Wednesday, February 16, 2011

healing words

as a bereaved mother everything takes on a new meaning.everything. even though D and i were not big into valentine's day before, it was very sad for us because it was our first valentine's day without our baby boy. and i have a feeling that other holidays/special days {even those we didn't really celebrate} will be twinged with pain and the weight of Julius' absence. but as i was checking my friends' blogs that day, i found words that spoke to me, touched my heart, and brought me some comfort {and laughter}.

my sweet friend, brooke {momma to Eliza}, posted a quote that a blogger she follows had written that touched her heart. and when i read it, i was rendered speechless. it summed up everything i had been feeling, and given the day, was completely fitting. it was:

"My heart panics, but when it catches up with reality, everything becomes clear: she is still with me, she is still gone. No more, no less. Wherever I put my heart and my energy now, it is because of her and what she has made me. She can’t possibly be left behind."

it is a synopsis of my life since october 12th. i celebrate Julius' short, full life with us; but i deeply mourn his absence...everyday. it is for him and D that i continue to breathe. it is because of him and what he has taught me that i reach out to others. he cannot and will not be left behind. and that fact itself brings me some comfort and healing.

i then wandered over to another dear friend's blog {susan, momma to Catherine}, and found reading her words to be a very cathartic experience. she summarized her post so well in her opening paragraph: 
My friend suggested the other day that I am touchy. So I have been pondering whether her assessment is justified. Certainly I leave many more conversations feeling hurt and offended than ever before. Perhaps it is fair to say that I need to be treated with kid gloves. I am traumatised, laid low. Yet, I have given the matter a lot of thought, and I rather suspect that the issue is more complex than that. I think it is a matter of expectations; for me, the world has great expectations – bereaved parents should “move on”, “shut up” – “after all it has been so long!” Whilst inversely, the world at large is all too forgiving of the tactless, thoughtless and gauche who surround us in their droves. After all, “they mean well – they just don’t know what to say”.
it's true. i find that society as a whole tends to be more forgiving of those that "put their foot in their mouths" rather than the ones grieving. i have also found that even in *my* grief, i tend to make excuses for the silly things people say/do because "they just don't get it." which brings me to this morning, when i received an email from someone asking me to help out and join her cause relating to babies and birth. i felt the wind being knocked out of me while reading that email. and i immediately deleted it after i had read it. but then i thought to myself "why should i suffer in silence? why should i be so forgiving of this email faux pas while my heart is hurting?" {even moreso at that point}.

i thought about susan's post. and i decided that i was going to stick up for myself, and my grief. i was going to do something so outside of my comfort zone because i HAD to. so i replied to the email, and i asked her to please remove me from her emailing list because i found it "hurtful" to receive an email of that nature when my child had recently passed away. and i pressed send. and then of course, in typical tiffany fashion i started to second guess myself..."did i do the right thing?" "did i come across too harsh?" "i hope i didn't hurt her feelings." it took a second for me to snap out of it, and to remind myself that i had done nothing wrong. i am a grieving mother, who is in constant pain from losing her child. i do not need to read emails like the one i was sent this morning to remind me of what i have lost. don't get me wrong, i don't think the email was sent to me out of malice at all {as a matter of fact, i have always thought very highly of the woman who sent it}, and in any other circumstance, i would be more than willing to help out. but this tiffany, this newly changed, grieving tiffany can not. and this grieving tiffany must let people know from now on when they are causing {even unintentionally} extra pain. i have to admit, it felt good to send that email. so thank you, susan, for giving me the strength to stand up for myself and my grief. i'm not sure i would have done it had i not read your post.

i also wanted to take time to talk about the progress i've been making with collecting journals for

as of yesterday, i have collected 16 journals to send off to franchesca! thank you to everyone that has donated a journal(s)! i also took some time this weekend to create the stickers that we will place inside the journals before we send them off.

the sticker reads: this journal has been donated in honor and memory of Julius Luciano (05.30.10-10.12.10)
i am constantly amazed at the generosity and the loving nature of the people around me. thank you all for your continued love and support. that is what is currently sustaining me during the absolute worst time of my life.

and a big thank you to my friend, deanna, who made a special valentine for my baby boy which brought me to tears last night.

around the heart which has his name on it, it says:

"As long as I live, you will be remembered.
As long as I live, you will be loved.
As long as I live, you will live."

that says it all.


Tiffany said...

Oh tiffany... your post brought tears to my eyes!!! First off, what beautiful and true quotes! I love reading fellow BLMs blogs. I get such insight. Also KUDOS to you for standing up for yourself and replying to the email. I need to stand up for myself more. We do not need to suffer in silence. And the journals with the stickers... Oh my goodness. What a beautiful thing with the stickers!! You have inspired me mama <3

Tabatha said...

