Daily life. This part I find harder than the hospital. I feel lost and not sure what I’m supposed to be doing. In the hospital my role was clear … make the best medical decision for Owen, sit in his room and hold his hand, make sure to eat a meal, pray for Owen. Now what? What do I do now? Go on with life? Yes. But how do I do that now? It’s different. I know my normal isn’t going to be. But what does that mean?
I feel like I have everyone’s attention but haven’t a clue what I’m supposed to do with it. God, what is my purpose now? What is your plan for me? I’m trying to listen, but I can’t quite hear the words. Perhaps it’s been spelled out a thousand times but for whatever reason I’m missing it.
Doug and I are coping differently. That’s normal. I reflect that his daily routine has gone back to what it was. He wakes up, has cereal, watches the news. Then he goes to work, comes home, has dinner, plays with the kids a little, then hangs out with me after bed time. Repeat the next day.
My life? EVERYTHING has changed. Not 3 bottles, only 2. Not 18 diapers a day, only 12. All the babies are crying at once, wait … there is one missing. I’m in the nursery 100 times a day. The nursery that has been rearranged and has a bed missing. The triplet table where I used to feed three babies now has an empty seat. Jaden isn’t in school anymore, summer break. While being constantly reminded of Owen’s death, I’m trying to occupy a 4-year-old. Everything I do is different.
I find the four walls of my house more suffocating than when I first started staying at home. Our entire street is under construction — we’re talking you have to off-road it to get to our house. So it’s hard to even get outside.
While everything reminds me of Owen, I’m also reminded to hug Weston and Logan a little more. When before I was totally ok with the boys hanging out and if they weren’t crying, they were fine. Now? I find excuses to hold them. I kiss and hug them until they get irritated. If they fall asleep, I just sit and hold them.
This is going to sound so silly, but it’s true. My biggest struggle with having three newborns was that I always felt I was leaving one of them out. If I was holding one baby, my heart-strings tugged that the other two were left behind in their car seats. If I rocked two babies to sleep in my rocking chair, I felt horrible that the third was sleeping alone in his crib. The easy solution was to just rotate and take turns. I hadn’t quite gotten the hang of it at the end of 6 months. Instead I just didn’t do anything. I knew I was a hands off mom, but I didn’t know how to be anything else.
Now? I can handle two babies SO much easier. I can rock Weston and I know with certainty I’ll have time to cuddle with Logan later. I can make silly faces at the two of them while rolling around. I can wiggle the two boys on my lap, one on each leg. I’m no longer a hands off mom … that’s for sure. I’m a hands on mama. Thank you Owen for giving your sacrifice. The way I see it is that in addition to my own motherly love, I’m also giving them the love Owen was supposed to have given them.
Between 9 and 10pm seems to be my witching hour. Jaden is usually asleep by then and I’ve put the triplets down. Put my babies in their beds where it’s supposed to be safe, but we know all too well that it’s not always the case. Then I sit, for the first time all day, and my mind is allowed to wander. The flashes of that Saturday night are vivid, the feeling very real. This is when I do my crying. It feels so damn good to cry. To physically express all of the intense emotions I feel inside of my chest.
I think it’s also that it’s the only time Doug and I are alone, together. So many people have felt the loss of Owen. Owen the triplet. Owen the nephew or grandson. Owen the brother. But one else has felt the loss of Owen the son. It’s very different for the two of us, but in comparison, he’s the only one in the world who has a glimpse of what it feels like for me. I’m doing my best to remember this. When I feel frustrated or misunderstood, I remind myself that not only is he my husband, but he’s Owen’s dad. He’s the one person in this world who sort of gets it. I find my calmness and start at the beginning again.
So how am I doing? I’m surviving. I laugh and I smile. I do get my turn to cry. I feel lost and overwhelmed. I’m fighting to do something great … in memory of Owen.
I love you Owen. Mama misses you … but honestly I hope you don’t hear my sad prayers. I hope you’re so busy feeling the complete joy of heaven that you don’t hear me. A child shouldn’t know this pain. Play and don’t think twice about us … you deserve heaven.
