Friday, October 9, 2009

Another Heartache All Together

I would like to begin this post by saying that I recognize and am very sensitive to the fact that many of my new "bloggy friends" are grieving the loss of their first born. This, in and of itself, is an extremely painful journey. I am truly, truly grateful to be a mommy to two beautifully, healthy, vibrant Earth Angels. Our boys have given us a reason to march forward through our grief. They have given us a reason to "keep it together" when emotions threatened to tear us apart.

Having said that though, I must say that watching them grieve for their baby brother has been a completely different kind of excruciating heartbreak.

They say that children experience and express grief in different ways than adults. They tend to move in and out of intense feelings, rather than sustaining high levels of one emotion for long periods of time. I think this is particularly true for young children who may not completely 'understand' the finality of death.

Last night, we had some particularly sad moments. Our 3 1/2 year old was getting ready for bed and asked me if I could stay with him for the night. I told him that mommy and the baby needed to get a good night's sleep in their own bed and that we would see him in the morning. He became very teary eyed and asked if the baby was going to die if I didn't have a good sleep. I told him he didn't have to worry about that. That the baby is very healthy and she would be here to live with us after Christmas. He continued to become very upset, insisting the baby was going to die at Christmas time. He asked why Nicholas' had to die. Why he wasn't with us. He told me he wanted two babies... Nicholas and the new baby. He told me he wanted to hold Nicholas... Through my own emotions, I tried desperately to reassure him. To comfort my son in his deep sadness over the loss of his baby brother.

My heart broke all over again. It broke for our sweet Angel who will never have the opportunity to play and laugh with his brothers. It broke for my precious, innocent little boy who is cycling through his grief and trying to understand the reasons to life's most unanswered questions.

After getting the boys settled down and to sleep, I was drained. Completely drained and in an emotional pit of terrible sadness. The grief came crashing down on me again last night... in so many ways. My sleep was restless... and I'm exhausted.

But, today is a new day. Little Miss Sunshine is making her fabulous presence known and our 3 1/2 year old told me that he is "all better" this morning.

Sweet, simple, acceptance. I only wish it were that easy for us.

This is our 3 1/2 year old, Kyle and I at the pumpkin patch yesterday... One of our true blessings in this life.

Lea xo


Jus and Kat said...

Dylan was our firstborn, so I can't really weigh in on exactly what you're talking about here. But I do wonder sometimes what the conversation will be like when Faith is old enough to understand, and we tell her about her older brother.

Praying for ALL your angels, Kat

Cheryl said...


I wish none of us could relate to the feelings that you are having and I wish none could relate to the feelings that your dear son is experiencing.

We have gone through the waves, as you have...and I'm sure we'll continue to experience them for the rest of our lives.

My youngest (living) son asked me this week to read him a book. I looked at the book and it was Caleb's favorite (Caleb, at 17 months, died last August). I used to read it to him every night and he never tired of it. I don't think that I've opened it since he died.

I could hardly make it through the first page without breaking down. By the end of it we were like puddles of tears.

Although I'm due on Tuesday to have a c-section with Caleb's younger sister, I am deeply saddened and emotional over this bittersweet time. Caleb will never get to experience being an "older" brother. I have noticed also that my children are all experiencing the same wave of grief on different levels.

I am so thankful for my newest blessing, but it also makes me miss my sweet Caleb all the more.

May God help us all during these times.
With love and hope,

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Poor little guy. ((HUGS)) My mother passed away when my son was 4 and he asked me "When grandma is done dying will she be back?"

margaret said...

Oh Lea, I completely understand. When Calvin had been gone about four months, my three year old daughter Lorelei came to me and said of Georgia (Calvin's twin sister), Mom, Georgia is a nice baby but her gots to go back now. When I asked her where she had to go back to, she replied, "Her has to go back to the hospital so we can bring Calvin home now." It broke my heart. She thought that if we took Georgia back there, then we could bring Calvin home and then I would stop crying. It IS heartbreaking to explain over and over again the meaning of death to a small child. My daughter announces to anyone new she meets that she feels insecure around that "Calvin died." Most people ignore her, including family when she says that, so in order to validate her I've begun replying, "Yes honey, Calvin died. He's in Heaven with God now and even though we miss him and are sad sometimes, we're going to be okay." It's so hard to deal with as a grieving mother. I remember feeling like screaming Shut up at my daughter as she ran through the house yelling at the top of her lungs Calvin's dead...over and over. People that have lost their firstborn children thankfully will never have to know the heartache of explaining death or dealing with the grief of a young child. It certainly makes things more complicated....Hugging you

Fireflyforever said...

