This is the only picture I have of me on the day of Jonas' funeral. It's strange to look at because I am smiling, but that is not even close to what I felt like doing. The picture was taken right after I had gotten dressed and ready for the funeral. My sister Brianna wanted a picture, so I agreed. When I look at it, I see my swollen face. Swollen because I had just given birth to a baby a week before. My body was trying to get rid of all the water I had retained. I could barely smile because of it. I also see my breasts engorged with milk. I see my face not revealing the pain of engorgement--breasts producing milk for a baby that was no longer there. My body had no idea that Jonas had died. My 12 hour plane ride to the states included ice packs stuffed into my bra to dry up my milk. I also see a belly that still looked pregnant. A body that wouldn't fit into any of my clothes except maternity clothes--which made me look more pregnant. Mostly I see a spirit that was crushed beyond imagination. A 26-year old girl who was about to sit through her infant son's funeral. I see a changed girl. A girl who had experienced death. A girl who didn't deserve this. A girl who would always have "another son"--another child who many people would never know about and many others would forget about.
And here I am today. This is another picture of my sister and me, taken last weekend. My face is no longer swollen, although my belly is still slightly preggo-looking. Ah well. In this picture I see a girl who has gone through many stages of grief. A girl who is about to experience her 2nd son's first birthday, or angelday. A girl who is 15 lbs. lighter. A girl who is so happy to be around her family and friends. I see someone who is terrified of her next pregnancy. Someone who only wanted to have two children, but now must endure a third pregnancy. Someone who has finally finished paying funeral expenses. I see a girl who struggles a lot, but also one who is stronger than ever. Mostly, I see a girl who has hope.
This page has been written in loving memory of our baby boy, Jonas Elliot, who was born quietly into the arms of Jesus on March 12th, 2009-a day after his due date-in Wittlich, Germany. He will forever be in our hearts.
Zac and I are also blessed with our son, Josiah Liam, who keeps us entertained and busy! On 11.04.2010, we were blessed with our rainbow baby Julien Reese! Our little comedian. :)