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

Friday, December 23, 2011

bah humbug

i seriously feel like scrooge. i can't believe christmas is in a few days. with the weather being as  unseasonably warm as it's been the last few weeks, and the fact that we no longer have cable service {yep, you read right, no tv channels for us *gasp*}, which means i'm spared all of those annoying christmas commercials. i've managed to evade the "christmas spirit" pretty well. we've put up no tree, we've purchased no gifts, we've sent out no cards. it's been pretty nice to not have that stress on us right now. it's not like we don't have enough to focus on with just grieving and trying to get through the rest of the year.

i feel like i'm a broken record. i re-read what i posted right before thanksgiving, and it all still holds true. i can't believe it's another holiday without my son. dammit i miss him so much. i woke up this morning with tears in my eyes just thinking about how lonely i am without him. i could just scream at the unfairness of it all. he is desperately missed and desperately loved. and here we are, without him, trying to dodge holiday after holiday. it's ridiculous, but it's my reality. i'm pissed off, but there's nothing i can do.

i'm thankful to those that have sent cards/gifts and continue to mention our son. it warms my heart every time. that's really the best present anyone could give me {and i'm sure any bereaved parent} - mentioning my child. for my fellow babyloss parents, please know that i will be keeping you close to my heart this weekend, as we all mark another holiday without our children. i hope that christmas is gentle on you all...

Monday, December 19, 2011

December Giveaway Winner

well we have come to the end of our monthly Juju giveaways. i can hardly believe that this year is coming to a close. in some ways i'm excited, even hopeful that 2012 will bring brighter days. but i know that there is no way to escape the bad days. they come with the territory of being a bereaved parent. your heart never forgets that it's missing someone dearly. not for one second have i forgotten that my son passed away. so to think that 2012 will be free and clear of heartache and pain is not realistic. but i do hope with all of my might that next year showers us, and all of my hurting friends, with some much needed sunshine in the midst of the pain.

anyway, i'm sorry that i am posting the winner a day late, but i have been a bit under the weather.  when i picked the winner {using} i had a good chuckle. it doesn't make sense why i would laugh when picking the winner of a donation to the charity of their choice until you know the backstory. last week, the person who won, had a similar giveaway, and i won. so when i saw that she won mine, it made me laugh to think that somehow maybe our babies had arranged this. and i also thought i should definitely take a pic of the result on my phone so that no one thinks i fudged the results. ;) so anyway, the winner of this month's giveaway was comment #2....Brooke, Eliza's mom!

so i will be making a $25 donation to the National Share organization {in memory of both Eliza and Julius}, whose mission is to "is to serve those whose lives are touched by the tragic death of a baby through early pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or in the first few months of life." it's actually an honor for me to end my giveaways with this donation. though i have never received support personally from Share, i know many have, and i'm glad to do anything to help such a worthy cause. thank you to everyone who entered. i truly wish i could donate to all of the charities that were posted.

now begins my quest for what to do in honor of Julius next year...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


today is one of those days. 1 thing sets me off, and i spiral.
i miss my son. i wish he was here.
i hate grief. i feel defeated.
no matter what i do, he is still gone.
no matter how many times i get out of bed in the morning despite the urge not to, he is still gone.
grief wins over and over.
and i'm left here with this overwhelming urge to run around screaming "disassemble, disassemble!" at the top of my lungs like "number 5" from the movie "short circuit."
i wish i were a robot that could just be disassembled so that i didn't have to deal with this pain. but i can't become one.
grief wins yet again.


don't forget to enter my last giveaway here. there are only a few more days left before a winner is chosen.

and finally, i was asked by someone for the link to my guest post and memorial candle tutorial over at Small Bird Studio's 12 days of christmas with you in heaven series. i'm not sure why i didn't post it before. silly me! if you missed it that day, you can find the actual post here.

i know this post is all over the place, and i'm sorry. it's how i feel today - all over the place.. :(

Monday, December 12, 2011

TCF Worldwide Candle Lighting

Julius' spot
last night was the TCF worldwide candle lighting. this was our 2nd year participating. last year it had only been 2 months since his passing when we went. this year we were a day shy of 14 months. it still stung. it was still incredibly painful to be there remembering and honoring my son in a way that NO parents wants to. i wish i could go back to the days when i knew nothing about candle lightings or TCF.

our local area chapter of TCF hosted a beautiful ceremony, as they do yearly. and so i was there again, for him. we had a candle burning there and at home for our little man, and all of the precious children who have left this world far too soon.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Good Morning, little boy!

mornings were our time. we had a routine. when i would wake, i would get him up and sit him up on my stomach. his attention ALWAYS gravitated toward the lamp on the nightstand. he would stare at it in amazement. and i would say to him "good morning, little boy!" usually i would have to repeat that phrase about 5 times really loudly for him to look my way {never would i have imagined that i would have to compete with a lamp}. but finally after about the 5th time, he would look at me. and once it registered who i was, he would give me the biggest, gummiest smile.

most mornings i would be exhausted from our nightly feeding routine {every 1.5 to 2 hrs every day}. but as soon as he smiled at me, i forgot all about that. i'm seriously not even kidding. there was something about his smile. it refreshed me. the happiness and love he transmitted every time he smiled made me whole again. and i was ready to get our day started.

it's no wonder that mornings are very difficult for me now. most days it takes me a while to get motivated to even attempt to get out of bed. i do get to see his smile as soon as i wake, but it's because of his picture that we had blown up on canvas and placed on the wall directly across from my side of the bed. and don't get me wrong, his smile in picture form is still amazing, but there's nothing like the real thing. i do get to say "good morning, little boy" but i say it to his urn instead of to him. looking at my former rival {the lamp} on my nightstand breaks my heart.

mornings without Julius, even a year later, are so hard. how anyone can think you will ever "get over" a child is beyond me. yes, his life was short, much much too short, but the affect he had on me in that time was.....magical.


thinking of my dear friends brandy and brooke as they celebrate their magical children Andrew and Eliza birthdays this week without them. i'm so sorry that those amazing people aren't in your arms where they belong. but i thank them for bringing us together, and i thank them for making you both the amazing people you are today!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

12 Days of Christmas with You in Heaven Guest Poster

so today is my turn to be a guest poster over at Small Bird Studios. fran created the "12 days of christmas with you in heaven" as a way to help grieving families honor their loved ones and cope with this difficult holiday season. i posted my tutorial on how to make the personalized memorial candle that i made for Julius. so go check it out! i hope that it was relatively easy to follow, but if not, just send me an email and i'll try to clarify.

i also revealed my last monthly Juju giveaway...

this month is all about giving, so in honor of that, i have chosen this month's giveaway to be a $25 donation to the charity of the winner's choice {but a real charity please, no one put in for the george costanza human fund ;) }. i have a few organizations that are very meaningful to us {CJ Foundation for SIDS, and First Candle just to name a few}, and i give to them every chance i get hoping that one day no one will have to lose a child this tragic way. but i know that there are other wonderful organizations out there that do so much for others, so i'd like to do a small part to help in honor of my son and the winner's loved one.

all you have to do is leave a comment with the name of the charity you would like me to donate to if you won. i will leave the giveaway open until the 17th and then announce the winner on the 18th {the week before christmas}. good luck!