Sunday, July 14, 2013

it's not enough.

At the June meeting of the Compassionate Friends in my area, a mom seated next to me began crying.  She said she felt like she couldn't do enough to preserve the memory of her son.  She said she felt like she wanted to purchase a billboard just to get his face seen by more people.  She then apologized for saying it.

I sat next to her with tears streaming down my face, and I blurted out "Don't apologize for how you feel.  I think it's a great idea and personally,  I think we should all do that for our children."

As we wrapped up that evening, someone asked what people have done to remember their children.  I mentioned Catelyn's ever growing list:
baby hats I have knitted to donate in Catelyn's name
  • Linus blankets (and Catelyn cares blankets)
  • Pool feature at our local toddler/baby pool
  • A spot in our local library to be named "Catelyn's Corner"
  • Library books dedicated in her name
  • Toy, book, and monetary donations to local hospitals
  • A memorial blood drive
  • Random acts of kindness committed in Catelyn's name
  • Knitted baby hats to be donated to hospitals in Catelyn's name
  • A donation to our local veteran's memorial park

I am certain I have forgotten to list some of the wonderful things...

We have an amazing and lengthy list of ways we remember Catelyn and reach out to others in her name, but the words of the other mother at my meeting ring true.

Somehow it doesn't feel like I can do enough to preserve the memory of Catelyn.

I think I could get all of our memorial acts/efforts tattooed in a 12 inch font on every open space on my skin (which currently is tattoo-less), and even if I was covered from head-to-toe I don't believe I would be satisfied.

I need the world to know what an amazing girl Catelyn was, and I want their lives to be forever changed when they learn about her....maybe then I could consider having done "enough" to honor her short life...

Knowing me I would still do more...

Friday, July 5, 2013

a meaningful song

I have always really loved this song, but I find it especially meaningful in trying to move forward since Catelyn's death.

At first, I think the thought of not having Catelyn by my side made the words sting.  I felt as though I would never have any moments with her, I think the words bring hope and a reminder that Catelyn is with me whether I see her or not.

The wind still whispers her name, birds sing her song, leaves drop, sway and flutter, and bells/chimes ring at seemingly random times.  These are signs that she is near & letting me know she is okay, or misses me, or says hi, and so on.

For Baby (for Bobby)
by John Denver
I’ll walk in the rain by your side
I’ll cling to the warmth of your hand
I’ll do anything to keep you satisfied
I’ll love you more than anybody can

And the wind will whisper your name to me
Little birds will sing along in time
Leaves will bow down when you walk by
And morning bells will chime

I’ll be there when you’re feelin’ down
To kiss away the fears if you cry
I’ll share with you all the happiness I’ve found
A reflection of the love in your eyes

And I’ll sing you the songs of the rainbow
A whisper of the joy that is mine
And leaves will bow down when you walk by
And morning bells will chime

I’ll walk in the rain by your side
I’ll cling to the warmth of your tiny hand
I’ll do anything to help you understand
And I’ll love you more than anybody can

And the wind will whisper your name to me
Little birds will sing along in time
Leaves will bow down when you walk by
And morning bells will chime

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Will I make it?

Every day I try to figure out how to find healing and comfort from the tragic death of Catelyn.

I don't know what I should be looking for, or where I should focus, or how to find the "magic checklist" that will tell me all of the steps to follow to make everything better (believe me, I know there is no magic checklist, but it doesn't stop me from trying to find it!).

Every day, I am doing the best I can.
I'm sure I make plenty of mistakes.
I imagine that I make things harder than they have to be.
I'm sure I overlook a ton of simple things.

I am constantly trying to gain control over my feelings, which turns into trying find ways to cram my feelings into tiny crevices that they will never fit into.....and eventually they explode all over.

I want answers.....
I want to know how I'm supposed to get through this.
I want reassurance that not only can I get through this, but I will be able to love a child again.
I want to know that someday I won't feel a piercing stab in my heart each time I see someone who loves being a parent (or worse, hates being a parent).
I want to know that there is truly nothing I could have done to magically have healed Catelyn (yeah, I still struggle with the guilt piece).

How do I stop being afraid and let my heart love again?  How can I function in "normal" every day situations?

I have been paralyzed by loss, and I feel like I can't find my way out.  I've looked so many places for answers, and I am so weary.  I am not a very patient person.  I hate waiting for answers.  As I've struggled, I've reached out to people I know, people I don't, counselors, and countless articles and books.  And, as I've talked to others, I have often heard responses such as:  "Back in the old days, people endured tons of loss, and they made it through; you will too." 

That's great, but those people aren't around for me to ask, and while they made it, I often wonder if I will.  I am so tired of seeking answers that don't fit.

So, imagine my surprise when I stumbled across an article (Letting Go of Our Fear of Loss) on today, and actually found answers to some of my questions and concerns on how to know I will make it through the challenges I have been given.

As I read the article, I realized something huge today: our ancestors suffered and struggled with significant losses too, and they made it through, likely with a lot of struggle and suffering of their own.

Rather than trying to figure out how they made it, and instead of finding myself frozen by fear, I should instead radically accept that because they made it, I will too.  And, in honor of all they endured, I should make a confident leap, head first into the depths of love, knowing that I will move forward, instead of cowering in the background of life, afraid of death, afraid of love, afraid of living.

My heart may become shattered again in the future, but I come from stock that won't be entirely broken by pain.  I must trust and love and continue to live.

If not for my ancestors, then for Catelyn, who died too soon.