Tuesday, October 7, 2014

CYG Days 1-6

Day 1: Sunrise

this is the sunrise picture i captured from work last year. i was already running behind this year, and i kept forgetting to take a pic of the sunrise.

Day 2: Heart

hearts are very meaningful to me because of what it symbolizes. and especially because the shape of his urn. Oct 12, 2010 will always be the absolute worst day of our lives. my heart literally broke when we lost our son. now he sits in his heart-shaped urn on my dresser and in my heart forever. "i carry your heart with me, i carry it in my heart."

Day 3: Before

i originally used another picture for this day on insta.gram, but couldn't find it on my phone when i was putting this post together. this pic was taken years before Julius was even born. before grief i was happy. i was organized, and a planner. i was an introvert, but could pretend at times that i wasn't. i was funny, and i was reliable and carefree (though i admittingly was a worrier).

Day 4: Now

i think this pics sums it up best. i am still a wife to 1 and a mother now to 3. there was a time after Julius died where i didn't think the universe would allow me to mother any more earthly children. so i catch myself marveling in this new normal. but i am here. a duality of feelings is always happening. i am happy but i am sad. i laugh but i cry inside for the one not here. i love deeply and i am a better person because of him...because of them. grief an unwelcome friend on this journey back to him.

Day 5: Journal

i started journaling about a week after losing Julius in a journal i was given by a friend. i wrote every day until baby girl was born. i went throug those 4 journals pictured. i still keep this blog and a journal for Julius, but don't update as often as i did or would like to. journaling helped me tremendously. i started each entry with "Dear Julius..." it brought me comfort to write those letters to him. reading some of my earlier letters to him is very hard because i was in such a dark place. the grief was so raw and palpable. i see my progress, but most of all, i see the love.

Day 6: Books

these are just a couple of the books that brought me some comfort in my early grief days. another really comforting book i read was "when bad things happen to good people." but the books i read (that helped) were instrumental in calming down my mind, and allowing me to release some of the guilt and intense anger i had.

Capture Your Grief 2014

last october i participated in Carly Marie's "Capture Your Grief" project. i was really glad that i did it because it allowed me to take some time to reflect on my son, and my grief. so this year, i decided to do it again. october is a hard month for me. his 4 year angelversary is on the 12th, and i'm feeling the tightness in my chest already. so i'm hoping that this year, this project will again help me to feel like i'm honoring my son, and getting closer to him.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Right Where I Am 2014 Edition: 3 Years, 9 Months, 2 Weeks, and 4 Days

this is my fourth year participating in the RWIA project. here are my first, second, and third year entries. every year it seems to sneak up on me, and it's been no different this year. and yet again i find myself wondering how another year has passed without Julius.

a few months ago our family expanded yet again. Julius' baby brother, rainbow #2 (E), was born. life has been busier than ever with a newborn and a toddler at home. but grief is the friend that never goes away. and why should it? after all grief is the price you pay for love.

i have found joy again. my rainbows bring me nothing but happiness, and laughter. don't get me wrong, we still encounter the daily struggles of parenting a toddler who is too grown for her own good, and a newborn. but i'm so thankful to be experiencing those struggles. every single giggle, kiss, hug, meltdown, etc. is a blessing for me. i'm almost in tears thinking about how happy i am to be an earthly parent again. i didn't think i would ever get another chance after Julius passed away. i didn't believe i would ever enjoy life again.

just as i parent my rainbows, i find myself parenting my grief and Julius' legacy. some days grief remains in the background allowing me to breathe a bit easier. but days, like today, it has me by the throat - choking me. all it takes is one trigger to send me down a downward spiral. an article on a popular website that was supposed to be written in jest. and it would have been funny if i were anyone else but myself. planning for the baptism of E, and remembering the baptism of his older brother. or even looking at pics of my boys and realizing that i will never get to compare how they look at months 5-12.

sister is such a great sibling and she continues to be super affectionate with her baby brother, which is also bittersweet. she still doesn't quite understand what has happened. but she has taken more of an interest in the book "Someone Came Before You". she reads it frequently, and asks us to read it to her. she understands the pics in the book, and can point out that the mommy and daddy are "sad" and "crying". but she doesn't really comprehend why. and i know that my grief will take on yet another form when she does get it and begins asking questions about Julius.

so almost 4 years later, grief is still a very real part of my life. but i continue to feel more and more like i am "living" instead of just trying to get from one moment to the next. i continue to live my life focused around love and the love i have for my children. and i continue to take it one day at a time parenting all 3 of my children.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

i never said "goodbye"...

since Julius passed away, i have been beating myself up because i never got a chance to say "goodbye" to him. by the time i made it to the daycare he had already been taken to the hospital. and by the time we got to the hospital, they informed us that he was gone. i can't express to you how heartbroken i have been because i never had the opportunity to be there.

but this weekend, i saw this video of one of the keynote speakers at the 2012 TCF conference, and the words she said were so powerful, i burst into tears several times. one thing she said about saying "goodbye" is that if we had the chance to do everything again, and were given the opportunity to say something to our loved one before they passed away, would we really waste our breath on saying "goodbye". no, we would probably use that time to tell them that we love them.

oh, that choked me up! she was so right. i would say "i love you." and i am thankful that i DID have the chance to tell him that very thing when i went to feed him hours before. a little of the guilt was lifted from me when i heard those words. but how i still miss him so.

if you would like to see the powerful (and funny) closing remarks from Darcie Sims check it out below...

