Call me Crazy

Would you call me crazy if I told you the truth?

Would you think I am weird for the tiny rituals I do to remember my lost little girl?

If you knew I wondered if every butterfly I saw was my daughter,

If you saw me cuddling the stuffed elephant I bought her 4 days before she died, that sleeps beside my bed so if  I wake up and want to hold it I can.

Do you wonder why I have so many stone Angels’ in and around my house?

Would you call me crazy if I told you I wake up in a frantic panic at times confusingly wondering where my baby is?

Would you think I am weird for gently touching the dried blood stains that I cannot wash off her blanket and hat?

If you knew I prayed for people to ask about her would you?

If you saw me talking, kissing, holding her picture, would you call me crazy?

Some might but I am ok with being a little crazy.

I am crazy for my living children, for my husband, why can’t I be crazy for my little girl whose life was so short but has touched me so hugely.

Call me crazy.

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Away on a family trip, a beautiful butterfly just like this one, landed on my 2 year old daughter Hope, who we had after Lily died. She freaked out a little because the butterfly didn’t seem to want to leave her shoulder, all I kept thinking was – It’s ok Hope its your sister.

Thanks for reading,

Namaste.

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Life is Grief

When tragedy or loss strike; grief comes full force after the shock fades, it turns the world upside down,  a new universe in which you are scared and alone, one where lies are revealed, truths are sought, feelings broken, hearts shattered, lives and friendships torn by reality.

Grief  now makes it appearance at every birthday, every anniversary every holiday, every season ending or beginning.

Your life is now grief, grief for the kids that are no longer little or there, you grieve them growing, you grieve the little moments that once were so tiresome but are now gone, forever. You grieve your past, your failures, your regrets, your wants that went untold or unfound. You grieve what you had but lost and also what you never had but desperately wanted. Life is grief.

 

My grief seems to be for my kids that are still alive

August 27 2013

My seven year old son said he wished he didn’t exist, that statements tore my heart and soul apart. Am I failing as a mother, why would he say that; he’s only seven not a hormonally confused teenager? I am sad but most of all scared. Why does he not feel loved, wanted or safe. Why is he obsessed with where I am, when will I be back, why am I leaving, why is he scared of me not returning? Is it because his sister went back to the hospital and never came back- she died. Is it fair that my seven year old has anxiety or has experienced loss at the age of five and a half? I know he simply needs more love or compassion from me but I have a hard time giving that when he’s driving me crazy. I also mostly believe that I am incredibly loving 95% of the time so what’s the problem!?

August 28 2013

It’s weird that you can spend half of your life not realizing the truth about life or death. Walking around pretending things that don’t matter do, caring about what’s insignificant. And in a flash your life and your eyes are opened to reality- that tragedy is all around you, you can’t pretend anymore. You see fakeness in so many people and it makes you sick, simple tasks like watching TV are too difficult because of the absurd contents. My eyes have been opened and over the last 2 years I have met more people that have lost children than I can count, I have heard of so many accidents or tragedies involving death. I feel surrounded at times. It is hard to see the rainbows. But we need to comfort and accept, not be fake or ignorant and find a way to live with the pain you feel after every sad story you read and still wake up, get dressed and go outside to see that rainbow.

Sept 3 2013

We went to Ossoyos for a last minute vacation,  it was incredibly sad but incredibly awesome. I promised Lily when she got out of the hospital that that summer we would wear matching bathing suits on the beach in Ossoyos and here we were going without her, but with her little sister Hope. We had an amazing time as a family- only three days but it felt much longer, funny how when you are in the moment enjoying every moment your time seems longer. I was sad that Lily could not have been there to enjoy these memories but glad that we shared them none the less.

September 15 2013

Its very mind boggling to really try and comprehend what has happened in the last two years, first I was pregnant for twenty of the twenty four months, I lost a daughter, I have a daughter. I look at my sweet Hope who is now almost six months old, I sometimes get overcome with emotion and I hold her tight and cry- ‘please, please don’t take her from me’ I am so scared she will somehow get cancer and die, I have been so exposed to so many amazing parents that one day had a healthy child and the next had a child diagnosed with a terminal disease. These parents have dumbfounded me with their strength and courage. I cry for them and what they have been through- are going through- life is hard and unfair. But then you think of other countries and what their daily norm is and wonder… is life only about suffering? Are they worse off or am I? does it even matter? People say we all complain about first world problems but I wonder at the complexity the mind goes through when you watch your child, your flesh, your life suffer and die. But again in many poor countries around the world mothers watch their children starve and die daily. Why? Those poor women and what their hearts have been through.

I look at Hope who is almost six months old and I think, ‘Lily would be turning two soon….’ What if I had both? Would that be amazing! But that is a dream that was never to be had because we would not have had Hope had we not lost Lily. Which also tears me up inside to imagine not having her, I feel I have to choose- who would I rather have!? GOD! That’s a horrible thought! What is wrong with me? But I cannot help it is the truth.

Sept 22 2013

The first day of Fall. To me the beginning of another season of what would haves without my Lily. She would have been turning two in a couple months, she would have been able to walk for her first Halloween, she would have been able to sit at the table for her first Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. She would have smiled at the beautiful tree we will decorate as a family. The twinkling lights that alite the streets. Fall is sad season. The leaves turn brown and drop to the ground leaving the eventual bareness of the stems. The flowers die. The rain clouds come in.

The first day of Fall. To me the beginning of a new year of school for my kids to grow and learn., A new season of family dinners together. Decorating for Halloween and Christmas. My sweet Hope’s smile as we accept Lily’s second birthday and welcome the New Year.

