Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 a year without him

my god. i'm not sure how exactly we got to this point. tomorrow is the start of 2012. an entire year has come and gone without my son. proof that even though my world stopped in october of 2010, it somehow kept going simultaneously.

i really don't know what to make of 2011. grief is an ongoing process that is not dependent on what year we are in. so it goes without saying that every day of 2011 saw me with a broken heart. i was sad every day of this past year missing my son. he missed out on so much, and we missed out on so much more. we experienced his 1st birthday without him. we made it through his angelversary. both D and i "celebrated' our milestone 30th birthdays without our little man. we went an entire year without changing a diaper, feeding him, kissing him, or chasing after him. a whole year of parenting our son from afar instead of being earthly parents. hating every bit of freedom his absence has allowed us. desperately wishing every day that we would wake up from this nightmare and have him back with us.

yes, we saw despair in 2011 - a lot of it. but in the midst of the pain and the heartache and the suffering and the longing, we had some "good" times too.

  • we started In His Name. Julius' foundation which provides resources and support to other SIDS/SUID/SUDC families. and have already had the honor/privilege to reach out to hurting families around the country and the world.
  • we had monthly Juju giveaways to bring just a fraction of happiness to another grieving mother that Julius brought into my life. it was nice to bring some happiness into the world because of him.
  • i co-founded a Face2Face group {Face2Face North Alabama} in my area with a woman who has become my closest friend. and have met so many incredible parents who are also trying to figure out how to live again after losing their precious children.
  • we helped franchesca with Jenna's Journal Drive, and donated about 80 journals {with the help of our very generous friends} in memory of our baby boy!
  • we set a goal of raising $5000 via Julius' memorial fund at CJ Foundation, and on his 1 year angelversary in Oct, we exceeded that goal thanks to our very generous family/friends and people we don't even know! we are currently at $5302, and are still waiting on 1 more donation, so we should be at about $5500. i can't even express how appreciative we are!
  • we had a thirty-one fundraiser in honor of Julius and it was a huge success. we raised about $200 for his memorial fund.
  • i got my Julius tattoos, which i still adore to this day and am so glad i got them done.
  • D and i took a little getaway trip to atlanta. and even though we were both sick with the flu, it was nice to just spend time with my hubby.
  • my blog was listed as a resource on First Candle's resource page. it was such an honor to know that such a worthwhile organization feels that my blog could be of some help to another grieving mother.
  • we got a painting done for us in honor of Julius by one of my favorite artists - natasha wescoat. it is still one of my most prized possessions and brings me so much comfort when i walk out into the living room and see his amazing smile captured on canvas.
  • we started a garden/flower bed for Julius. it's still just a work in progress and nothing to brag about. but i'm anxious to get to work on it this spring.
  • i helped my local church plan a memorial mass for pregnancy/infant loss that took place in may. it was such a meaningful mass, and i was so honored to be able to help.
  • i became a Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope community organizer volunteer thanks to natasha asking me to help her with her duties, and together we were able to host a few online book club discussions and host a christmas in july gift exchange.
  • i took a trip up to MN and had the privilege of meeting natasha, jenna, deanna, kristin, and tiffany in person. talk about an amazing trip filled with laughter, tears, and lots and lots of talk about our children {the best part}!
  • i was interviewed by our local news station about dealing with grief after the loss of a child to SIDS. the story aired a few months ago, and it was really very nicely done. i never got a chance to blog about it, and now the video that was online is gone. but it happened the day after Julius' 1 year angelversary, and it was such a wonderful way to honor his life.
  • i have been working with our local hospital to get the information for In His Name added to their bereavement packet so that we can support our local SIDS families better.
  • i learned how to make a memorial candle for Julius and made a tutorial for franchesca's 12 days of christmas with you in heaven series.
  • we received an overwhelming amount of keepsake, heartfelt gifts for our son throughout the year which we proudly display all over our house. it is a reminder to us that he is still being thought about and loved by more people than just us.
  • i fell more in love with my husband and my son than i ever thought possible. they have given me the strength to get through each of these 365 days of 2011.
just re-reading some of the posts that i made in 2011 made me realize how much has changed, yet how much has remained the same. 2012 already promises drastic changes in our lives, but i hope with those changes comes happiness instead of more devastation. and that is my wish for all of my dear BLM blogger friends, and everyone out there reading along. thank you so much for all of the support and love you have shown my little family this year. it means more to us than you will every know!

lots of love always,
tiffany, D and Julius


Melissa said...

Wow, it's amazing the amount of things you've accomplished this year.

MrsH said...

Tiffany, despite your enormous loss, you have a full life! what a lot of things you have done, and will continue to do. I am very impressed with you, as always! A happier new year, and to ongoing healing for both of us!

Tiffany said...

I keep thinking that even though we lost Ellie in 2010, it was the year she was HERE. I'm definitely glad for this year to be over... Even though it's been a long hard year, you guys have done so much to honor little Juju and I know he is so proud of you guys. Lots of love to you my friend!

Jenny said...

Thinking of you always :)

Deanna said...

You have done such amazing things in Juju's name. I am blessed that 2011 allowed us to meet! ((hugs))

B. Wilson said...

There is so much beauty behind your Juju achievements. It really does shine so brightly your love and pride in your boy.


Anonymous said...

Tiffany...I'm praying to be a closer friend to you this year, as I have explained in the past...sometimes I'm at a lost for words, but yet when I'm in your company, you bring me such joy with your smile. Praying for your family for 2012...I Love you'll.

Ashley said...

Loved reading your list. It has been a hard year for us as complete year without our babies :( Thinking of you always!! I love coming on here and reading about what your family is doing in honor of Julius and just reading what you are feelings and knowing that what I am going through is normal because others feel the same way. Thank you for being so honest and sharing.

LauraJane said...

You are a wonderful woman, mother, and person (I'm sure wife, too). Julius is the proudest little boy to know you have honoured him in so man wonderful ways.
xox momma

Nicole said...

You are great. I can relate to you so much because I lost my daughter the same day you lost your Julius. Stay in there honey.

Noel Giger said...

What a wonderful recap of such a difficult year! HUGS to you!

Rhiannon said...

You have done so much in honor of sweet Julius...made so much good out of so much bad. you are a wonderful mama to him. <3

p.s. Juju's pics make me smile every time I come to your page :)

brigette said...

What an amazing year. Despite all of your pain you have done so much! You are a true example to me!! Praying for you always. Your such a stromg woman. Hugs mama

S said...

I've been meaning to tell you that you should share some of your garden in the spring. We will be buying a house towards the end of the year and I want to start a garden for my girl. Could use some tips/ideas. I'm not much of a gardener!

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