Category Archives: Grief

Christmas Without Her


(Happy Birthday…) Jesus, today is tough as hell!! The past few days were hard as well, seeing women that I was pregnant with celebrating Christmas time with their babies.

It’s not really like I can talk to anybody today about this empty spot I have in my heart because today is supposed to be such a joyous, happy, and blah blah blah day.

Well, you know what, I’m just not feeling it! Today was supposed to be Gianna’s first Christmas and in just four days she would be nine months old. The cute little Christmas outfit I bought her earlier this year will never be worn. It is still hung in my closet. A tiny rose gold taffeta skirt and glittery rose gold Mary Janes. With an adorable matching shirt with a golden deer with antlers that is printed with the words “Ohh Deer!”. Ohh how I pictured it on her just 9 months ago, envisioning her crawling around and so happy while she celebrated her first Christmas. She will never get to wear it.

365 days days ago she was warm and cozy in my belly while we took advantage of all the Christmas sales as we shopped for her first year of clothes and necessities. Never imagining for minute that they would never touch her beautiful skin.

While her three sibling have already witnessed the splendors of Christmas morning, open the gifts that Santa left, and left for a relatives Christmas dinner. My heart is broken into a million pieces and feel like I’m on this road alone, no one understands my pain and what I’m feeling today and certainly not a soul to talk to about it. It’s such a heavy burden to carry alone, I feel that even those who were involved have moved on. Not that I would even want to call these people and “bring them down” with my seemingly never ending grief. And the rest of the world has just gone about it’s frivolous spending,  self-centeredness, and fake smiles. While I am sat here alone with 3rd glass of wine, praying that my baby girl come back to me, if only in my dreams.

It’s all that I have room in my heart to ask for this lonely Christmas Day.

Merry First Christmas in Heaven baby girl, I hope your Christmas up there is everything and more than we could have given you here!

**Thank you so much Aunt Penni for this beautiful Christmas gift, it means the world to me today!! I love you!**

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One Month

  
You would have turned one month old today.We would have celebrated your little mile stone in the NICU, just as we would have celebrated each week before.

I would have been at the hospital every day the past 30 days, changing you, dressing you, feeding you. 

The kids would have helped me to decorate your incubator with photos of your daddy and I, drawings from your siblings, a pretty sign with your beautiful name on it. (A very special name that daddy and I took months to come up with)

Not too long ago I would have started kangaroo care, holding you against my bare chest, your little curl covered head resting over my heart, comforted by each beat. Reminding you of the warm and cozy time spent in mommys belly, when you heard the same pulsating rhythm from inside of me.

The doctor and I would be discussing the things you would be working on in order to get you home in the next couple weeks. 

Suckling, maintaining body temperature, jaundice. But I know you’re strong, a fighter, this would be nothing for you.

Your room would be ready for you when you got home. All your blankets, and stuffed animals from your brother and sisters, your art work and pretty crib would be the same place it was the day you were born.  Instead of now being stowed away in the dark and dusty attic.

I miss you every day, and while this past week has been especially difficult I can’t help but think about how our lives would be so different if you were still here with us. What our schedule would be every day, the things you would like, the sound of you cooing, the sweet way you would cuddle curled in my arms sleeping with me, and how cute you would look while you slept.

I know this will continue and possibly get harder sometimes, especially when your birthday comes around. I’ll try to hold back my tears baby girl, but that is something that I’ve never been very good at. Just know when you see me cry, my tears are my love for you. 

And they will never run out.

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Beautiful Things

 Today was bittersweet.

A mix of emotions.

Sad that she is gone but glad to have her home.

She near us for me to talk to when I think about her, for her brother and sisters to talk to and hold. Today I have her home, near us every day, while it may be on our mantel and not safe in her bassinet like I would like, I have her home. It’s the path we’ve been given to walk and no matter how bumpy and broken and terrifying it is, we must walk it.

So today I’ll take my baby girl into my hands and smile knowing though her body is with me, her beautiful soul is in heaven waiting for Mommy to come take her hand so we can continue the walk down our path.

 

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Smiles and Sunbeams

  
I wish I had done more for her, seen the signs, spoke up. It’s my job to protect her, that’s my only job. Sometimes I feel like failed her, her father, her siblings. But I know I can’t think like that, it will get me nowhere but a deep and dark hole. 

I know we miss them terribly but we can’t beat ourselves up. I like to think that they are smiling down from heaven happy that we can be strong, happy when we smile thinking about them, happy when we reminisce on their ninja kicks in our belly, happy that even though we would have liked for their time with us to be longer, meeting them was the best day of our life.💗

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I Grieve Because I Love You

  In the short three weeks since I lost the most precious piece of my heart I have learned a bit about grieving. I have learned that it’s a long road and it changes daily. That no one grieves the same and that it can creep up on you at any moment. But I couldn’t have explained it as well as Pastor Bob Guffey Jr:

Grief Has No Rules: Some Sentences about Grief

Robert W Guffey Jr

April 20, 2016 

I wrote these sentences to share in closing at a funeral recently and was asked to pass them along. You’ve likely heard something like this but, if you are like me, reminders are helpful. Grace and peace, 

As you go from this place, please remember that grief has no rules, and that is okay. Everyone grieves in their own way and in their own time. You will read about cycles of grief and phases of grief, but, in practical reality, there are no rules. That is the truth. There are many different feelings that will pass through you, some more intense than others, but just because you have felt one way for a while, then feel a change that prompts you to think, “Oh good, I am done with that,” do not be surprised when, on her birthday, or yours, five years from now, you feel odd and unsettled. Just as you wonder what is going on with you, your soul will remind you – “Oh, yes. Hello, Grief.” Grief will be, as one of my pastor-friends wrote in the season after both our mothers had died, your “most unexpected companion.” 

