Monday, June 17, 2013

The Love We Carry

I've decided to make some big changes around here. It's time for something new.

As I'm sure some of you have noticed this blog has a weird URL. When I originally made the blog, it was the only name available and so I took it.  It was a very stressful time and, really, that was the LAST thing on my mind. Now, it bothers me.

So, I'm changing it!

I've also been wanting to change the name of the blog for some time now. I've been playing around in my mind with different titles and it finally came to me: The Love We Carry. For our Little Love, Samuel, who we carried for 35 weeks. For the Love we hold in our heart for him now that he's gone, that will be with us for the rest of our lives. 

I hope you like the new look!

From now on, I'll be posting on the NEW BLOG.

Thank you for sticking with us in the good, bad and ugly times I've shared here. It means a lot to know people care about us.

If you're here as someone who loves and supports us, if you're someone who knows this is a lifelong journey with grief, and if you "get it" that Samuel is and always will be our son and we will NEVER stop missing him or hurting that he's gone, then I hope you'll follow me over to the new blog.

All who accept and love us "as is" are more than welcome <3.

Join me on The Love We Carry. 

With Samuel in my heart,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Little Boy Who Follows Me

It's my honor to share my heart on Still Standing Magazine again today!You can read it HERE.

I wrote about the alternate version of my life where Samuel is here with me and how it intersects my life without him.

He is a love and missed little guy <3 <3

Samuel Evan Fredrickson - Loved with a LOVE that was more than love.

The worst kind of loneliness

This is often my stumbling block. I don't have the words to say how I feel. Sometimes, that leaves me feeling empty and alone. Sometimes, instead of trying over and over again, I just stop trying.

It's very frustrating when, despite my best efforts, people simply don't get it, or - let's be honest - refuse to face the truth of what it's like. Every once in a while, someone (I'm sure "with the very best of intentions"..blah) takes it upon him or herself to "fix me". You know, to "set me straight" about what I should be doing/feeling/saying. You know, to help me move on. (BLAH). 

It's interesting how this always seems to coincide with times I'm *just* starting to feel a bit better. Then, suddenly, out of the woodwork, pops Mr. or Mrs. "well meaning happy helper" to set me back about 5 months by inflicting their completely wrong, arrogant, insensitive and hurtful ideas on me. (You know, becuase they care so much about me and want to help...blah).

**Before I tell you about such an encounter, I want to make a point to say that we have some very supportive and loving friends and family. We are deeply thankful for them and their continuous support and willingness to lay down in the pit of grief right along with us. **

Yesterday, I had a long (longer than I would have preferred) conversation with my father-in-law. If you know him, you know, he's very set in his thinking. He is very religious and it influences everything in his life. Well, after my nightmare the other day at the hospital to see him, he decided he had a lot to say to me. Despite the fact that he had just come out of surgery and was mostly in a drugged state, he apparently was conscious enough to hear what I was dealing with. But, sadly, instead of loving me and hurting with me, he chose to judge me.

He basically called to say I need to: Get help ("you're not the only counselor, you know"), stop being so emotional, learn to control myself, go to church, let people help me, realize God gives some people the gift of children while other just get different gifts, be appreciative for what happened to us (can you imagine??), and celebrate with people who get to have babies. (Plus something about how I need to transform my mind. Apparently that means stop hurting that my son died??)

Let me just tell you right now, I'm no pushover. I mustered up all my strength and fortitude and did my best to push aside the grief fog that's so often overtaking my brain, to come up with logical ways to explain my emotions and experience. I talked to him for a very long time about why what he was saying was so hurtful, WRONG, and judgmental. I hope that he heard me, but I feel in my heart he didn't. It breaks my heart wide open that Samuel's own grandfather does not feel the pain of his death. That he can so easily make light of something so utterly irreversible and devastating. That, instead of helping and support us, he turns against me and coaches Bryan on how to "help" me.

That I should have to explain why Samuel's death is horrifying and deeply painful is absurd to me. What is wrong with your head, heart or soul if you are not massively outraged and devastated by the loss of an innocent life - especially one of your own grandchild? It's beyond my ability to comprehend that people act like it's something to just "get over"; a bad thing that happened in the past and should no longer influence me today. That people do not understand the emptiness in my soul, the irreparable damage to my heart and mind, and the deep sadness that can never be undone, leaves me flabbergasted.  I want to scream: "What is it that you don't get! My BABY DIED!"

Now I know I can't trust him with my heart. In a moment of deep sorrow - from the bottom of my soul and out - I sobbed at the injustice of a baby being born while my beautiful little Samuel had to die. It was an overwhelming visceral response - one I could NOT control - that should have allowed them to see and hear the deep ache in my heart. For reason I can only assume are motivated by self-protection (I get it, I'm a walking talking reminder that life is completely outside of our control and God does not answer prayers like we believe he does and sometimes those we love the most are stolen away forever for no reason whatsoever - no one wants to face that reality), he chose to push back instead of embracing the reality of my hurt.

Much to my disheartened chagrin, this is not the only encounter I've had like this. I hope will all my heart something  I said to him lands and he begins to realize the truth. But there is only so much I can do. (And, really, it hurts me too much to have to keep fighting that fight.)

If you are reading this, listen to me. When you criticize my grief, all you're doing is adding to my burden. Your critique minimizes my great loss (which I will not allow you to do) and leave me wanting to never be around people again and much more anxious than I'm already feeling. Is that what you are going for? Despite your intentions, that's the result.  More often than not, these types of comments are for your own self-protection - to distance yourself from my reality -and it has nothing to do with me. So, please, leave me out of it! You have no right to tell me how I "should" be grieving. I am the one whose life was changed forever, it was my heart (among others) that was shattered. If you want to know what it's like, ask me - don't assume or pretend you know - and I'll try to tell you. There is nothing on this earth as heartbreaking or damaging to the mind and soul than the death of a loved and wanted baby. Our family will never be the same again and I'm the one who has to face it every moment of every day for the rest of  my life.

