Saturday, March 28, 2009

"But We Have Daniel"

I took Sean for his 4 year old check up this week and I am so glad I did. I had a really good time watching him interact with the nurses and the doctors and seeing how wonderful he is.

Several times during the exam from different people Sean was asked if he had any brothers or sisters. Each time I interjected and stated no and each time Sean gave me this confused look. I couldn't help but feel guilty. Its not that I don't acknowledge Daniel - he is a very big part of our life. I just don't want to get into a conversation about my stillborn son with complete strangers.

When Sean finally saw the pediatrician, she again asked at one point during the exam if he had any brothers or sisters at home. I stated no and he jumped in and said "but we have Daniel". The doctor looked at me strangely so I explained to her how we had a baby last year who was stillborn. She said "I see" and Sean just nodded his head and I smiled at him.

Later on I told him how proud I was of him for remembering his little brother. I did tell him that sometimes mommy doesn't mention Daniel because it makes me sad. I want him to know that its okay to talk about him - I wish I had half his courage and clarity. Not a day goes by where I don't think about my little boy in heaven - not talking about him doesn't mean he's not on my mind and in my heart.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

For Under the Tree

I'm posting responses to these questions for Under the Tree

How long have you been blogging for? Why did you start? What do you want from writing?

I've been blogging for almost a year - a few weeks after losing my son Daniel. Frantically searching for answers as to why my son died I stumbled upon the blog of a woman who had lost her first child. It made me realize that you can never forget - you must always remember and continue to love your baby no matter where he or she is. From writing I wanted to find remembrance for my son, but I soon realized that it serves as an outlet for my grief and I hope a place for others to go should they find themselves walking in my shoes.

Where is safest place for you to share your feelings? Is there anywhere you feel completely accepted just being however you are really feeling?

I'd have to say Babycenter Community has been a safe haven for me. Surrounding myself with others who have been down the same road has allowed me the freedom to speak without feeling utterly insane at times. I also know I can talk to my husband -it may hurt him at times to hear me still be so sad, but I know he understands and he will listen.

Can you recommend any books that you have read that have given you a new insight, hope or courage in this new life you find yourself in?

I never finished the book because I got to chapter 3 and something inside of me snapped. The book is entitled "A New Earth". I try to go back to it every now and then when I find myself feeling down.

How would you describe yourself before you lost your baby. How have you changed, who are you today?

Ignorant. Selfish. Unappreciative. I can't say I've completely changed but I am so much more aware of myself. I am much more aware of other people's lives - their hardships and struggles. This makes me more understanding and less self-absorbed. I love my family with all my heart and try to pay more attention to every fleeting moment. Life is so precious. Above all I have learned acceptance and imperfection. Life is not easy and it is not perfect but that's okay and sometimes we have to allow ourselves to just give in, feel, and get through.

How do you think you are coping? Do you see any light in this road or is it all dark right now? Where do you imagine yourself to be in a years time?

I think I am coping well now. I don't think I coped well initially. There is a light at the end of the darkness but it will always have dull glow. In a years time I hope to be loving each one of my children - the first who taught me so much and challenged me every step of the way, the second whose loss brought me clarity, and the third who I hope to meet in a few months - the child who will truly benefit from all his or her mother has learned along the way.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sean's Bookmark

A few weeks ago Sean made this picture at school. It is a picture of him protecting Daniel and I from flying boulders. I know Sean has the same thoughts and the same sadness as we do - he just can't articulate it as well, but it does come out at times and in his own way.

Children are truly amazing - there is so much that goes through their minds. We may think that they are too young to understand things but they understand - the only difference is that they may not truly understand the magnitude or degree of the event at hand. I was once told that it was a wonderful thing for us to be able to show Sean how to openly love and express sadness from loss. Sheltering him would have only left him with lots of questions and the belief that it is not okay to feel.

I believe in being honest with children and as hard as it is to watch them cope - it will help prepare them for the rest of their lives. Sadness and pain is inevitable - its how we choose to deal with it that makes all the difference.