September 11, 2008

The Mail Bag...

Dear Friends,

I feel like I'm teetering on a seesaw... I felt pretty good about my earlier post and had some energy to do a little work around my home... Not bad considering that most days I don't feel good about anything and have little energy to even get dressed...

And then the mail came... we received more cards and letters which have been such a great source of comfort for Ryan and me..., a water bill, the funeral home statement, ...and Christian's birth certificate.

It's IMPOSSIBLE to feel good about anything when it feels like you're getting punched in the face every day. ... I received my son's death certificate before I even received his birth certificate. We received his medical card from our insurance company yesterday, letters addressed to Christian from the hospital...the hospital he DIED at... and I've even received a bill for him. My son was 4 days old and he has a bill in his name!

No grief counselor can offer words that ease the sting of getting on with life after my son's death. How much must I endure before I completely snap? I'm angry and I'm upset.

Is this the way to healing? Every book I've read about dealing with grief talks about the emotional side of loss... but few address the business of getting back to normal... I checked. There are no chapters regarding mail call or what to say when your not-so-observant neighbor asks when he can come visit your new baby (That happened as I was walking back from the mailbox today).

It sure feels like I'm in the "Anger" stage of grief. Not a good place to be.

24 comments:

Devon Rene said...

Just take it day by day. Moment by moment.

That's the best words I can offer. Getting back to "normal" is really hard...bills still have to get paid, house needs cleaning, errands run...All with a broken heart.

My heart hurts for you so much because I know those first days, weeks and months are pure torture.

And try not to think of your grief as a straight line moving from one phase to another. I learned really quickly that its quite the circular process...Six months later and I am back to being angry.

Just know grief is unpredictable...Hang on to Jesus. Let Him be your constant.

Leah said...

I am so sorry this road of healing is so hard, so up and down...Be patient with yourself, let yourself feel all you need to feel and don't stop telling God about it. When I went through my dark time I had times of yelling, screaming, hitting things and all directed to His open arms. He reassures us that He is aquainted with all the sorrows we face, He is not unmoved or unsympathetic. He is there for you, while you get the mail and while you hide in bed. You will get through...Praying for you.

Anonymous said...

Leah,

You don't know me but I am traveling this road with you by reading your blog. I wish I had some great words of wisdom to help you get over the hump. Just know that you have people praying for you even when you can't pray for yourself. "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Stand on the promises that God has given you. Give yourself time the heal physically and emotionally. It will happen.

Your Sister in Christ.
SJB

Anonymous said...

Leah
wish there was something I could say to truly make you feel better, stronger, whatever it takes. Some people are thoughtless, and heartless.
You are hurt and angry. And, you know what, I think that is ok. You deserve that for a while. I believe it is all part of the grieving process.
I also believe, not everyone grieves the same way.
May something really great and remarkable happen to you today. So you can have a reminder of all the people that care for you.
Hugs
Lisa

Anonymous said...

Leah,
I am so sorry for you and for Ryan. You are right, no grief counselor can "fix" things right now. I remember walking a similar path that you are walking right now, and it is so terrible. I too remember those trips to MFM for those scary ultrasounds...and I too remember how horrible it all ended. No person, especially not me, can pretend to feel what you are going through. I do promise though, that your feelings are appropriate and normal. I am so sorry for your family.
Jennifer

Christena said...

Dear Leah,

I was going to write a comment to your earlier post saying that I was so glad to see that you were having a better day, but to expect to get knocked down every time you get to your feet for quite a while yet. Yes - this is the way that grief works. It is totally unpredictable. It keeps you off balance. As for getting back to normal, that doesn't happen because your normal will never be the same. You now have a new normal and finding your way to that new normal is not easy.

The other thing I was going to say to your earlier post, when you talked about letting out all your feelings on the internet of all places, was that this is a great tool for helping you to look a bit more "normal" on the outside. What I mean is just that sharing yourself with others on the internet is very intimate while at the same time it preserves some anonymity. Whereas sometimes the people you see every day aren't sure what to say or just don't get it and might think that there is a time frame for "moving on"... many of us out here who check your blog every day do so because we've walked similar paths of loss and grief - we don't fatigue, we remember what words helped us and we get it. So one way to deal with those harsh realities that slap you in the face when you aren't ready, like your neighbor asking when they can come see your baby, is to grit your teeth and deal with it as best you can, then run in to your computer and vent or spill out your emotions here.

Nothing fixes your pain, but there are outlets you can find to help you get through your days as you stumble along this rocky road to your new normal.

The one constant throughout it all is that you will always cherish the time you had with Christian and you will always know that he changed your lives for the better. When you find renewed strength sometime down the road, you will find how your new normal is guided by your little angel's spirit and that part of your new purpose in life is to continue to build on your precious Christian's legacy.