I understand utterly Lea. My living children have healed me in ways I can never begin to explain but, at the same time, when my 5 year old daughter curls on my knee and howls like a wounded animal because she misses Emma, there is a part of my soul that is shredded all over again. When I contemplate the possibility of this baby dying too, I feel a sense of desperation. I can't put me through this again but more importantly, I never, ever want to put them through this again and I HOPE with every fibre of my being that I don't have to.

With much love and compassion to all your beautiful children.

Courtney said...

Sweet precious Kyle, bless his little heart. this brought tears to my eyes.

Thinking of all of you!

Hope's Mama said...

I truly can't begin to imagine, but thank you for continuing to share these aspects of your grief and parenthood. Having lost a firstborn, while I haven't lived through this yet, I know these tough conversations are to come. Because even though my future children will all come after the one who died, they will certainly all know about their big sister. I will keep reading blogs like this to help me learn how to handle these trick situations.
Thank you, Lea.

Franchesca said...

Lea, I wish it was that easy for us to accept it all too. I am so sorry little Kyle was grieving his little brother. So sad.

Love to the sky


Anonymous said...


After my first miscarriage (where we were naive and told everyone we were pregnant from the get-go) our Godson (who we didn't realize knew what was going on) stood up in class and out-of-the-blue told his class that his 'Yaya had a baby growing in her belly but it got sick and died and now it's not there anymore'. Needless to say his teacher was a bit taken aback, but what surprises me is how he internalized what was going on around him


Jayme said...

It's so hard to watch kids grieve. When I would go to my OB appointments my daughter would ask me every time if the babies were still alive.

Kristy said...

I just blogged about something very similar today. People commenting on my grief when I have 2 living children. It sucks. I'm so sorry last night was so hard. It breaks my heart. :( I hope more then anything in this world that your son only knows happiness with his baby sister - not sadness.
Lots of *hugs*

Unknown said...

Kyndra is still too young to really grasp it all. But she is not to the point when I ask her to say Carleigh's name she says "Ca-Ca". It's so cute. I know she will have questions when she is older and reading posts such as yours helps me. As for my stepdaughter, we don't see her very often as she lives in a different state so I am unable to answer really how she is coping. My husband talks to her on the phone almost every day.

Unknown said...

Thank you for acknowledging all of us who have lost our first baby(ies) like I have. I cannot begin to imagine what it must be like to have to relive the grief through your children. They so deeply feel the pain that you have and want the best for the family. I will keep your pregnancy in my prayers.


Never forgetting Gregory said...

Wow. That just breaks my heart to read. I can only imagine how it must feel to try and reassure someone when you need reassurance yourself. I'm glad this was a better day. Hugs.

Karen said...

Poor Kyle. Poor Mum. Likewise we have older children and lost our full-term baby boy in May and I am finding the children's grief an interesting journey. They're open to talking about the baby but to watch them in their own moments of heartache just about kills me. I'm so glad you've shared, and the other mums who've commented. (((Hugs))) from BC.

Shanti Mama said...

Oh Lea, we have been going through that a lot here with the 1st year marker coming up. Lil' Mama has been filled with questions, emotions, and tears. It is draining, but luckily not from them.

Beautiful pic of you and kyle!

Bluebird said...

I can't imagine. On one hand, I'm envious of the precious ones at home who keep you going. On the other hand - what an extra heartbreak to have to explain to them why the brother they were waiting for isn't coming home. I absolutely cannot imagine how you help a child process through that. It must hurt your heart on an entirely different level. ((Hugs)) honey.

Jen said...

lea~ I am so sad to read this.. My son is a little older and for the most part has internalized his grief..the other day he was talking about something and said "that was before Ella died" and I looked at was the first time he said it to me.. he stopped his story and looked at me..I thought he was going to cry.. in turn makes me feel like I am going to cry..then he simply said.."I miss her, ya know?" I hugged him and said I know, me too.. It makes sense about in children how it hits them in waves.. its like he wasn't thinking about it until he mentioned it in passing.. what sweet family you have.. I love the pics..XO

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