December 3, 2008

Turning the Page...

Dear Friends,

I've been wanting to write this post for some time now...but, as I mentioned previously, the words have not come as easily as they once did. I feel as though my writing has become stagnant over these last several weeks with my constant reflections on heartache and despair.

It's almost as though I'm manic! I bounce between feeling great to feeling down right awful. I can't tell you how many times I've caught myself laughing hysterically over something silly or funny only to find myself crying pitifully in the next instant. It's frustrating!! There have been many days where I've truly felt like I've lost my mind! I'm constantly trying to convince myself that what I am feeling is normal and healthy.

At any rate, I guess I needed a break. I've needed to figure out how to function and be a part of a world that continues to move forward without me. I go through the motions each day...brush my teeth, make my bed...live my life...but my actions are mechanical. And emotionally, I've checked out. I wish time would stop only for little while and allow to me grieve over the loss of my son. Then, I would be okay... I wouldn't feel like I've been left behind. I get so panicked when I think about all the "catching up" I need to do. Ahh...my life sucks right now. These are lonely times for me. Hours tick by seemingly at the blink of an eye. There are days when I don't move...I don't do anything. And then I feel guilty because I've wasted the day. It's a vicious circle that I constantly move in... so many different emotions I experience on any given day. And I am tired.

But you've heard all this before...I keep saying the same things over and over again. And I suppose, I feel like there is nothing more to my story that I could offer you...nothing positive that you could take away from my experience. It's partly the reason why my posts have been slow in coming. I hate sounding like a broken record. I'm sad..you get it. That should be the end of it right? I wish it was that simple.


Thankfully, I have an amazing husband who has big shoulders that I can cry on! He's been great! He makes me laugh. He tells me I'm pretty...even when I know I look like hell. He has an unlimited supply of hugs and seems to always know when I need one. He's been a blessing to me. My heart just swells with love when I see him tinkering in Christian's garden. You have to understand, Ryan is a "man's man"...he's the proverbial bull in a China shop! But in Christian's garden, he is so careful. His gestures are so tender and loving...like little hugs for his boy...as he tends to the plants which have become rooted in this special place...It's a joy to see. I watch him from the living room window...not wanting to intrude on these quiet times he shares with his son. I know Ryan needs his time too.

The good news is that last month, we finally started seeing a grief counselor. I've learned so much in such a short period of time. Our doctor has given tools to help us deal with the grief process. No medication...just lots of positive dialog. At first, I was apprehensive about going to see her. I thought, for sure, she would tell me I'm crazy or, at the very least, depressed. But that wasn't the case at all. In fact, I'm learning that everything I've been going through is normal and healthy. Grieving is a 3 year process. I never knew that! I've been unrealistic about my own expectations... and I'm learning to be patient with myself.

Most importantly, seeing a grief counselor has helped my marriage tremendously. The doctor has a way of pulling out information...or better yet...interpreting information that Ryan and I both share so we can better understand where each other is coming from. It's a bumpy road... but we are managing. Good days...bad days...it's all part of the journey toward healing.

My son's beautiful life has been temporarily overshadowed by this grieving process. I knew it would be hard to deal with his death...but I never imagined this life that I'm living now. I don't know what I expected...I guess, I thought I would be more prepared because I knew Christian was going to die. I underestimated how much he would impact my life. I was so naive! But I am getting better. And, one day, my posts will only be happy recollections of the amazing time I shared with my son. I'll get there...I promise!

I still have more to share...but I think I'm going to give it a rest for tonight. You have lots of rambling to digest in one sitting... but I'm hoping that, at least, I don't sound like a broken record anymore. Baby steps... I've said it before... You've been so patient with me. I love you all! Thank you...thank you...thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for your continued prayers!

Love,

Leah

33 comments:

Marianne said...

Leah-
I love that you are so honest with what you are feeling. I am always praying for you and Ryan. Thanks for sharing your life with us here in blog world

God bless you

Darlene said...

