October 1, 2008

Ups and Downs

Dear friends,

It's been a few days since my last post... To say that I've been in a "funky" mood is putting it mildly. I'm not sure how I feel... mad, maybe... or just tired of feeling sad.

Whatever it is, it finally got the best of me on Monday evening... Ryan and I were watching Pete Wilson's video, Rocked to my Core, for probably the hundredth time and I just felt overwhelming sadness.

Unfortunately, I expressed my feelings with uncontrollable anger. Actually, both Ryan and I exploded and ultimately lashed out at each other... I don't think we were angry with one another...it just came out that way. I broke the remote control to the TV in several pieces and Ryan shattered a large mirror. Truthfully, I don't know which is worse...the fact that we have to deal with 7 more years of bad luck or that we now have to get up to change the channel on the TV! (Okay, maybe that's my poor attempt at humor... )

At any rate, we ended the evening not speaking to each other and eventually sleeping in different rooms. I felt terrible as I tried to make sense of what just happened in our home. And, after several hours, I finally fell asleep...with no answers and no comfort.

The next day, Ryan and I cleaned up the mess we'd made the night before...and went about business as usual. It's funny (or not), but we never talked about what happened...I guess we just figured it was one of the up and down moments so many people have told us about.

Right after Christian died, many people warned us that tragedy has a way of hurting even the strongest relationships, but Ryan and I thought we would be immune to such things. We are the best of friends and we have been through a lot together. Not to say that we are on shaky ground because that certainly is not the case...we are rock solid. But, grief does tend to make everyone act and react differently. I understand what people were trying to tell me now.

My mind has been working overtime trying to understand my feelings... and I am so emotionally tired. Perhaps it's my own fault for not finding emotional peace through all of this... I am just not ready to quit talking about my son. I'm not ready to let go. I know he's gone... I will never again be able to hold him or feel him snuggled close to me. And I am so sad.

I don't want the day to come when remembering what he felt like and what he smelled like becomes a distant memory. It's as if I am suspended in this dark place because of my fear of that happening. Perhaps only time will soften this fear and I can eventually find the peace that has eluded me so far.

For now, I have been trying to get physically healthy...hoping that getting back into shape will help to ease the sting of my broken heart. Getting back into the gym has been a good diversion... "sweat therapy" is what I call it...although my muscles feel like they are being tortured! But, like everything in my life these days, I'm sure it will get easier with time.

As for the garden, it's mostly complete. Ryan added lighting and mulched the beds... Time and TLC will have Christian's garden growing beautifully... I'm sure we'll post more pictures soon.

Take care for now,




Anonymous said...

Thank you for being so real. I feel like everytime I read your blog, I am so clearly seeing God at work. I know it doesn't feel like it, but trust me from the outside, we can see how God is holding you so close to himself during this time. I cried as I read this post because although I can see God so clearly, I also want to rescue you out of this pain and give you your sweet baby again. I know God is grieving with you and He is holding Christian right now, saying,"Just wait Leah, I've got him and we're having a ball up here, just wait, someday you'll see what I've been up to".
Praying for you today.

boltefamily said...

I am praying for you Leah.

Darlene said...

You and your family remain in my prayers.

As I read your words, "Perhaps it's my own fault for not finding emotional peace through all of this... I am just not ready to quit talking about my son." I just wanted to reach out to you!

Nobody wants you to stop talking about your son. Christian Dale, and his story, and your journey, inspire us all. We see the truth and authenticity and tremendous weight in your story. We even know that the despair you are sharing is sacred to God! I love EVERY word you say about your son... because you are a mommy. And mommy's are all the same! We love to talk about our babies!! I am listening... So many are. I love to hear about Christian, and your precious love for him, and about every hair on his head! Tell us all about him!

As far as any of this, your emotional well-being, being your fault... oh, Leah. You are so very hard on yourself. The guilt is not from God. It is from the terrible pits of hell.

"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus," romans 8:1

Here is one of my favorite verses for when I struggle with guilt or finding fault within myself:

"19This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence 20whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

21Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God"- 1 John 3:19-21

May His peace be with you,

Anonymous said...

God bless you both. Your pain is so very real that it
jumps off the page of your blog. I wish you both the strength and commitment to stay strong in your grief.
When my sister lost her daughter and granddaughter in a car accident, our whole family walked on eggshells forever it seemed. But one day, it was if we noticed that it was slightly easier to breathe and that the sun was out a litttle brighter. Things so tiny you could almost miss them, but changes all the same. We talk of the both of them always and set a memory table at all family gatherings. But as someone once said,"Grief is the price we pay for love...the deeper the love the deeper the grief."
I am so certain that God has more plans for your family. Please know that many are praying for you to heal from the inside out. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Bless you for being so honest and truthful with your emotions. I have followed your story, wept along with you but prayed for you along the journey too. Be strong and don't let Satan get a foothold on your thoughts--take every thought captive to God! He will protect you.
I absolutely LOVE the baby block for Christian with the Bear. It is precious and perfect for always. Take care and know that TX is praying for you to have brighter days ahead!

Deb D. said...

