Saturday, February 6, 2010

Shattered Hearts...

Our precious Graham William (a.k.a. Grammie, Gram-bam, Grammers, Wam-bam, Grambo,
G-man...) One month ago, our lives changed in an instant and forever...it came to a screeching halt and wreaked havoc in every direction. I kissed the kids goodbye at 4:39 p.m. and called my mom on the way to tutoring to tell her how blessed I was to have the life I did and how precious Graham was and how much I adored him. In that moment I felt I was the luckiest woman on the face of the earth. Luke laid Graham down for his evening nap like he had done countless times before. I came home from tutoring and went to wake him up to nurse him. I was horrified to find he was
not breathing and unresponsive. The events and emotions that followed are horrific and traumatic. A typical Wednesday evening instantly turned into the darkest days and moments of our lives....that night and the days and weeks following we have felt unspeakable and often times unbearable pain. I have cried more tears in the last month than I probably have in my entire life put together. I have felt pain and sadness that cannot be put into words. My body has ached and felt physical pain and torment because of my broken heart and spirit. I have struggled with the why's and the what if's and have wondered how this could have happened to us. When I wrote that blog entry a few months ago titled You're Gonna Miss This...I had no idea that I would be wishing with everything in me that I could turn back the clock, wishing I could somehow go back and change the course of our lives. I have found myself bargaining with God. I have thought about all the things I would give up and live without just to have him back in my arms. I have struggled with the idea that God "allowed" this to happen to my baby. I've questioned where He was that night. Why didn't he just save him? It would have been so easy. I've understood first hand the ugly reality that life is unfair...and quite frankly, that stinks terribly. It's horrible and cruel. That this situation was completely out of our control...I did everything in my power to
be the best mom to Graham, to love and care for him unconditionally, to give him everything he could have ever needed and wanted...and yet...that wasn't "enough." That's hard for me as a mom. Those of you who know me well, know that I live and breathe being a mom. I love it with every ounce of breath and life in me. I have always felt blessed and grateful for what we had. And yet, somehow I wasn't able to protect and save my own baby. I long for the past and yet have hope for the future.
Everywhere I look I am reminded of what we have lost...our dear Graham. I began finally putting some of his worn, but unwashed clothing in zip-loc baggies in attempt to save a piece of him. I have a blanket of his that I often hold tight while I weep. It smells greatly of him and yet a bit more of me is beginning to be left on it and I hate it. His smell is starting to fade...again the reality of the finality. James asked to move his car seat back up to the front in the van and I can hardly entertain the thought. Not that it's any better looking at an empty base, but again it's the finality of it all. It's the reminder that life is moving on. I don't know if that makes sense...it's weird...although I know he's not coming back, I somehow feel that in every piece that gets taken away or put away, is a reminder that's he's gone forever. I don't really want life to move on because I don't have my precious baby and I can't imagine how I will and yet I don't want it to stay like it is because the pain is inescapable and I know time will help heal the wound. One thing that has been very difficult as well is taking pictures of the kids. I love taking pictures, but it just seems so "wrong" to just be taking them of James and Lauren. I peek in on the kids at night and feel as though someone has kicked me in the stomach when I see Graham's bedroom door open...dark and quiet. "This isn't that way it was supposed to be!!!!"I think...I just want to scream...
I had thought so much about all the things Graham would get to do with us. I will never hear him tell me he loves me or feel his arms around my neck. He will never taste play-dough, play hide-n-go-seek with James and Lauren, or laugh uncontrollably while being tickled. I have a difficult time not dwelling on all of the things we will miss doing with him. No first steps, first birthday, first swim, first foods, first day of school, first date... Each day I think about what he would have been doing, how much he would have been changing. I long to hold him again, to feel him slobber on my arm, to change his dirty diaper, to wipe up the spit-up, to give him a warm bath, to talk to him, sing to him, nuzzle him and love him with everything in me.
I'm trying to be the mom to James and Lauren that I need to be...that they deserve...and that I want to be. It's hard...it takes everything in me to nurture, love, discipline, and teach them each day. They are my constant joy and I am so grateful for them. They are precious...my ray of light in the dark tunnel I am in. Shortly after we lost Graham, I vowed not to let my kids lose their baby brother as well as their mother. I am so grateful for the thousands of prayers and messages I have received. I do believe it is the prayers of many and by God's grace that I am able to get out of bed in the morning. The kids are doing well. James talks frequently about how much he misses Graham but has often times said, "God must have just been ready for Graham to go to heaven." He asks when he will come back and when we can go to heaven and see him. Lauren doesn't seem to quite comprehend it. She gets excited when she sees his picture or his things, but hasn't verbally acknowledged his absence. We have hugged and kissed balloons and sent them to heaven for Graham. James especially loves that.
We are so grateful for the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from so many people. Thank you for standing by us right now when we have nothing to give in return. The pain is still so incredibly raw and the ache is overpowering. Right now I can't even imagine not feeling this way. We know we have a long journey ahead of us...and I'm sure at times an ugly one, but we will come through this...somehow...some way. I do believe we have a choice whether we decide to live and love freely again. I want to choose to do so and hope that in time I can and will.
Please continue to pray for us as we are still trying to adjust to this new normal which right now I hate with everything in me. Please pray for the kids as they continue to ask questions about Graham. Please pray for me as a mom as I continue doing and being the things I need to for James and Lauren. Pray for our marriage as we have been stripped of everything we grew accustomed to. It is going to take time for us to heal individually and adjust to this new norm together. Pray that we will have patience and understanding toward each other that we both so desperately need. Pray for my physical strength as well. I still don't have much of an appetite and get sick shortly after eating. This has really taken it's toll on my body physically. I feel as though I am a stranger...I hardly recognize myself. I have feelings and emotions I have never felt and my body is anything but "normal."
Through this tragedy we know we must cling to the hope that we will see him and hold Graham again someday...our precious Graham. We miss you so much...you hold such a large piece of our hearts. We can't wait to see you again someday. I have never been so anxious for heaven! In the meantime, we will do our best to honor you by the way we live our lives.

