Wednesday, August 17, 2011

coping with grief

so perfect...just can't fathom this loss. even still.

how many times in one day can I replay this scene over in my head??


How are you?

I'm not gonna lie...I've had better days. not that any one thing happened to make this day horrible. I worked in Jack's garden, trying to get the plants from Mary Helen and Tammy into the ground...and I find that it's a good time to just reflect, pray, and cry a lot. It's very healing.

it's just all the remembering, replaying, beating myself up for not "listening" to my maternal instincts, God's preparing me for what was coming...

Whatever it is, or was, I'm in this phase now...grieving mother.

After searching other blogs out, blogs by women, mostly, who have lost babies thru stillbirth or sometime in infancy, I find that I'm quite "normal". whatever that is. I didn't think I was normal before Jack's birth so I'm even less now.

How I'm coping with grief:

1.) I want to talk about Jack. If it's the first time I've seen you since we lost him, and you don't ask what happened or acknowledge him, I will be sad. more for you than for me. but still sad. He was real, he was here, we were excited, he is still a part of our family. Our family chain is broken and will be re-linked when we meet up with Jack Oliver Young in heaven.

I do appreciate prayers and I know David and the kids do too...just when I think I'm doing ok, a wave of sorrow (daily) hits me. it's honestly the weirdest place to be. I sob while I push-mow the yard. I find it's really cleansing...I'm sweating anyways so I might as well bawl and wail. so keep the prayers coming...I wail while I drive. It's sorta unsafe.

2.) If you don't know what to say, that's ok, just give me a hug. When you act like things are as they were before my life changed forever, I will not know how to deal with that. The woman who weighed me at Weight Watchers last night, who knew me because I look just like Becky (who goes to WW with me and she told this lady about JOY) even said she was sorry and hugged me. I don't expect you to know what to say...say his name..I love it. Hugs are welcomed.

3.) I do know where Jack is and while that is extremely comforting, I'd like him to be here. I'm ok with people saying that to me because at least they are saying something.

I am only human. What they say is true, my arms do ache for him. I have images of Jack that I carry with me and they all contain vivid pictures of that wild hair and that Molly face and mouth. I imagine little wings and those long, curled up feet that were so like Levi's. (go to YouTube and enter Chris Rice's song "Spare an Angel" or another CR tune "Untitled Hymn (Come to Jesus)). I am not hopeless...

I still can't believe that this has happened to our family. I wouldn't say that I'm angry but everything is not OK, hunky dory. I still yell at my living kids. I get aggravated with them, even still. Overall, I'm just so thankful for them...let me tell a story about my eldest son...Will Franklin Young:

Picture this: I'm at a family reunion this past weekend. At this point, no one had even acknowledged Jack or the horrible loss of him, which I know folks think I may not want to talk about it (see above)...and that's ok. (I've come to grips with the fact that people just don't know what to say, how to respond or if I'd want to talk about Jack Oliver Young)

We had taken our travel trailer to said reunion with us, as the plan was, so I'd have a place to take JOY for naps, or nursing whatever. so that, in and of itself made me sad because I didn't have that sweet boy in my arms. I retreated to the trailer because I could feel a big ol' sob coming. I sat in there and wailed. Will came in to get his suit on for slip n slide fun. I tried to act like I wasn't just weeping but he knew so he sat down with me, talked with me, asked if he could PRAY WITH ME.

We held hands, closed our eyes, and after a delay, I looked up because he hadn't started yet. He was crying...We stood up in the middle of that tight trailer and hugged. He had to, of course, lean down to hug me because I'm about 6" shorter than him now. After we got a hold of ourselves, he prayed with me. Held my hand, talked more with me...helped me process the things that were going thru my head...he is so patient (as are Ethan and Mel, it just happened that Will was the one that walked in. All 3 big kids have been so gracious to let me vent, cry, talk, weep, question).

Can I just say that it's a pretty cool thing to have something like the above happen? Makes all the years of being at home with kids so worth it. If that's you, you are home with littles, and it seems like it will last forever, it won't. suck it up and praise the Lord for the ability to mother your children.

Forgive the jumble...I am honestly a scatterbrained goof right now (right now, you say?). If I don't write something down, it's as good as gone. Thank you for letting me process here on this blog.

Finally, I thank the Lord for the things He is bringing to my attention. I am unsure of the ministry He has in store for my family and I but I have a pretty good idea that it will include helping grieving people in some way...then again, I could be totally wrong there. All I know is that we are open to whatever it is that He has for us.