To me, and maybe others who don’t really know the boys, the triplets look so much alike. Are they identical or fraternal? And does it make it harder do you think or “easier” to sort of see Owen in his brothers? I just really can’t imagine the heartache you must feel daily. We lost our son Evan very early (21 weeks) and he looked so much like my husband that I had a really hard time looking at my husband’s face for a couple of weeks or so because all I could see was Evan.
Hi Jenny, The boys are fraternal. When the boys were in the NICU I was terrified of not being able to tell them apart. But now I know them apart without even having to think about it. As they grow I think they have started to look more and more different than one another.
Thanks for reading!
Melissa. I love that you don’t want Owen to know your sadness. Having lost my first son, the comfort that I found was knowing that my baby would only know happiness his eternal life.
You dont know me like so many others that read your blog. Ive been following your blog ever since a triplet mom posted it on our multiples club page. I have a 4 yr old son and 5 month old boyl/girl twins. Your posts have made me laugh and sob and hold my children tighter and more often. I am crying as i write this because I dont know what to say really. Ive contemplated what to write so many times but ive fallen short. Im amazed at your courage for sharing your story with so many you dont know. It takes great courage to continue on with life as you can for your other children. I think you are doing wonderful in light of losing Owen. My heart goes out to you and your family. Thank you for sharing your story. Kim
I feel bad saying that this is a wonderful post, but it is. You blogs/thoughts are uplifting to others. I am glad u you are getting time to grieve and think about Owen whether they are sad or happy thoughts. Crying is good. Let it out! I see orange I think Owen and so many around the world think the same. (Even put some orange nail polish on today). I think of you and your family VERY often and I wear my donate life bracelet with pride! You are an amazing person, mother, and friend. And Owen is looking down and smiling. he loves you so much. You know this. Blessings to you my friend.
You are doing something GREAT in memory of Owen- you are continuing to be an amazing, loving, caring mother to his brothers. You said it yourself, your purpose is right in front of you- those 3 boys. I think Owen is feeling peace and happiness in heaven with Jesus. Read the book “Heaven is for real” – It will give you a peace about heaven and what it is like. It only takes 2 hours.
Your “new normal” has to be very hard to get used to and will take time. My heart aches for you all and I’m sure you know that many of us are praying for you in this hard time.
I love how you are taking the time to just hold and rock your boys, and time to play and be with them. You also are allowing yourself to cry and grieve and that is good too- it is so cleansing and helps release the pain in your heart.
Continue to be the mom you are to your sweet boys – that is the “something great” you have been called to do. That is what you are doing so well even in this very hard time.
We haven’t met but you have touched my heart in many ways. Many other moms who are reading this will be blessed too by your faith and love and honesty. That is another great thing you are doing!
I was very glad to read tonight’s blog entry. I LOVED the 7 month pictures yet couldn’t post because I didn’t know what to say. I wanted Owen in those pictures. And if I, a complete stranger, did….I can’t even imagine how much you did. I’ve been thinking of you and of Owen on a daily basis. And, I’m also thinking of Jaden, and how he is doing with his loss. I pray for you all at night. That peace eventually comes. Or as close to peace as can come.
I pictured Owen last night, happily romping in Heaven. And I wonder(ed) if you’ve allowed yourself to cry. I prayed that you’re allowing yourself time to cry. You seem so strong. I don’t know how you are doing it and I imagine you don’t know that answer yourself.
Yes, a complete stranger, wondering how in the world your family is even beginning to cope. I will continue to pray for you and your family. It’s all I can do.
Thank you for your posts and your honesty in posting. Why or how I even came across your blog, I’m not sure. But, I’m glad I did. Hugs and prayers to your family.