Please know that we are still praying for you. And, speaking for myself at least, I don't think that your blog readers have any expectations of you. This strange place of friendship, called blogland, somehow allows us to be honest, and free - in a way. We can journal the depths of our hearts... and have the feeling that a warm body is somewhere listening, and praying.

It is my privalege to pray for you, and I thank you for sharing your son's precious life, and your tender grieving hearts with us.

In Him,
Darlene

Lisa said...

So happy to hear that things are going well with you and Ryan. You both have been in my thoughts and prayers and I am just so happy that you are leaning on one another as your grieve over the loss of your son. Don't ever think that you need to rush your healing, but just know that in time you will heal and be able to move on, but still carry that precious little boy of yours so close to your heart! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

Hugs,
Lisa

Anonymous said...

Sweet Leah,
I also love the fact that you are so honest with us about your emotions here in blogland. I find myself wanting to check on you everyday. I prayed for you and Ryan today and I will continue to pray for you. You are a beautiful person with much purpose in this life...grief now and heal so that God can bless you again with peace.

I too once grieved. and I grieved hard. Infertility...etopic pregnacies that ruined both my tubes. Dr.'s telling me that I would never be a mother....

I have TWO beautiful babies thru adoption. Domestic adoptions where my husband and I were both there in the hospital when each baby was born. We were 40 with our second one!!

There IS HOPE girl. Lots of hope. Don't sell God or your life short. Grieve, heal and get strong again. Then reach out for the blessings God has for you and Ryan.

I WILL BE PRAYING FOR YOU.

Donna
Alabama

Suzie said...

Still praying for you and Ryan. I know how challenging this process can be. My husband is away (In Iraq) and has been through out Cooper's passing. It scares me to think that he will be home soon, and we will have to begin the grieving process again, but this time together. Patience, that is what I keep telling myself. So that is my advice to you friend, just take it one day at a time, and do what feels right. Only you will know.

God Bless you both!
Suzie
Cooper's Momma

Anonymous said...

Leah,

Please, please, please keep writing. At your own pace, whatever and whenever you feel like writing. Personally it is fine with me if you repeat yourself, simply post your thoughts, a million times...as you know, grief is a process. It's a journey completely without a map, and your blog friends here are happy to accompany you. I may never meet you in person, but know that we're thinking of and praying for you and Ryan. Consider us your "Blog Cheering Section", on both your good days and horrible days and ho-hum days - complete with pom-poms!

Hugs,
J. in OH.

Trish said...

Leah,
Please don't feel like a broken record. To me you are speaking from your heart, its authentic and that is refreshing! Not that your pain is refreshing but that you have the strength enough to express it in words. You will be helping people and healing from here out...and no one has more of a reason to feel down at times than you! I think you are amazingly strong and I admire your spirit!

God bless,
Trish

boltefamily said...

Leah,

We are still praying for each of you. It is such a tough road to travel and your honesty is going to bless more people than you can imagine. You are making it...one day at a time.

Love and Prayers,
Kristy

Carla Burlando said...

Don't ever be sorry that you don't have "more to offer" or that you haven't moved past the sadness yet. The rollercoaster feelings do make a person feel crazy...don't forget all the hormones and crazy things going on in your body too on top of grief...no wonder. I remember feeling like a looney toon because my emotions were all over the place and usually I am even keel stoic ,take life as it comes...and I rarely cry. But that year I was crying all the time...and the ups and downs were exhausting! I remember getting obsessed with and worked up over stupid little mundane details of life. At the time I tought I was off my rocker and of course the only one...ever :) It doesnt feel normal and healthy but it must be if we all go through that. I thought too that once Samuel was born and had died it would be..well.. over. I had grieved throughout the pregnancy so I figured I would be done by then. So wrong. It takes time...lots of it. Gradually the sadness looses its intensity but with every milestone and holiday there will be some remembering the "what ifs and shoulda beens" . The fall my son would have started kindergarten was a tough one for some reason...and that was 5 years later! Hang in there. If all you can do is nothing ...then indulge yourself. It will get easier to function in the world eventually.
So glad to hear that you and Ryan are on good terms again. Life sucks when the marraige is strained. My husband went swimsuit shopping with me yesterday (I hate swimsuit shopping)...now thats the test of a patient husband...he passed the test with flying colors.
The garden is so sweet and such a good way to remember and heal. sorry for writing so much.

