Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I get the whole "life turned upside down" thing

I went out with the kids today, to get A some birthday presents and cake. On the back of my car I have a large magnet with Bram's picture and sharing that he was killed by a distracted driver, it makes people so uncomfortable they actually drive more carelessly around me, speeding and cutting me off. I don't understand.

It's exhausting being ok so your kids can be ok. To be with them, present, thoughtful, holding them in parking lots, witnessing acts of careless driving, texting while driving, speeding through parking lots, and talking on phones while driving in parking lots. Outside you have to be ok, so the kids are ok, but inside you die a little more. Obviously my reality hasn't effected these drivers, or touched them. I want to stand and hysterically scream at these people "your car is a weapon!" "drivers like you become killers!" "why do you hate me so much you'd risk killing more of my children?!" but what do they care? So caught up in themselves, their problems being so much more than mine, because they just don't know. They don't understand. I feel the anger and bitterness rise up in me, heating my core to boiling, inside I writhe with pain and hatred, but I stop it. I keep it in check because as much as I want Bram back, I want my boys to be ok. So I have to show them, I have to show them how to live when I myself don't know how. The blind leading the blind. It's a feat of endurance I can't describe, not even comparable to birth because there is no finish line with this one. This is for life.

The days where I see more scary drivers than careful drivers leads me to believe his death was in vain, and his life wasn't precious. On my way home I literally felt like the world was upside down. I couldn't figure out up or down, colors looked inverted, and I couldn't seem to breathe. I get it now, in a way I had no idea. It's exhausting, but I understand. And I sit, with baby in my lap, unable to move, to function as my kids need because I gave all I had today to show them how to live, and I still come up short, because our lives have been turned upside down.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Finding community

Grief as a mother is isolating. I've mentioned before it's a taboo. Because we don't want that to exist. There are very few support groups for parents like me. Being in the birth world the resources available, at least from my point of view, seem to be abundant for mothers who lose babies in their womb, or newborns, or infants. But an almost 3 year old? Another taboo.

It's further isolating that my son wasn't murdered. He was killed. He was killed legally by another human being. It was legal because this person wasn't out to kill, this person just didn't care. I'd like to believe that seeing justice brings solace for mother's who have lost children in preventable ways, but it doesn't. It's like a knife to the back for me that my child wasn't worth justice, that my child's life was less vaulable than his killer's.

At the same time, the mothers who have lost children, of any age, at any point, have brought me the greatest comfort. They know this kind of grief, they know these kind of depths, this devastation. I'm so alone in this, yet I'm not. I know I have community, mothers who have lost like I have, women who have walked with families who have lost like I have, loving me in thoughts and prayers many without ever saying anything.

The  mother's who have lost of reached out with the tenderest of care, holding me, comforting me in the ways only they know, watching, witnessing as I try to put my broken pieces back together. They have said the kindest things and given the best advice telling me that they chose to live without regret after loss. Or sharing what previsions their beliefs have in place for the parents of lost children. Or just reminding me it's ok that I don't let go of his blood caked clothes because they haven't either. They have sat with me, held their hearts open for me, and been raw and honest about their experience even though it reopens their wounds.

Those who have been there, without expectation, those who have lost and those who have not lost, who have simply chosen to be my witness, to be my guiding lights, they are my community. They are not afraid of this taboo, they are not afraid to see and hold this unchangeable breakable part of living. They are the reason I know I'll be ok. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

It's ok that I'm not ok...

I saw this at the Denver Art Museum, and it spoke to me. I empathized, my body reacted knowing the emotion that sits in my bones, and I connected. And with that I knew....
It's ok that I am broken....

"Child loss isn't just one loss. The loss of a child is also the loss of hopes, dreams and the future we planned on having Child loss is the loss of our identity. Child loss is the loss of our family as being a whole unit. The loss of so much joy. No wonder we grieve so long and so hard and can't think of one other type of pain comparable to the loss of a child. When we lose a child, we lose so much of everything meaningful in this life.." 

