October 21, 2014

Day 21: Relationship

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Day 21 of #captureyourgrief is themed around Relationship.  It's fitting that Relationship is our theme today, because the day was centered in us remembering our relationship with our babies, however short and sweet that time was.  We are still fostering a relationship with them now, but in a very different way.  We are parenting souls in Heaven.  It's a sad way to be a parent, but when it's all you've got, you make it work.  We are making it work, somehow, being parents to "angel" babies...and learning more about our relationships with them now.
 
Tonight, our memorial celebration was hard.  It was a beautiful way to say goodbye, and there were many tears by everyone who came, but hopefully it was healing for everyone too.  Afterwards, we had a good dinner and fun time just hanging out and being together.  The whole evening, I could feel Jackson and Lily there, their presence made loud and clear by their absence, if that makes any sense.
 
Everything we did to honor them today is part of how I work on my relationship with them.  My writing, and making pictures, and the video, and artwork...these are all ways I spend time with my babies.  So, below I am sharing the memorial video I made, and the letter that I (tried to) read through my tears.  
 
These pictures are of all the special things we've done for them.  The pictures I made a few weeks ago are here, along with a shadow box I made for Jackson with all of his special things (his hat, onesie, footprints, our gone too soon card, his bracelet) and also the beautiful anchor that Heather made for the babies.  Heather and I also made small anchor ornaments for all of our guests to take with them.  All of these things will be going up on a wall in our home, a wall to honor them and remember them.



I guess I should warn you to watch and read with a tissue, because that was the reaction of my family and friends.  I'm sorry about that, but both of these items are my heart, and a special way for me to say goodbye to my babies.

I am hoping that after today, my heart will feel lighter, but fuller.  

Oh and THANK YOU for all the amazing support today.  SO many of you posted or commented about celebrating Jackson & Lily with us.  It was overwhelming and beautiful, and I can't thank you enough for participating.  Love you all <3

Click here for memorial video. 


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.  



Dear Jackson,

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.

Love,
Mom, Dad, and Ashley, and all of your loving family.



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