November creeps in … the hole of Owen’s death starts to bleed again. I find myself having the ugly cries in church – every Sunday. I feel broken and weak. Funny how it almost hurts more two years later than it did days after Owen was gone. Perhaps the numbness of it all is still wearing off.
November is the start of all my Owen memories. It starts with the triplet’s birth. That Monday night when my sister and I gave each other mud masks in my hospital room. The goofy belly dance I atempted during Dancing with the Stars. The fetal monitoring that showed the baby’s heart beats didn’t have the accelerations they should. Then the news that they were just fine and everything was status quo. The Tuesday morning I woke up to more fetal monitoring and the news that the heart beats were a little faster than they’d like. Waiting for my “regular” nurse to come in at 7am and then the news that I had gone from 5 cm dilated to 7 cm dilated over night. WE WERE HAVING BABIES! The phone calls to our friends and family. My in-laws jumping into the car to drive down from Green Bay. My brother leaving school and my sister driving back from Watertown. All the happy, excited memories. The risk of so many things going wrong and everything being just fine. The peace I felt that evening when all three of my newborn babies had entered the world safely.
The months to come are filled with memories of lack of sleep, struggle, questioning if I’ll ever survive this. Soon the memories of hysterical “field trips” and first smiles. Falling in love with making my own baby food.
Then the night my entire life changed … all of our lives changed forever. The night that I gave my own child CPR. The taste of blood and the shaking from adrenaline. The desperate prayers that my child would be spared, but the deep knowing that he was already gone.
In the moments, hours and days of Owen being on life support I had all the time and space to sit and digest what was happening around me. Now in the the midst of “normal” life, I feel like I’m drowning. So many leaking holes in my water vase. So many that I can’t plug them all. My water is running out so much faster than it’s being put in. It’s depleting to matter how hard I struggle to keep it all in. So rather than mend and patch the brokenness, it’s all gushing out – I’m broken and drowning.
Tell me I’m normal. Tell me I’m not the only one falling apart at the seams. Stuggling to keep it together. This has got to be normal. Even in the midst of my own mess, I know there are others far worse off than I am. I know there are mothers who are just starting their journey of grief. There are mothers who will never hold their babies. There are single moms who are stuggling to pay the bills. There are mothers who can’t feed their children. I’m making it. I’m still above water, barely.
My mom told me to embrace the pain. Absorb it and process it. Don’t try to stuff it back in because it’s messy and you might not give the impression that you were hoping to make. But rather, be real. Be what you feel and act what you believe. I believe it’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to cry. So why do I try to stuff it all inside when that’s exactly how I feel? If you process the yucky stuff it turns into strength. It becomes “where you came from” rather than “what you are.”
In November, I miss Owen more than other times of the year. Please don’t take that as I don’t miss him other times of the year. It’s just a closer kind of pain. All the memories come slapping me in the face.
Sometimes when I write these horribly broken and sad blogs I fear that I sound weak or broken. I fear that people will take pity on me. I don’t write these words for sympathy or pity. I write them because they are real and honest. They are me. I write them because I find healing in sharing the hard truth. I pray that others will find comfort that they are not alone in their own sadness.
I continue to pray that God will use this horrific loss to make something good. I pray that he will use me and give me strength to be a blessing in the world. I pray that my ears and heart will be open to receive his message. I pray that those I love will feel just how much I care about them. I pray that my life might have a slight impact on just one person. Don’t let my loss go to waste – let good continue to come from it.
You don’t sound weak or broken… You actually sound strong to me. I pray that God comfort you as only he can comfort. You are not alone in struggling to keep it together. And a lot of us haven’t had the pain of losing a child. I wish that I could give you a big hug and let you cry. You are such a strong mom of triplets! It is ok to grieve and hurt- just try to turn it all over to God.
I have been a lurker on your Blog for a while. I felt the urge to write you tonight. Something was nudging me to tell you how Strong you are. How brave you are. And the tears are just your overwhelming love for your Son. I love your honesty. The raw truth and emotions. I know the pain of losing your Child. And it’s just not the natural order of things. Four years later and I’m still trying to wrap my mind around it. Although the circumstances in how we lost our Babies are different, our only Daughter was born still. I feel that pain that you described. That emptiness where they should be. But I try to let her light shine through everyday. Just as you are for Owen. Let the tears come. Feel his love surround you. He loves his Mama! Sending you huge hugs.
Lorna, Thank you for writing – sending love your way. Love, Mel
Mel, you sound real. You sound like a woman who knows loss. Is that weak? Well, it isn’t a character flaw weak. It might be weak from being tired from being strong. Is it broken? Not broken and bad, but broken from loss. It’s what great loss does. You have found amazing strength to begin healing and keep moving forward. But during certain times of the year, certain days, or heck, just in the middle of the grocery store when you see something that puts you over the edge, we just aren’t as able to hold it all together as we are most of our days. Wounds get ripped open and let’s face it, that hurts crazy bad. I have found some of those times to be so hard and overwhelming that I didn’t know if I was gonna come out the other side. But by the grace of God alone, I did. And now I know, when they hit, that I will make it through. So, I agree with your mom. Feel it. It SUCKS! But, in our weakness, in our brokenness, God gets to show His great strength. And His love. So, let Him be God and do His thing. Let Him carry you and stitch you back together again. Praise God He is is willing and able to do it time and time again!!!! Lifting you up during this time my dear.
I understand and empathize with you! November is a hard month for me to. I lost my first born son just 2 days after having him. My step daughter we can’t find for 4 years. Also my niece died at 16 her birthdays this month. I think November should be skipped. I’m here if you need anything! I’m sorry for your loss but be real amd let it out. All I can tell u from my own pain is to ride the waves. Keep on keepin on. Your an amazing person and an amazing mom!
Stay honest. I think those who would think you were wallowing in pity are those who honestly don’t understand. Losing a child is the hardest thing a parent could ever walk through. That’s all there is to it.
12.5 years later and spring is my season. I used to put nothing on the calendar so that I could “be” whatever I was feeling and not have to “be” someone or something else. Last spring I took on a project for my survivor’s Scout troop. I was busy and it was good. After 12 years, I enjoyed the distraction. Before that, I just couldn’t or wouldn’t commit to anything. I could never decide if liked spring or fall better. Now it’s fall. So, I’ll enjoy pleasure of the fall for you while “be” what you need to be. And if you don’t mind, take a few extra moments in the spring and breathe in the fresh warm air, smell a beautiful flower, and muse at a passing butterfly for me- the white ones in particular. Perhaps you can mutter Danny’s name under your breath. I’ll do the same when the leaves are flitting about. And when a pretty orange one floats my way, I’ll mutter Owen’s name.
Your mother is right. Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling.
The 2nd year was far worse than any other for me. You are right. God protects you a bit and provides that numbness while you need it.
Blessings to you as you make your way through this season. .
This is my 13th year she’s right. Let yourself be.
Thank you Donna – I will defiantly whisper Danny in the spring. Love, Mel