Monday, April 29, 2013

Triggering, you've been warned...

These are the last clothes to touch his living body.

Caked in blood

bits of hair

bits of flesh

gravel

destroyed

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Shirt and pants together


Pants, cut down both legs


Cut up, unfolded, most of back


front of shirt

P.S. Also we got a bill on friday. A bill we should have never recieved. They put $1800 worth of effort into saving Bram. Awesome. Can't wait for the ambulance bill!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Carving a canyon

I feel stuck. I'm not supposed to carry this weight. I'm not supposed to know this, and no matter how I try to reason and plead to have Bram back I'm spinning my wheels. I'm every emotion all at once. It's driving me mad. I'm already insane, how much deeper into the crazy can I get? I considered hospitalizing myself through this because there are days when the madness becomes consuming. But that's unrealistic.

I'm tired of being stuck. I'm tired of wanting to be ok, and wanting to stay in this pit of despair, and not knowing what to do. I feel so incompetent. I want everyone to swoop in and take care of everything, tell me what to do, and then keep moving. Still unrealistic!

This stuck-ness feels like I'm living as a stagnant cesspool, teeming with larvae of blood sucking disease ridden bugs, unable to get clean, unable to flow. Trapped in a deep dark corner of an abandoned, forgotten, and condemned place. This "healing" I need to do, this process of becoming healthy emotionally again is huge. It's my job to carve a new river, to cut through the earth, to move through obstacles, to move beyond my containment. My river is going to be proof of love for my boys. My river is going to carve a canyon.

Pray for the flow, pray for my river, pray my canyon.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Hurting for you

As much as I wallow in my own muck, I still hurt for you.

I hurt for every mama hurting. I hurt for every mama who is search for the answers for her self or her child. I hurt for every mama that is having a hard time being a mama, who is not getting her love cup filled. I hurt for every mama who has lost. I hurt for every mama who's babies never made it to their arms. I hurt for every mama who tries and tries to change her circumstance to make a better way for her children and doesn't get to where she really wants to be. I hurt for the mamas who's kids pushed them a lot too far today. I hurt for the mamas who have a lifetime of struggle ahead of them either for their children or themselves. I hurt for the mamas who need to be loved and supported but don't receive it. I hurt for mamas who's grown children have died. I hurt for mamas who are hurting in their bodies, in their minds, or in their hearts. I hurt for all the mamas around the world, you are warriors for your own children. <3

Whatever path you're on in this life, the feelings you have are valid and deserve to be validated. Even if I don't know you, this is me casting my love to you. You are loved, and I am glad you're in this world.

Pangs of jealousy

I'm jealous of your struggle. I'm jealous of every moment your child tests you. I'm jealous of your child who is more than other children, needing more attention, more medical care, more super vision. I'm jealous and it hurts. Like a searing hot pipe plunged through my chest.


I'm jealous that you have him or her. That child that exhausts you. That child that pushes you. That child who is louder, who is more sensitive, who makes you question your ability to mother, who give you sleepless nights and showerless days, and a house that looks like its ready to be condemned.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Comparing my loss to your struggle is silly and stupid and I shouldn't do it. But I so wish, I so so so so wish I could have your struggle instead of mine. I so wish Bram was here to push me, to test me, to do all the ridiculous messy insanity inducing things that children of all abilities are capable of doing to their parents.

I'm jealous your child is still here, and all the opportunities I had left with Bram are gone. Never again will he be here to get in trouble, to make my heart jump in my throat, to treat me as a jungle gym, to scream at the top of his lungs, to test my limits, to break my heart, to melt my heart, to hold my hand, to hug me tight, to kiss me, to giggle.

I'm sorry for the struggles you face, they are valid, they are real, and you deserve support. But oh how I wish I could have your struggle instead of mine.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Raising grieveing children.

This is so hard.

My children need me, and yet I'm so lost I don't know how to help them. We started going to Judi's house and it's helpful in giving me tools to help the kids but there are days I feel like I've missed the boat. They didn't just lose their brother, they lost happiness, they lost wholeness, the lost the life they had lived. All I can do is keep loving them through this even more so when they direct their pain at me.

The bigs blame themselves "Bram always did what we did, we should have stayed next to him, we shouldn't have crossed the street, he wanted to be with us" I've witnessed regression in K, who's 5 years old. He still talks about seeing his brother's face torn off. And the sweet boy has been sleeping with us most nights because he's scared. He's afraid to not be with us, he's afraid if were out of his sight he will lose us. Poor T, who's 7 years old, has turned inward, beating himself internally, carrying a weight of guilt he shouldn't know and doesn't deserve to carry. The little was in my arms when I saw Bram, when all I could do was scream and I didn't even know I was screaming. So any rise in my voice and he gets scared. They rage, they cling, and they break. The cycle of pain repeats.

