Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A New Season...

My earthly angels...

I hardly know where to begin as I write to all of you... I must thank you all again for your continual prayers and thoughtful notes, lyrics to songs, books about how to cope with grief, meals, toys for the kids, and the special things you have sent for just me...whether it has been something to pamper myself, a McDonald's Coke, or a special piece of jewelry that has Graham's name engraved on it. Thank you for inviting us over for dinner or dragging me out to dinner (girls). It is such an important part of our healing. Again, words cannot adequately thank you...you are all part of our journey...fortunately and unfortunately...

This post is going to be long...and full of a range of emotions...I'm preparing you now (don't say I didn't warn you!) ;) I have wanted to update it sooner and more frequently, but seem to have so little time when I can emotionally invest in typing it out...it has felt so daunting...so here it is...lots of it...Graham would have been 6 months today. I can hardly believe it.


Here's the answer to the dreaded question... How am I? I'd like to say that I'm "better" than I was almost 11 weeks ago when Graham left us, but I've tried to be honest with you all up to this point, so why stop now huh? It's horrible...awful...and in so many ways it's getting worse. The shock is still there many times, but the numbness has faded which makes the ache even more overpowering. Life is moving on...James, Lauren, Luke and I have gotten into a new routine. It is so hard and yet I know we must. We have to get out of bed each day and do life. The memories that we continue to make with James and Lauren are haunted by the thoughts of what could have been...Don't get me wrong please, James and Lauren are the loves of my life...nothing can or will ever change that, but my mother's heart still aches and longs for Graham. I know so many things that should make me feel "better." For instance, although I know I will see Graham again someday and it gives me a glimmer of hope, it doesn't "do it" for me. Although I know nothing can be greater than heaven, in my mind...being with me...his mom...his dad...James and Lauren and everyone else who adored him...nothing could possibly better. I'm hopeful that someday I will have more comfort in those things, but right now I want him...HERE...WITH ME...We are getting out more...doing things with friends...and it's been good...very good. It's always emotional when I come home and put the kids down for naps or bed and I'm alone.

Here we are 76 days later...on what would have been Graham's half-birthday. It's hard for my fingers to type that and to see through my heavy tears. I sobbed last week thinking about giving Graham rice cereal and knowing that every time I would shut the spout of the cereal box, it would probably have sent a puff of dry rice cereal to scatter on the counter. I wish so much I was cleaning up puffs of Graham's rice cereal right now. I'm sure he would have had a tooth or two...we thought for sure we felt one coming through right before he died and we laughed because James had his first tooth by 4 months. I will never see his little legs in shorts, or hear him giggle and see him splash in the kiddie pool. He never even got to go on a walk in the stroller. I wonder how much he would have changed. His hair was starting to get lighter. He was so sweet and pleasant...would he have started to like riding in the car? Probably not...he loved human interaction and touch. What would he have thought of the outdoors? Surely he would have loved them as much as his brother and sister. So many unknowns...


It seems that everything right now has two sides...we are doing a lot of fun things with James and Lauren and it's great...for them and for us...but even between the laughs and the smiles, there's the ache...All of you know of James' love for farm animals...especially cows....I had dreamed up taking all three of the kids out to see the cows this spring. That may seem funny to some of you, but the fact that Graham will not experience the sound of their loud moos that always seem to startle us and of course their smell, just rips my heart into more pieces. Many of you have asked if the warmer weather has been good and although it has because we love to be outside...again it's just a reminder of the seasons changing...life moving forward...and our shattered dreams. All of the things I thought we were going to be doing WITH Graham not with Graham in mind.

I still find myself plagued by questions as I replay that Wednesday and the days prior to that over and over again....I wonder if I missed anything...I'm so grateful that I didn't worry about cleaning up the mess from prepping dinner that afternoon. I thought about it but I wanted to just play and talk with Graham before I left. Silly boy wasn't interested in nursing that afternoon because he just wanted to look up at me and smile with his big, brown eyes. He played a little game with me...he would stare up at me and I could feel him just watching me and the second I would look down and smile at him, he'd get so excited. He'd kick his little legs and move his arms and make all sorts of blessed noises. I can see it and hear his sounds clearly. We'd play it over and over again. I'm so grateful I have those precious memories of just the two of us...and the late nights when we would snuggle and chat after everyone else went to bed especially with just the Christmas tree lights lit. Our life is just so different than it was. I know you've heard me say that hundreds of times and it hardly sums it up...but it is. I feel like I'm part of that old movie, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Or that I'm watching a bad Lifetime movie. It feels so out of body. My emotions are still so fragile and I cry so frequently. There are seemingly endless amounts of kleenex everywhere. Mostly used...some not...it seems that every time I put on anything with pockets, there are wads of kleenex in the pockets. Our grief is all encompassing. I have a hard time looking at people in the eye because I don't know what to say...and I know they don't either. This obviously creates very awkward moments socially. And normally, I don't feel awkward...I love talking with people...it's just amazing how much our loss has changed our surroundings.


The kids are doing well...they are enjoying the warm weather. We've already had many trips to the park, Tractor Supply, to see the cows, playing in the sandbox, riding bikes, and washing the van. They are just the best! They adore each other and love each other's company. They have many hugs, kisses, and I love you's for each other and for us every day. They both still talk frequently about how much they miss Graham and can't wait to see him. James has had concerns about who is tucking Graham in to bed and that tears me up...Lauren waves to his picture when she goes to bed...bless her heart. I wish I had their innocence.


