Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Letters To Heaven

Dear Baby Seth,

If I could write a letter to heaven I would tell you I love you.  It has been four months ago that I said hello and goodbye. I still wish everyday that life would have turned out differently. I will always find it hard to understand why you were only with me for such a short while. I miss you

It has been a busy summer. Your big brother Ben has kept me busy and distracted with baseball.  Adam and Caleb love baseball too.  It makes me wonder for all the little boys.  Is there baseball in heaven?  Ben's team won first place in the All Star Tournament. It was very exciting.  If I could write a letter to heaven I would tell you I missed having you at the celebration when his team won. I felt a little pang in my heart when I took pictures of your daddy and brothers together.  You were missing. 

If I could write a letter to heaven I would tell you little baby that I hate living without you.  I would much rather be enjoying your giggles and your gumless kisses.  Will you save some for me?  It is so hard to get up and do the life dance after losing you.  But I must.  Dancing will never be the same but I am trying to learn some new steps.  Actually, Adam was really laughing at me the other day when I just started moving to a silly song he was playing on my phone.  It made me smile to hear him laugh. Smiling is bittersweet but I somehow believe you would like to see me smile too.  Just because you are in heaven does not mean I shouldn't try and smile when I think of you.

If I could write a letter to heaven I would tell you that I think of you everyday.  It has become my special way to be your mommy.  I will always keep you on my mind and in my heart.  I try to think of ways to honor you.  Here is a balloon with your name on it.   A sweet woman on facebook in Hawaii had a special memorial balloon release. She was so kind to include your name.  It makes me wonder can balloons really travel to heaven.   If I could write a letter to heaven I would ask God to give this balloon to you.   

I love seeing your name Seth Josiah.  And even if at times saying your name makes me cry I will never tire of loving it or seeing it or hearing it.  If I could write a letter to heaven I would ask Jesus to say it outloud just for me.  Until i hear him say it I will whisper it in my heart. I love you Baby Seth.

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
as long as I'm living my baby you'll be.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Realizing Acceptance

I am realizing that grief really does change over time.  No longer am I living those first few moments following Seth's death when I could barely breath, when I couldn't move, when I would zone off into an empty space.  I was reflecting on that time over the past few days not to dwell there but to see for myself if I have moved from that time.  I need to know I am trying to live again.  I need to know that I survived that moment so I can believe it will keep getting better or at least keep getting to a new normal.

I was talking to a friend about this very thing.  I needed her to tell me that she thinks I am getting better.  Walking through life after such a tremendous loss has been the most difficult thing I ever done in my life.  I don't know how walking ever seemed easy in the first place.  Learning how to walk a second time has taken ever ounce of my being to accomplish.  Well, my being and God's incredible mercy and grace.

The very first song I remember actually hearing on the radio after Seth died was "The Hurt and the Healer"  I couldn't believe the words of this song.  The words spoke so much to what I was feeling on those first few days as I drove my children to the bus stop.  I was so broken.  I was deeply hurt.  I was so lost.

The words  “I am alive even though a part of me has died.”  spoke so true of my grief. I was alive. I was alive even if I didn’t want to be. And I didn’t want to be. My heart was in trouble and needed to have someone--GOD--breathe it back to life. 

The Hurt and Healer became my song.  I would play it over and over.  I even blogged about it here <<Surrendering the Pain>>. I had to believe as the song suggested that Jesus would not let my pain, my loss go in vain.   I was suffering.  I had to do as the song suggested and fall in to my Lord's arms open wide. There was no other choice really.  I had to allow Jesus to pull me through.  Here it was the place where my hurt and my Healer would collide.  The only thing that made sense was that Jesus had the ability to take my heart and breath it back to life. 

I can say He has and is still doing just that. 

Recently, as I heard the song I focused more on the phrase of the song that the music revs up and speaks about the mercy.  Maybe it was simply enough that God would just breath into my heart so it would contiue to beat.  A beating heart would keep me alive.  But God's love is greater than that.  He doesn't just want me alive, He wants me to LIVE.  So in His amazing goodness and mighty majesty He as the song suggests "ushered" in.  He showered me with His grace.  He covered me with His mercy.  And He said loudly, firmly yet lovingly, gently "It's over now". 

