This may be the end of “The Story”, but it is also the beginning of what unfolds in the days, weeks, and months ahead.  This will be the last post from my journal entries. 

Needless to say, the following days ahead brough many up, downs, twists, and turns.  The physcial side of everything seemed to slowly fade away, while the mental and emotional, even sometimes social aspects of it all seemed to come through more.  Some days it was only on side of things I had to face, other days it was all.  They could start out just fine, and with the drop of a hat I would hit the wall, run to the bathroom and breakdown.  It could go the other way too.  I could start out with tears in my eyes all the way to work, then be pretty good for the rest of the day.  I don’t know if Iwould just numb myself to get through the day or what.  But the days began to come and go in a way the used to.  I was different, but the basics of the day were the same.  I know that the mental and emotional side will never truly go away.  It will always be there, I will just lern how to deal with things better.  This type of thing never goes away.  It will always be a part of me.  I will never “move on”, as people have told me to do, I will only “move forward”.  Samantha is a part of me, she always will be.  I will still grieve, it will just be less and it will change as time goes by.

Did I have my major melt downs?  Of course I did.  I even had a few blow ups, but I learned from them and oddly enough they helped me to move forward.  I continued to visit Samantha, once the warmer months had arrived and her name was written on the wall.  I learned to live life a little differently.  I knew things would trip me up and I took them as they came.  Deep down, they are making me stronger.  I am not sure how yet, but somewhere down the road things will be connected and make more sense.

My journaling seemed to go from writing every day to get through the days and the weeks, to writing weekly to sum up the week and really take a good look at what happened.  Then it got spaced out considerably by talking about things as they came up from month to month.  All of the good, the not so good, and everywhere in between.

Don’t worry though, take heart, I will still continue to write, but it is time to change things up a little.  I will continue to share my story, but in a different light.  I am “moving forward”.

 

February 17-
Today was a tough day. There is no other word to describe it. It was all around tough. This week’s theme at work is life cycles, so there is a lot about babies. Mostly songs and activities that talking about what it was like when you were a baby. Today it was singing rock a bye baby during our music time that did me in. Fortunately the teacher who was with me totally understood what was going on and took over for me. I wonder if the kids can tell what I am feeling by looking at me. During these times I try to avoid direct contact. Usually I find somewhere else in the room to be or some other activity to hopefully help me to ignore what is going on. After this, I decided to go easy on the day and take a nice long break. Which this means Dunn Brothers and some quiet time. Dunn Brothers has been my comfort food over the past week.

I am very nervous about tomorrow. I will be having a teacher in the room that doesn’t want to be there and won’t do anything in the room. I am not sure how I am going to make it through the day having to put forth double energy with no one to fall back on. Tomorrow is just going to be a rough day.

I have realized though, that there are just going to be some natural triggers over the next few months that will cause the tears to shed. Fortunately I have identified some of them, unfortunately it is the day to day ones that I didn’t realize that would just pop up seemingly out of now where and cause a rush of emotions. I am going to have to learn how to deal with these triggers that just show up throughout the day unannounced.

 

February 15-

I am finding out that being at work is tougher than I thought and somewhat impedes on my grief time. Thus, making it take longer to get through things. There are a lot of days I come home from work with tears on the drive home. For instance, yesterday I had a parent say to me “wow! You still seem really thing, how far a long are you again?” My response was simple “I was 17 weeks”. She understood, asked a few questions and that was that. At least it was from her perspective, but from mine I could feel myself beginning to turn inward more and shrink up.

Each day I go into work and have to put on a façade while there for the kids and parents. It isn’t always easy to keep up sometimes and I melt down in the bathroom or a few tears while in the classroom. I was asked today how things were going and we began a bit of a talk. Some things are harder than others and there are all these pup up triggers which make it tougher (like my snow pants fitting better than ever, we were doing a life cycles unit and the kids had to bring in their baby pictures). I also mentioned that it is good to be at work, but yet it is not. Maybe this would all be a little easier if I didn’t work with kids and families every day.

 

February 11-

I am finding that as the days go by I keep finding little triggers that bring a wave of tears and emotion. I knew there were going to be things that tripped me up down the road, the big things, but I forgot to look at the little things. And as much as I wish I could prepare for these, it is impossible. Some things I think I can be ready for, but even those things I am never truly ready for.