2sillyboys said...

Leah,
Thank you for your post! You helped me to realize my feelings are ok. I just can not believe how time has been passing in a blink and I let the day pass. I haven't lost a child but I lost my Dad to a horrible 6 month battle to cancer.
Amanda

2sillyboys said...

Leah,
Thank you for your post! You helped me to realize my feelings are ok. I just can not believe how time has been passing in a blink and I let the day pass. I'm ready to be able to live in the day. I haven't lost a child but I lost my Dad to a horrible 6 month battle of cancer.
Amanda

Lady-in-the-Making said...

Leah - we love you. Thank you for your honesty in this post. Gosh, I wish there were something more "tangible" I could do to help.

I'm sending up prayers for you and Ryan.

Hugs to you -

Dale's Wife

Leah said...

Dear Leah,
I too have continued to pray for you and Ryan and think of you so often. Grief is a process and I'm glad to hear you are getting some help...you guys are doing great! I know you don't always feel great but you are staying concious of the process and that is wonderful because through it you will continue to heal. Stay the course, cling to Jesus and you will get through this. {HUGS}

Amber said...

You are amazing...seriously, amazing. The thing I feel most...when reading your posts is...I wish that I could reach through and hug you....super tight..hoping to dull your pain a little.

I absolutely LOVE and completely agree with EVERYTHING Darlene said...

Much love....

So Blessed said...

Just hearing from you and how you are doing is such a blessing to me...because I think of you often and lift you to the Lord in prayer.

Ray and Megan Clark said...

thank you for continuing to share. thank you for allowing us to pray for you.
grief is a a tricky thing and moments sneak up on you when you least expect it. my mom has been gone for almost three years, but i still have to stop myself sometimes to think 'was she around for that?' or find myself saying 'maybe I should ask her about that' and then remember that won't be possible. I try to hold it all inside and then one little thing will happen and my whole facade crumbles.

i have no advice and nothing to say that can make anything better. all i can do is pray and cling to hope that one day we will all be reunited in Heaven and be able to understand things that we couldn't while we were on Earth.

we are praying for you...

Anonymous said...

Leah & Ryan,
I stumbled across your blog and have been faithfully reading it and thinking of you since. You have a wonderfully refreshing honesty in your posts and I always wish I knew you guys! I think that the two of you are handling all that you have been handed in an amazing way. And I am very pleased to hear that you are going to a grief counselor...like you said, you will gain the tools to deal with your feelings together. I just wanted to say that on this day (and many other days) that you and Ryan and Christian are being thought of. I am sending lots of hugs and happy thoughts to all of you all the way from Deutschland. Keep gently moving forward, as you are.
~Lauri St.Pierre

Kim (marygracesummons.blogspot.com) said...

Dear Leah,
reading your words are like reading the exact same thing most of us have written. I love your honest emotions, that has been the most helpful to me. Throughout my grief journey I have never heard that grief is a 3 year process, that is very refreshing to hear in an odd way. I guess it's the feeling of knowing maybe I am okay!
I will continue to pray for you know I will come here to read of more and more blessings that will come your way!
With love,
Kim

Verna said...

thank you for every word you write in your blog no matter if it has been written before! i feel like you are saying every thing that my daughter will be feeling in a few short days. She is being induced on Thursday the 11th at 7 am.
the little ones really go to a much better place...but how do we get that into our hearts?
i am scared for thursday and yet so very exceited to finally meet Noah!
wishing you joy that can be there even in hard times through Jesus our savior!

walkingbyfaith said...

