm thankful for their arguments.
I'm thankful for them loving me and feeling comfortable enough with me to speak their minds freely. Even when it hurts my heart.
I'm love that they know their own minds well.
I love their conviction.
I love their willingness to learn.
I love their willingness to stand firm in whatever they've taken a firm stance on. Even when it's the stance of being contrary to me.
I love them because of who they are.
I love them without condition.

Mother's day isn't about me. It's about what they made me. They made me mother. And for that I am forever thankful.

I love my boys. More than I can say. And I miss Bram. And missing him hurts. Motherhood hurts.