Today’s little trigger was a simple thing-putting on my snow pants to go outside. What did me in? The fact that they know fit and to top it off, they fit better now than they did last Winter. I talked with Raun when I got home about triggers. I feel like there have been a lot for me, but I wasn’t able to see many for him. He doesn’t have many, but he has a big one. On his way to work he passes the water tower that is near the cemetery. So while I may have many different ones to face each day, he has one big one, the same one, to face every day. As time goes by, hopefully these things will get smaller and fewer, as well as less frequent.
I ended my work day with sharing my keepsake box with those at work. I was hoping that it would help to relieve some of my feelings by opening up and sharing. In all actuality, all I did was say what was what in the box and answer a few questions as we went along. I am realizing now, that it is hard to be around those who really don’t understand. They may show some interest, but I really wonder how much they really want to know or can really help.

 

February 8- 

The day came and went, moving through on auto pilot.  I only stopped momentarily to tell my co teacher all that had happened, and then every now and then when she asked questions.  I have been taking moments to use the bathroom, only to find myself holding back tears.  I just keep bottling it up and put on a happy face and try to make it through the day.   If only those around me would be there for me the way I am there for the kids in my room and those around me.

 

February 7- 

After the weekend, today was a tough day.  I don’t remember much from the day and looking back I feel like I was on auto pilot at work.  Fortunately, it was an easy day at work.  I came home to a package from Raun’s mom.  She sent us a garden stone in memory of Samantha to put out come Spring.  Right now, I wish Spring would come soon and that this was all a dream.  As the evening went on I didn’t do much and prepared myself for tomorrow.  My co-teacher has been gone through this whole time and I know I will have to tell the whole story.  I keep wondering, will it ever get easier to tell people about this.

 

 

February 6- 

This is the first day back to church since it all happened.  Interestingly enough, most people there didn’t know that we were pregnant yet, therefore they didn’t know what we had just gone through.  Truthfully I don’t remember much from the service.  Apparently Raun’s grandma had talked to Pastor Anita letting her know what had happened.  She came up to us telling us she was sorry for what had happened and she wanted to chat with us about it.  The odd thing was, she never did.  She never asked any more questions, didn’t say anything else, never chatted with us.  I am not sure how I feel about that.  From what I have heard Pastors, as well as other clergy, have a tendency to take on the God perspective saying it would be better this way, this the way God wanted it, those kind of things.  I am not sure that would have been overly helpful.  Yet at the same time, it is a little frustrating that she never touched based after saying that she would. 

 After church we headed home, to a once again empty house.  Barb had left a little package that had a book about infant loss, necklace with a lily and tear drops, as well as a beautiful card.  Raun and I sat down to order a special necklace.  It has tiny hand stamped footprints on the front side of a heart pendent, Samantha’s initials stamped on the back, and two birthstones-January for when she was born & July for when our original due date was set.  It looks absolutely beautiful online and I can’t wait until it comes in the mail.

 The rest of the day went through as a bit of a blur and in the evening I prepared to go back to work tomorrow.  Not sure if I can ever be fully ready.

 

February 5, 2011

Today was a very interesting day for lack of better words to use.  In the morning we had Samantha’s Memorial Service.  Raun & I went, as well as my dad, Raun’s mom, Raun’s Grandparents (Grandma & Grandpa B), and my friend Kelli.  We arrived at the Chapel/Mausoleum to find close to 70 plus people there, which makes sense because there were 25 little ones buried that day.  The service was phenomenal and absolutely beautiful.  I don’t think I could have put together something as amazing and memorable.  There verses read, poems shared, and song sung together.  Many tears were shed.  Near the end of the service each family got a lit white candle with a footprints charm around it and finished by singing a song.  (The candle is placed on our fireplace, next to Samantha’s handprint in clay, all which are by our wedding unity candle and picture). 

 After the service we all headed to our cars, Raun first carried the casket with Samantha in it to someone’s car.  We head to the burial site then.  As sad and cold of day it was, the place was beautiful.  All the trees were frosted over and had a warm glow from the sun shining on them.  We drove to the spot in absolute silence, something that was respectful, but it was almost too quiet, as we were left to our own personal thoughts.

Upon arriving we walked up to the area with others and stood huddled together underneath a canopy.  I honestly don’t remember what the priest said that day, but I do remember watching everyone grab a handful/shovelful of dirt to place in the ground, as well as flowers.  Each of us took our turn.  With each thump of the dirt hitting the inside, the tears came down faster and heavier.  We closed out the service and walked to the cars.  Next…home.

