Friday, September 17, 2010

so cliche, so true

"It is better to have loved and lost then to have never loved."

So very true. I wouldn't give up one second of the 22w3d we had with our girl or any of the millions of seconds since she's been in our lives.

I guess there's a reason those old sayings stick around.

even from Heaven, little sisters can annoy their brothers

We just returned from a trail at a local park. The entire time we were there (3 hours) a big black butterfly with blue on it fluttered around my oldest son's face. Butterfly was essentially annoying him to no end. He told me he was pretty sure it was Keely ::giggles::


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

good grief

I always cringe a little when I see a mainstream article on grief, especially one where the focus is on celebrities. I immediately get defensive and prepare for what seems inevitable "how they got over it", "how they moved on" and the like. I'm sure that the grieving person, celebrity or not, is cringing right along with me. I have yet to meet a bereaved person who has gotten over it. Learned to live with it? Yes. Found ways to cope? Yes. Found ways to hide it from people who seem uncomfortable? Yup.

But this article was a pleasant surprise; focusing on how very normal grieving behavior is even when it doesn't seem like it to the non-bereaved. This article isn't specific to child loss and while I do feel that burying a child adds another layer of the mourning process, grief is grief and most bereavement is misunderstood in mainstream society.

I've read that immense grief can exaggerate normal behaviors for some people and that was certainly true for me. I'm a list maker. Every morning, I have my to-do list. I've been itemizing, alphabetizing and ordering numerically Christmas lists since I could write. When Keely died, it was like some sick obsession. Lists for the funeral home, the hospital, her belongings, the photographs, lists for thank yous, for cards and gifts, for the cemetery and of course, a master list. I didn't think much of it at the time; it seemed healing for me to have tiny sort of control. I didn't think anyone else would notice my list-making. Sometime in the last 3 years, my mom and husband both admitted that they had noticed. I tell her goodnight everynight and ring the windchimes that were given to us from friends for her funeral; it's my way of saying hello. When I leave her grave, I kiss her headstone 4 times and rub the heart on the front. I've always felt that if someone could read my mind, I'd be committed. Now, 3.5 years on this journey, I realize that death is very much a part of {my} life. Most lives. And that's okay; it's a pretty important step!

I love seeing articles like this, that normalize what's actually normal behavior but may not feel like it or seem like it to outsiders.


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

a big brother wise beyond his years

My 5 year old was the leader in his class today and had to give a presentation on his family to the rest of his classmates. He brought in photos for each family member: a photo of mommy, one of daddy, one of himself, one of his brother Callum, an ultrasound picture of brother Beckham and a photo of a butterfly (he wanted to bring a photo of her headstone too but I thought that might be too much to explain for a 5 year old). He also brought in a family picture where I'm pregnant and wearing Keely's necklace and our dog is in it (the whole family).

He carefully explained to them that this isn't a picture of his sister, but she's in Heaven and has wings so we think of her when we see a butterfly. He explained that he got to hold her and she would be 3 years old now "if she didn't live with Jesus". One of the other children giggled and said "your sister's a butterfly?!?" and he calmly replied "No, she's an angel" very matter of factly.

He has so impressed me with his wisdom and calm nature and the way he can keep his sister 'alive' in a way only a big brother can. It absolutely made my day.

I have to add, as well, that his teacher was great about it. She asked me some questions about it and didn't get weird or awkward at all. I'm glad it's all out there, so there isn't any confusion if/when he talks about her.

One of his little buddies said "I have a sister you can't see too, because she's in school" So maybe no great lessons were learned but he did great and I'm proud of him for including his entire family on his own terms.