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

4.5 months

this should be a joyous time, rainbow #2 is fast approaching the 4.5 month mark, but i'm filled with fear and anxiety. this is the age Julius was when he passed away. and with both rainbows when i have gotten to this point, i panic inside. will history repeat itself? i feel like i'm constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. and now particularly because rainbow 2 is a boy, i feel a heightened sense of impending doom. it makes me a little nauseous to be quite honest.

i wonder if i will ever get to see a little boy of mine live past 4.5 months. i beg the universe to give me the opportunity for a long life with this son (with both of my rainbows for that matter). the passed 2 weeks i have felt as though i'm holding my breath. i'm just trying to make it through the month of july. this is just the 1st of a series of milestones that i'd like to pass with this little boy. and even when i make it passed this milestone, it will still be deeply saddening because i never got the opportunity with Julius. bittersweet is what it is.

on top of this, i've heard of 2 or 3 other families in the last 2 months who have recently lost their little ones to SIDS and are just beginning their grief journey. my heart hurts for them. for us. this is an awful reality. losing a child is just so unnatural, and i hate that anyone has to feel this kind of pain. every time i hear of a new loss, i flashback to *that* day, those suffocating emotions of just being shattered and broken, lost and alone. how will they manage to make it through? how will they go on? how did i?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

mom of multiples

of course when i decide to almost give up on this blog, i find some inspiration on new topics to blog about. go fig!

i've been thinking about this a lot since L's arrival. typically in the midst of some incredibly hectic, chaotic moment in which i'm desperately trying to juggle the needs of both of my living children. like when baby girl is being a diva, and L needs to be fed. and after i get both kids settled, i take a breath, stare at them, and thank the universe for allowing me to have such a moment.

it sounds crazy, but it's in those moments that i feel the most peaceful. after baby girl's arrival, i was just so happy to be actively parenting again. but, again, i felt a bit like a fraud. at that point, i was a mom of multiple, but if you didn't know our story, you wouldn't know. and when we were out in public, strangers always just assumed that she was our first.

now, while we still get those hurtful comments from strangers (which will never end, i'm convinced) about how now i have 1 girl and 1 boy (ugh!), they now SEE me as the mom of multiple children. i've found that i get more of an opportunity to talk about Julius though. sometimes people will ask if i have any other children, so i get to talk about all 3 of my kids. it's nice and hard but comforting.

i think back to the time when my grief was just so fresh it was suffocating, and i NEVER would picture that in a few years i would have 1 rainbow, let alone 2. i didn't even think i would survive losing my firstborn. many days i prayed not to. but now i'm the mom of 3 beautiful amazing kids. and i'm so thankful i have my 2 rainbows to help me through the dark days without my son.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


in a week and a half i will have a 4 year old. my firstborn son will be turning four, and yet i have no experience dealing with planning a celebration for a 3-almost-4 year old. i can't ask him what kind of cake he prefers. i can't pick out a theme for his party based on his interests. i can't send out invitations to his friends. so i find myself doing what i have done for every.single.birthday he has had - living in denial for a while before stressing and worrying endlessly that the things i have planned for his day will never do my love for him justice. how i wish every day that things were different.

our family has changed yet again. we have welcomed a 2nd rainbow - our 2nd son (L) - into the world. he is just months old, and such a wonderful combination of his older siblings. baby girl is absolutely head over heels in love with him. to witness her affection for him is so bittersweet. though she took no interest in my pregnancy with him, she became attached to him immediately upon seeing him. very much like the love a mother has for their child. she kisses him about a million times a day (if not more).

it's been very emotional and i really try to take things moment by moment now. i have had some instances of deja vu with L that make me catch my breath. we've got some major milestones coming up in the next few months, and i'm trying hard not to lose my sanity just getting through them. i know i had a hard time with baby girl, but with L being the same gender as Julius, it kicks that PTSD into high gear. So if you have a minute to spare, please say a prayer for us and my sanity.

i'm not really sure what i will do with this space. i think it's time to give up thinking that i will regularly update it. we've had so much going on in our lives over the last year, and i don't see that slowing dow any in the near future (at least i pray it doesn't). i think i may just leave it public for now and update on Julius' special days. but if i do blog, i will most likely pick it up over at the blog i started for baby girl, which i will keep private (for access and the link email me).