Logan my five year old who turned four just after Lily’s death recently said to me. ‘We’ve had Hope for a long time’, ‘When will we visit Lily again?’ and then a few days or hours later I don’t remember because it seems like these conversation come out of the blue but quite often especially with him, but he said- ‘Lily always smiled when she was alive’ and that simple statement brought me so much joy as well as sadness. Joy that that is his eternal memory of his little sister. Sadness that we have no more smiles from her, that I only caught a few in pictures, that as we approach the end of our second year without her my memory fades. I used to be able to close my eyes and see that beautiful smile she gave me that last time a few days before she died. It was amazing. She heard my voice turned her head to me and gave me the biggest smile. It is a testament to what the human brain, body; psyche can go through can withstand and still smile.

She smiled through her struggles.

We should all learn from that.

I see you everywhere

I look around and your all I see
Your face in the clouds
Your fingers and hands
Like branches,leaves in the trees
The sunset, so beautiful reminds me of you
The pink of a sunrise
Your lovely soft cheeks
Waves crash to shore
As a smiles alites your face
My thoughts of you surround me
The beauty of nature belongs to you my sweet lily flower

why

Then as I started my journey in writing about my grief I found this poem I wrote right around the time I was most depressed and pregnant with my child that later died.

 

(Written -Sept 30 2011)

The attention I need is lacking

The love I crave is invisible

Simple words are ignored

Loneliness is vast.

The attention I desire goes un-answered

My love for you turns bitter

I can’t explain, how it’s not enough, to just love

Emptiness grows, as words are forgotten.

The attention I want, ignored

Our love, bickered to death

So simple, is the answer, yet so hard to speak?

Everything that once was gold is now ash.

My eyes are now sullen

My heart has sunk

The world is unforgiving, with every thought de-bunked

Hope fades, the path is clear, but wanting what was never does steer.

Life has unanswered questions

Paths that lead us are unclear

Love is not always easy or forgiving

 No attempt is a life left with regret

6 months after Lily’s Death & I was pregnant?!

Aug 10th 2012

I am pregnant. I am elated.  I am terrified.  However, when I was pregnant with my first and second kids I could never read the parts in pregnancy books that dealt with “issues” usually bad things that can happen in pregnancy and go wrong at birth- I simply didn’t read them because that would never happen to me- so why force myself to think or feel something so absolutely terrible. Now pregnant with my fourth child, I have a new pregnancy book, I am treating is like I know nothing, I will do everything I am supposed to nothing I am not. People say “you can’t put that on yourself- it wasn’t your fault” ok- but if I do everything I possibly can to make sure I know I did everything I possibly could to have a healthy baby, then at least then if something happens again- something that I don’t think I could live through twice, then at least I would know without a doubt I did everything in my power- no one’s understands the guilt I feel, I carried my girl for ten lunar months, I knew something wasn’t right, I felt it inside but I hoped and prayed that I was just nervous about another child- a third child- I could barely handle two! And there I was having three! Sheesh! But no something was wrong and now pregnant again, I am happy to have another chance. I will not think about the future but simply today and getting through today. We focus so much on tomorrow that it really messes us up when tomorrow is taken away- you cannot fathom the loss of not only what you once held in your arms being gone but all of your dreams and visions of the future with  that child that is gone.

September 17th 2012

As of late I am incredibly depressed to say the least, I am not sure if I was in shock and denial for the first few months after Lily’s death and am now crawling out and seeing the world anew ,trust me I do not like what I see. Or if it is that September signifies more, the start of a new school year for the boys, the start of Fall the approaching holiday season, I do not know where it is coming from but I am feeling intense greif again, I am hormonal and pregnant, I wonder what my 8 month old would look like had she lived, I wonder if I can make it through the rest of the year. I have gone to visit four grief counselors in the past six months, – four separate counselors because I cant find one that I like or that says anything useful, helpful even. However the last one I saw came the closest to helping me in a way that was simple, after thirty minutes of me sobbing into my hands the story of my lost daughter and the aftermath, my lack of joy or love for the world, my obsession with miscarriages and that I thought I’d have one with Lily, my guilt over not wanting her initially I could go on forever. She –the counselor/psychologist said- “it sounds to me Sheri that you started grieving Lily before she died” and as soon as she said it, it felt right it was true! (She also said I suffered from post traumatic stress disorder which no other “doctor” had mentioned which seemed right since –duh watching your child die is- TRAMATIC!)I was so incredibly sad when I was pregnant, I was so incredibly scared to give birth and go through what I was about to go through that I wanted a miscarriage. She was right in my mind I felt yes! I knew overwhelmingly that something was wrong during my whole pregnancy I just couldn’t name it and then after experiencing something only a mother could- a mother that carried a broken child a child that could not survive, a mother that has guilt a mother that would trade her life so her child could have lived can understand the agonizing months in the hospital the pain on my babys face as she struggled to breathe, giving her cpr on my living room floor, having them tell me she was going to die, having to tell my boys their sister was dying- none of this! Did I want to go through- and on another level when I was pregnant I knew something horrible was about to happen and I wanted to stop it. But I couldn’t so I became depressed during the end of my pregnancy. February 18 2012 when we took out Lily’s tube and she died in my arms, I couldn’t cry I felt her disappear earlier in the week, I was holding a body, I walked out of the hospital that night almost with a feeling of relief that I would never have to return. I of course have regret and guilt over feeling that- my baby just died- what was wrong with me!

 sheri