Hug your kids, spend time with them that you don't think you have. They are worth it. (I'm saying this to myself JUST as much) Hug them, sniff them, let them know that you are so glad to have 'em. Gotta go sort all of this out...

Will Franklin
Ethan James
Melanie Kate
Levi Taylor
Molly Christine
Jack Oliver

Come to Jesus, and live.


HelenaHandbag said...

Smooches to my LaurieLove and her six sweet ones.

Tory said...

Oh, stupid, stupid me! It's the first day of classes, and what do I do? Read your blog. I am thinking that teaching with red, puffy eyes isn't the best thing. Hahaha...but, I am taking deep breaths and maybe, they won't be able to tell that I started out this a.m. bawling. I just cannot imagine what it's like to live with this pain and emptiness. And, I think that it's wonderful that you are willing to share it so openly. Plus, I am sure that it is therapeutic. I bet you are constantly thinking that if Jack were here, would he be getting his first tooth now? Would he be sleeping through the night? What would it be like to have school with an infant again? I know that I see babies, and I am once again in tears. So, I cannot even imagine.

Okay, that's enough of, puffy eyes back. Now, must think about American Government and Political Science Research.

Hugs for you, T

lavender_mommy said...

Laurie, WOW!
After reading your posts I am amazed that while going through this tumultuous time in your life you still are strong enough (to the tune of that song by Mathew West) to be a huge encouragement to others. I know I was just enouraged and impacted by readig your above post.
Thank You!

Brittany said...

My Sweet Friend,

At first, I LOL at your words "I wail while I drive. It's sorta unsafe." It's not funny that you're wailing but that it might occur to you that it's unsafe. Pull over, Girl, and let it out.

Your re-telling of how Will found you and how he handled it just makes me sit here in awe. First off, GOD sent Will in there to you. GOD prompted Will (and thanfully, he chose to listen) to love you and pray for/with you. It once again says soooooo much about the character of your oldest. What a caring, strong, sensitive boy you have there.

I'm proud of you, Laurie. God WILL use you. He WILL use Jack Oliver Young for HIS glory. A life (no matter how short) is NEVER in vain for the kingdom of God. Isn't it thrilling to know that even a life that never took his first breath will help further His kingdom?!? Praise the Lord!

I love you, Friend. I'm still praying every time I think of you and it's OFTEN.

Beckisue said...

Thank you so much for your openness. I love you and will continue to pray for you!


Jodi said...

I love you very much, Sweet Laurie...and I have not forgotten about having coffee. Next week? Your house...Starbucks...wherever... And I'm so happy to know that how you feel about talking about Jack. I want to know so much about what you have been going through. I continue to think of you and pray for you every day.

~The Bargain Babe said...

I am Sullivan's mom.

Your story about Will brought tears to my eyes. What a sweet, sweet young man you are raising.

That feeling of "I can not believe this happened to me!" is one I know very well. Like you said, you are normal.


Natalie said...

I can't remember what I said at the reunion about Jack. I know I talked about him with some of your littles, but if I didn't mention him often enough to you, I'm sorry. I'm definitely not trying to avoid the subject. Everything isn't the same and never quite will be again. And that's fine. I will say though, that I would be inclined to give the benefit of the doubt that people just wouldn't know what to say, or if they should even say anything at all.
Will is so AMAZING! All 6 of those kids are totally inspiring and I need to get more tips from you, because if Ryan grew up to be half as awesome as Will with me as his crazy mother, I would be more than happy. :)

Thinking and praying for you today. Much love!

Laurie and company said...

I want to comment back to each one of you but everything you all said is so awesome, encouraging and there just aren't enough hours in the day! Thank you for taking time to comment...I've read them all and love what you say.

Nat, you did ask how I was and you let me talk about Jack...thank you. I know that is what was happening with people maybe being "afraid" to mention it, not knowing if I'd be ready to talk or whatever. It was ok that it happened. that is why I blogged people wouldn't be afraid to approach me about Jack. or to mention him. You, my dear, have been one of my biggest far away encouragers. Thank you.

this is a rotten place to be, honestly. People look at me so sadly...I need to wear a pin that says Ask me about Jack. I think I will. this whole grief process is such a mystery...a mystery I'd hoped to never have to uncover...o well. I will praise the Lord in the midst.

Sullivan's Mom? I'd love to hear how those early days, weeks, months went for you after Sullivan passed away. thanks for your words and hugs right back to to all of you!! so much love and thankfulness.

I miss Jack.