Letter to my daughter

Dear Lily,

I am so sorry for what happened to you.

Every day since I have lived with guilt and  regret. Regret for not advocating that I knew something wasn’t right. I feel guilt over not holding you enough. Guilt that maybe it was something I did or didn’t do to make you so incomplete.

Had we done the surgeries would you have survived?

I was so scared to have a severely handicapped child but I knew I was strong enough to do it and I was willing to learn, but I was also sad knowing none of our lives would ever be the same. After the seizures started and more tests were done we learned that there was so much more wrong with your tiny perfectly imperfect body. That you would never breathe on your own, taste food, drink through your mouth. I didn’t know what to do. On one hand there was the doctor saying you won’t survive the multiple surgeries you needed but on the other hand saying he’ll do them if we ask. I held you, I cried. What I hated the most was the feeling of just wanting it to end.

Your brothers so little didn’t understand why mom and dad were always gone, why you couldn’t come home, why you were born with so many broken pieces. I go back to that day in my mind and it tears my heart out over and over. I remember praying for you to breathe, I remember begging god to let you live, that I would deal with whatever came next that you needed. But you didn’t and I was too afraid of seeing your face after you stopped breathing, I was scared of having nightmares if I looked so I didn’t, I gave you to the nurse and ran out of the hospital. And that is my biggest regret. I should have stayed and I am so sorry. I love you and you will always be my first daughter, my third child.

I honor you as much as I possibly can.

We hang your stocking at Christmas we have balloons on your birthday and plant flowers at the cemetery every February 18. I light candles by your picture whenever I feel you, I stare at the maple tree in the front yard that I planted when I was pregnant with you, knowing it is the age you should be. I will always wonder who you’d be today. I can’t wait to see you again, somewhere over the rainbow.

Love mom

 

 

poor baby

 

 

 

*** My daughter was born frank breach at 41 weeks and lived for 52 days. She had congenital heart disease, a damaged brain stem from birth and needed a tracheotomy to breathe as well as a tube in her stomach to eat. She needed multiple surgeries but also needed to be healthy to survive them.  We took her off life support hoping she would breathe on her own but didn’t.

Rest in peace my angel

Lily Emma Olive Hall

Dec.30.2012- Feb.18.2012

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Thanks for reading

Sheri Hall

International Bereaved Mothers Day 2020

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beautiful mother bereaved moms day

Wishing you a peaceful day as you honor you child 🙏

Sheri

The end?

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I’ve been married for 13 years (7/7/7)…

 

Together for 19 years (08/18/01)…

 

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And today we hate each other.

This was the last picture we took together (below) a night in Whistler, something I had been booking and planning for the last 10 years, once a year for us. T be able to get away together… Why he’s never planned one is not lost on me. It started for my  30th knowing he wouldn’t plan anything… This year I turn 40, I know he again will not plan anything…

 

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We have 4 beautiful kids together, 7,12,14 and a should be 8 who died at 2 months old.

 

View More: https://preciousmomentswithelissa.pass.us/sheri

We have lost grandparents, all 4, as well as friends and other family to life;death.

It’s hard to see at first that you’ve grown apart until you realize you have been trying too hard to concede. Or at least I did.

We disagree on all things from how the homeless should be treated to the proper way to address the issue of importance in front of our kids. From what he thinks is acceptable in regards to racist or sexist jokes to what I think is me drawing the line.

My kids have been my life. I have spent countless hours awake, scared, crying while he laid snoring beside me.

Planning, organizing, preparing, juggling.

10 years ago I wanted to leave, we went to Mexico with our 2&4 year olds, something I had been begging for. I read Eat Pray Love by Liz Gilbert while there, it resonated do deeply. I was encouraged to try.

I worked on myself and I did manage to become happier.

But not because of him, because I did things for me, I applied to University and got in and loved my first classes. I felt like me again. I was learning.

It was me willing to work on myself that made me happy, not him. But 10 years later, I still feel lost and alone.

Not to say he hasn’t tried and I haven’t reciprocated but for him its about sex and for me about growth.

I have been trying to graduate from post secondary school since we met really, but in the early days was busy working to pay my rent, and when I could finally, I was with kids, and then when they were in school, I re applied and got in but got pregnant, with a my 3rd who later died. When I had the strength to reapply, I was pregnant again.

My kids have been my everything and he does not get it.