12 comments:

darcy said...

Oh Shelly. I've talked/texted with you almost every day since this happened and this post gave me more of a glimpse of what you are going through. All I can say is that I love you.

My Life said...

Shelly, I realize how writing this must have been for you and how each word comes spilling out of you like the emotions you feel tears and all right now. It helped me and continues to help me to write to get out what seems impossible to get out of your head. It will help you as well. The things no one understands but you. A place also to keep your baby Graham living on and changing lives as he most definately already has. Losing a baby is the most devastating thing you are right, but it is also a test to the human spirit and through your pain how you teach others to deal with theirs a revolving circle of love. You can make it through this, you have to and everyday you will have to try harder as his memories grow more distant. You are a wonderful mother, I have read your blog and have heard wonderful things about you and your family. Those things are still there and they will be what gets you through this. So will your children. Thier can be good here even when it looks so dark and you feel so all alone, thier are more moms and families dealing with loss then we can fathom, we are not alone. God is carrying you, he is helping you through. Stay strong and take things a minute at a time, the most powerful lesson we have learned through our tragedy is this moment, the only one we are promised.
We love you and are here for you anytime.
Amber

Jewel said...

Shelly---I'm sure it was so painful for type this post but I am so thankful that you had the strength & courage to do it. Thanx for sharing your heart & soul. I hope it was healing in a little way. Now I know how to pray for you guys! Which I do every day!

Carrie said...

Shelly, Luke, James and Lauren, We are praying for you every day, several times a day! Thank you for writing this post so we can pray better! Love you!

Carrie

jackie said...

My heart continues to break for you, Shelly. Reading through your post brings me to tears. You have been in our prayers so much over the last month. I've prayed more in the last month than I have in a very long time. Your family will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers as you battle these difficult days. Much love.

Jo said...

Oh sweet friend. I will continue to pray for your sweet family! Keep your strength and let it grow stronger.

The Lantzes said...

Thanks for being so honest about every aspect of how this has forever changed your life. I am still praying for you!

Debbie said...

Thank you for sharing your heart the way you have it allows us to hold you closer as we know more and more about Graham. You and yours are in my heart and in my prayers.

Shannon said...

Thank you so much for writing this and sharing all that you are dealing with and walking through. I am praying for you every single day, and often am woken up at night, and pray then, too.
Love you friend. Hugs.

airforcebride said...

You don't personally know me, but you do know my sister. When I first heard about this, a mother of a 2 year old myself, I couldn't even begin to imagine. It completely broke my heart. I have been praying for your family and will continue to do so. Thank you for sharing this and may you grow stronger each day and keep your trust completely in God.

Bethany McDaniel

Sarah said...

I don't even know what to say...I don't even know you guys, but found your blog while shuffling through the next button looking through blogs about adoption. I am so sad and in tears for you as i sit here, not even knowing you, but happened to stop because your family was so precious. I know that words don't do much, but i pray that the Lord is restoring you and refining you through this fire.....I applaud you for being honest and feeling every part of the recovery.....you need to feel and its ok to be where you are ..i have no idea what kind of hurt you must be feeling..just know that there are many people praying for you in your time of unimaginable grief....Isaiah 30:15..all of Isaiah 30 actually..talks of Gods faithfulness even when we are unable to see the light....it is there and you will be whole again, never forgetting Graham, but whole.....I will pray for you....
With a sad heart,
Sarah Rideout

Adrienne said...

Shelly, thanks for your honesty and openness in this post. I pray that God's grace may abound more and more and meet you with exactly what you need to get through each day.