Dear Leah - it is good to hear from you once again. You've been missed. I figured you were working through things, and it sounds as though you have been. Each time I come to your blog my heart is squeezed as I look at your beautiful, beautiful boy. Then as I look at your loving face smiling with the joy and beauty that a mother has for a child, my heart just grieves for you and your loss. So many of us hurt for you and Ryan and have love for you, even though we may not have met.

I agree with caring Darlene that it is sad to read of you thinking that it is your fault for not finding peace. Dear sweet lady. God is bringing you through this sorrow. There is no fault for any timing. One could never expect this to pass quickly from you - or ever, for that matter. I think we all just learn how to enfold it into our new "normal". What a process that is.

I'm sorry to hear of the difficult night you and Ryan had. Sorrow is exhausting, and no doubt you both are exhausted. I found that in that time the ones who also grieved as I did and therefore the ones I also wanted/needed comfort and strength from, were also too tired to be what I needed or give what I needed. Yet, we each understood and gave grace for the different emotions that would pop up. Sounds like that was your experience that night, too. What you share all sounds so normal, honest, and totally understandable. Know that we here care and will continue to hold you and Ryan in highest regard and in our prayers for continued strength daily as your shattered hearts gradually are restored.

Rest well. You are a precious woman.

Peace to you,
Deb D. - Indiana

Leah said...

I am so sorry for the pain of this journey you are on...my prayers and thoughts are with you. Keep clinging to Jesus, healing will come through His strength. Hang in there...

Laurie said...

Oh Leah,

I am so glad that you and Ryan had your "episode" and let off some steam. It's only a mirror and a remote control:) Both material things that shattered, but no where near the shattered hearts you both share in losing your precious son. The video that you watched touches my heart every time I watch it. I hope you never feel you have to stop talking about Christian. He is the reason for this season of pain and heartache, and the joy he brought to you both, making you forever parents. I love to read about how precious your time was with him and all about his sweetness. There is no right way to grieve this, just the way the two of you get through each day. I am praying for your marriage to remain strong as you continue to grieve together. You have my heart and my prayers Leah and Ryan.

Love and Blessings, Laurie in Ca.

Muriel and Jerry said...

Never stop talking about your son. I love to hear everything.

Lady-in-the-Making said...

Dearest Leah,

You've got some wonderful advice already in your comments. Please know that we are praying for you.

We love hearing about Christian! Please don't feel like you 'should' stop talking about him. He has made a difference in this world and I'm so glad he had you and Ryan for parents.

I, too, am glad that you both let off steam the other night. That's just part of it. You've lost your boy and you're angry. That's ok, I promise you.

We're here.

Love & hugs.

Kenzie said...


My sweet friend...I know there are so many days that are just overwhelmingly painful... but as Laurie said, I'm glad you were able to express yourself. I know when Dusty and I have acted that way I haven't felt guilt and shame for my words and actions, but I also know that the Lord understands those feelings. And as she mentioned, they are just material things that can be replaced.

The Lord loves you so very much and the pain you feel is real and horrible. But, like you said, it makes you feel like you will always remember him just the way he was... you don't want to forget anything. I promise you that as time passes and the pain lessens, so far my memories haven't faded at all. I remember all the precious things about Maddox and I would never take any of them back. Just as you remember your precious Christian and all the beautiful things about him, ask the Lord to ingrain each of those memories into your being. Not the pain, but the beauty of the time you shared.

And PLEASE always talk and share about him... he is what makes you a mommy and as someone else said, we all love to talk about our children... EACH ONE!! : )

I love you and am praying for your heart and Ryan's in this time of heartache.

Much love!

amanda said...

Thank you for your transparency. I think so many times, people are afraid of being judged and don't share their hearts...and that doesn't help anyone! What you described is, I'm sure, a common occurance for many couples grieving the loss of a child. Thank you for being open about the reality of it. Sometimes it just feels good to break something!
And I agree with the other girls...keep telling us all about your boy!!!

debbie davis-plumb said...


lori in va said...

God Bless, Please stay strong and DO not give up your dream, give baby a litle brother or sister, never give up!

Melissa said...

It just stinks what you guys are going through... I have heard that because of the emotinal roller coaster each person is on, that sometimes you can unitentionally lash out at the other person; sometimes not even realizing how much hurt/anger is really built up inside!! :( The whole grieving thing is such a "process"..with so many stages and feelings. And unfortunately you have to go through every one (some harder than others)to begin to heal. The BEST thing out of it all is that you got to spend a few WONDERFUL days with your baby boy.... days that you will cherish FOREVER and EVER!! When my mom was alive she was a bereavement counselor (in addition to being a midwife) and one of her suggestions to people was to make a little "memory box" and put every momento in it (hospital tags, cards, clothes, blankets, etc...). You can then put that box on a nightstand or table and look through it whenever you feel up to it.

I know we don't know each other in person, but luckily you have this blog and it can reach out to people so you can receive LOTS of prayers and support!!

BTW- that comfort cub is so cute...what a great idea!!

(sorry to be so long winded...just had alot on my mind...)

Robin said...

You are strong, whether you see it or not. Christian will not be forgotten, keep telling us about him-that what keeps his memory alive.
I am praying for you and believe that God's grace is sufficient-it is not your fault. We are human. We have feelings and you are brave enough to share them with this blogger world.