September 22, 2008

1 month ago...

Dear Friends,

Today marks 1 month since Christian passed away. It's a tough day. Ryan and I have been trying to stay busy these past few weeks... mainly focusing on the garden and each other. Each day, I try to stay focused on the joy my son brought me and it truly helps. We really jammed so many good moments into the 4 days he lived on this earth... it's easy to smile when I think of him.

Ryan and I started our day by visiting Heather Donlan's studio and picking up several photographs she had taken while we were at the hospital... I will never get tired of looking at all the images of Christian. Right now, they are my lifeline... I especially love the videos... hearing his noises and watching all the little faces he made makes my day... especially when I feel sad. Moving forward has been the most difficult thing to do... but it is getting easier.

After Christian died, I thought I would die too... it certainly felt like it. Grief brings about the worst kind of pain... everything is hard...very hard! But, the pain does subside. Slowly, I am learning to breathe again and I am finding my way back to a new kind of normal.

I don't think I'll ever be the same person I was before Christian came into my life... and that's okay. I'm still trying to figure things out... still trying to figure out how I move forward in a positive way.. and I'll get there.. I just need more time.

For now, Ryan and I stay busy...we completed the pergola in Christian's garden today! Now that we have the foundation set (fountain, pergola, and stones)...we'll be able to start planting! So far, we've decided on Blooming Jasmine for the pergola but we have yet to decide on all the other plants! Hopefully, we'll be able to make decisions this week and have everything planted by the weekend!

We should have better pictures of the progress in the next few days or so.

Thank you again for walking with us in our journey with Christian. I really can't express how much it means to me and Ryan that you have continued lift our family up in prayer. I have read the most beautiful and uplifting emails and letters from so many of you and they have helped me to deal with the loss of my son. At my lowest moments, you have lifted my spirits and I am so grateful!

I have had a tough time personally writing to many of you who have taken the time to write, send us gifts and even hand made cards... Please know, I'm just having a hard time finding the right words to thank you! I am overwhelmed by your generosity and feel that anything I say is inadequate! Just know that I love you for caring about my family!




Anonymous said...

Everyone reading your blog loves you so much. Making the garden is an incredible idea. I've heard of people planting a tree or flower but a beautiful garden like you've done is amazing. Thanks you for letting God use your overwhelming pain to inspire others.

Laurie said...

Praying you and Ryan through Leah, one day at a time, sometimes moment by moment. This is such a hard time for your hearts to bear and I think you are doing the most beautiful things in memory of your beautiful Christian. One month is such a short time to catch your breath, take your time, both of you and let the Lord carry you through.

Love, Laurie in Ca.
PS. Please email me your address when you find the time. I would appreciate it:)

awaltons said...

Still praying for you. This is a long journey, one in which I truly think is never over, as you said you do learn to function once again, but you are never the same person you were before you lost your precious child. After we lost our son I had the hardest time sending thank-yous. It was just an overwhelming task, that I was not up to. People understand and they know that you are grateful.

Continuing to Pray,

Mrs. Mother said...

Today was six weeks since we found out that our Jenna had died. She was born the next day. My therapist said we now have a new normal, and we have to learn to deal with it.

Cathy said...

Leah, Of course you can never be the person before Christian was born because you are a mommy now and always. Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with us. It is so nice to see the garden in progress. All of us in this blog world can visually go there with you and just be with Christian thru prayers.

Robin said...

Christian is beautiful. I know you miss him terribly and I can only imagine what you must be experiencing. I pray you know how much God loves you both and is healing your heart.
psalm 55:16,17

boltefamily said...

Praying for you and for Ryan. This is so tough to figure out! The 22 marked 7 months since my son Asher breathed his last breath and there are still days I feel like I cannot go on. Please know you are not alone!


sea star said...

Grief is a moment by moment thing. One minute your up, the next your down. When you lose someone that you hold dearly, it changes you and I know that because of the grief I have endured in my own life. I'm a better person because of it, though that deep piercing pain will fade, you will never forget.
Soon the sun will shine through the rain. Love and prayers to you both.

Susie said...

Still praying in Louisville, KY.

Cortney said...


I moved from Naples almost 2 years ago, and its funny to think someone that was probably just around the corner, is someone I love to hear about so often now. I admire your bravery, even though I know you don't feel like it. Your boy is so beautiful and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Nothing will make it easier, but you are a strong woman, and you WILL get through this. It is such a cliche', but I promise, it's true.

LucieP said...

thinking of ya'll

Judy said...

Sending you a ((HUG)) from Pa! Praying for you too!

So Blessed said...

Indeed, every step is hard when you are on a journey of grief after losing someone so precious and dear to you as Christian was. My sister said (after losing her son) that some days the most she could manage to do was breathe. I pray that the One who is able will continue to sustain you each and every day and that He will bless you in unexpected ways as you grieve the loss of your son. His love indeed surrounds you and I hope you feel it as you are lifted in prayer.

Deb D. said...

Leah: we can hear life returning to your overwhelmed spirit. I'm so glad the pounding of the sorrow is easing somewhat, somehow. Or is it just that we become accustomed to it?
I have learned that none of us are ever the same after the death of those most precious to us. Life has changed in every way, and so do we. But God never misses an opportunity to make us stronger and more like Him. Years (!) ago I read something in a Focus on the Family article. It was a writing of a mother who had dedicated her daughter in church. What I read rang so strong, beautiful, and true in my spirit, that I memorized it. A bit of time later it brought peace to me. I hope it brings hope, comfort, and/or strength to you. It said this, "Do not fear the hard times, my little one, for as surely as they come, they will go, leaving you stronger and more loving if you will allow God to deeply penetrate your soul." It is clear, Leah, that you are allowing - even crying out for - God to penetrate your soul. And it is evident you are growing stronger.
Keep in mind no one is hurrying your healing. There is no time frame that applies. Any who have known similar pain would sit quietly with you, holding your hand, listening if you needed to speak - for however long you might need - and then when you would need again. Those of us out here in blogland are doing that very thingm, though we can't do it in person. We're right with you whatever you need.
Blessings, brave one. Keep moving along this journey one step at a time, as that is all that can be seen at any given moment. And know it is right and fine to pause and take your rest when needed.

Our heart's best to Ryan, as well. I imagine his heart aches for both Christian and his dear wife whose sorrow multiplies his. I know he hurts that you hurt, for that is what love does.

Los said...

sThis is my first visit to your blog - I'm so sorry about Christian! I can't even begin to imagine what you two are going through right now.

I had an older brother who passed away, and it was really hard on me and my family ... I'm not sure if that compares, though.