Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Death

before Julius passed away i considered myself a relatively happy person. i tended to focus on the positive in life. i was always smiling and laughing, and trying my best to get others to laugh. i hated to read about sad stories, or talk about things like death. i especially did not want to talk about the mortality of anyone close to me, even though i had to experience the death of 3 of my grandparents with whom i was close. i can even remember sticking my fingers in my ears, and screaming "la la la la" a few years ago when my parents tried to have a grown-up conversation with me and tell me about their "plans" when they pass away. the topic of death conjured up images of the grim reaper. it was scary, and sad - something that happened to older/sick people, and to other people.

and then Julius passed away...

i'm an entirely different person now. while i do still like to try and focus on the positive and laugh {though it is so difficult to do these days}, i am no longer afraid of death. in fact, i already feel like a part of me is dead, which is probably why i keep referring to myself before Julius' death in the past tense. now this is not to say that i wish to cause myself harm in any way. i do not. but i am at peace thinking that one day i will pass away. one day i will be reunited with my son. one day i will get to hold him again, and i will get to hear the laugh i've been so desperately longing to hear again. one day i will no longer have to keep track of time in "days/weeks/months/years since Julius was with me". and it brings me much comfort. Elizabeth Edwards once said,

"The consolation of losing a child is that you have less fear of death for yourself"

she hit the nail on the head. death is no longer scary. actually, now life has become scary. i am now acutely aware of the fact that one day everyone i love will no longer be here. one day i will feel more pain on top of the pain i'm already in. death doesn't just happen to older/sick people, and to other people. it has touched my life. and it can happen again. there are no guarantees in life. there is no "get out of jail free" pass that i can get because i've already experienced a deeply profound loss. that is what is scary. and all i can hope is that i am gone long before anyone else i love passes away.

the way i see it now, life is merely a "holding cell" while we await the start of our eternal life. a life where there is no more sadness, no more pain and suffering. a life where there is nothing but happiness, and it rains lemon drops and gum drops {ok, slight exaggeration, but you get the point}. but in the meantime, we have to experience the suffering and heartache {yes, we also get to experience joy and happiness, but these emotions haven't really been around much in the last 2 months}. this whole ordeal has made me question so many aspects of my life that i previously thought were important. it has made me re-prioritize certain things.

i am now determined to maximize the amount of happiness in my life, and cut out anything and anyone that brings me any kind of stress, drama, or sadness. if i'm going to make it through the rest of my life {however much longer i am sentenced to be on this earth without Juju}, i have to surround myself with people that i love and that love me. i have to do things that are meaningful and that bring me joy. nothing else matter - not money, not material things - nothing. we can't take any of that with us. the only thing we can take with us is the love in our hearts, and the experiences we had with the people that mattered the most. so that is what i plan to focus on from now until i get to be with my son again. and i am praying that this new focus makes life without Juju a little more bearable.

18 comments:

Our Journey said...

I felt the exact same way after loosing Eden. I would get so upset that all I wanted to do was go to heaven and be with her. I would not have committed suicide or anything... this world was just not where I wanted to be. I wanted Eden...I wanted to be with Eden...I wanted to watch Eden grow up...to hold her...to love her.
I remember thinking that the little things did not matter anymore. How could they? The most important person that mattered was not here.
I can't say anything to make your pain "go away". I hope no one tries to do that. I can say little by little God revealed His purpose for my life. I still don't fully understand why Eden had to die. I suppose I never will, but I can say although I still cry sometimes, I have been able to move forward with my life....not move ON, but move forward. Trust me, it's a place I never thought I would be. Give yourself time to grieve. I pray that God surround you with His grace and mercy everyday. I am always here if you need me.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, Tiff. i love it... i feel the same way. hand in there. xo Aurelia

Rachel said...

I have thought about death a lot lately. I'm trying to live everyday as my last. It's much easier said than done, but we are not promised tomorrow. I want to make the most of today as I can. Thank you for the beautiful post.

