Remembering With Love
Messages of Hope
For The First Year of Grieving And Beyond
by Elizabeth Levang, Ph.D. & Sherokee Ilse
The Early Days
A Death Has Occurred by Paul Irion
A death has occurred and everything is changed.
We are painfully aware
that life can never be the same again,
that yesterday is over,
that relationships once rich have ended.
But there is another way to look upon this truth.
If life now went on the same,
without the presence of the one who has died,
we could only conclude that the life we remember
made no contribution, filled no space, meant nothing.
The fact that this person left behind a place
that cannot be filled
is a high tribute to this individual.
Life can be the same after a trinket has been lost,
but never after the loss of a treasure.
"It is as if a darkness blankets my feelings. I am numb to the world."
Dan Laik, in memory of a special friend.
At times our emotions may become so intense, so overpowering, that we begin to feel as if we are numb, out of touch with everyone and everything around us. The numbness may feel like a heavy, dark cloth that blankets all emotions. It may cover the raw feelings that assault us and momentarily soothe our confusion and pain.
That numbness is a sign for us to rest----physically, mentally, and emotinally.
It is okay to feel numb. I will temporarily give way to theis numbness and let it give me time to revive and renew myself. I can rest.
Approaching the Anniversary
"Many days have passed since he left. The weeks flew by, and it is now getting close to that time of year that is both sad, yet joyful: the anniversary. It is so hard to let go fully."
Suzanne Knopf, in loving memory of her son, Jamieson Sean
The days before the anniversary of a loved one's death can be an anxious and sometimes stressful time. We may look back on this as the longest year of our lives, or it may seem hard to believe that a year has almost come and gone. We may recall the violent pain as if it were only yesterday. Seeking to put an entire year behind us, we may have tried to wish time away. Now that it is almost upon us, we may scarcely be able to believe it.
At this time, the joy and sadness of our loved one's life and death often combine and bring forth deep emotions. We can find ourselves more tearful, angry, or especially sensitive. we wonder if we should try to put all this behind us as we prepare to begin a new year.
Although a year is significant, it is not the end of grieving or the automatic beginning of a new, happy life. Nor is it something to fear. It may be a turning point. For many of us, it may mean we survived longer than we thought we could. Soon we head into the second cycle of everything; the second Memorial Day, Thanksgiving, holiday season, Mother and Father's Day, and other significant occasions.
I will allow myself to feel the pain and the joy of the upcoming annivesary of my loved one's death. I need not fear this day, but can feel hopeful about it.
These are just a few, this book is really awesome and I highly recommend it to everyone out there, because everyone has experienced the loss of a baby, mother, father, uncle, aunt, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa, etc, We've all lost someone that we love, this has the perfect words for how you're feeling..
January 2001, it was a cold, blistery, icy day in Oklahoma City, the day my future husband asked me to be his girl!!! March 31, 2006 was our wedding day.. We had decided that since we'd already been together for 5 years that we would immediately start trying for a baby. So in April that's what we did.. It took us 3 months and in July we were looking at a positive pregnancy test.. It was the 5th of July.. I remember thinking the 4th that I had to of been pregnant, as the beer just tasted horrible and I was wanting to sleep.. That pregnancy was not the easiest.. We started bleeding from the beginning, it was diagnosed a subchorionic hemorrhage.. It was a huge blood clot between the uterus and placenta.. Well fast forward to 12 weeks after getting off bed rest and having no more bleeding.. We had an ultrasound to find that our precious baby had passed on 3 weeks before.. I had what they called a missed abortion (you won't see me use this term as I HATE it..) So I had to schedule a d n c for the next day.. That morning around 4 am I woke up to severe pains and bleeding only to find out that my body had finally realized that it was miscarrying, so we got bumped up a few hours to do the d n c.. Our dr. sent the 'remains' off to the lab for genetic testing and he called a few weeks later to tell me that our baby was a healthy baby boy.. We named him Xavier Ahren. He was 9 weeks 5 days and our d n c was on 9/19/06.. We were told we could try after our first cycle, so we did, we got pregnant 4 months later, we were excited, yet nervous.. There was no bleeding and our number's were progressing well. Well at 5 weeks we had an u/s.. Nothing but a sac. We were told to come back 2 weeks later, at 7 weeks we went back and still there was only a sac, but a second sac was visible now too..The dr. thought he had seen a second sac at 5 weeks but we didn't think nothing of it.. We were told to come back in a week.. We went back at 8 weeks 3 days, still only a sac, that was starting to shrink, and the second sac completely gone.. We were diagnosed with a blighted ovum and decided to do a d n c right then instead of waiting.. We were devastated, again....We call this baby (well what should have been a baby) February, we needed closure.. well I needed closure) 4 months later, June 27, 2007 could it be? Yes it is, a big fat positive, I couldn't believe it, whoo-hoo we were pregnant again.. I was nervous as all get out, could