Friday, September 25, 2009

My Husband

My husband.

My love.

My light.

My breath.

My hope.

My heart.

My soul.

My support.

My everything.

It is common knowledge that experiencing a life altering tragedy such as losing a child tests the strength of a couple. Men and women grieve much differently which often leads to couples migrating further and further apart... not being able to connect... not being able to love and remember together.

My husband and I have experienced the opposite. We vowed in the very beginning of our journey that we would not become one of those statistics. That we would respect each other. Support each other and talk openly. It's been difficult. It's been tumultuous. It's been seemingly impossible to navigate through our grief at times, but we are doing it. We are choosing to love and remember Nicholas together. We are choosing to love and hold each other, no matter what.

It's not easy. Our life path together has certainly taken a turn (or a dive off a cliff) that we were not expecting. Somedays it's as if we must hold on for dear life to just get around the corner. The road is slippery. There is fog in the air and those potholes seem to jump out when we least expect them to. But there is also blue sky ahead. Blue sky and beautiful, white, marshmallow clouds and sun that remind us of Nicholas and what he means to our family. My husband and I constantly remind each other of that. We choose the blue sky. We choose the sun. Nicholas would want it that way.

I am striving to be the mommy that I would be to Nicholas if he was here, with us. Sure, there are tears, there is enormous guilt and longing every day. There is a constant ache in my heart that I am learning to live with. The grief, just like Nicholas, will be with me forever, but I am learning. I am determined to be someone Nicholas and our other boys will be proud of. Someone they can learn from. Someone they can count on. Someone they can trust...

None of this would be possible without the love, guidance and understanding of my husband. For the most part, we speak the same language. We have brought each other through the absolute, most terrifying days that we will ever experience together. Those moments are profound. They were life changing moments that we struggled through together. There is an intimacy between us that no one will ever get close to. He was there... through it all. Holding my hand. Holding his son's hand. Holding my heart as part of it walked through the hospital door.

Nicholas' daddy hurts. He misses his youngest son with the same passion that I do. He has said to me before; "you had months to get to know Nicholas while he was growing in your womb. When our world fell apart, I had two hours to get to know him and say goodbye." What a true, raw statement. I agree... and although many say that it is "harder" for a woman to grieve the loss of a baby because of these visceral connections, I say it's just different. It's so very different. Daddy's hurt just as deeply. They hurt for the loss of their child. They hurt for their wife who is enduring the worst possible type of physical and emotional pain. They hurt for their families. They hurt because there is absolutely nothing they can do to stop the inevitable heartache to follow.

I love you babe, more than I can express here. We are grieving the deepest kind of loss possible and we are doing it together. Your strength guides me and holds me up. Your commitment to our family is unshakable, and for that I am truly grateful.

The next few weeks leading up to Nicholas Angel Day, November 7 are going to be tough. They are going to rocky and full of a spectrum of emotions. However, I am confident that there will be days filled with sunshine and big, puffy, marshmallow clouds too. I look to the sky and I can almost see him.... hope you can too. Let's look up together.



Courtney said...

You are so right Lea, I have heard time and again how many couples lose sight of their loving marriage due to the loss of a child. Jason and I are also not one of those couples. We grew stronger together and never lose sight of each other or how the other person grieves. We openly communicate with each other. He lost his son's too and he hurts in a different way than I did. It just breaks my heart but I do not know what I would do without my loving husband.

I am so glad that you and your husband are beating the odds. You are amazing.


Carly said...

Beautiful post Lea, you have a great guy on this journey w/ you. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers as you approach Nicholas Angel Day. I'm here for you. With Love, Carly

Bree said...

You are very lucky to have each other. It's been up and down for us. Somedays were in synch and other days we are not. I feel badly for my husband because he has had to keep on working while I've been able to sit still with my grief. I wish he had the time to just be for a while. I'm thinking of you as Nicholas' day nears.

Marissa said...

So sweet - as horrible as it is - there is something wonderful that can come of this - and its knowing you have each other. I grieved heavily in the beginning and the whole time my husband held it together - he was such a good daddy - he insisted on carrying Daniel's little casket - he said "I'm his father - I should carry him". He did so many things during such a hard time that made me respect him so much more. I learned from him - a year later he is grieving in his own way and I am trying my hardest to be there for him. I think that is what its all about. Make sure he reads your post - something tells me he already knows!

Hope's Mama said...

Beautiful tribute to the wonderful man in your life, Lea.

Tina said...

What a wonderful post. The way you described our husbands' grief is very eye opening. Men and women differ so vastly, but we hurt just the same when it comes to our children. xx

Anonymous said...

You and your husband and family will be in my prayers. I know the impending arrival of Nicholas' Angel Day will be tough, and I am so very thankful you and your husband can support one another.Please know I support you, too, in my heart.

Karen said...

I'm glad you're pulling together in this time of grief. Thank you for sharing this part of your journey. Thinking of you as your baby boy's Angel Day draws nearer. (((hugs)))

Amy said...

Beautifully written testament to your love of your husband. I'm glad you both pulled closer together rather than let grief tear you apart.

Unknown said...

you are so strong and i look to you for strenght. Thank you

Jen said...

what a sweet post.. your husband is very lucky to have you.. we have had ups and downs too..sometimes I have to remind myself, she was his baby too.. he loved her just as much as I.. So many people grow apart during loss like this, I admire your insight to agree early on to not let it happen to you.. I will be thinking of you both during the upcoming weeks..

Jennifer Ross said...


I'm sure that your sweet Nicholas is looking down from heaven and smiling at how wonderful his mommy and daddy are. We will all remember Nicholas with you on November 7th... and forever. Thank you for remembering my Isaiah. God Bless.

Anonymous said...

I love this. I share so many thoughts with you about my husband. I am so glad for you that you have an amazing support. I think it can make all the difference in the journey. Not always, but I don't want to find out the oppostite!
Beautiful, Lea.

Nan said...

Lea, what a sweet post, I am glad you and hubby are strong as it helps so much to have that wonderful support system in place. You have a beautiful family, in heaven and on earth. Thanks for remembering and honoring the guys in our lives. One of the reasons for our forum for men! Hugs, Nan xo

Roxanne said...

What a sweet post and so true. Sometimes men get forgotten in the middle of grief. I do not think women grieve more just diffrent. I hope the next couple weeks go as good as possible for your family .


Cristin said...

wanted you to know that I read your post to my husband as your words rang so perfectly true for us. I know he feels forgotten alot and I try to always recognize that his grief is as big as mine.
I was really struck by your words about the intimacy between you two that nobody will ever be able to touch. That really describes how we cleaved together over losing Cayden. Nobody will ever be able to touch that. I feel the safest and most myself when I am with him.
I am so glad you are able to roll over at night as I do and know you are not alone in your heartache.

Mary said...

Lea, you are an amazing couple. It is with such a great love that Nicholas was born. It is just an inspiration the closeness that you two have. I hope to also get there. At times is it just so hard to open up.

Unknown said...

Relationships are certainly tested when your baby dies. My husband and I have also grown stronger together. Last night I showed him Carleigh's slideshow that I made to celebrate her 6 month birthday. After he watched it he said, "I miss her." He had tears in his eyes and I hugged him and told him "I miss her too." Then he said, "There was nothing I could do." "No, honey, there was nothing we could do." Then we both said I love you. A moment that shows that he is still hurting just like me and misses her so much.

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