Grief is real and a sign of love. Most of us do not grieve those we have not loved. Because that is true, perhaps we can see grief as a gift as it reminds us, sometimes gently, sometimes fiercely, of love. 

Grief, because it is a sign of love, can become a cause for gratitude for it prompts us to remember what was best about the person’s life and to thank God that her life continues in manifold ways in God and in those who loved her. 

Grief can become a way we honor those we have lost. Doing the hard work of grieving and not running from it is a way of saying the person mattered, the loss matters, and our desire to heal matters, too. 

Grief tells us we are human, but being human is who God created us to be – and only a little lower than the angels. 
It is okay to grieve as we celebrate. We say THANKS BE TO GOD for the one we have loved. We say THANKS BE TO GOD for the healing that has come to her. We say THANKS BE TO GOD for the gift from God she was, and is. 
We thank God for those we love and have lost.

We thank God for today.

We thank God for the life to come. 
In all things today, let us say:

Thanks be to God.

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Run Away With Me

All I want to do is run.

It’s been a long 3 weeks since my beautiful baby girl was born, 22 days to be exact. So I’m not able to run my frustration and anger away. But believe me, when I’m able to get out there to the park and let my feet hit the pavement that’s exactly what I will be doing. I know it will help me so much – time alone, time to think, time to exert some of this energy.  Processing the hurt and releasing some of the pain.

Nothing sounds better then letting all my thoughts and feelings and loneliness drip out through each pore. Allowing my body to cry as my eyes have been, it’s seems they’re never out of tears. The pain in my chest with each deep breath, a constant stitch in my side, the ache in my thighs almost reaching the raw ache of my heart as I finally culminate my run.

I’m a glutton for punishment so this all sounds perfect to me. Giving me a sense of being alive. But also the feeling of pain much like the feeling of grief we must endure. For we are earthy humans and not yet heavenly angels.

I look forward to this private time with Gianna, with a God, and with nature. I look forward to the healing it will bring me. Speaking to them both, without saying a word. Letting them into my thoughts, letting them speak to me. Allowing me to comfort her, God to comfort me, and letting me find some peace and strength hidden in this loneliness, allowing me to quietly search for any sense hidden within this unnecessary madness. Though mostly peace and guidance to help the others, her father, her sisters and brother. To help guide them, to be their support, to teach them how to comfort and be there for each other. For Jesus himself grieved and responded to the grief and loss of those around him. This will allow me to show strength and help me feel in control again.

But until then, until I can run, I will write.

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Our Angel Baby

  
After the passing of our daughter late last night I remembered that some of my photographer friends also photographs babies who are sick or have passed. I remembered someone specifically and contacted her this afternoon. Kennisha Fisher came right away to take some touching photos of our little Gianna, something to pull out of her memory box and remember the all too brief time that we held her in our arms. She’s wearing the burial gown and bonnet that was given to us by Threads of Love in the hospital. 

I think she is perfect. Our perfect Angel Baby.

Thank you so much Kennisha for capturing her in this moment, a moment that we will hold forever in your hearts.❤️

To help with funeral costs please visit: http://www.gofundme.com/babygianna

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Gianna My Love


Those of you who know me, really know me, were so excited a couple weeks ago when JR and I announced that were expecting a child in a couple months.Just entering my 28th week of pregnancy I was shocked when my water broke at work yesterday afternoon as I was heading out to lunch.

I was rushed by ambulance to Suburban where they almost immediately took me back for and emergency C-section.

She looked great, great color, muscle tone, and she was chubby! In fact her 10 min apgar score was 9!

We knew that this little girl was a fighter when we were told she already weighed 3 lbs. 2 oz. at only 28 weeks. And  she kept trying to kick and push the doctors hands off of her. lol

JR and I kept being called into the NICU by the new doctor on shift, telling us that we need to come up to NICU.

Near midnight our sweet little baby’s heart rate was still booming but her blood pressure (58/23 – 18/9)and O2 saturation (8-51%) was going extremely low.

After being hooked up to numerous medication pumps, blood plasma transfusion, countless jabs, and even morphine that I ask that she not be given. Along with our “pulling of the plug” encouraged several times throught the night. The doctor took it upon himself to turn off all our daughter’s medicines and ventilator himself.

After her brief visit of only 9.5 hours, Princess Gianna Marcelia Marie passed last night a bit after midnight.

Holding her perfect tiny lifeless body was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever experienced, though it was also the most confusing and painful. This was the first of sleepless nights we plan to endure as we learn to cope with this great loss. My heart breaks this morning as JR and I watch this beautiful sunrise from my hospital room, knowing that it’s just one of many beautiful things that our precious daughter will never have the chance to experience with her mother, father, or siblings.💔

Thank you in advance for prayers for our family.

Funeral arrangements will soon be announced.

Donations to help with her unexpected funeral service/end of life medical care will be greatly appreciated.

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