Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Right Where I Am" ~ Two Years, 6 months, 19 Days

First off a big thank you to Angie at Still Life With Circles for starting this discussion. I think it's an important one to have. I think it's important to write, to connect, to remember and to recognize that no matter where we are in our journey of forever grieving our children, what we feel and don't feel on a regular basis is OK and it's important to share.

We are Two Years, 6 Months and 19 Days along on our journey. It seems so surreal to even type that, let alone accept it. Sometimes it feels like forever ago since we held our baby boy in our arms and said goodbye... other days the memories and the pain are so strong it's almost palpable. I think it will always be that way. I will always miss Nicholas. I will always miss his strong, timely kicks in my belly. I will always miss his smell... his touch. I will always wonder what it would be like to have 3 boys and a girl filling our home with laughter. I will always miss his life in my life.

But, time has a way of marching on. The world somehow continues to spin when our world has seemingly come to a crashing halt. It's amazing, but the old cliche that "time heals" is partly true. I don't believe I will ever be "healed". The chunk of my heart that left with my baby boy will never repair itself, but time has surely softened the anguish. I can talk about Nicholas with a smile. I can stare at his pictures and not break down and cry. I can light his candle and be proud that he chose me to be his mommy.

The hurt is still there. The "why Nicholas" will not go away, but the burden of grief has found a special spot to nestle in my heart. If someone asked me 2 1/2 years ago what my purpose in life was I don't think I would have known what to say. Today, I am certain that my purpose is to be the best mommy I can be to all four of our children which includes the delicate balance of parenting our 'earth angels' while honouring and remembering our guardian angel.

Nicholas is a huge part of our life and our family. He has a special table in our home where our most precious memories are placed. He is in our hearts. The boys talk about their brother often. They are proud to include him in their family trees at school and aren't uncomfortable to talk to others about the fact that they have a brother who died. There are still moments when our middle son, especially, will become very emotional and long for Nicholas to be here with us. They cycle through this grief journey too. As they become older, their ideas, views and comprehension changes...they ask more questions... they need more support. We have come to learn that this is perfectly normal. Although it breaks my heart that our boys had to learn such a difficult and tragic life lesson at such a young age, I am extremely proud at their response. Nicholas is embraced and he is celebrated. He has enhanced our family on so many levels.

Then there are ladybugs. To make a very long story short, on the first anniversary of Nicholas' birth/death a ladybug landed on my finger and stayed with us for literally hours.... very strange for a cold, November day in Ontario, Canada. We took it as a sign... a hope that our boy was with us that day and ever since our ladybug encounters have been extremely special. I would NEVER have been one to believe in such outrageous stories, but it's funny what grief will do to you. Truly, ladybugs come by to visit at such perfect moments... it's hard not to believe in the magic of our Angel's presence.

A year after losing Nicholas we added another beautiful baby to our family. Her name is Madison and she is pure joy. A cheeky little girl with a fiery spirit. She has been our sunshine. Our rainbow after the storm. She is a constant reminder that life is good. We are blessed. Magic happens.

This on-line community has often been my life line. When people in real life just don't get it... I come up here and sit at the computer. I devour every blog that has touched me. I learn about other stories and I feel comforted. Not comforted in the fact that there are so many of us out there, but comforted in the fact that I am not alone. I think that is the biggest thing.... there is a light bulb that will go off at some point in your journey and you will realize that you are not alone. There is support, although sometimes hidden, there is compassion, there is love and there is understanding. I am constantly amazed at the connections I have made with parents who are sometimes an ocean away. It is humbling and fantastic at the same time. I rely on comments and feedback to soldier on through my toughest days and I thank you for taking the time to read Nicholas' story.

I have also taken tremendous comfort in the Angel Wings Memorial Boutique . This initiative has been amazingly cathartic and fantasticly soothing for my soul. With every request for a pair of wings... with every story of a baby gone far too soon, my heart aches, but I am honoured to offer some comfort. Some light. Some love in such an agonizing time of pain and confusion. Nicholas' legacy flies all over the world in the form of tiny, delicate, hand-crafted Angel Wings.

Life is good. Life is different, but life is definitely good. I wouldn't change a thing. We are who we are today because of paths that we are forced to take. Decisions we are forced to make. Nicholas is engrained in my soul and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Love and strength to you all,
Lea

25 comments:

Maria said...

What can I say! After reading your post .... you have inspired hope. My grief is quite fresh.... I lost Thea two months ago..... everyone says that the way I grieve will change. That everything will become easier in time. I really want to believe them... I really want to believe I will start smiling again.

Thank you for your post. I can relate to everything you wrote.... except for the rainbow baby.

