Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Little Dude!

Happy Birthday, Jonas! Today you turned 3 years old! Wow it's so hard to picture you as a 3 year old. You'll always be my little baby, my middle child. Today we sent you up some balloons again--and this time there was *almost* no wind, so every single balloon floated up to Heaven just for you. It was a beautiful day. Sunny and peaceful...birds chirping at the cemetery...turtledoves fluttering around the town. I picked out a Toy Story balloon for your resting place. You've outgrown pastel colors and baby animals. Your brother loved Toy Story when he was 3, so I knew you would too. I love you so much. I miss you so much. I wish more than anything that you were here. I cried yesterday for you, but I didn't cry today. It's your day and I know you're so happy up there, so I'll be happy too. Happy Birthday, Jonas Elliot!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

That time of year

With everything happening in my life right now, the days have just flown by. Jonas will be 3 years old on March 12th! (Would be 3? Will be 3? hmmm...) I think we will be doing a balloon release at lunch time once again. I have to work in the morning and then I'll have to head to North Platte for training, but I'll be able to "celebrate" at noon. He was born at 12:05 pm so the timing is perfect. Celebrate? I can't figure out that word as it pertains to how I feel about the day he was born. We celebrate birthdays for our children, but we are celebrating the day they were born and breathed LIFE. We celebrate each year they GROW older. So I'm not so sure that celebrating Jonas' birthday is what we are doing. I suppose we are remembering him, with sadness and tears, but also with peace in our hearts. When we celebrate Josiah's or Julien's birthday, it's such a happy day remembering the moments we held them for the first time. We had visions flashing through our minds of them growing up, going to Kindergarten, playing the drums in band, playing soccer, going on dates, graduating, getting married, and making us grandparents. When I held Jonas for the first time, all those visions faded at once. What is there to celebrate now? The fact that I no longer have that horribly shitty raw grief that was forced upon me in March of 2009? Yay! Except now I feel sadness when I think of him. The ONLY thing that makes me feel an ounce of happiness is knowing that he's safe and sound in such a beautiful place and I will be able to get to know my little boy someday. OH...and now I have Julien, who I would otherwise not have. I've already talked about that battle that I deal baby had to die for another baby to live.

3 years...each year does not get easier on his "angelversary". March 11th will always be a crappy day (the day of the silent heartbeat). But I will get more and more used to experiencing these two days every year. Perhaps it will get easier. Technically, it's ONLY been 3 years. Am I still allowed to feel pity for myself? When's my cutoff date?

I need to talk about God throughout all of this. I believe I am an intelligent human being who can make sound decisions. I know many have dismissed God as something people have made up to justify violence and war, among other things. I'm not out to prove that God exists. I only know the peace I have often felt during incredibly difficult times in my life. It's not something that can be seen, which is why I feel no need to prove his existence because that's what people rely on. I only know of the love of Jesus during his lifetime, which was the purest love in existence. He was trying to show us how to love. He wasn't showing us what groups of people we should go against, or who to elect as president, or how to be anti anti anti anti everything. I don't care about any of that stuff. I changed a lot after Jonas came...maybe I became cynical. But really, I was freed of a lot of "anti" baggage that tends to come with Christianity. I was able to see the bare bones of my faith and what it means to live like Jesus did. Spend time with the types of people that Jesus hung out with...drunks, whores, and beggars...Yes those dirty bums on the street corners. Jesus would be standing there with him keeping him company. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE...I can't say it enough. Being so anti everything is not loving people. It turns people away. It turns me away...from Christians, unfortunately.

A little off topic, but something I've been wanting to get out. I'll be back on here on Jonas' 3rd birthday. Thanks for listening to another rant from a grieving mama.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Grief in a Jar

Grief in a Jar
By Jenn Widener - April’s mommy

For many years, I kept my grief in a jar high
upon a shelf. All the secret pain, anger, bitterness
and fear were kept inside my jar. I would never
let it out. I would take it down and dust if off
occasionally, making sure the lid was still tight.
Periodically, I would add little bits to it, (it had
a one-way valve, bits could go in, but nothing
could come out). I would add pain from lost
dreams, missed birthdays and shopping trips,
absent first days of school, sibling quarrels and
bedtime stories. As the years went by, my jar
remained on the shelf. I checked on it from time
to time, clenched my teeth, pulled my hand back
and moved away. “Not now,” I would think,
“I’m too busy.”

One day my jar came crashing down. I was not
prepared. “Hurry! HURRY! Clean it up! Don’t
let it touch me!” I panicked. However, the more
I tried, the more it spread. I was soon sitting
in the middle of the floor, surrounded by the
accumulated years of repressed grief. Pieces
of the jar lay shattered all around me. People
walked by, observing me in this state, shaking
their heads. “Not over it yet?” they’d say. “Get
a grip.” I was lost in my mess.

Then suddenly, I felt the gentle presence of
others around me. I looked up to see these new
friends with smudges on their faces. Others who
bore the smudges of dirt I was now covered in!
THEY KNEW! They knew grief like mine, yet,
were not obliterated by it. Not consumed. They
showed me how to clean up the shattered pieces
of my jar. They helped me pick up the shards of
glass one by one. It was not an easy clean up.
It was painful. They showed me a way to turn
the piercing sharpness of my
grief into something else.
Sixteen years after the death
of my child, my grief is still
with me. No longer bottled
up in a jar, it now exists in a
beautiful pot. It holds a flower
that attracts butterflies. To
me, butterflies are a symbol
of hope. Hope grows from my
grief. Hope that one day I will
see my baby girl again. Hope
that I can give her a voice and
hope that together, we can
make a difference.