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to hurt, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
Keep it up Meilssa! You are doing great. The pain you feel is real…it’s confusing…it’s overwhelming. Another tip for post traumatic stress is to find a beautiful still life picture on-line or in a book. Something peaceful like water, nature, whatever finds you peace. When you are losing concentration or not feeling like you can handle things just sit and stare at the picture, focus on a spot in the picture, pretend you are in the picture, how would you feel, how would the water feel, etc… you only need to do it for a few minutes a day. It will help to steady your mind. With what you have experienced you will need to take time to heal not only your heart but also your brain. Continue to pull those weeds, even if you don’t care to, try to get is some walks, eat really well, and drink water. Also, listen to yourself, don’t try to be perfect and seek help if you are feeling too overwhelmed. You are giving your boys the best gift that you can, yourself. But in order to truly give of yourself you must also tend to your needs. Thinking of you! Praying for peace.
hi, my name is eddie. i try to blog. i just went blog surfing and found your page and what a wonderful tragic serendipity. you write so beautiful. I am so sorry for your lost. it almost had me in tears. i had to hold back. i will pray for you. thank you for writing this.
I have few words of my own to share with you, no understanding of the pain you are feeling. I hope the words that i find comfort in help you.
I lift up my eyes to the hills-
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip-
he who watches over you will not
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumer nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you-
the Lord is your shade at your right
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all
he will watch over your life,
the Lord will watch over your coming
both now and forevermore.
Much love sent your way Mel. for you, your family and your friends. remember, we are here for you. You are never alone.
A friend of mine shared your blog with me and I’m so very sorry for what your going through…and that I know how you feel. I lost my son, Jack, in December at 4 months old to SIDS. I can tell you that I couldn’t see 6 months down the road then and I certainly couldn’t see myself still standing and living. But, by the Grace of God, I’m still here for my daughter and my husband and future children. Thank you for this post, especially the last part. You are so right. No child should know this pain. I’ve spent the last 6 months in a dark hole, constantly apologizing to my son for not being able to save him. But you are right – he deserves heaven. I might not have saved him, but God did and he’s now in the best place, the happiest place, where I won’t ever have to worry about his well being. Thank you for that reminder. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this journey. Let yourself do what you need to do to grieve and know that there will be ups and downs and that’s ok. There are days when you will feel like you are back at the beginning and that’s when you need to lean on the people around you and pray with all of your might. God bless you!
Some wise person told me, “The only way to get PAST grief is to get THROUGH it. We each grieve differently. I believe that God will guide you through if you keep your focus on HIM. During the time that is the most difficult for you, read the Word of God; especially the Psalms. They are so comforting and help flood our hearts and minds with the Truth instead of the lies the enemy would love to have us believe. I have planted a small flower garden all in ORANGE for OWEN. I’ll post a picture when it’s in bloom; just a small way to remember an amazing boy!
My aunt sent me this quote yesterday and I thought of you and your family. I’m not sure who wrote it or where it originated from.
May today there be peace within.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others.
May you use the gifts that you have received, & pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content with yourself just the way you are.
Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love (and grieve).
It is there for each and every one of us.
You are so wise to allow yourself to feel through your grief. You WILL survive, you WILL continue to be and are a wonderful mommy to your children here on earth and a wonderful mommy to your child in heaven. I’ll continue to pray for your family.
Not sure if you remember me from high school….Shannon Rynders….I have a couple things I wanted to share with you but I couldn’t find your email. Let me know if it would be ok to email you those.
I lost my son at 5 mos old from a rare metabolic disorder that showed itself like SIDS. (Dec 8th 2010) I am devestated and having a rough journey as my fiance left me for someone else when I was 6 mos pregnant. I started a blog…
Feel free to contact me…I could use some support from others who have gone through something similar
Olá Mel. Como vai? Me chamo Jusinete e moro no brasil. Não falo inglês fluentemente por isso estou escrevendo em português. Acabei de ler a história do Owen e sinceramente me emocionei. Não tenho filhos mas só de pensar na sua dor pude senti-lá em mim. Admiro muito a sua coragem e desejo toda felicidade a você e sua familia. E guarde a certeza no coração e na mente que encontrará seu filho Owen novamente. Tenha fé!
There has been a massive seismic shift in your world, and it makes sense that you feel lost in what should be familiar surroundings. After the foundation of your existence is rocked, the world’s simple normal landscape has subtly shifted. It’s a new world for you, with dark places you were never aware of before. But, as you said, there are new light places as well. Your hands are more drawn to your boys, and you express your love to them in new ways. The constant reminders, must hurt, but you have hime with you in those reminders. I feel bad for Doug, because although he has distraction now with work, he also had distraction while Owen was alive and missed so much that you got to see and do. I’m so sorry that your little man is not there for you to hug, and I pray for and think of you often. Crying is so important, to let that emotion out instead of bottling it up inside. I cry for you to a lot. I wish my tears could take your pain away, but it will get better, especially with your faith to help you. Take care of yourself and your beautiful boys.
