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.


This is a not so happy Fathers Day.  It is my first Fathers Day as a father, but I have no child to celebrate with.  My only daughter, Samantha Jean, didn’t make it to term.  My wife went to the doctor for a routine pregnancy checkup and they couldn’t find a heartbeat.  She called me and I left work.  We went home and packed a few things to take to the hospital.  Labor was induced and after being in the hospital for over 24 hours, our little girl was born on January 27th, 2011.  She weighed 2.4 ounces and was about 6 inches long.  She had all her tiny fingers and toes.  She even had fingernails about the size of the tip of a ball-point pen.  She was about 4 months past conception when she passed.

We got to spend that night and the next day with our baby beside us in that hospital room.  We imprinted her handprint and footprint into a little piece of clay.

Our local Catholic Cemeteries offer a ministry to cover the cost of burial and services for people going through a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant death.  We took them up on their offer and it has been very helpful to us on our path to healing.  There were about 25 little ones buried with our little girl.  It was quite an experience sharing a funeral service with the families of those 25 children.  The cemetery also has a healing garden where berieved parents and siblings can go and pray and meditate and remember.  There is a memorial wall where you can have your child’s name engraved.  We chose to do that.

A few weeks after the service, we were asked if we would be willing to share our story in the Catholic Cemeteries’ newsletter and we said that would be fine.  Here is a link to the online version of the newsletter if you are interested.  Scroll to the bottom of the second page.

I’ve spent the past few weeks pondering how my life has changed since this happened.  Life is more precious.  I put more focus on having experiences.  I spend less time waiting and watching life go by.  I feel things more.  I never thought I’d want to change a diaper or wake up in the middle of the night to a screaming baby, but I never got the chance.  I often think about what her voice sounds like and having tea parties in the back yard and poking fun at her first boyfriend and walking her down the aisle, but none of these things will ever happen.

Children — celebrate your father.  Fathers — celebrate your children.  When you get that ugly tie your kid made in art class, wear it with pride.  They are only young once, so savor the moment.


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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