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I was recently accepted to a program that only takes in 38 students a year/ program. We are going through the Covid 19 pandemic.

Everything is shut down. I can pay 500$ and risk losing it if nothing changes. I worry that if my kids who have not been in school for 3 weeks goes until next September when it starts. He says you should just stop caring about regret and do it then. But that was after he said why would you apply now then?

I applied 3 months ago before this started, I was ready to do it full time and sacrifice without “regret” this year of being there for my babies…

We argued, he yells criticism and confusing testaments that make me wonder if he ever listens. Its always been this way.

Why do I stay? What am I waiting for? Why am I so scared?

Something has changed slowly over time. Neither of us care as much. Neither want to try anymore.

When do you concede defeat?

When do you say it’s the End?

Sheri

 

Facebook memories…

A few times a year, every year since it started anyway. Facebook reminds you of something you wrote or a picture you posted, an article you shared. Its neat in a way to be reminded. And its shown me also how much I’ve grown. There has been times when I’ve re read something from 6/7/8 years ago and immediately deleted it thinking, wow, why would I say/share that? Theres the causes some of us promote that make you say oh ya, I attended that protest…

And like I’m sure in a few years when we will all be reminded of the pandemic of 2020, the toilet paper hoarders and quarantined spring break.

 

My daughter’s 7th bday cancelled, on top of our trip to Disneyland. Shes having a hard week to say the least.

 

My sons upcoming track season cancelled. Other sons ball hockey season, which was most likely his last, cancelled.

 

My mom lives in another country and my dad in a home on the island, so if this is our new normal, the borders closed and care homes shut down from visiting. Maybe I will never see see them again?

 

This is a scary time with the world coming to stop. Great for the earth. Bad for the economy. Great to reconnect inside your home. Bad for pretty much all else.

 

Back to Facebook memories though, my timeline is flooded in December, my angel daughter’s bday and traumatic start to life.  January, where she came home for a short time, February when she died. Theres lots and at first it hurt to see them hut now I am grateful. Below is one I got this morning, I wrote it 13 months after she died…

 

Thanks for reading.

 

“My pain is real and I ache for you, I try to be strong, but wanting you back replaces all the logic in my mind, the nights are hard because of the silence, the days are long because of your absence.”

 

-Sheri Hall

 

Comments and sharing always welcome and encouraged.🙏

Some days….

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Made my first meme with a poem I wrote 6 years ago for my daughter…

That is what I love about writing, keeping journals, diary posts etc… You can go back to exactly how you felt at a certain moment in time be it happy or sad.

Sheri

My Nonnos Hat

20190323_130800_HDRThis was a few days ago because I get immediate brown spots within seconds of being in the sun. I grabbed my Nonnos Hat, a hat I gladly accepted (as well as his suspenders) when he died. Why? They.  Are.  Him.

Growing up I spent most weekends with my grandparents, my Nonna and Nonno. I loved going to their house! It is by far the best memory I have from my childhood.

Anyway, when my Nonna died (my mom’s mom) in 2012 a few months after my daughter, I couldn’t properly grieve at the time losing her but have ten fold since, anyways, I was nervous to go to her funeral, people were still referencing me as the grandaughter who just lost a child. I went alone, my mom asked why I didn’t bring my other kids? I angrily said I think 1 funeral in 2 months is enough! Plus they never knew her that well, they cared for my Nonno because he was more active in visits with them but regardless, it was not necessary to parade them in front of a bunch of old family that they had never met, to watch their mom cry (again) all so she could show off her grandkids. Ugh.

Back to the story, I wore my trusty fedora to her funeral. A hat I wear with Italian pride. A hat I grew up watching my Nonno and Zeo’s wearing. A hat that masked me.

I walked into the room where immediate family is held before they enter the main room after all others have sat down. I sat beside my Nonno, whom I adored. And he looks at me, in my fedora and says ‘ why are you wearing my hat’? I say it’s my hat Nonno. I lift it to show my face and say it’s me Nonno, Sheri. He grabs my face as he does and says Nina, I never knew why (but always loved it) he and his brother Gino always called me Nina.

My mom told me this morning that Zeo Gino died today. That his funeral is next Wednesday (also happens to be my rainbows 6th birthday)

Let’s go back to the last time I saw Zeo Gino, was at my Nonnos funeral 2 years ago. Not well himself having a bad stroke after his son died. He looked at me, touched my face and said ‘Nina’! He had tears in his eyes, as my Nonno did seemingly every time I saw him after my Nonna died. He cried and said it wasn’t fair, that he lost his son and now his brother. I felt his pain. I hugged him. Others looked as if to wonder why I deserved this affection.