I am continuing to pray for you and Ryan as you navigate your grief. I'm so glad that you're in grief counseling and I pray that it helps you get through this difficult time.

Hugs!

Rebecca said...

Leah...I'm just a lurker still praying for you and Ryan! I haven't left a message for awhile, and I ran across a link asking for prayers for a T18 newborn, Max (the same way I found your blog) and there was Christian's blog in the side links! Strange how this "blog world" links everyone together, like a big family! Take care, and stay strong!!!

Kathy said...

Hi Leah!

Just checking in and wondering how things are going.

Prayers continue for you and Ryan! Really praying for that peace that passes all understanding and for you two to be so comforted during this time. I know that Jesus continues to hold you both tightly in the palm of His hand.

Love,
Kathy

Lori said...

Hello,
I too lost my son, Bailey Andrew,
to T18. I delivered our son still on Nov. 11th, 2008. It will be 5 weeks tomorrow that we said goodbye. Christmas is so difficult. Watching other people so happy and enjoying the season only makes me feel more lonesome and sad. I am still waiting for my cycle to return and I am so afraid that it won't. All I can think of is conceiving again. Never to replace Bailey but to restore my hope in life. I am not only grieving my Bailey but grieving for the healthy baby I feel I will never have because I am 40. I am so afraid all of eggs are bad because I blame myself for Bailey's diagnosis of T18. Let me share your journey and grief. i know all too well what youa re feeling.
Much love and God's peace to you,
Lori

LucieP said...

thinking about you

Anonymous said...

Time for an update...we worry out here in blog land!

Katie said...

Merry Christmas Paige Family! Continuing to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Deb D. said...

Leah:
I'll be remembering you and Ryan on Christmas day. May it be a day of surprising joy and comforting peace. "Miss" you.

Deb in Indiana

Anonymous said...

Dear Leah and Ryan
Still checking in on you. Hope you are doing the best you can. Know the season must be very difficult for you. But I hope that your Angel on your tree shines a bit brighter. Hope your stars are glowing. But most of all I hope the love within you shines out. May 2009 only bring you great things. Wishing you so much. Peace and Joy. May you find comfort through others, and in knowing you are a wonderful
person.
Smiles and Hugs,
Lisa

Kenzie said...

Leah-

Hey girl... just wanted to wish you a beautiful day celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. I know that it is such a hard holiday- beautiful, joyful, yet full of pain and longing. I love you and am praying for you and Ryan and your sweet hearts.

Merry Christmas friend.
Kenzie

Tenille Rauls said...

Just wanted you to know God has placed you in my thoughts and prayers, especially today. Isn't He good like that....I have never even met you! Tenille
http://tenille.blogplot.com

Anonymous said...

Leah and Ryan
I am hoping that the holidays were alright for you. Have not heard from you for 3 weeks. Perhaps you are rediscovering your selves. I have never met you, yet you and your beautiful son Christian were in my thoughts on Christmas day. Please find the strength to go on, and live. Praying for you.

Hugs,
Lisa

KingsLittleBlessings said...

Leah- My heart is so heavy for you and Ryan, knowing how much you miss your little boy. Thank you for being so honest about how you are feeling. So many of us go through life saying the "right" thing, "I'm fine", or "doing well", or whatever simple answer. When the truth is that we are all in this life together, and we are doing our best to get to the end well.
Hang in there, and I hope for huge blessings and peace for you in this new year. My children and I pray for all you T18 families every day when we do our school prayer time, just know that you are loved and thought of. Thank you for sharing the story of your precious little boy with us.

Carol N. said...

Oh, God, I am so sorry. I just stopped by to read your blog for the first time, and can't tell you how sorry I am that you lost your son. That is one of my biggest fears. I'm glad you are able to write - there is something very healing about being able to write feelings down.

I wish you both well.