He didn't say "Get over it" or "Stop your crying" or "Forget it"  He said...I love you.  I have it now.  I have Seth now. I will never let go of him. I will never let go of you.

It really was there in my weakness that I could bow down and accept it.  My God has my baby Seth in the palm in His hand.  In that very same palm He holds me. He loves us.   

It is over now!  I will never walk through that pain of Seth dying again.  I will never fight to take a breathe as I did in that moment that he died.  It is over now.  I will not have to learn to take that first step without him again.  It is over now.   And it is the now that "acceptance" comes to the front of the grief cycle line and lets me in.  Acceptance is more than simply saying "My baby died. He is not coming back."  Speaking those words were REALITY not acceptance.  Reality hit about a month after Seth died.  And it was not pretty and it hurt --for lack of a better description-- like I just walked out of hell.  Acceptance to me has more to do with the living again part that I have been dancing around in grief trying to discover.   It is realizing that my grief had purpose. My Lord used it to pull me through to a place of accepting that this deep loss, this incredible pain, the love for my son, Seth's life all mattered. It mattered to me. It mattered to people who loved Seth.  It mattered to my God. 

 It mattered to God so much that He ushered in so that I would not merely breath but that I would live.  In spite of walking through all of that I AM ALIVE.  Acceptance is living again.  It means I can breath, I can smile, I can laugh, I can cry, I can speak, I can love.  I am alive.

Am I through grieving?  I don't know.  I hear that grief is best described like the waves of the ocean and I am like the shore.  The grief could come roaring in like a strong wave or trickle in like a cool breeze onto me at any moment. But I have learned how to swim better in the grief.  I am stronger now so the waves shouldn't drown me.  Am I still sad even when I am smiling?  Of course I am.  I love Seth and I miss him.  The being away part will always make me sad.  Yet, today here I am realizing acceptance by smiling, living, loving again.

It's the moment when humanity
Is overcome by majesty
When grace is ushered in for good
And all the scars are understood
When mercy takes its rightful place
And all these questions fade away
When out of the weakness we must bow
And hear You say "It's over now"

I'm alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I've fallen into your arms open wide
When The hurt and the healer collide

--words from The Hurt and Healer by Mercy Me

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Seth Bear

            7 lbs. 2 oz.              7 lbs. 13oz.
 7 lbs. 13 oz.            7 lbs. 3 oz.                    7 lbs. 1 oz.

7 lbs. 6 oz.

I remember these numbers. These are the birth weights of my children.  These numbers are etched in my mind.  The hold the link to the memory of the first time I ever held my babies in my arms.  These then move on to the other memories that follow. The weight at their two week check up. The weight at their 6 month check up.  The weight at their first birthday.  As they grew I felt their weight sitting on my hip. 

My little guy Seth weighed 7 lbs. 6 oz.  That is the only weight I will ever remember of him.  He just stops there.  I only had about 24 hours to feel the weight of 7lbs. 6 oz. in my arms.  My arms ache for that weight again. 

There is another mommy out there that understood the importance of this long before I lost Seth.  She too had lost a baby.  And in honor of her Molly she started Molly Bears.  A wonderful organization that gives mommies something to hold.  A comfort item to fill the empty arms.  A weighted bear is named after their child and is the exact birth weight of their baby.

There is a sign up once a month. (Molly Bears sign up)  I signed up right away after losing Seth.  The current weight time seems to be between 12-18 months.  The need is big and the organization is run by volunteers and donations.  Then last month as they do from time to time there offer a chance to get to the front of the line.  By participating in a fundraiser to keep the bears in production I was able to have my Seth bear created sooner rather than later.