I treasure their moments of happiness, where the light they once had shines through, their sweet precious giggles and plotting of time machines and transformer battles. I cling to those moments, where I can see they'll be ok, where I see progress. Without those moments I don't know where we would be.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Exploiting tragedy

I never watch the news, I have facebook. Also on the news there is a lot of car accidents, and killed children, and other triggering information. But I have brilliant friends who are very news savvy, both the news that's reported and the news that's not so I stay up to date through them. Yesterday there was a bombing in Boston. I've avoided it, I've avoided reading more about it. I'm so sad for these people, for their families, for the children that were hurt, and the child who was killed. It's not ok.

Yet pretty soon after pictures of victims started creeping in to the newsfeed, pictures of the site, and the victim's AT the site, pictures of bloodied sidewalk and street, and media asking for pictures of the bombing. My stomach churns. These are not images to be shared or posted on facebook. These are horrendous scenes, these are people who have been destroyed, these are people with their blood all on the streets. It's not ok to violate them AGAIN by sensationalizing the scene, exploiting their pain. Yes the world needs to know, but the pictures, the crime scene photos? Stop.

I know when the news showed up right away the day Bram was killed I felt exploited. I felt like my pain was on display for other's entertainment. I wanted to be left alone to deal with my sons, to deal with losing Bram. I have to say if I found pictures circulating of Bram on the ground, of his mangled body... it would just be too much....

So I see these pictures of the bombing victims and the crime scene, showing up in my newsfeed without my choice, and I'm taken back. Taken to those moments of first seeing and the hundreds of thoughts occurring all at once when my baby was on the ground and his blood was flowing out of him, perfectly still and my other boys sobbing, and my husband sobbing. And then to the first responders cutting his clothes off of him, and then him in the back of the ambulance. And then the first responder answering my questions of "does he at least have a heartbeat" with "no...." and then the nurse on the bed doing chest compressions while they wheeled him through the ER. And the nurse holding me, and then to him in the room and the rush around him, drugs, IVs, monitors, palpable pain and everyone's hearts flooding to will my sweet boy back to life. And them stopping and his heart trying to work because of the drugs. And like that everything was turned upside down and inside out, and now dozens of families are witnessing and enduring similar things with the ones they love.

Don't exploit them or any person that's already victimized, don't post pictures of the bloodied crime scene and mangled bodies. Love them, be available, and be mindful.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

And then I got out of bed...

Yesterday I got out of bed. Up to this point I've only gotten out of bed because I had to, yesterday I got out of bed because I wanted to.

I got out of bed, and then I cleaned. Not because I had to (and trust me I had to) but because I wanted to.

We rearranged the house. The baby learned to climb stairs. A couples of my friends kids came over. One even stayed the night.

Today I'm sore, I'm exhausted. I don't know when/if I'm going to want to get out of bed again. But yesterday I did, and I wanted to and it was good.

We talked a lot of Bram yesterday. It's hard, it's almost a compulsion to talk about him, but talking about him brings back flashbacks.

I cried yesterday. I cried because even though I know he's ok, I want him here, I want him with us. I miss him. Every cell in my body screams for him.

But I got out of bed. And I'm proud of myself. And at the same time I'm waiting for the next hit to knock me back down.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Thinking of what should have been...

I keep thinking of the future Bram should have had.

That day I was supposed to go pick up bikes (2nd hand from Craigslist) for Bram and K, and in a few days T. The joy of having to email, in the hospital parking lot as the time to pick up approached saying "Sorry, my kid was hit my a car I won't be picking up the bike." We were supposed to have family pictures, family pictures we'll never have. The picture on this blog is our only COMPLETE family picture.

I keep thinking of the future and hey, that is huge since I haven't thought of the future since November 16th. Wondering about the partner he would have chosen in life. Wondering about the career he would have had. Wondering what he would be like as a teen. Wondering what his children would look like. And it just makes me sad.

I have this amazing husband, who loves unconditionally, who works hard for his family, who gives himself to those he loves without question or hesitation. I love that we've had 4 sons and that they get this amazing example of what it is to be a man. I'm so sad that the world has been deprived of what would have been a man greater than the man he came from, I'm so sad that there is a girl in the world I'll never know because  Bram isn't here to love her. This hole in our family doesn't just exist for me, TJ, and the kids, but this whole continues into the future forever.