Jen said...

all of your words ring a familiar tune in my head..I remember praying (I may have even posted about it) that each headache would be some sort of aneurysm or stroke, causing me to either join her, or to cause me to forget.. death went from something so terrible and terrifying to something I yearned. (not suicidal type of yearning).. I think of Heaven and the joy that awaits there, you know the hymn 'this world is not my home, I am just passing through' has become my motto, I (attempt) to make the best out of the time we have here, to do good and to make a difference in honor of her,but part of my heart is already waiting for me in heaven and that is the reward at the end of this race!! <3 ((hugs))

Angie said...

My world has become morbid, death is always on my mind. I look at parents and think, "I wonder when their baby died.." Because the death of a baby is my new reality so it must be the reality of everyone else, too, right?

I love that quote by Elizabeth Edwards. I hadn't heard that one before, it is so true. Love you my beautiful friend.

Tiffany said...

@angie, you know what, i don't think our world has become "morbid" i think it's become "real." morbid is what i used to think of death. now death provides me a comfort that life can't. we are just very aware that death can affect *everyone* regardless of age/race/religion. it's a harsh reality, but i guess a reality nonetheless. ♥ you too, my friend.

Angie said...

That quote is so very true.

Jessica said...

My heart breaks for you. That quote is so true and your outlook isn't negative in my opinion but a sad realistic outlook. If only the realism was happier but death is out there and it will touch our lives. We have no idea when or how but it is bound to happen. Much love to you through this sad journey <3

Rhiannon said...

Wow, you really summed it up perfectly. I, too, long for the days when we will feel complete and whole again. I have also felt such a change in my perspective since losing Harper. I have been more acutely aware of what really matters in this life and I am trying my best to live my life in a way that honors my daughter. That is a great quote, thanks for sharing. Much love!

Trena said...

"The consolation of losing a child is that you have less fear of death for yourself"

Thank you for sharing that.

I feel sometimes that people do think it's a bit morbid that I talk about "dead babies" a lot. To me, it's my new reality. And they should thank God they don't live in this reality.

((hugs))

Marie W said...

I completely agree. I was *afraid* of death prior to losing Alyssa-Joy and Evan. Like you said, it happened to other people not me. I would never go up to coffins at funerals I attended and viewed their bodies. When AJ and Evan were delivered, I was eager to hold them dead or not. I look at their pictures daily. Do I fear death for myself? No. Because I know I will be with them. I do however fear death for my loved ones. I simply do not want to endure another loss of a family member.

I remind myself daily that I will NEVER understand the mind of God and I comfort myself knowing that he desires nothing but good for me and that he has a place prepared for me where I will spend eternity with my babies.
Sending love and hugs your way!

Megan said...

I love this post. So true. So heartfelt.
I am no longer scared of death either. I related to exactly what you were talking about!! :)
Death will be such a beautiful thing when our time comes!
"Look for the Pony" Tiff! ;)

Jess said...

Oh, Tiffany. All I can say is I'm so very sorry still. Thank you for continuing to share your story.

rebecca said...

I couldn't agree more, I too am no longer fearful of death. Sending love your way my friend ((hugs))

MrsH said...

I agree, after losing Adrian I have not feared death anymore, it just feels natural, like part of me is already there...strange feeling, but I have seen it with other mothers who lost their babies.

Stephanie said...

I remember being that BEFORE person. The one who would smile more. Now, I too feel like death is just another welcome place that will bring me together with Amelia. I am not in any rush. . . but I have a deeper understanding of it. Something did die with our children. They were part of us and our hearts shattered with them along with a bit of our souls and dreams.

lis said...

i just wanted to let you know how much i enjoy reading your posts. of course i HATE how we have come to know each other and in the life we are supposed to have been living we may have just smiled as we passed each other by.
but we are here, and im so glad to have met you. you put into words so well many of the feelings and the emotions i have had, have lived through. i feel as if we all kind of follow the same grief path, if that makes any sense. and there have been many posts where i totally feel where you are because i have been there myself. just wanted to let you know that im thinking of you, of Julius.
i agree that this life, if we have to go on without our children, is worth living the hell out of. and no, i don't fear death anymore either, or pain, or confrontation, or so many many other things.
you are strong, Tiffany. i know you feel so weak but don't be hard on yourself during the low times. you have been through hell and you are able to write about your feelings and your beautiful little boy.
he will always be alive through your words.
xoxo
lis

Organized Chaos said...

Every word. Exactly.

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