Thanks for sticking through this month of grief posts with me. :)
October 31, 2014
October 26, 2014
Now that we've gotten passed 10/21 - the "due date" and the memorial, I feel like I'm losing steam on grieving. That's a good thing! I don't feel so guilty moving on with life, enjoying the little things each day, and appreciating the blessings that God has given me. I still have my moments and last week was very hard, but I am feeling a lot better. I think the struggle through last week gave me lots of hope and strength.
Today's theme is healing ritual. My healing ritual is my walks in the evenings, catching the sunrise when possible. Now that the days are getting shorter, and chillier, and rainier, I haven't been going as much and I am sad about that. Even though I am feeling better emotionally, I still need to get my butt out there and exercise. I know it's good for my overall well being. The weather looks like it's going to be nice and fallish this week, so I am making a goal to get out there 3 times, at least. Next week after daylight savings, I guess I'll have to get used to walking in twilight or the dark. Dave may have to join me for those!
I love my walks, and I know they helped my healing journey so far. I listen to Oceans over and over, and pray or talk to Jackson and Lily, and just reflect on life and plan for the future. It's been a great way to clear my mind each evening, and to be sure my priorities are straight in life. It's help keep me stress free so far this school year too, and the walks have also helped keep me in a healthy mindset. I always try to hit my 10,000 steps on my fitbit, if I didn't reach that goal at school.
I hope to keep this ritual up even through the winter, but I have a feeling that I may have to move the ritual over to the gym, or maybe some yoga inside. I love being outside in nature, but dark and chilly walks may not be as enticing as a sunny and warm summer evening walk. I'm going to miss those!
I am thankful for this healing ritual. Cheers!
October 23, 2014
I am still trying to catch up on sleep and energy after our emotional day on Tuesday. It took a lot out of me, more than I realized, to plan our babies memorial and go through the official motion of saying "goodbye" to them both. It's hard to make it through each work day without falling asleep! I've been trying to rest as much as possible when I am home, around living life and trying to take care of the house and my family. I'll get better at it. I know I have to be easy on myself this week, or even this whole month, and follow what my heart and body are saying to me. Yesterday I came home and went right to bed after a nice long bath, it felt good to take care of me and just be lazy. Good for the theme of self-care yesterday.
I'm loving this month of grieving, and I know that sounds weird, but I mean it. It's been really helpful to explore my feelings and what Jackson and Lily mean to me. Of course, I'd rather have them here, but since that's not possible I'll make the best of it.
Today's theme of #captureyourgrief is Inspiration. I chose this picture of some of the balloons (enviro friendly, with twine that is also enviro friendly) we released for Jackson and Lily because they are my main inspiration during this time. They inspire me to learn and grow and live life with love and peace. They have changed me for the better in so many ways, they are still changing me. I have a long way to go! Part of the way I can endure them not being here with me is thinking about them daily and letting them guide my heart and actions. I hope that I make them proud, I know that sounds so silly, but I want to be a good mom for them and because of them. Just as if they were here.
Thanks for being my inspiration, dear babies. Love you!
Time for mom to go to bed. ZZZzzzzzZZzzzz
October 21, 2014
Memorial Letter 10.21.14 - I read this to my family after we watched the DVD and after Ash lit their
candles and read some beautiful scriptures for us. I'll post those another time, she did a great job.
When I first lost you I thought that I would have to spend all of my days being sad and consumed by my grief of losing you, I thought that was the only way I was able to be with you and remember you the right way. To move on or feel better would mean that I am getting over you. There is no getting over you...
As time went on I found that the days without you were getting easier to handle, not because time was healing my grief but grief was becoming part of who I am. Then I realized that I had to redefine grief because it wasn't just grief that was becoming part of me, but it was you. As in the you who isn’t here, the you that is alive in Heaven, you were becoming a part of my every day life and each day it was not as sad as the last.
You made me a mother, and while mothering the spirit of a baby in Heaven is not what I imagined motherhood to be, it is a beautiful part of my life when I can get passed the sadness if it. I have had people tell me "I don't know how you do this, it seems too hard" but how I see it is this: Thinking about you and writing in my blog about you and walking to see your sunsets and sharing your stories with the world and creating pictures and albums for you is me spending time with you. I’m being your mom and exploring who you are and who I am now that you have touched my life. I would do the same exact things with you if you were here with me, instead of Heaven. I am your mom, and that time together with you is so special.
I also can get through this whole grieving process without falling apart because of Jesus. He walks me through this sad time in our lives, and sometimes, especially those first few days and weeks without you, He carried me through it.