It's ok to feel helpless...

To lose a child is to become a broken version of yourself. Never again will the wholeness that once existed be. I'm accepting that I can't change it. That he won't be coming back. That's not ok. But I am ok. I'm accepting that I have no choice but to keep on living and keep on loving. That's ok.

It's ok that there are no words...

It's ok that there are no actions...

I don't know if having to interrupt strangers to tell them "well actually my 2.5 year old was killed...." when explaining family size will ever stop hurting. I don't know if having little hands tug on my shirt to remind me to tell strangers about Bram will ever be less heart-wrenching. Because sometimes the crappiest things in life are just ok, because sometimes you need a break from the wallowing to just be ok. And when I drift back into it, hurting as much as my mind will allow. That's ok too. Because it's ok, to not be ok.

It's ok that I'm not ok...

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Dear Pedestrians, I hate you.

Dear pedestrians,

I hate you.

Maybe it's not that I hate you. I hate my reality. I hate that my reality has not effected you. I hate that my reality has not made you stop and think. I hate that my reality hasn't changed the way you live.

I hate watching you, I hate watching your carelessness. I hate seeing you do dangerous things. I hate that you cross without a cross walk. I hate that you walk out into traffic. I hate that you cross without the right of way.

I hate that Bram was safe, standing safely with his dad, in a safe parking lot. I hate that he is dead. I hate that you continue to do unsafe things and live without consequence, and my little boy who was safe suffered and died.

I hate that you're not effected. I hate that you're not changed.

Pedestrian, it could have been you, with as careless as you are. But it was my little boy, who was not careless. He was safe.

Pedestrian, every time I see you cross the street without care, without thought, I am jealous. I am hit in the gut with strife that you are not effected by reality.

Pedestrian I hate you. I hate that no amount of safety could have saved my little boy. I hate that your thoughtlessness proves this, day in and day out.

Dear pedestrian, be safe. I don't want your mom to hurt for you as I hurt for my little boy.

Dear pedestrian, be safe.

A broken mother


I've had over 10,000 views in just over a month. Thank you....

for caring.
for listening.
for being present.
for witnessing.
for loving.
for sharing.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Selfishly living

Grief is an a-hole. It makes you selfish, it makes you thoughtless, it makes you sound unkind and uncaring. Your brain is very much on autopilot because it's protecting you from a pain that would kill you otherwise. So you aren't at full capacity.

Numerous times this week I've come off like a jerk. It's not my intention, seriously, I can't stop what comes out. When I reflect I realize I've made a mistake. Please be quick to let it go while I'm this way. Trust me I'll beat myself up enough over it for both of us.

I haven't been thinking about others. I admit it. I've been selfish. I've been selfish in missing my perfect boy. It's (rightfully) interrupted my whole life. Selfish is something we are shamed for, because caring about yourself is wrong. But you know what? I need to care about me, I need to care about T,K, and A, I need to care about TJ. And that's what I've got in me. In grief sometimes selfishness is the marker of how hard things are. The more I hurt, the more selfish I feel, the harder the day, the more I sound unkind.

So I love you, I appreciate you, but don't hold my selfishness against me. I can't think about you, even though I'd like to. I take on as much as I can each day, and some days it's too much, and I'm sorry I can't take on you too. Forgive me, for being so weak, so fallible, so thoughtless. I'm not doing it to hurt you, I'm this way because it's all I've got. Forgive me, while I'm selfish, it's not who I really am, it's just me having a bad day.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

For my husband

Since Bram's death we've had 3 birthdays in our family and on December 31st it was our anniversary, 8 years ago we committed our lives to each other with the words "I choose you." If we had to live this horrible and blessed life again I'd still choose him. A piece of heaven on earth, my safe place, a part of my soul. Together we made 4 of the most wonderful precious people I've ever known, with him I have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of all lows. Losing our perfect boy.