Now he is gone. I hope reunited with his son and his brother, my Nonno.

Why does the world work this way? Forcing us to think constantly about life and death as if we are not always thinking about life and death!

I dont know. I just know I am sad.

Thanks for reading.

Sheri

Capture your Grief 2018 : SUNSET

Day 31; Sunset

I took and wrote this back in 2012 during the epitimal raw first year of my grief for the death of my third born child, my first daughter. Lily Hall. Dec 30 2011- Feb 18 2012

I have edited the poem below to how I feel I prefer the end.

Sunset is the last of the days in the Capture your Grief Writing challenge, it makes sense, a sunset, the day is saying goodnight to world through the reflection of the sky.

Good night.

Thanks for sharing this journey with me.

Sheri

 

 

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SUNSET

In awe of the sunset that reflects off the water

In sadness of the heart that reflects of you

In love with the beauty of you

Sheri Hall

Capture your Grief 2018

Day 28; Shadow and Light

Thoughts dance behind the trees, the flowers sway in the breeze, dewdrops and sunlight alight the minds eye causing wonder to pass by. The shadow and light hold many secrets and stories, some to bold to be seen while others never unseen. We need the light to see the shadows and to feel the shadow to embrace the light. One without the other like night without day.

Day 29; Release

Let go of the hurt the pain feel its release into the universe, let go of the anger and hardship see it float away. Let go of the unknown, the regret, the guilt, to see it for what it is; unnecessary. Let go and live again.

Day 30; Gift of Life

We are given one life, that we know of, we know not our purpose or its meaning but we must do what we can to help, to heal, to grow, to teach and learn. The gift of life is not given to all some a minute, a few hours or weeks, maybe years but not a guarantee of a full one to all. The gift of life should not be taken for granted though it often is. The frugality of our presence overtaken by greed or want, by looks and feels over needs and deeds. The gift of life can feel like a burden to some, not a gift. Life is what you make it. I hope you chose a gift, if not to yourself than to others.

 

 

Thank you for reading,

Sheri

 

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Capture Your Grief 2018

Day 23; Mortality

NOUN

  1. the state of being subject to death.
    “the work is increasingly haunted by thoughts of mortality”
    antonyms:
  2. death, especially on a large scale.
    “the causes of mortality among infants and young children”
    synonyms:
    death · loss of life · dying

 

Day 24; Courage

What forms our courage? Is it our mothers encouraging hand, fathers stern insistence. Is it our ability to bear witness to tragedy and overcome the trauma. Do we learn courage through our mistakes or maybe because of our successes. Being courageous can mean standing up for someone when no one else is but it can also mean getting out of bed to face the day when you want to hide. We are all courageous at many times throughout the day we simply need to notice our own bravery at perhaps not always doing the easy thing but the right thing.

 

Day 25; Who

WHO

Who decides what lives and what dies

How does he or she who decides live with the consequences of their decisions

Who is rightful to grieve and who determines whose loss it really is

When do we know what to say, how to say, who to say it to

Who is the owner of your grief?

Is it the departed or the remaining

Who should we fear; is it who decides who lives or dies

 

Day 26; Beauty

The beauty held in your dark eyes, the long vast endless corridor of dark; the unknown The beauty of the unknown. The beauty revealed in the tiny smirk that you rarely showed and preciously received. The beauty behind your legacy. The lives you left behind forever changed because of the few beautiful moments with you.

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Day 27; Memory

A sound, a scent, a photograph. A movie, novel or painting. A memory held in a frame at the back of our brains waiting to be remembered at the drop of hat. A memory tucked away inside our heart only to be revealed at long last of searching the soul  in hopes for it be re lived. Wanting desperately to be remembered, it comes at long last in a dream or a flicker of a deja-vu rekindling a past thought, triggering that memory to the fore front. The brain holds our memories in a staggering way, we tend to remember the really bad or the extremely exciting, the unforgettable moments that are happy and sad, that have shaped our being. We tend to forget the every day even though we do that more often, we forget the repetitiveness and remember the tragic and the magic, making our memories all that much more unique to how our brain perceived a moment in time for us.

 

Thanks for reading,

Sheri

 

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