Beautiful words and words that I feel at the center of myself. Sometimes I think I put on such a front that people forget.. when I want to scream at the top of my lungs.. Also, so proud that you were able to stand up for yourself! I too need to start doing the same.. I went to a superbowl party, the little boy there the same age as my Savanna would be, reaching all the milestones my Savanna should be.. It was heart wrenching, but I put a smile on my face. The mom woul dmake comments like 'he's growing so fast' 'he does something new everyday' 'i can't wait to see what he's going to do next' She wasn't being spiteful, or trying to rub it in my face like you said, just clearly didn't think things all the way through.. but still, it hurt, and she knows.. so needless to say, standing up for myself is something I need to work on as well. Reading your words, it's not fair to subside my feelings at the expense of possibly 'offending' someone. Thank you! As for your projects.. LOVE THEM! You're Julius would be so proud of his legacy you are leaving imprinted on this world! Much love!

Kassie said...

Wow Tiffany...everything I am feeling you said. I am at a really low point right now and I wish I could stand up for myself. I have reread your post 3 times and it is asif you and I have the same mind. Thank you for being so open and thank you for sharing the truth. You have no idea how much reading your blog helps me. <3Love Kassie

Susan said...

Good for you... if I wasn't pregnant and living on a different continent, I would pop over to your place directly and mix us some celebratory cocktails....

How comforting that we can all connect with each other via blogspot. Love the quote from the other mum's blog - it is so true - we could never leave our children behind - and why should we?

Brittany said...

Hi. I've been reading for a long time never posted anything, hope you don't mind me coming from the woodwork. I started reading cause you deliveries with the same midwives I did, we live in the same town and know plenty of the same people.
If you don't mind me saying my heart breaks for you repeatedly. I remember reading posts on Facebook that day and my heart sunk I knew it was you but wasn't sure until I read your blog. You are probably tired of being told how strong and brave you are...because what else can you be when faced with one of Gods most painful plans. But you really really are just that strong and brave.
You have tje right to be open about your grief no matter what. Don't make excuses for yourself.
He is a beautifuk boy.

B. Wilson said...

I had to read that line about the email about "babies and birth" 3 times. It didn't make any sense to me why you were offended until I realized that I was reading (subconsciously), "babies and death". How awful that my mind instantly goes there. And the lump in my throat is forming now...

rebecca said...

Oh, where do I start, I loved so many things about this post! First of all I am SO proud of you for standing up for yourself and writing that e-mail, I know it took you out of your comfort zone, but in a positive way and that is a wonderful step in the right direction. That is incredible you've raised so many journals for the drive and I love the stickers! Lastly, that valentine your friend made for you is incredible, what a beautiful touching gesture! Love you <3

brigette said...

What a beautiful post!! So touching also that your friend gave you that beautiful valentine! How great you are to be getting journals for the jenna drive. You are one brave strong lady!! Much love

Natasha said...

Good for you for standing up for yourself!!! Some people just don't think and it's very unfortunate that we even have to stand up for ourselves. So proud of you!

Great job with the journals! I love Juju's stickers!! Fran will be so excited to get all those journals!

Rhiannon said...

What a lovely and profound post. I love the quotes and blog post that you shared. I am so happy that you stood up for yourself and for grieving mothers. You are so right, we do tend to just brush off hurtful comments and excuse those people with the old, "they just don't get it". Good for you, girl!

I love the valentine, how thoughtful of your friend and that quote surely says it all. They will always live on within us. Lots of love to you, my friend. <3

Brooke said...

That Valentine is lovely. I think you're right--we are so quick to forgive those who speak without thinking or who say ridiculous things (in an attempt to offer me some alleged comfort, regarding a mutual acquaintance who has a newborn: "I think she's been really lonely stuck at home with her baby" OMFG are you SERIOUS?). I was getting freaking birth announcements from the instructor of our childbirth class when other people in our class started having their babies. I made David send her an e-mail asking that we be removed from the list.

Life has been shitty enough to us. I think we should definitely feel ok about being overly sensitive and inconsistent and mildly self-absorbed. I don't think we'll feel like this forever, but I think we are allowed to feel like this as long as we need to.

Lisette said...

What a beautiful post! I am glad that you took one step foward and stood up for your feelings. I know that wasn't easy it never is but I am proud of you.
The quotes you used are so beautiful, thank you for sharing ((HUGS)).

P.S Glad my post helped you.

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