Our anniversary hardly felt worth celebrating, as a piece of us is dead. Our love brought to fruition, and he's dead. Will our love die with him? As of now I can say it's only grown more, love reaching to find the light.

I have never seen my husband live this kind of pain. I have never seen him express his hurts and his love so freely, so abundantly. Seeing his face contorted with fear, with agony, with love all at once has been one of the harder things in this journey.

We talked of how much he loved sleeping next to our son every night, the bond they shared. Bram loved his daddy so much, and the loved was returned. He talks about Bram every day, saying things like Bram would have said, his voice getting caught with tears when life reminds us that's where Bram should be, songs connecting him to his perfect boy. In this journey he has held me, and I have held him. He is my biggest support person. I have held him, and surrounded him with love as he let down his shield down to howl his song of grief. To ache without thought. And still he moves forward, stronger than I in so many ways, moving to provide, moving to help us move forward too.

Seeing my husband lose his son, lose our son, lose a piece of us, I could never have dreamed it. I could never have dreamed how close it would bring us, how it would change the way we love each other and love ourselves. So blessed to have him with me, to walk this path with him. So blessed that we made Bram, we nurtured him together. So thankful for all Bram is, and for all he has done for us.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The nightlife of a grieving mother

Today I forgot, and I went to ask the boys where Bram was and it hit me. I remembered it all over it again. And I hurt. I want to scream until I lose my voice. I want to scream but I'd wake everyone in the house. It really is more than one person can bear without breaking. So my mind protects me from breaking allowing the to pain ooze slowly, scabbing over, sheering off, becoming fresh over and over. When it's quite, when I'm triggered, when I'm alone. Fresh, raw, helpless.

In the hustle and bustle of the day you can turn away from the pain, neglecting it, praying every corner you turn will have him on the other side. If people are around they can keep you busy, keep you distracted, keep you going, keep you avoiding the now, most importantly keep you from hurting. But people are moving forward(not moving on, because I know he has not been forgotten and won't ever be, just moving forward), lives continue, and I'm left gasping for air when there is none to breathe. As much as everyone is here, this is a lonely path. Today brought ample amounts of quite, and the pain has been exceptionally painful.

Then the stillness comes. When night descends and the house is quite things change for the worse. The darker the sky, the harder the path. At night, it's just you, trapped, unable to escape from agony. Sometimes when I have neglected the pain too much and anxiety begins to set in I start to hear this thumping. I realize it's my heart pounding against my sternum trying to make it's way out to scream in my face. It's telling me "you are still broken, your agony is more than your mind or soul can handle and you shut yourself from it, but I'm reminding you, YOU ARE ALIVE, you are incapable of stopping this pain, and even as this weight bears down on you with bone crushing force. You. Are. Alive. and you are broken." The reminder is loudest in the quite, in the dark, in the loneliness.

So I sit here, alone, my heart screaming, my mind trying to protect, wrecked and in a pit of despair. And it motivates me to share these truths. I miss Bram. He was supposed to be here, He was supposed to grow up. He was supposed to become a man, and a father, and hold me in old age, and he never will. I still don't know how to exist without my perfect boy. This my life at night.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

It's a new year...

2013 is the year he never got to see

The first full calendar year I have to live without my heart.

I remember so many of Bram's firsts. These are firsts I never fathomed would exist for me.

Yesterday we got his clothes from the police and his case was offically closed. I held his clothes, caked with his blood, with gravel, with pieces of him and his hair, the last clothes to touch his perfect living body. Tattered and destroyed just as his body was. In his pocket he had a toy and I held that. And his shoes. He had just got them the day before and ran around the house with nothing on but his new shoes and a snow hat. Had us laughing.

Then we watched the video that K took on that morning. To hear his voice, to hear him say mommy, to hear him laugh. <3

I want him back so much. I want my baby.