He has walked with me every step of the way through this journey. It’s hard to understand why He let this happen to us, but then I remember we aren't supposed to understand everything that happens in this world. Sometimes, we have to trust Him and blindly have faith in Him, because He is our God and loves us so much. He doesn't want me to be in pain or feel despair, and thankfully He has saved me from those things.
Am I sad that you are not here? Yes! But, how can I stay that way when I know that you were born right into Heaven? Your whole life will be there, with Jesus, and you will never know pain or sorrow or war or heartache or any of those terrible things that we has humans have to endure here on earth. You will only know love and peace and have firsthand experience of the glory and beauty of living with our Lord. Honestly, what more could a mother want for her child?
Do I miss you? Yes. Do I wish you were here? Yes. Do my arms constantly ache for you? More than I can bare, usually. Can I explain this whole mess? No. But, does our God know what He is doing? Absolutely. Will he use your life to change us and our world and bring love and hope? I really, really hope so.
I have learned that nothing on this earth is mine. It all belongs to God. You belong to God. I belong to God. We all do. So tonight, my little boy, we send these balloons to Heaven to say that we love you and miss you and to tell God that even though we are sad He wanted you there, we are trying to be ok with the fact that you are not. We are trying to not be selfish by wanting you here with us. We are giving you back to Him, because you are His first.
And to our little Lily, I didn't know you long, but I love you and miss you too. For those very few minutes we thought we were going to be the parents of twins, we felt special, terrified of course, but special because twins are a rare blessing. I am sad you had to leave us so soon. However, I am so happy you were there to welcome your brother into Heaven.
Watch over us, little Blands, and we will see you in time. I, for one, cant wait for that day.
Mom, Dad, and Ashley, and all of your loving family.
October 19, 2014
October 16, 2014
October 15, 2014
October 14, 2014
October 13, 2014
October 12, 2014
October 11, 2014
P.S. As a believer, I do not always agree with the statements that some "Christians" offer us as bereaved parents, such as "God has a plan" or any statement that starts with "At least..." or something like "God let this happen to teach us..."
Do I believe that God has a plan? Of course. But do I like hearing that from someone else when it comes to my baby dying? No, I'll just take my baby, thank you. Forget the plan! I'm not sure that Christians understand that these statements, especially to someone who doesn't believe in God, just push God further away. And no one likes to hear that at least we can have other babies, or at least we have other children or at least blah blah blah. I'm sure all these types of "Christian" statements are meant well, and not intended to hurt but to help.
I think God can work good from bad. I think He can take heartache and turn it into amazing, beautiful love. I think He does have a plan, but that's because my baby died, that He can make something wonderful out of something so terrible. Did He let this happen? I don't even know how to answer that, as a person of faith. I do know that He will help me through it, help me understand it, and help me use it to become a better person.
My hope in saying all this is, that if you are reading this and "on the fence" about faith or God or Jesus, please don't let the insensitive things that Christian people may offer you turn you away. Seek Him out yourself, and I am positive you will find peace and relief. Remember that humans in general may say things that make them feel better about the situation, because their hearts are in the right place and they want to help, even though it may not be helpful. I know it's very hard for someone who has not experienced this specific grief to figure out what the heck to say to us. I hope that makes sense! I'm not great at talking about this stuff, but I really wanted to get that out into the grieving parent world. Jesus loves you, and can and will get you through this, all you have to do is ask, and forget about everything else!
October 10, 2014
October 9, 2014
I know the pics are a little hard to see. The first picture was taken a few weeks after we learned we were pregnant. I was maybe 7 weeks there. The next picture is Dave & Ashley, holding Jackson's sweet onesie made by Blythe & Chuck, this was part of our baby announcement. Dave is wearing the baby's Mickey Mouse ears that I ordered special. The third picture is Jackson, at his 16 week ultrasound that we went did to make sure he was ok. His little profile is so perfect in that picture - it's hard to believe that 5 weeks later he would be gone. The last picture is his name that I drew in the sand at the Outer Banks. A sweet progression of his short life, and how much we love him.
Then I framed these...
These are pictures that I had made by Carly Marie. She does amazing beach art memorial photography and I got one made for each twin.
Sometimes I feel bad that I leave Lily out of my grief work. I do grieve for her, but honestly not as badly as I do for Jackson. I guess it's because we only knew about her for exactly 5 minutes, and then we learned "she" was gone. We didn't have extravagant dreams or plans for her. But, for those 5 short minutes, I was excited (and terrified) to be the mom of twins.
So there we go. Day 9 of #captureyourgrief is titled In Memory. I've got a few more plans for crafts and projects for a small memorial wall, but those will have to wait. For now, I am proud of these beautiful pictures.