Bram deserved a future, the future deserved Bram.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Blood

For most of my life blood/guts/vomit has grossed me out. I used to gag at the site of my own poop. As I got older I got better, and as I had children I got a lot better. Still I wasn't one to touch blood with my bear hands. Yet when it happened, nothing could hold me back from touching him and kissing him.

In my kitchen, under the shelves we put up for all things Bram including his ashes, a brown paper bag sits on top a box. In the box are his clothes, the things we remember him in the most; letters and cards from the out pouring of love we received in the weeks and months following his death. And in that brown paper bag are the clothes from that day. I'm tempted to add pictures, and maybe I will edit this post in the future when I'm brave enough to look at the clothes again.

They cut the clothes from him, he forgot to wear underware. There is blood, and gravel, his hair, his flesh. I've been ridiculed for keeping these pieces of clothing, but it's the last things to touch his living body. I don't like remembering his body as a dead thing. It's weird what death does to the body, how it gets stiff, how it's cold, how it feels like stone and yet feels exactly the same. The face changes, and it changed more because of the damage of the wreck. I wish we hadn't cremated him. I wish we had just frozen him so I could hold him whenever I want. That's morbid and insane, but grieving your child is just as insane.

I was covered in his blood that day, his blood that came from my blood, his blood that exists in me. I can't let go of the things with him on them. Even the ugly things.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

That car you're driving, that's a lethal weapon.

Another little boy is dead. Bram's death in vain...

WAKE UP DRIVERS!

I'm reading the disgusting commentary and the blame being placed on parents and you need to stop. We drive these 2-3 ton beasts and expect children to be cautious? WE ARE DRIVING LETHAL WEAPONS!

Blah blah blah, "cars don't kill people, people kill people" well anyone can operate a car, license or no license, insurance or no insurance, distracted or not distracted.

So you're speeding for that parking space, you went the wrong way down the aisle, you're on your phone, you're flipping through the radio stations, you're gabbing with people in the car, you looking for landmarks instead of at the road, you see a beautiful person, you're texting, you're applying make up, you're checking yourself out, you're screaming at the kids in the back seat, you're mad at the drivers around you because they are being reckless so you're just as reckless to one up them. Just STOP. YOU ARE DRIVING PAY ATTENTION BEFORE YOU KILL SOMEONE.

It could be any of us that murders a child. The thing is you don't just kill a person, you destroy a family, you rip away innocence  you trample dreams, you drag mothers and fathers into the depths of insanity and heartache. I don't care how good of a person you are, if you can't bother to SLOW DOWN and PAY ATTENTION long enough to protect children from you, from the several tons of machine that you insist on hurtling down the road at speeds that will rip a child's face off of his skull, you are a bad person.

WAKE UP. Before you've got a child's blood on your hands, before you ruin a family, before you make the world a darker place.

Rest in peace Ricardo Rocha, I'm so sorry you were stolen from your family like Bram was stolen from us. Perhaps if they made an example of Bram's killer and actually pressed charges or you know even issued a ticket maybe you'd be alive. I'm so sorry.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Horrors of facebook...

https://www.facebook.com/samanthavenn/posts/10201096076630630 I made this one public. People need to see, people need to understand.

I realize after a very long and restless night full of nightmares and flashback, how much more can I be hurt? I've already witnessed what no mother should witness. I'm fragile and untouchable. No matter what is said or done to me (short of my other children or husband being killed) can come close to the damage done by losing Bram.

People have this stupid idea that is was my fault. As much as I irrationally blame myself let me clear this up for you. Bram was visible, standing EXACTLY where we asked him, the person that hit him WAS NOT PAYING ATTENTION! The person did not stop until they heard my husband SCREAMING. K? Got that?

People think they can imagine this, but trust me you can't. Like I've said in the past you can't come close to comprehension. Being in the world of birth the topic of loss comes up often, in every occasion I've tried to put myself in those shoes, and when it was me that was actually in the shoes everything I had ever imagine was light years from reality. It wasn't even in the same universe of pain and sorrow. Yet those who think they could imagine it find it necessary to tell me how I should feel.

Way to fail on having empathy and compassion. You can't have me, you sure can reopen my wounds, as just about everything does, but you can't make me hurt anymore than I already do. Nothing can bring me close to the depths of pain I've met with losing my perfect boy.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Seasons

Bram died in the fall, the season of dying. Grief carried me into winter time when the world around you is barren, frozen, unwelcoming. Spring is here but it's still cold, will life blossom again?

I'm at a stand still. I'm still having flashbacks, I'm still hurting. Yet I feel frozen, afraid to keep going, afraid to get out of bed. I've reached out for help only to have it fall through, to have support groups be unreachable.

I don't know where I am now. I don't know anymore.