There are so many different perspectives or analogies on the loss of a child and grief.  I have heard it compared to the seasons, weather, a book, and so much more.  The following poem really struck me, especially near the end when it talks about strength and now being able to face anything.  I also like how it talks about how the loss has made me the person I am today.

To some it may seem like a I am different person and to others it may not.  But to myself, I feel different.  I look differently at the world around me.  I don’t expect.  I hope.  I hope that one day our family will grow.  I hope that I can help others through their grief and healing process.  I hope that people will begin to truly understand what it is like to loose a child.  I hope to watch my dreams soar.

Shoes

I am wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes.
I hate my shoes.
Each day I wear them, and each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad that I do not think I can take another step.
Yet, I continue to wear them.
I get funny looks wearing these shoes.
They are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in other’s eyes that they are glad they are my shoes and not theirs.
They never talk about my shoes.
To learn how awful my shoes are might make them uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But, once you put them on, you can never take them off.
I now realize that I am not the only one who wears these shoes.
There are many pairs in this world.
Some women are like me and ache daily as they try to walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so that they don’t hurt quite so much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.
No woman deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman.
These shoes have given me the strength to face anything.
They have made me who I am.
I will forever walk in the shoes of a woman who has lost a child.

-Author Unknown

 

I wanted to share something I found on grief that came across.  It has been helpful to me to read and hear, so I thought I would share.

I came across a piece by Lesley.  I like how she puts grief and healing into simple, but powerful words. “I need to be kind to myself and give myself permission to do what I needed to do to make it through, even if that means saying no.  Grief is unpredictable, you can’t explain it, you can’t always control it.  There is no right way or wrong way to do it and no two people do it the same way.”

Saying no has been hard for me, especially when at work.  It wasn’t until I gave up my classroom that I gained a stronger voice.  Becoming a building sub has given me a sense of freedom in so many ways and has helped to me really take care of what I needed to.  I had a tendency to push the emotions down as far as I could and submerse myself at work.  By the end of the Summer I realized I wasn’t any good to any one and I wasn’t taking care of myself well.  Now, if it doesn’t fit into my schedule or with the direction I am trying to head, the answer is “no”.

Grief is so unpredictable.  At the beginning I lived minute by minute, even task by task.  Over time I have been able to move into hours and days.  Now I can live moment to moment.  By living in the moment in front of me I am able to really focus on the important things, find the true blessings of that moment, and learn from what it may bring.  I am also able to help others and really truly be present.

I think one of the best words I heard was after I returned back to work.  It was from a parent in my classroom who had lost a child to Turner’s Syndrome at 27 weeks.  Her experience was similar to mine, however she said to me “I know what you are going through, but I don’t.  We all grieve differently.  Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.”  She really understood and I have turned to her a couple of times to help me through things.  But like she said, we all go through it differently.  There are some things or points we all go through, but how we handle it and how we go through it is slightly different.  She also gave me hope because she has a family of 3 children, as well as her little angel baby.

Grief is tough process, but with the right support you can find your way through it all.  It takes time and you have to allow yourself to go through it.  We all grieve at some point in our lives.  Remember to take care of yourself, be honest, and surround yourself by those you can trust & support you.

 

 

Love is in the air!  Normally for Valentine’s Day we exchange cards and candy.  But this year we decided to try something a little different.  If we are looking for a place to eat we generally don’t choose a fine dining with white table linens.  It’s not us and we don’t feel comfortable there.  Usually to get a five course meal that is the type of place you would have to go.

Raun came across Caribe Bistro, a Caribbean restaurant in the area, that was doing a special for Valentine’s Day.  They were offering a five course candlelit dinner.  It seemed like a place that would fit us well.  I can’t remember the last time we had a candlelit dinner and this seemed like a great opportunity.  The decor was beautiful and brightly colored, not to mention the food was amazing.  But what it made it a great night was spending the time with Raun and having some good conversation, while trying food that we normally do not get the opportunity to try.

I hope you all were able to take a moment to enjoy the specialness of Valentine’s Day.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all!

 

 

 

I have been struggling with what to write on this weekend for a post.  For whatever reason I was having a hard time deciding what to write about.  So, I decided to turn toward something I know and enjoy…photography.  My passion for photography has greatly grown over the years, but in the past year it has been my way to capture the life around me.  I generally will hide behind a camera rather than be in a photo.  Last year I would find it even more difficult to be the focus of the camera as it was hard to smile on the outside sometimes when I felt like falling to pieces on the inside.  I have learned that there will be good days and there will be bad days, and photography helps me to get through it.  I want to capture all the beauties of the moments around me and use photography as a way to help me heal as well.  Below is a little video I put together with some of my favorite photos I have taken from the past year.

 

 

Birthdays can be simple or they can be extravagant.  Birthdays are as different as the person who’s birthday it is.  Birthdays are a time to celebrate, time to reflect, and time to share.

Last week, January 27, we celebrated Samantha’s birthday.  We visited the cemetery where we placed flowers and reflected.  We chose to lay bright orange flowers, a burst of color.  It was a color we were drawn to and brought a sense of vibrance to an other kind of dreary day.  After placing the flowers I took some photos and then we spent a little time at the memorial wall.

This week, February 4, we celebrated my birthday.  I do have to say, this year’s birthday was much better than last year.  Last year’s was tough.  It was my second day back to work after being gone for nearly a week.  It was also one of the weirdest ones I have had.  For every birthdday card, I just opened a sympathy card.  Very, very weird and filled with a huge mix of emotions.

So, this year we went out for dinner and enjoyed good food, as well as good conversation.  We went to the St. Paul Winter Carnival, the torch light parade, and the end of carnival fireworks.  It’s not every year I can say I get fireworks on my birthday.  It was a lot of fun.

Here’s to birthdays…where we can celebrate, reflect, and share.  Not to mention…eat a ton of cake!

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