March 14, 2010

Survival for Moms: One Day at a Time.

Everyone grieves differently, but here are some of the things (big & small) that helped me get through the thick of it. We hope that some of these things can help you through those hard days. You CAN do this, you CAN survive it... It's not easy, but we're here for you!

Where to start? Well, I'm just going to list some things in no particular order that I have thought about/tried/worked on for the last two years since Lila's passing. Bear with me as I say "I" a lot... and it's going to look like a big ol' run on sentence, but this is me trying to process a million thoughts and condense them into one blog post.

* I did my best to deal with everything ONE DAY AT A TIME.. Trying to decide what to do a year down the road and when to try to have another baby is too much at first. It is best to just survive, shower, enjoy food again, find the will to get out of bed and put on some make up... just the every day basics need to be tackled at first.. just to get you back into the swing of life. *I kept telling myself it wasn't a punishment, God took her for reasons I couldn't (and didn't want to) understand... But I kept saying in my head, "This is NOT a punishment." This is God's plan in action. *I reminded myself daily that she would never suffer, never feel pain, never be hurt by another human, never experience grief- she is in the most perfect place EVER waiting for us. *I searched the psalms in the bible, knowing that there were a lot that spoke to the heart of what i was facing, as did the story of Job. I decided I wouldn't allow God/Christ to be my "religion" I was going to make it a true relationship, and I started talking to him in my mind CONSTANTLY. He became my one on one confidant since I felt like other people didn't understand or didn't have the time to hear me rehash daily. *I made Faith my personal mantra. Wendi and I bonded over this word also- because that's what will get us there to see our children and our maker. Faith. *I made a website for Lila so I could "visit" on days when I couldn't bear to go to the cemetery and see that fresh dirt surrounding her stone. *I scrapbooked all of my sympathy cards so I could remind myself I was loved, blessed, and that people really did care- even if they didn't understand exactly what i was feeling.*I asked my husband to just hug me, sometimes up to ten minutes a hug- because it felt safe in his arms. *I stopped allowing myself to play the "what if" game everyday because all it did was hurt me more. There is no good reason to allow yourself to hurt your heart even more. The what if's are one of the worst things a mother can put herself through. *I allowed myself time and space by turning the ringer off on the phone some days, but tried hard not to become a recluse. It was a hard balance, so sometimes to clear my head I'd go for long walks by myself. *I read through the books in the sids survival kit provided to me by . *I stopped allowing myself to search the internet for other people's tragic stories, they only brought more tears and more pain... instead I looked for people like Wendi who still hung on to positivity and hope despite their pain. *I busied myself with projects and commitments to keep my mind from focusing on it too much, but sometimes this was a little too much. I realized that I did need time to grieve and not to push it deeper inside where it would fester. This is a hard balance, I'm still not a pro, but I've gotten to the point where I only have about two major cry-fests per year regarding Lila. They usually come the week of her birthday and the week of her angel anniversary. *I still struggle with this one- but I try not to question God on why some people have children that they don't love and don't take care of - and yet they are blessed with one child after another that is living a terrible life in comparison to my loved, well cared for child whom he took up to Heaven. This is a toughie. You just have to keep telling yourself where your baby is and how safe they are. *I tried to focus on making it an eye-opening experience. To help me see how AMAZING life is and even though the world is full of selfish, hateful people- it's full of loving, kind ones too. There's a blessing everywhere you look, you have to choose to see it that way. I have some vinyl lettering on the mirror in my bathroom to remind me daily, it's a silver set of words that is simple and so very true- "Our life is what our thoughts make it." *I got to the point after year one where I could choose not to think about the night mirror of finding our baby had died in her bed. I didn't think this would ever come, but Wendi was further into it at the time than I was and she had told me she'd finally reached that mark. It was a relief when it would pop into my head- and I could say NO and shut it off, turn off the memories and the visions replaying in my mind. Whenever I did let it play, it caused more hurt. Being able to shut it off was a Gift from God. *I allowed myself to feel the prayers people were praying for me. I would sit in a quiet place and close my eyes- listen to birds- and just relax. I knew they were praying for peace and healing, and rather than scoff, I absorbed that love they were sending up to the Heavens for me in their prayers.*I would tell myself at the end of the day that it was time to sit down, look at pics and just cry by myself, because holding it in caused stress, pain, and heartache. It felt good to keep her memory fresh, to put more pics of her up around the house, to allow myself to miss her and not bottle it up. *I became a hugger. I was always a "touch me not" with people outside my family. I allowed people to hug me, and started requesting hugs. I found they were good physical therapy for my heart. There's a lot more, but that's some of it, sorry to keep saying "I" but that's what I did. Some of it anyway..

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  1. This is a GREAT post. I was wondering what I could do with all of the cards people sent to us, a scrapbook is a great idea. Some people, (and I mean SOME) had some really great words to share. Thank you for writing this blog. Thank you so much.

  2. I left a message somewhere else in the blog today, but I will leave it here. I NEEDED to read this today. I'm really struggling with the ache I have in missing my precious baby boy. I would love to talk more with you. I have a blog and I will also leave my email address. It is Thank you for what you are doing in reaching out to moms...