If you want to be apart of our lives, you have to realize Samuel is a HUGE part of it and always will be. We will always be missing him and there will be times when the pain of our loss will come out in physical and emotional ways. To feel is to be human.  I love and miss my baby.  I will not, under any circumstances, allow the ignorance or incorrect opinions of others to stop me from expressing that deep love and the hurt left by his death.

If you don't like it, GET OVER IT.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Too much!

Today was rough. R O U G H.

It started out ok. Today was my sisters' 21st birthdays. (For those that don't know, I have twin sisters). I thought it would be nice to take them out to dinner, so we made plans to go to the Melting Pot. I was looking forward to a nice night out. (This is not the rough part.)

The following day is my brother's 21st birthday (long story short, they are adopted and happen to have birthdays only 1 day apart) and Bryan was going to take him out to our local amusement park for the day.

We came up with the plan to stay at a hotel in the cities overnight, since I'd be out with the girls tonight and he'd be out with my brother tomorrow. No need to drive several hours back and forth. Plus, it's nice to be out of the house.

Okay, now to the rough part.

I woke up this morning to learn that Bryan's dad was being taken in to surgery. He has been successfully battling  cancer for the past few years but has recently had a few problems. I immediately began packing up all our things and trying to get us out the door to go to the hospital to be with his mom. We needed to have everything for our overnight stay, but we also wanted to get there as soon as possible (we live about 1.5 hours from them). We threw our stuff together and rushed to be with them.

As we got there, we learned the surgery had been successful - thank goodness!! - and that he'd be in a room soon. Since we knew he was out successfully, and since we hadn't had anything to eat all day, I dropped Bryan off and went to pick us all up something to eat.

When I returned, I was walking to his room when I turned the corner and came face to face with a mother in labor and her husband. My heart stopped for a moment, but I rushed by them, doing my best to pretend they didn't exist while secretly cursing the day I was born and wishing to disappear forever.

I got to the room - Bryan was in the hall -  and his mom pulled me aside and said, "I just wanted to let you know there is a new baby in the room across the hall. Bryan has asked the nurse to keep the door closed" (apparently he explained why and she was very accommodating). "Of course there is" I thought, but just said, "okay, thanks". I felt the all too failure pain in my heart but did my best to just brush it off. We were there for his dad. I did my best to put it out of my mind.

We were all in the room waiting for his dad to be brought in from recovery. He was pushed in and what do you know? The nurse pushing the bed: hugely pregnant. Oh, lord in heaven, of course she is! Deep can do this...(horrible thoughts to myself).

I pulled it together - again - and just looked away. Then, they asked us to step out in the hall while they got him in bed and adjusted. We did. (I'm sure you can see where this is going...)

We're all standing there talking when guess which door opens? That's right, the new baby's door. It's cries filled the hall and I literally felt faint. My heart started thumbing and my legs felt numb. Without even thinking, I started sobbing. And sobbing. And sobbing.

There was an empty room just next door, so I turned and bolted in. Sobbing and heaving and gasping. It was horrible. HORIBLE. I wanted to run out the door and leave, but they were all there and our car keys were in his dad's room. It was ugly. Bryan came in to hold me and comfort me. "I know, I know, I know" he said.  (Who knows what on earth his family was thinking). I cried and cried as my heart broke for the 9 millionth time. I tried to pull myself together but it was just too much. Too many babies... way too many fricken babies. There is only so much I can take and the barrage of babies was just too much. I cried and cried and cried.

After a while,  I got it together enough to come back out to the hall. Puffy wet red faced.

But guess what? Just as I walked out, someone opened the bleeping door again! New baby cries, more ripping noises from my heart. I was so overwhelmed I frantically started looking for the fastest way out but could only go back in the room and sob all over again. What a fricken nightmare!!!! I honestly wished I could die. Right there on the floor. I wished with all my might. I begged whoever could hear my thoughts, please, please, please, just let me be DONE! But, alas, I'm still here.

As I cowered in the dark bathroom of the empty room, with Bryan holding me and tears streaming down my face, I heard through the wall more sounds from the stupid baby's room. If that baby was sent to earth to rip my heart out, then it succeeded.

What a horrible nightmare! If I never hear or see another baby in my life, that would be perfect.

I felt like such a mess. We were there for his dad and there I am having a nervous breakdown in the other room. But such is my life. My ugly, horrible life.

Once again, I pulled myself together enough to go to his room. We got in there safely this time with no sounds from the stupid baby (have I mentioned I hate that baby?) and were able to be with him for a while.

All I could think is why on earth is a new mother in the same wing as a man who just had stomach surgery?? Oh, yeah, because I was going to be there. Clearly, whoever is in charge of how things run in life has it out for me. (Have I mentioned I them too??)

No one said anything to me. I guess they had no idea what to say.

We spent time with his dad and after a while left so he could rest. Thankfully, he is doing as well as he can.

We left and headed to the hotel. I grumbled and hurt and thought of all the ways I could die and wished I would just stop existing all the way there. Again, no such luck.

We checked in and I just went to sleep. What else can you do when your life is a horrible, ugly nightmare?

I woke up and felt a little more able to function.

I pulled together all my inner resources and was able to take my sisters out for a nice night. (Guess what? Our waitress...also pregnant. Someone please just let me die in peace!!)

I'm done. I can't take one more baby or pregnancy or happy family. It's not okay with me. I'm not sure why I try to leave the house. After we get home tomorrow, I'm never leaving again.

Everyone can just keep on living their happy baby-filled lives without me.