Right now it seems that sorrow is my dominant emotion. I pray that in time it will become a part of my life but not my life. This new life with these new circumstances have required new adjustments, lots of growth, and constant struggles. Through this we are praying that we can begin becoming hopeful that life still can be good, although never the same as it was before or what we ever dreamed it would be. We have so many lost hopes and dreams...answers are missing. Large parts of our hearts have been ripped apart knowing they will never be completely repaired. Life is so fragile...


I find myself imagining our own story fitting into some greater scheme. I'm sure the half of
it which we may never fathom or even know. I do not see the bigger picture, but I have to choose to believe there is one and that our loss is part of some wonderful story God authored. I wonder about how my experience with loss will be able to help someone someday. Although I do not understand it and often times do not "feel" like it, I must believe that God is working toward an ultimate purpose and using our tragedy to that end. I have to believe that...otherwise it seems that this pain and hurt is for nothing. And that....I simply cannot bear.


Please continue to pray for us as we continue moving forward. Pray that we will continue to know how to answer questions James and Lauren may have. Pray for my emotions....the tears take such a toll on my physically and emotionally. It's just exhausting. Please continue to pray for Luke and I together that we will remain patient and understanding when feelings are abnormally sensitive and nerves are worn. We both miss Graham so much and although we
have laughed together many times, we also find ourselves wishing we were laughing without any reserve.


I'm going to leave you with something Luke emailed to me this morning. Love this guy...
I can’t really deal with it… sin robbed us of so much – but I have to find something to focus on… to be honest I can only think of what it will be and those who have gone thru this before us. God was enough when everything was good – now it seems like He’s gone. What we have to remember – even though it’s hard and we just want Graham – is that this is God’s specialty. He came to restore and comfort and fix what sin has destroyed. “blessed are those who mourn.” I can’t say it’s all the time and I surely can’t quantify it, but it does feel like God is slowly but surely putting feeling back into my numb body… God is not a tame lion and i cannot wait to see Him unleashed as sin and its effects are finally gone and sorrow is no more."

Please continue to pray for us. We love you all so much and are so truly grateful for you.

Here are a few pictures that I hope bring you smiles as they do me...







It was really tough to get pictures with and of the kids without Graham but we did it and I'm so grateful for them! They are both getting so big....wow....

13 comments:

Shannon said...

Shelly, I just sit reading this with tears streaming down my cheeks, just crying out to God for you. Thank you for your real honesty and vulnerability. I will continue to lift you and your family up in prayer every day. I love you. Hugs.

Hicks Family said...

It is so evident from your post that you doing a great amount of healing. We will continue to pray that God's presence and comfort is felt by you each and every moment.

Jewel said...

Shelly---still praying for you guys. Thanx for sharing your heart on this blog. It helps to know how to pray specifically for you guys. You are in my thoughts & prayers!

The Lantzes said...

shelly you and your family have chose to praise God in the midst of the horrible and unthinkable. Thanks for sharing you guys are amazing!

Carrie said...

Shelly, thank you for your openness and your honest. There are only a few out there who can truly understand your pain and this helps us glimpse that and know better how to pray. Keep repeating those promises to yourself. Some day they will feel like they are true!! Love you and continuing to pray for you! Your pictures are precious!

darcy said...

I know you've said that you & Luke have jotted things down for a marriage book you will write some day.. THIS POST needs to be in it, Shell. Amazing. Love ya and see ya soon...

~Caren and Chad said...

Shelly, your openness, honesty and strength amaze me. You are in my thoughts and prayers. May you feel God's presence.

Daisy Path said...

shelly,
you are in my thoughts so much. your words are so honest and real. thank you. i can not even begin to imagine how it feels. know that you and your sweet family are being prayed for by many who don't even know you!

jackie said...

Praying for you each day.

Josh Buck said...

shelly, I sit and read your blog and my heart just aches for you. For what will never be, for the memories that you so want to have, to just be able to sit and smell Graham's head. Know that you are never far from my thoughts. Lately, God has associated my thoughts of Ava together with you all. This means we are praying for you LOTS. Keep clinging to the truth, even when you don't feel it but your mind knows it to be the truth, He will let your heart catch up eventually.
shelly buck

Adrienne said...

Shelly, thank you for this post. It brought tears to my eyes several times. It helps me to know how to pray for you... Thanks for the word images of kleenexes in your pockets, etc.

Praying that God will be All-Sufficient for your needs today.

Anonymous said...

Shelly your mom sent me your blog address. I can't imagine what it has been like for you. I you are like me you would have had already thinking about Easter outfits and plans just after Christmas. I know that holiday will be grime for you just as Graham's six month mile stone passed. I will pray that you will know Graham lives just as Jesus lives. Peace, Love, & Prayers
Danielle

Very Sleepy Girl said...

Don't know if you remember me (EBCS class of '97), but it really doesn't matter if you do or not. I just wanted to let you know that I pray for you a lot. I listen to Pulse online all day at work, and every time "Your Hands" by JJ Heller comes on (which is often) I think of and pray for you.

A friend of mine lost her twin boys 2 years ago, and I have followed her continued struggles via her blog since it happened. I wanted to encourage you to allow yourself to feel all your feelings whatever they may be. Don't let yourself feel pressure to feel a certain way or not feel a certain way. And don't feel pressure to be on any sort of time table to be healing or doing ok. It's ok to not be ok. Just remember God is with you even when you don't feel Him there.

And when people say things that seem inconsiderate or heartless (it will happen; they don't know how to react), please forgive them. Forgive us. We aren't in your shoes and can't pretend to be. We only want to help but don't always know how.

Many prayers and blessings and much love for you and your family!!

Jennifer G.