Friday, December 31, 2010

Facing the new year without Juju

earlier this week i mentioned that i had been asked to be a guest blogger for The CJ Foundation for SIDS, and wrote up a piece about my thoughts on facing the new year without Julius. it was posted on their facebook page yesterday, so i'm going to post it here as well.


2010 is drawing to a close. And while most of the people I know are not giving the start of 2011 another thought, I, on the other hand, am always overcome with emotion when thinking about January 1, 2011.

2011 was sure to bring my husband and I many firsts with our son - his first steps, his first words (which I’m sure would have been “mama”), and his first birthday, just to name a few. And the realization that we will not be able to experience any of those moments with him is almost suffocating. Now I have to face 365 more days of heartache and pain. 365 more days of struggling for every step, and every breath I take. I have 365 more days to add to the already 80 days I have spent ripped away from my son - the little boy I grew in my womb for 40 weeks, spent 15 hours in labor with, and loved for four and a half short months. Not only that, but 2011 offers me the chance to continue to live my life marking the milestones of his death – the one year anniversary of his passing, the day that he would be gone for more time than he was with us, etc.

And though, I have all of these feelings of deep sadness, I do feel a bit of relief. I feel relief simply because January 1st brings the end of 2010. October 12, 2010 was the single worst day of my life, a day that I am still reeling from. I feel like I have been completely betrayed by 2010. And I am so happy to finally be done with a year that has brought me to so many emotional extremes. It also means that one of my milestones, my first holiday season without my son, is over and I can breathe a little easier. I no longer have to avoid the stores, the television, the radio, or going out in public (not that I really cared about any of those things anyway). Now I can focus all of my attention on making it through the next milestone day.

Then every once in a while when I think of the start of 2011, I feel a bit hopeful. Julius made my husband and me parents. He confirmed to us that we do have the ability to care for another human being. We were so scared of becoming parents, but we found when he was born, that being a parent is the most natural and fulfilling thing we have ever done. We loved every second of our brief time with him. So we are hopeful that 2011 also offers us a chance to expand our family, to make Julius a big brother. We are hopeful that we will one day get to tell Julius’ brother or sister all about their older brother who opened our hearts and changed our lives forever. We have also decided to put some of our strength, time, effort, and money toward SIDS research and awareness. And we are hopeful that 2011 brings possibility that they are 1 step closer to finding a cause for SIDS so that one day nobody will have to lose their child in this tragic way.

Regardless of all of these feelings though, the fact still remains the same - my son is gone. It really doesn’t matter what day it is, or what year it is, nothing will ever change that fact. Every day is a struggle for us just to put one foot in front of the other. Every day we are adjusting to our new roles as bereaved parents. All we really want is to have our son back with us. But since we cannot have that, we are forced to start anew in 2011.


Rachel said...

Beautiful post, Tiffany (as always).

I'm praying that 2011 brings you peace. I pray that while there will be sad times, there will also be happy times. I pray that the new year will bring you hope and joy. Most of all, I pray that 2011 will bring you many sweet, tender signs from little Julius and that God will continue to use you to touch so many lives!

tireegal68 said...

Hi Tiffany,
I'm here from Rebecca's blog. My heart aches and I cry tears of utter sadness reading about your beloved Julius. Loving ones child is profound and all encompassing; that you should have to say goodbye to your child is so cruel and devastating. My heart abides with you, your husband and dear Julius. Praying for strength for you and your family in the face of such sadness(())

Rhonda Walker said...

I want to say thank you for having the strength to create this blog...I read it EVERYDAY!! We dont know each other, but my husband and I lost our daughter Kendall on July 7th after 3 days of life. Although our stories are different..our grief is the same. I also feel betrayed by 2010..and am looking forward to 2011 although its without my daughter. So thanks again for being such a pillar of strength, your words touch more hearts than you know. Have a great evening and I pray for you and your husband every day and night

Radar's Mom said...

Thinking of you, D and your darling angel Juju tonight as we pass into a new year and praying that the new year does soften the raw edges of your broken hearts. Your posting for the CJ Foundation is beautiful - heartbreaking - true. If angels can feel pride, then there is one very proud angel beaming up in heaven tonight.

McCrackens Mom said...

Sending you my prayers for some peace in your heart and soul. We also lost our son this year so today is a very emotioanal day for us. We had our son for 31 years. There are no words I can give you to ease your grief and pain. Thank you for sharing you story. Prayers coming for you and Julius in Heaven.

Alesha said...

Tiff, thank you so much for sharing all of your feelings. I cannot say that I truly understand what you have felt since October 12th, but you have helped me to know and be even more sensitive to others' loss. When I learn that a person has lost a child, I now am not afraid to ask what was he or she like. I now know how wonderful it is to give a parent the opportunity to speak about their sweet baby.

I am so happy that you are feeling more hopeful in this new year. I will never forget Julius and will always keep you three in my prayers.

Rhiannon said...

This is a beautiful post, Tiffany. *tears* Here's to a new year even though it is certainly not the new year we had planned earlier in 2010. Here's to peace, hope and always remembering our sweet babies that were taken too soon. Much love to you. <3

Patty said...

Both you and your hubby (his letter to Juju) are wonderful writers. Very touching... I think it was the way you described the new year as 365 days of learning to live without your son. When we count the days I hope that others see what it takes to just barely make it through day by day...SIDS makes me hold my breath and I hope there will be answers in the near future.

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