Friday, December 15, 2017

As another holiday approaches....

The holidays have always been hard since Lincoln passed away 5 1/2 years ago. We experience so much joy and happiness and yet at the same time there is always a little sadness in my heart at this time of year. It's hard to explain in words.
I sometimes feel that God has forgotten about us. Our life have certainly not become any easier since he has been gone. We continue have our fair share of struggles and I will freely admit that there are times where I wonder why us? Don't we get a 'pass' on hard stuff. We've been through enough. Give us a break! But I know that's not how life works.
I've had a few friends who have lost loved ones lately and I always remind them to be kind to themselves. Allow yourself time to grieve. It's ok to be sad. As the years have gone on my really sad days don't come as often. But especially around Christmas I allow myself to have a few meltdowns. It's really hard not buying gifts for him and wondering each year what we would have gotten him, what he would have liked and what his Christmas list would look like. 
My sweet niece Maggie passed away last Christmas, just 12 hours after she was born. I've been grieving all over again for my sister-in-law and brother-in-law, knowing how hard the first Christmas and the first anniversary of her death will be for them, and ALL at the same time. A double punch in the gut. It has made me reflect on our first Christmas without Lincoln and each time I think of it I cry. We had so many friends and family reach out to show their love for us and for him.
At the time Jezelle kept saying all she wanted for Christmas was doll clothes and tights with Lincoln's name on it, a request I absolutely did not have the mental capacity to execute. I mentioned this to a dear friend of mine and of course on Christmas Eve, we found tiny little doll tights and socks on our door step with Lincoln's name on them, written in black permanent pen. Such a simple thing and yet something that meant so much to us and especially to our sweet daughter, who was also feeling such a loss in her life at the time.
I was having one of those sad days a few weeks ago and wondering why I couldn't just have an easy life. Out of the blue I received a message from a very close childhood friend of mine, with the link to this article. I read it and cried. It was just what I needed to hear and to be reminded that we are still loved and never forgotten.

"It came to me in a profound way that in this life no one can have real love without eventually dealing with real loss, and we certainly can’t rejoice over one’s birth and the joy of living unless we are prepared to understand and accommodate and accept with some grace the inevitability—including the untimeliness—of difficulty and trouble and death. These are God’s gifts to us—birth and life and death and salvation, the whole divine experience in all its richness and complexity." -Jeffery R. Holland

Sunday, July 30, 2017

It still hurts.

I think of posts I want to write ALL the time and then I just don't. I don't know why. I guess because it's really hard for me to write down my feelings and to express my thoughts. It takes a lot out of me, emotionally, so I just avoid it. Then more time passes and I get further and further behind in my updates and then it just feels overwhelming. So I do nothing.

I didn't even post this year about Lincoln's birthday, or the anniversary of his death! Every year is a little different and a although we do many of the same things, it changes. And I want to remember that since it all seems to blur together. Most importantly I feel like this is a good place for my children to read someday about how we continued to honor and celebrate Lincoln.  So, I need to go back and post about those days.

A dear friend of mine sent the above quote to me last week. It's very fitting.  She has a son who passed away 19 years ago in July. I asked her how she spends the anniversary of his death 19 years later so we talked about how grief changes and evolves and yet stays exactly the same too.

I have someone dear to me who lost a child not too long ago. I try and support her by checking in and letting her know I am thinking of her. I think about what I found to be most helpful for me, soon after Lincoln died, but also remind myself that everyone is different and needs something different to get through a difficult loss like this.  I sometimes wonder if she sees me now, and how our life is, and thinks she will never be where I am, and therefore we can't relate. I remember thinking that of others. (And yet, where am I?! I don't even know). I remember thinking that I would never stop counting the days and the weeks, and the months of how long Lincoln had been gone, or what grade he would be in. But time goes by and that does happen. The years strangely blend together and it may appear that things are "ok" now or things feel "better". But in some ways they don't and it is something that I deal with every single day- it is just not always outwardly shown.  The hurt never goes away, you just learn to live with it by your side. 5 1/2 years later grief still hits me in waves and literally knocks me off my feet.

A few weeks ago I was filling out a bereavement camp registration form for my daughter to go to. I bawled the entire time I filled it out. I shouldn't be looking into bereavement camp for my child, so she can go off and hang out with other kids who have lost loved ones. (Although the camp is AMAZING and I can't wait for her to attend next year!).

Out of the blue, my 3 year old asked me last week what the thing in Lincoln's nose was, so we had a conversation about feeding tubes and why he needed one.  This sweet child looked up at me and said, "oh mommy I really love Lincoln. I want him to come back and live with us." I could hardly respond. What a gift that our twins love him so much and feel such a close connection to him, even though they have no earthly memories of him.

At the grocery store a few weeks ago, as the checker put the last of my groceries in my car, he said (jokingly) "You sure you got all your kids with you?" I laughed and under my breath said to myself, "I actually don't!"