Keeping you in my heart and prayers.

Love,
Christena

Suzie said...

praying for you and hoping for an easier road ahead for you. Your sweet boy is so precious.

Suzie
Cooper's Momma

Anonymous said...

Leah, I'm so sorry for what you are going through. My prayer is that one day in the future you will be able to look back and see God's hand in this...and how he's using your little Christian to be a great witness for himself. My comfort during these nightmare times, when I can't seem to find my way out of my grief has always been in Ecclesiastes...a time to live and a time to die. Eventually I saw that it was Gods timing and I was thankful for the privilage of knowing my loved one for as long as I did. I hope this can help you in some way too.

Jen said...

Perhaps you could look at it this way... you have physical and legal proof he LIVED. I know it's sucky that you got his death certificate first, and totally devestating that he's no longer here... but he LIVED! And the powers that be acknowledge that :)

I've been alongside you quietly on this... journey. I have never known what to say. I hope my words now have not brought more pain. I have wept brokenheartedly for you, prayed ferverently for you, rejoiced with you and grieved with my whole heart for you. You remain in my prayers, precious mother.

Deb D. said...

Dear Leah - It sounds like you are a planner and want to know what to expect in different experiences and how to be prepared. Grief is not predictable in any way. That is part of what is hard about it.

I'm sorry you are having the harsh realities of Christian's brief earthly life strike you so abruptly. It is so painful and it feels unfair that the tasks of life continue when your world has come crashing down.

Your anger is fine. It is real and anyone whose lost a dear one understands it.

As your kind blogger Devon Rene wrote, moment by moment, day by day. That's how you get through it.

Be gentle with yourself and get plenty of rest. The work of grief is exhausting.

Peace to you; rest in Him.

Kirsten said...

Oh Leah, my heart goes out to you. I wish I could give you a big hug and just hold you in my arms and cry together. I'm so sorry. I'm sorry that Christian isn't here. I'm sorry that the pain is so deep and so raw. I remember it well.

Three weeks after Chloe passed away I was proud of myself if I did 1 thing a day. Taking a shower or cleaning something was a huge deal.

When I finally found the strength to go to the grocery store I thought I deserved a certificate. It was a huge challenge. And Target - ugh! The only people that go to Target are pregnant women with their babies. It was torture.

I remember how much the letters and emails sustained me. I hung on every word just for the strength to get through the next hour. The women who had walked this journey before me gave me strength when I couldn't find any of my own.

Try to show yourself grace and give yourself a break. You are doing an amazing job and this is the hardest thing you will ever experience. The anger, the highs and lows - all of it is good. It is hard, but it is good, because you are dealing with your loss and not pushing it aside. It takes courage to deal with loss instead of "checking out of reality."

The numbness will pass. I can't tell you when, but from my experience, it does get easier in time. Keep taking one hour at a time, one minute at a time when things get really tough, you will get through this.

You are doing amazing! Keep posting and we will keep praying.

Blessings,
Kirsten

Anonymous said...

I have been following your blog for the last few weeks -- rejoicing in the birth of your beautiful boy, as well as praying, crying, and hurting along with you.

Sometimes, when things are really, really bad, there are no more words to say. Sometimes you just need to know that friends ... known and unknown ... are sitting quietly crying with you. Not pretending to know how it feels ... or understanding the depth of your pain ... but crying with you nonetheless.

I am one of those, and I am sure that Jesus is another. He gets no delight from your agony. I know that there are tears on earth, and I believe to the bottom of my toes, that there are tears in heaven on your behalf tonight.

When you are a Christ follower you never hurt alone.

Continuing to pray...

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for you.. there can be no greater sacrifice than losing a child.

I am so sorry that you have to face this. But you are not alone! Even those of us whom you don't know are with you. Daily I send you my strength across the miles and pray that you find moments of piece in your day.

I lost my first baby, a girl, in the second trimester, and when I talk to her, I always ask her to watch over Christian and make sure he is not alone.

I come to your site daily - and everyday I cry with you.. your grief comes through on your posts, but more than that, your unconditional love for your son comes through. Christian knows how much you love and miss him.

Take it hour by hour.. and know that one day you will have tears of joy over Christian!

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Kerren

siscaboo said...

Leah,

Time is the only thing that is going to help. This is a long roller coaster of a ride. I still get angry and it has been over a year.

Just talk to God, let him know what you are feeling. Talk to us, write it, write it on a piece of paper and then crumple it up and throw it away, break a dish. Scream, just don't hold it in.

Pour it out. Lay it at Jesus' feet. I have to do this everyday. Because if I don't, my day goes crazy.

I am praying for you.