Hugs
Maria
x

Anonymous said...

Dear Lea, I followed you blog and enjoy each of your posts for the same reason you mentioned..I am not alone. I will always treasure andres' wings and the your kind words and understanding. Thank you. Marina from the US.

JoyAndSorrow said...

Beautiful post. I am so sad that you lost your boy but at the same time so happy that you are a part of this community in that you help so many others honor their little ones in such a special way. xo

erica said...

Thanks for this post, Lea. I am thinking of you and Nicholas and your ladybugs, and sending love.

still life angie said...

Beautiful. You are one of the first people I connected with online and I appreciate your gentleness, positivity and beautiful spirit. Thank you for sharing right where you are at. It captures much of how I feel too. xo

Christine said...

Thank you for sharing Nicholas and your journey. I loved reading about the ladybugs..much love.

Hope's Mama said...

Angie stole my word - gentle. You are such a gentle soul, Lea. And I'm so glad we connected.
I have some of your angel wings in my display of Hope's precious things I wrote about in my own post as part of this project. Many bits and pieces of her things have been packed away now, but the wings remain. I look at them, and I can't help but feel love for my daughter, relief for having this community and then of course I also remember your sweet little red-haired boy.
This was a lovely post.
xo

TracyOC said...

I always like reading your posts and soaking up the peace and gentleness that you exude. I can't seem to generate any of that on my own so I have to pinch it from others. You're such a great support for parents who are new to the babyloss experience and I'm thankful for your company.

My New Normal said...

I am also glad I'm not alone in my grief. Not happy that others are suffering as I am. But comforted to know that we can reach out and help each other.

Jeanette said...

Such a heartwarming and calming post, thank you for that.x

Jenn said...

Thank you for sharing. For someone still not to the 1yr mark, it helps seeing where others are at further out and gives me hope. And you are right, while it's sad there are so many of us BLM's, it's also comforting to know we aren't alone. It's blogs like these that have helped get me through some days.

Barbara said...

You are wonderful Lea.

xxx

afteriris said...

How beautiful, I love the ladybugs and their special meaning for you. I will think of Nicholas when I see them too.

after iris said...

How beautiful, I love the ladybugs and the special connection you feel to Nicholas when you see them. I will think of him too, next time I spot one.

Sara said...

Thank you for sharing your point in the journey. Wishing you many ladybugs!

Shaina Gadow said...

Thank you for sharing and giving me hope that there is light at the end of this tunnel. It is very inspiring that while sifting through your own grief process you have also helped and supported so many other women.

Catherine W said...

A beautiful post. I loved reading about the way in which Nicholas is still very much a presence in your family and particularly in the lives of his siblings. Nicholas truly is embraced and celebrated.

Your work with the angel wings is wonderful. I love the beautiful pair that you made for G and I always think of your handsome boy when I look at them. x

Jordan said...

That was a wonderful post. I like how your sons talk about their brother. I hope that someday my oldest (he is 2) will talk about his younger brother.

Tess said...

I love the way you tenderly write about your Nicholas and how he has lit the path you had to take - it warms my heart that he is such a part of your family.
I have gained so much insight from Angie's project; reading here and others who are further on this path than myself - I am inspired, have a direction to point my efforts; right now I can't wonder (wander?) into the future. Thank you for sharing where you are now and your precious Nicholas
Thank you

brianna said...

Beautiful post. I am happy for you that you have been able to incorporate so thoroughly Nicholas in your life. I think that is what we all hope for; to incorporate our lost children into our lives in a meaningful way.
Thank you for writing this.

butterflymom said...

Lea,
Your angel wings memorial boutique was one of the very first things I did when I started my blog. I was so touched by your generosity and hopeful spirit that I continue today to follow your story about your Nicholas and your beautiful ladybugs. Thank you for taking part in this Project...and thank you for letting me know that I will never be alone. ((Hugs))

Fireflyforever said...

Lea, this is a lovely, warm post. Your words are comforting and enriching - thank you for sharing them, and your beautiful son, with us.

namastemom said...

Thank you for sharing. I think we all walk that balance between trying to be a good mom to those physically here on earth and those who could not stay.

crystal theresa said...

Beautiful post Lea. I never thought I could reach a place where I could say, "Life is good," but I can, and it's because I have my babies to live for even if I can't hold them in my arms. Thanks you for your presence in this community and for the gift you share with families who are missing their babies.

Holly said...

I can say life is good too. It could always be better if there were another little girl running around but I think that goes without saying. This community is def a safe haven for many of us.

Your sweet Nicholas has touched so many and I know whenever I see a ladybug I think of him and of you.

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