Mel, As a mother who lost her son also, my heart aches for you. Today I planted flowers in Owens memory. When I see orange, I think and pray for your family. Hang on to your faith, family, and friends. One thing that really helped my husband and I was a group call Grief Share. We learned how to understand each others way of grieving. It is a Christian based group. Check it out if you have the strength: http://www.griefshare.org
A good friend of mine lost his 10 year old son in a bike vs truck accident a year and a half ago. I am remembering so much of what he went thru in your posts. My suggestion is to look around in your town and see if they have a grief group for parents who have lost kids. It did wonders for my friend. He still has his up and down days, but he is coping well.
Your world will never be the same again, but you will make it thru this. You have a strong faith and you are strong willed. That is half the battle right there. Take one day at a time. Do what your body is telling you to do – cry, sleep, scream. Its all fairly normal.
Take care of yourself and your family. We are all praying for you!
Sending love from Massachusetts. Something that helps me with the unexpected loss of my son is a journal. It is a “book”, simply called Letters to My Son, that I write in. I write what ever helps my heart. My biggest fear is that people would simply forget him, only remember the one left here and in my heart I know that is not the case. This book helps me- especially at the “bewitching hour”.
I am so sorry for your loss.
Praying for you and your sweet family.
Your last words “you deserve Heaven” are so powerful and healing for me. Grieving the loss of a baby (miscarriage) and sudden death of my mom. They deserve Heaven, I know they are there, but I never thought of it that way. Thank you for bringing some peace to my heart.
Blessings to you.
I find it interesting that my journal entry today ask questions about my purpose. I suspect that it’s a question that most people ask. Owen’s death has forced you to reevaluate your values and life’s direction. I just want to say that you have a purpose. Your blog is helping others who have lost a loved one. Your writing is your gift. You are helping others to hang on to God no matter what. You are raising some beautiful sons and loving a husband. The way the you lead your life is allowing others to follow God. Perhaps at some point you could use those gifts to write a book that will reach a larger audience. A book with orange on the cover in honour of Owen? You would help other parents who have lost a child cope. Thank you for the blessings and wisdom you give us.
I recently read a beautiful poem written by John Alessi entitled The Brave Little Soul which speaks to me of your precious Owen. I am posting just segments but feel the read is worth every line (it can be found many places online)!
Not too long ago in Heaven there was a little soul who took wonder in observing the world. He especially enjoyed the love he saw there and often expressed this joy with God. One day however the little soul was sad, for on this day he saw suffering the world. He approached God and sadly asked, “Why do bad things happen; why is there suffering in the world?” God paused for a moment and replied, “Little soul, do not be sad, for the suffering you see, unlocks the love in people’s hearts.”……..But even though you are very brave you will not be able to do this alone. I have known since the beginning of time that you would ask for this and so I have carefully selected many souls to care for you on your journey. Those souls will help you create your miracle; however they will also share in your suffering. Two of these souls are most special and will care for you, help you and suffer along with you, far beyond the others …………………………………..Thus at the moment the brave little soul was born into the world, and through his suffering and God’s strength, he unlocked the goodness and love in people’s hearts…..Priorities became properly aligned. People gave from their hearts. Those that were always too busy found time. Many began new spiritual journeys, some regained lost faith- many came back to God. Parents hugged their children tighter. ………………….Everyone prayed. Peace and love reigned. Lives changed forever. It was good. The world was a better place. The miracle had happened. God was pleased.
Beautiful Owen (and your willingness to share your experience with others ) has made this miracle happen in so many lives, including mine.
Praying for your peace.
I don’t mean to be trite, but here it is again. . . the Gift of Owen. He has to be the most selfless, giving child ever to have graced this earth. Thank God for him, for you, for your testimony of faith. You are an amazing person.
God bless you.