(((((HUGS))))

Bobbie

So Blessed said...

This journey of grief is an exhaustingly difficult road...my heart hurts for yours as you endure this pain. Please know every step of the way and through every stage of grief you are not alone. There is One who is with you every second...holding you by your right hand, helping you. And there are many of us who are lifting you in prayer to the One who is the ultimate Comforter and Healer.

Mrs. Mother said...

I'm right there with you. I want to break things, smash them, and I have even had the urge to hit someone when they said stupid things. I don't know how to get through it except for head first. I've never been an angry person, and I hate it. I actually just blogged about this myself. I'm hoping I can move on to another stage of grief soon.

Kathy said...

Oh Leah! I am so sorry for all that you are having to endure.
Please know that you are continually being lifted up by your faithful sisters and brothers out here.

It's horrible that business ineptitude has to hurt you so badly. Sadly, it's quite typical. We received a very nasty phone message saying we had not paid for a month at my mother in law's nursing home, after never having been late with a payment. I called back and SWEETLY said (through clenched teeth) please check your records as she died there over a month ago. I think the accountant felt awful. I suggested they really work on their communication between departments. She was lovingly and well cared for there but that call certainly was unnecessary.

I pray you take everything one day at a time and that each day gets a little better as you and Ryan lean on each other and into the Lord.

God bless,
Kathy

Deanna said...

With every angry step, know that you are walking on a healing path. Continue to have patience with yourself, and even though it is incredibly hard, just make a small plan for your day, with one of them knowing that you are going to save time for yourself. You are an amazing woman.

Denise said...

Take everything day by day and sometimes minute by minute. Grief goes up and down. You don't necessarily go through the stages in order and sometimes you bounce around through them. Of course you are angry, your son is not here with you! How could you be happy and accepting of that? The point is not to be happy, versus angry, the point is to just lay it all on God. No matter how angry and let down you feel, tell him. God can handle anything and he even understands your grief (he lost his son to a violent death too). His son had to die for the sake of us, who wouldn't turn to God on our own. Your son lived only a short while but he mattered very much and was a tremendous blessing to you and others who didn't even know him. You will get through this! Just lay it on God and give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel. Continuing to pray for you and your husband!!

Tenille Rauls said...

Praying for you today. For peace, rest, strength, and for His arms to surround you in comfort.
Tenille

Laurie said...

Leah,

Please know that I continue to pray daily for you during this most hurtful and uncertain time you are going through. From all of the many stories I have followed, this seems to be the way this road goes. I know that the Lord is with you and helping you find your way. I pray for your relationship with Ryan to continue to draw close to eachother and let nothing come between you except the Lord. There is no right way to grieve but the way you are doing it right now. I pray that your days of joy come and the days of pain lessen as you get through in the weeks and months and years ahead. I agree with the others who have been down this road you are on, take your time and be kind to yourselves. I am praying for you.

Love, Laurie in Ca.

Penny said...

Oh Leah

I am so sorry for this time that you are going through. It had such a high price, the glory and wonder of seeing your dear sweet Son. But, the fleeting moments just couldn't be enough for a Mother's heart. Be angry right now. Let the anger sustain you while God carries you along. I remember crying and yelling/screaming at the whole world. I wanted my baby back and I wanted her right that moment. The grief did finally give way to another step in this painful process. I hope that God gives you that super natural peace that lets you know you can go on. And that you want to..... many days I just didn't want to....
I pray your heart can grieve so that you can start your new normal.

Our House of Five said...

There are no words,gestures, or even scripture that can change anything at this mmoent. Nothing offered is enough.

For now there are only emotions, actions and thoughts.

Loosing a child is something that can not be described, it can not be measured. It is impossible to comprehend.

It at times does not seem possible that the world can continue, that anything seems to make sense.

The loss of your child forever chnages you, the way you feel, think and cope. It has a profound impact on all of your relationships-especially with God.

It is important to hear that there is no right or wrong way to walk through this. There is no set amount of time.

All there is, is you and your husband and even the two of you will walk together at times and seperate at times. But what needs to be remembered is that the two of you have each other and you love each other enough to know that you will have times when your needs are not compatible, but your love is.

There is no right or wrong way to feel, act or be. The only thing that can be done is to feel all of it and to continue to feel and give your self permission to one day be ready to be yourself and to share yourself again...but not until is it right for you and only you.

Lean on the prayers that are being said for you-know that that is enough for now. Don't pressure yourself to do that for yourself, God will not leave you and He totally understands your needs.

I wish for you to feel safe, secure and at peace.

Tracy

amanda said...

My heart is hurting for you, too...nothing about this is fair...and the daily 'jabs' are so hurtful. Remember how loved you are, Leah. Praying that God gives you a big reminder of His love today...