 Now, here is where things get a bit odd.  Seeing as our furnace had gone, during one of the coldest weeks of Winter, the earliest we could have someone come out for an estimate was today.  So, we got home ordered some John’s Pizza Café pizza.  We chatted, ate, and laughed some all the while sharing stories.  Then…ding dong… to add to the day the furnace guy came.  He, walking into what seeming looked like family hanging, had no idea truly what was going on.  He did the estimate and we ordered our new furnace.

 The day ended with everyone heading back to their respective places and us taking my dad to the airport.  Then home again.  Home to the silence.

 

February 4- 

     In theory this should be a wonderful day.  It’s my birthday.  However under the circumstances, it’s not really on my radar.  It is my opening shift at work, so I fall into my “normal” morning routine.  I get into the door at work and back to my classroom.  All is okay until I turn the lights on and look up.  Then the tears start flowing.  While I was gone, Natalie had all my kids help create a large birthday banner (which mind you, is now folded and crammed in one of the keepsake boxes).

      As I stand there in silence, taking it all in, and opening my room, thankfully Sherry walked in.  She gave me a big hug and a card, and helped me open the rooms.  We didn’t say much, but that was okay.  A little while later Katie came in, gave me a big hug and said “happy birthday”.  She asked how I was doing and I said alright.  I know today is going to a little on the tough side. 

    The day went on “normal like”, with moments of sheer overwhelmingness.  But, I made it through.  Upon getting home I had a stack of cards to open.  This will be a day I will never forget.  Not everyone can that, for every birthday card they open on their birthday, they opened a sympathy card as well.   And so went the emotions like a giant teeter totter, up (joy, yeah!  Happy birthday), and then down (slamming hard into the ground… “I’, sorry for your loss).  While reading my email, I found out that my mom had been through a miscarriage.  I was a little frustrated at first that she didn’t say anything when they were up the weekend after it happened.  But later came to the realization that my mom was not only feeling my pain, she was feeling hers own as feelings arose and most likely didn’t know what to say or do.

    It had been such an unusual birthday I didn’t feel much like celebrating, but Raun said we should do something.  So we went out to eat at one of favorite places, The Cheeky Monkey.  With Raun’s gift I decided I was going to buy a memorial necklace, but he said he had a better place to look for one.  So I decided to peruse it later. 

   That night Raun’s mom Barb had driven up for the weekend and she stopped by.  We chatted and opened gifts until it was time to pick my dad, Steve, up from the airport.  He and my mom were down in St. Louise at a Wine Trade Show.  My dad wanted to fly up to be here for the memorial service on Saturday.  My mom was wishing she was able to be there, but someone had to man the booth.  So she sent her thoughts and prayers.  That night, we all stayed up chatting and eating birthday cake.  Then it was to bed and to brace for what tomorrow would bring.

 

February 3-

Today was my first day back to work.  I felt helpless going back knowing that I was leaving Raun home sick with the flu and a nonworking furnace being replaced on one of the coldest days this year.  In all honesty I wasn’t sure I was really ready for this.  Part of me said yes because I needed to get out of the house and try to continue on with the one thing I knew was normal.  I ended up being called to open which was helpful in knowing then that I would be the first out.  I walked into a quiet building, with a hello from the desk.  It was a slow start to the day, some staff stopped by my room to see how things were going and to welcome me back.  Sherry came in and gave me hug right away.  She also checked on me throughout the day.  As kids started arriving I received a lot of “good to see you back” “welcome back” “I’m sorry for your loss” “you and your family are in our prayers” “we’ve been thinking about you” “nothing like getting back into the routine to take your mind off things” “let me know if I can do anything for you”, as well as a few parents sharing their stories.  It was a long day of a few ups and a lot of downs.  Many calls down to get someone in my room so I could leave and go cry in the bathroom.  I was glad when Katie came into the room at nap and said that after nap I was shifting my couple extra kids next door and I could leave early.  I was happy that my co teachers were so understanding.  By the end of the day I was more than ready to go home.  On my way out Erin gave me an envelope of stuff from some of my parents.  And fortunately Sherry was walking out the door with me.  We chatted outside for a bit. Then I got into my car to leave.  I looked at the envelope of stuff and then drove home in tears all the way.  When I got home Raun was beginning to feel better and they were almost done with the heat.  The remainder of the evening I cleaned up some for tomorrow and then chilled for the night.  I know tomorrow will be a long day, and a tough one too.

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