I may appear to some to be 'just fine' now, since it's been 5 years and I seem to be better. But I still hurt every day and ache to hold my son again.

Here are a few pictures of visiting Lincoln this year on the anniversary of his death- March 10th, and from celebrating his birthday on March 19th.
 Eating poptarts is a MUST since those were his favorite!

 passing pinwheels out at that park
 blowing out his cake

Monday, November 7, 2016

A new kind of grief

Out of the blue Cordelia said to me: Mommy Lincoln is my brother

Me: Yes! Yes he is your brother, you're right!

C: I want to see him mommy.  I want to see my brother.  We lost him.  We no can find him

Me: I know honey.  I want to see Lincoln too.  I miss him.  He is in heaven.  He lives with Heavenly Father so we can't see him right now.

C: ohhhh Mommy I want to see my brother.  We lost him.  Where he go? He is my friend mom.  Lincoln is my friend.  I want to see him.

By this point I'm holding back tears and kind of want to bawl my eyes out.  It hits me that we are now entering yet another realm of grief.  One we haven't yet experience and yet I knew it was coming.  My twins will never know Lincoln here on earth and although I want them to grow up knowing they have a brother named Lincoln (and they already see pictures of him all the time and can identify him with ease) he will always be just an idea, a concept and a picture to them.  He will never be real.  And there will only be so much they will be able to identify with, when it comes to talking about Lincoln. I want them to grow up knowing him, and who he was, and how loved he was.  But without ever really meeting him or knowing him, like Jezelle did, it will always be a different kind of grief for them.  They will grieve just that- NOT ever knowing him.  And that is so sad to me.

I was asked recently what my definition of endurance and perseverance is.  THIS is.  We keep going. We find joy in each day and try our best to live a worth life that both our Father in Heaven and our Lincoln will be proud of us for.

Friday, August 5, 2016

What to say . . .

A few days ago a friend of mine told me her neighbor's little girl passed away in a boating accident a few days prior.  'How horrible!!', was my first thought, and my second was 'I can't imagine'!! Although I am careful to never claim to know exactly how a another mother or father feels after losing a child, since every situation and incident is so different, I actually CAN imagine very well how that feels. Even if the circumstances are so different. Hearing of incidences where a child has died immediately takes me to a dark place, and quickly makes me feel physically sick to my stomach. I feel such a deep sense of grief and heartache for other parents who have lost their children and I am overwhelmed by their sadness and the hurt and pain that I know they will feel for the rest of their lives.

I've been told by friends a few times lately that I seem happy and life must be going well.  And although it IS, I have found myself struggling with that statement.  I am happy.  I have found joy in the blessing that I have in my life.  BUT ..... there will always and forever be a "BUT" to that statement.  Because the pain never goes away, and the grief always hits at very unpredictable times. And there is a part of me that will never be ok and will always be sad.  I think sometimes people want to think I am "better" and "ok".  And I suppose I am. BUT I wouldn't describe it that way- I would say I have just learned how to cope with my grief more successfully.

I always appreciate when someone asks me for advice when they know of someone who has lost a child.  And I really respect those who try and understand what they can do or what they can say during such a difficult time.

A dear friend recently passed along this article to me and I thought it was so well written, I wanted to share it here in case you have a friend who loses a child and you would like to educate yourself on what to say and what not to say.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


I think I've said this a lot but as the years go on, and I continue to live without my son by my side, I am always amazed at how my grief and sadness hit me in different ways, often times very unexpectedly and without a lot of warning.  Today is one of those days.  Our sweet rainbow babies turn two years old in nine days.  Our Lincoln died 9 days before his second birthday.  So today the twins are the same age as Lincoln was when he died.  And for some reason, which I really can't describe why, that makes me super sad.  And a wave of grief hits hard, knocks me down, and I just accept that today will be a sad day.  And that's ok.

I suppose one reason this day seems significant to me is because I look at my energetic, funny, sweet (and sometimes crazy!) twins, and my heart bursts with an incredible love that I could never describe before becoming a mother.  A love like no other.  I look at them and I can NOT imagine my life without them. .... And then I think of my Lincoln boy and I honestly am really not sure how I am still standing today.  I don't know how I went on living without him.  And yes- obviously I know why I did it; I did it for our daughter who needs us, who is grieving as well and needs her mom and dad. And also because I am strong in my faith and I know I will see my baby boy again in heaven.  But I am also human and although I know that God has a plan for us, and I know I will see him again some day, and I know that I have been blessed and carried and lifted up through these past 4 years.....sometimes, on days like today, it just sucks.  And it's not fair.  And it hurts really bad.  And that is when I am amazed I get out of bed each day, because I can't imagine life without my twins, nor can I imagine my life without Lincoln.  And yet here we are, and life must go on.

I heard quote recently that describes my feelings perfectly on this matter:

"I'm exhausted from trying to be stronger than I feel."  

