Sunday, October 30, 2011


Every "I wish"

Every "I'm so sorry"

Every "If I could only go back"

They're futile.  They're pointless.  They only serve to punish myself.

I wish I could hold him again, I wish I could change it all, I wish we had done it differently, I wish he never died.

I'm so sorry, Everett, I'm so sorry we messed up, I'm so sorry you paid for it.  I'm so sorry we failed you, I'm so sorry you're not here, I'm so sorry I couldn't fix it.

If I could only go back, I'd do it all differently, if I could only go back I'd tell them to take cautious, slower approach, I'd tell them to give you time.  If I could only go back, I'd hold you more and kiss you more and tell you more how much you mean to us.  If I could only go back, maybe I could save you.

Wishes don't come true.

I'm sorry doesn't change a thing.

And I can't go back.

And where does that leave me? Grieving and in pain, with nothing to do but cry out in pain, and in prayer, and let God do what he's been doing since we first lost Everett, hold me up. 

God please, hold me up, when I'm swallowed up in the futility of it all, when my grief is consuming me, hold me up.


A grieving season...

Leaves are falling, there's a chill in the air, and fall is in full swing.

Halloween is coming, and soon we'll be counting down to Christmas.  This has always been one of my favorite times of year, where fall ushers in a season of celebration and joy, from Thanksgiving through to Christmas, the weeks are packed with fun.  But, nearly four years ago, a change ocurred, which dramatically altered the season.

Now its a thanksgiving season.

It's a trick-or-treating season.

It's a kids birthday party season.

and it's a grieving season.

It was November 17th 2007 when I delivered my much anticipated twin baby boys, this marked the seasons start.  It ends on December 11th 2011, the day we burried one of them.  Each and every year, our hearts react the to coming of the season, where similar events and situations spark memories and emotions and bring them to the surface in an incredibly vivid and tender, even painful way.  This is not meant to imply that we don't grieve all year round, but this grieving season is when it all hits home.

It goes like this.

November 17th, we celebrate the birth of our amazing twin sons, we remember the awe and the joy and their delictate perfection.

November 29th, this is the anniversary of the day Everett had his first open heart surgery.

December 5th, the anniversary of his second open heart surgery.

December 7th, we remember the day our world shattered and fell to the ground, the day Everett died.

December 11th, we remember his funeral, the day we held him in our arms last, the very last day our eyes could look upon him, and for many of our family and friends, the only day their eyes would ever look up on him.

And every day since has been a day of remembering, falling apart, building up, looking for comfort, looking for a reason, grieving, and starting over. 

Sitting here, nearly four years after the birth of my boys, I can tell you that, at this minute, I'm okay.  I've been rebuilt and healed enough at this point that most days are okay.  I miss Everett always, there's a tiny place in my heart that calls out for him always, and there are tiny stings of grief each day.  But if you saw me, you'd think I'm pretty well healed.  But grief is a funny creature, and it comes and goes, like the tide ebbs and flows, like the seasons, it always comes back around again.  November is almost upon us and I'm already trying to mentally prepare myself to handle being simultaneously happy and bereft.  Because I'll celebrate the birth of three of my children this month, and I'll also be welcoming a new baby niece, and I'll be mourning Everett, and recalling the details of his birth and his death at the same time.

I'll light birthday candles for Landon and watch him blow them out, and I'll be grieving all the birthdays Everett will never have.

I'll wrap up Avery and Landon's birthday gifts and cry over the fact that I'll never get to pick out that something special I just knew Everett would love.

I'll watch others celebreate my living kids and my heart will hurt because I'll look into their eyes and wont see a hint of sadness or grief there, and I'll know they aren't thinking of Everett at all.  To them, life without him, it's normal, and I'll grieve harder knowing I'm doing it mostly alone.  I know they loved him, I know they wanted him to live, but they don't feel it like we do, they don't get it, nor should they.

While I'm waiting for the first snow to fall and awaken that child like wonder in me, I'm waiting for the first pangs of sadness to arrive and awaken the memories that sit just beneath the surface.  I'm waiting to feel it again, to really feel those emotions once more,  and in them, feel closer then ever to Everett.

My tears bring me closer.

My pain brings me closer.

My breaking heart brings me closer.

So close to how I felt back then, when it was happening, so close I can almost see him, almost feel him.

And that is the joy in the grieving season.


Friday, October 14, 2011

Dear Everett...