Our Seth Bear arrived last week.  And you guessed it.  Our Seth Bear weighs 7 lbs. 6 oz.  We absolutely love him.  We held him tight.  We took turns to pass him around.  My three year old can barely lift him. We talked about all the features of the bear.  We talked about our memories with Seth.  It was beautiful.  Each of my children have even taken a turn to sleep with him at night. 

For me holding 7 lbs. 6 oz. again is INCREDIBLE.  It takes me back to the last moment  I held Seth.  I held him. I breathed in the scent of him.  I made my arms remember the weight of him.  I cried a lot.  And then I let him go.  Today as I hold this silly teddy bear I fills in the gap in my mind between knowing he was here and imagining it all up.  I love my Seth Bear.

I now know first hand how competely and incredibly Molly Bears makes a difference in the lives of families who have lost a baby.  As I mentioned Molly Bears is ran by volunteers and donations.  If you would like to help this amazing organzation read more below. 

Molly Bears started twenty three months ago with the simple idea of bringing comfort and hope to people in the midst of tragedy. Out of this desire, Molly Bears has continued to grow, sending out over 1,500 bears thus far. What started out as one lady in her living room making bears in memory of her daughter has grown into so much more. However, even as we have grown and changed, Molly Bears has not done enough to keep up with demand.

The stark reality we face today as a company is that we do not have the funds available to keep up with the demand of bear production. We are now, like many months before, dangerously close to running out of funds. In order for Molly Bears to continue to be a vital resource for the loss community, we need YOUR help!
To donate please visit  If you would like to donate in Seth's memory please do so here

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Snapshots of Summer

Summer is not at all how I how planned or expected it to be.  And qutie frankly I didn't even want summer to even come.  I mean how dare this season of sunshine and warmth and beauty even appear after the tremendous loss I had suffered.  Thankfully, I have children.  And children love summer.  I have been flipping through some photos and I am realizing the images are a snapshot of  a good summer.  And hopefully, when I look back on this time I will be reminded that I survived not only the summer but the season of grief as well.

Holding his first fish!  He is all boy~

Every boy's dream!  Catching the BIG ONE! 
Adam is up to bat in TBall

Our All Star Baseball player. 

Caleb practicing his swing!

Lydia and her Beautiful smile!

Natalie enjoying pizza with a friend

Flowers that mark the spot where my little boy is at rest. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

How to Grieve -- A Poem

Please don’t tell me how to grieve;
for when I lost my baby I fell to the ground.
I just didn’t know what else to do
when my baby didn’t made a sound.
Please don’t tell me how to grieve
as if you have walked in my shoes.
I delivered my baby after his death
and it was a horrible way to lose.

Please don’t act as my grieving should be done.
Sure time has passed and the rawness of pain is gone.
Grief is a season, a time to cry. 
It takes time to say goodbye.
I am adjusting everyday to what death took in vain.
I am learning to live with the tremendous pain.

Please stop telling me how to grieve by suggesting
that I just remember the others, but forget the one.
Doing so only makes me feel alone,
because you don’t want to remember my son.
Please know that I love my other children well,
so do not be feared;
If it weren’t for their kisses and hugs
I may have simply disappeared.

Please don’t tell me how to grieve
as if you know how I love.
Do you really know what it is like
to love a child who was sent above?
I miss my baby boy. 
He was Expected. Cherished. Loved.
This kind of motherly love for all my children is the same.
Hearing you say I need to love him less
makes his death feel like shame.

Please don’t tell me not to grieve by insisting
I just get it off of my mind.
The memory of his death and birth
is deep and sad and just not kind.
Time may have passed but I can remember
the nightmare of what I went through.
Honestly, I never knew such bad dreams could even come true.

Please don’t judge how I grieve, as I will listen to you,
and think I am doing it all wrong.
And if I think, you think the worse of me,
it only makes me feel like I don’t belong.
Instead come along and hold my hand
so that I am not alone;
If you walk beside me, you can show me
how much I have grown.

Please don’t ask me how I am doing
with an expected answer of “FINE”
I have many more fine moments now,
but they don’t happen all the time.
Please as I grieve let me say
all I need to say in order to share.
Because what I really need is for you to just be there.