barely stand myself I was so nervous. We had slight spotting at 5 weeks and went to the ER, only to be told we had a slight subchorionic hemorrhage, you can about guess my nerves shot straight through the roof, great here we go again.... I prepared myself to lose this baby too, but wait, it's 12 weeks and we're still pregnant, and there's a heartbeat?!?! Wow, 19 weeks and it's a BOY?!?! Is this for real? Is this really happening? We're going to be parents for real this time? Little did we know what God had in store for us....... January 21, 2008, Martin Luther King day, Monday, and the beginning of our 33rd week.. Everything started out great, Our little boy had woke me up at 5 am having a little kick-boxing tournament, this was the VERY FIRST time this had ever happened. I went about my morning, got on the computer, was fixing to start chatting with some girlfriends of mine, when I got the most oddest, most painful cramp I've ever gotten.. In all honesty I thought I had to go to the bathroom.. So I finished typing out what I had to say, and headed to the bathroom, the only thing was the pain was overwhelming, I was literally on my tip-toes.. (if I knew then what I know now, I would have just started pushing right then.... :( ) I sat down and hear a pop, gush....My first thought was Oh shit, my water just broke, I'm only 33 weeks, and we still have 7 weeks to go, ok, we can deal with NICU.. But then I look down.. The image I seen will forever haunt me, blood, and lots of it, I've never in all of my life seen so much blood as I did this day.. From here everything went down hill and FAST!! I stood up, grabbed some tissue and put it between my legs and ran to the living room, grabbed the phone, and called my husband, I was so scared, and deep inside, I knew he was gone...But I get a hold of him.. We talk he leaves work.. Well not thinking of the holiday it was I called my dr's office, no answer, I'm starting to feel faint and light headed, so I lay down on the floor, I called the ER and told them what was going on, all they could say is "why are you calling the er?" I just hung up.. Aaron called and was on the phone with 911 when he walked in the house.. He helped me to the living room couch where I laid down and was in so much pain, more pain than I ever imagined possible.. The paramedics showed up. finally.. Well apparently I got the pick of the day, 2 of the most ignorant, most hateful, degrading, pieces of crap people to come help us.. One was a rookie, and the other was a jerk.. The jerk asked me if I was pregnant? Duh, I'm 8 months freaking pregnant!! I'm huge!! He then says "Are you bleeding?" My reply was yes, his was well you miscarried......WHAT?!?! You're seriously going to tell a freaking 8 month pregnant woman that she just miscarried.. I already hated the idiot.. He then asks me if I can get up on my own and move to the gurney, sure I say, and as I do I throw up, he then thrust this bag in my face and say's "throw up in here not in my bus, I just cleaned it" they then proceed to wheel me out of my house, with no blanket on, just panties and a t-shirt.. I asked for my own blanket. Then they wheel me over the stepping stones instead of picking me up and carrying me, this hurt like you wouldn't believe the pain is still very vivid in my mind.. We'd already told them 2 times they've asked what hospital we were going to, twice, Women's and children's.. they get me in the ambulance, and pull out.. They didn't give me oxygen or anything except an iv. of saline.. I keep feeling the need to pass out, and gushes of blood coming out of me.. I told him that I felt like I was going to pass out, and he said there was nothing he could do, I was already laying down. So about this time I look out the window wondering why it's taking so long to get to my hospital, the idiots took me to the wrong hospital... . I keep feeling the need to close my eyes...just go to sleep.. Well they FINALLY get me to Women's and Children's, and upstairs to Labor and Delivery, where I coded, on the spot.. I remember the nurse checking me, and her saying that I was dialated 2 cm, and trying to find Tristan's heartbeat, it wasn't there.. I remember looking to Aaron and saying he's gone honey, my baby's gone, and Aaron, and the nurse both saying no he's probably hiding.. then I vaguely remember hearing Aaron say her eyes are rolling and the nurse saying Oh shit (as she hits the wall) and saying I need help in here.. (Later found out she called a code blue on me).. The next memories are in and out, and still comes back in flashes.. I remember waking in this room, very cold, and 2 people above my head, one woman on man, and I hear them saying we need to intibuate and start cpr, where is everyone at? I remember my dr. Dr. H standing next to me saying "Hi Shannon, it's me Dr. H and there's no fetal heart activity we need to operate immediately to find out where the bleed is before we lose you.. Then I felt him cut me, and everything went black.. The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room, looking up and seeing Aaron's face, and knowing that something was VERY wrong.. Then our social worker, Ms. Mary asked me if I would like to hold our son.....This was the first time I seen my little boy, he was gone, lifeless, but the most amazing creature I've ever seen, the most beautiful little boy.. Beings that I had a c section I had to stay in the hospital for a few days.. We were released, on Jan. 24, 2008 and it was hard leaving that hospital with only plants and a memory box full of Tristan's belongings, yet leaving him there.. This blog is full of the last 2 years and the years of battling infertility, and our journey to parent hood, if it's meant to be..