Another reason this grief hit me today I think is because tomorrow our twins will have outlived their older brother.  And that seems so unfair and just not right.  They will grow up, and achieve milestones that Lincoln never will.  I will know them, and be able to raise them to age 3 and 4 and 5, and so on.  And I don't know what Lincoln would have been like at those ages, as I don't get the opportunity to experience life with him at age 3, and 4, etc.  And I absolutely feel so so lucky to be blessed with these miracle babies, and I never ever take a day with them for granted. They have brought so much incredible joy and love to our family.  And I am lucky to be their momma.  But gosh I wish I could also have the opportunity to raise Lincoln right now as well.

After Lincoln passed away I became a little obsessed for awhile at reading other blogs which were written by mothers who had angle children, who had passed away at a young age.  Looking back, I think those blogs were a life line for me.  A way for me to see that other mothers have gone through what I am going through and they are still alive.  And they have found a new normal, and have been able to find joy in their lives.  And so I suppose I sometimes write on this blog in hopes that I can shed some light for another mother who has lost a child.  And give a sliver of hope that although it hurts all the time and it really sucks, there will also be joy again.  I don't write on here because I want pitty. I don't want people to feel sorry for us or think they have to try and come up with something to say.  I just want others to know that grief is ongoing.  It's a forever journey, not a small moment in time.  It doesn't go away, and you don't just get over it.  It's never ok.  And it's with you always.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Another birthday

Our little angel, Lincoln, would have turned 6 years old today.  Hard to believe since I only last knew him as a 2 year old.  What would he be like as a 6 year old?  What would he be doing?  What would we have bought him for his birthday?  His birthday each year is hard.  Especially since it comes just 9 days after the anniversary of his death.  I feel knocked down by grief and then just as we start to put ourselves back together and carry on, we get punched in the gut once again.  It's rough.  I kind of wish I could crawl into a hole and stay there all of March.  But thank goodness we have 3 other sweet children we must live on for.

Jezebel didn't want to come with us to the cemetery this year, which is ok!  Just add it to the list of things we continue to have to navigate through as parents who have lost a child.  We all grieve differently and have different ideas and ways to help us cope.  And as such, we have to respect the way that each family member chooses to do this.  There isn't a right or wrong way, just different.  Jezelle was worried that we would be mad if she didn't come with us.  It took a lot of convincing before she realized that it was absolutely ok that she was choosing not to come.  We try hard to respect the ways in which she chooses to remember him, celebrate him and to grieve as well.  She continues to hurt a lot.  And often.  More so then I ever would have imagined.

Each year we buy an ice cream cake to celebrate Lincoln.  He loved ice cream.  We light the candles and sing happy birthday but it's such a strange day; walking through the motions, doing what we decided we would do as a tradition, to help celebrate the day he was born.  But it just hurts so much that he is not here. Happy birthday sweet boy. We love you to the moon and back.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

4 years later.

I can't believe I haven't posted in over a year and half.  I think of writing on here all the time, as things come up daily, and we continue to struggle through living life without our Lincoln with us. And then I just don't.  It's strange how I feel like it almost gets harder to write on here, instead of easier.  I cry just thinking about writing down my feelings and so I avoid it.  And then regret it.

How is it possible that I didn't even write last year on the anniversary of Lincoln's death, or at least on his birthday?!  I don't have an answer.  But perhaps it's because I worry I will run out of pictures of him, to post on here with each entry, or because I wonder what is really being accomplished by writing down my thoughts and experiences, other than sadness.  Mostly it's probably because I am so busy with twins, who seem to consume our lives, though we absolutely adore them.  Here is a picture of the twins visiting Lincoln's grave for the first time last March 10th, 2015.

So anyway, here we are.  4 years after our son died.  He would be turning 6 next week.  Six years old. The thought of that makes me cry too, because I don't know what he would be like as a six year old, I only know him as a two year old.  And that makes it seem like it was an eternity ago.

Really as the time goes on it never gets less sad, and I never feel less pain.  I just get use to having it with me.  I actually kind of wanted to crawl into a hole this year, and return to real life after his birthday next week.  But I have a nine year old daughter, who continues to struggle and who continues to grieve as well, and so I can't just ignore it, though sometimes that seems it would be much easier.  And yet at the same time I DO want to honor him and celebrate him and what an incredible little human being he was.

With each passing milestone there are new hurts and new pains.  Perhaps maybe that's why it never seems to get easier.  This coming May our twins will turn two.  That's how long we got to live with Lincoln in our lives.  And when I look at the twins and what a huge part of our family they have become, it makes it hard for me to breathe, knowing that after such a short, yet significant time in our family, we no longer have him with us.  And that hurts a lot too.

Today Shane took the day off from work and we just got through our day.  We took life at a slower pace and didn't do much...well, we took our day as slow as our super busy twins would allow us to.  We took Jezelle to a movie this afternoon and did something fun as a family, on a not so fun day.  And really, we don't miss him today more than any other day.  But it's a tough day to remember and think about as each hour ticks by.

We are blessed with amazing friends and family who never forget Lincoln and always loved him no matter what.