Dear Everett,

Tomorrow is a dedicated day of remembering for grieving parents everywhere.  Tomorrow is a dedicated day to awknowledgement, for how many parents out there have a child, or children in heaven, but you should know, I remember you every single day.  In fact, I remember you every single second of every single day.  You're on my mind constantly.  Your face flashes through my mind non stop.  You face stares back at me every single time I look at your brother.  My heart beats your name, Everett-Everett-Everett-Everett.  Your pictures are on the wall, you hands and feet are tattooed near mine.  I take you with me EVERYWHERE, I speak your name and tell your story at every opportunity I get.

I don't need a dedicated day to remember and awknowledge you, but on the eve of a very significant day for so many families, I find myself even more eager to share your name, your picture, your memory, your story, with the world.  I want them to know you, to see you, to hear you, and to understand that you are still so much a part of our lives, and how the loss still echoes through us.  We're still grieving you, I know we always will, and though outwardly we seem to be living our lives and doing well, there are still so many moments, so many silent moments of awknowledgment between your dad and me, or your aunt Courtney and me, or your Gramma and me, where we don't need to say a thing, but we know our hearts are still aching, still breaking for you.

You should know that Landon knows you.  He may not ever remember being near you, but something inside of him KNOWS you.  That bond, that brotherly bond, that twin bond, it wasn't broken with your death.  His heart beats your name too, you are significant to him, even though he doesn't know why just yet.  He talks about you now, and it's an indescribable pain, and joy to hear your name spoken in his young and innocent voice.  He's grappling with the concept of heaven too, he doesn't get it all, someday he will, but I think I like it best this way, because he's not sad at all, he doesn't know that there's sadness attached to you, and I think that's good, he just knows you're his brother.

Avery gets it, and sometimes she's sad about you, but mostly she just remembers you, and includes you EVERY time she tells people who's in her family.  She's a very smart girl, she knows too much for her age, and she sounds so worldly and mature whens he explains to someone that she has a brother in heaven.  She loves you and misses you, but heaven scares her, because she understands that you can't come back from heaven.  I feel bad, because she's aware of death and it scares her.  That's not your fault, it's mine, I fell apart too many times in front of her, she knows there's pain attached to loss.

I'm sure you know of Stella, maybe she met you in heaven prior to her departure to earth.  I like to believe that.  I like to think we all start there, then return in the end, I like to imagine you two knew each other before she joined us here, and no one will ever disprove it for me, so I'll hold on to that thought because it comforts me some. 

I still struggle so much, daily, the aftermath of losing you is chaotic.  Tonight I was fine, and then I started looking through your pictures on the computer, and in a random folder I found a misplaced video, one I hadn't seen in a while, and I did the foolish thing, and I played it, and within seconds grief consumed me, like a vaccuum, I was swallowed up in pain and tears.  Irrationaly I fought against the reality of you being gone, and pleaded for you to be returned to me, my thoughts demanded that the injustice of your death be reversed, and I knew it was ridiculous to think such things, but it can't be helped.  I watched you breathe on that video, I watched your little stomach heave as you labored for each breath.  I watched your eyes open ever so slightly as I spoke to you.  I saw you live again.  And it was agony, because I WANT YOU.  I want you in my arms, I want to hold you and kiss you and stroke your soft skin and hair, I want to hear you cry, I want to mother you, I want to do all the things that your death robbed from us both.  I want to change your diapers and dress you and nurse you and comfort you and nap with you on the couch, and I never will.  This stings in a way I won't ever be able to describe. 

You should know that we miss you and love you and that we wish that things had gone differently every single moment of the day.  You should know we tell the world about you and that we love you every day along with your brother and your sister.  You should know you made us better people.  You should know that we're doing good things with your memory and with our grief.  You should know that I tattooed your hand by my hand and your feet by my feet, but God tattooed you on my heart, and you and I are never apart.  I don't know what I believe about your experience in heaven, I'm not sure if you can see us or not, I'm not sure if you think about us or not, I suspect the glory of heaven is more then a little distracting, but I pray with my whole heart that you feel me up there, that you can feel my love for you always, and that we are not truly seperated at all, but that our love is a bond that remains unchanged even though we are not together.

I miss you so much, and as silly as it sounds, I wish you could write back.

I'm confidant though, that you're in good company there, in heaven, because sadly my pain mirrors the pain of so many other moms and dads, and you likely have many other baby companions up there with you. 

I love you more then words can tell,
I thought you should know