Within Grief There is Life.

May 31, 2012

Yesterday I stood in a store picking out a dress for my brothers wedding with my sister who is here visiting. I browsed through happy spring and summer colors, pondered what shoes might go with them. We talked about what color Bella would need for her’s as the flower girl.

And in the midst of this, the funeral home called about Preston and Julian’s memorial service. So while holding a dress for a day I was excited to get here, I spelled out the boy’s names and explained what I would like done in their memory.

Quite honestly, this is how my life is lately. Like I’ve got a foot inside two worlds: normalcy and grief.

I swing back and forth between them, the normal life takes more of a part as the grief lessens and turns to memories and sadness. Even on here, I feel awkward about posting anything that doesn’t have to do with them, while longing to have a sense of the “old blog” back, for my sanity and as the outlet I need. I can’t figure out how to balance that quite yet.

I have things that I want to share – good things – that have come because of what happened. It doesn’t make it easier, or mean that I’m over it, but it gives me another hope to cling to while my world readjusts itself. And I will share them, but I’m often afraid you all won’t understand. You’ll think what we went through really wasn’t that bad if we could “get over it” so fast, or think that perhaps I was being over dramatic.

But I’ve learned this the past month: in the midst of grief, there is life. There is happiness and laughter and a hope. If you let it in. That’s what we, as a family, have chosen to do. I realized very early on in this process that nothing I did or didn’t do could change the fact that I lost the boys. Nothing. So anger, sadness, happiness; it was all there but it wouldn’t fix it. And life was moving on. With or without me.

I choose to grieve over my sons every day in my own way while remembering this: God wants me to have an abundant life and somewhere in heaven, He and my sons are watching. I believe that – maybe not on a Sixth Sense kind of level but I know they know me. I want them to look down and see a happy mama, one whose heart aches for them all the time while rebuilding a life they can be proud of me for.

I want to share it with you all, especially those of you who walk this journey with me or are fearful to ever be on it. I want to show you all so much that no matter how you choose to be sad, it’s ok and it’s normal and when you are ready to move on and honor the memory of a loved one in a different way, that’s ok too. It’s all part of this process no one wants to go through. Ever. I hope I can show you that in a way that is honest and yet my own. Because your journey is yours.

I miss Preston and Julian. I will never forget them, nothing we do or say will change that we have to go through this process – but in the midst of the grief there is life. Always. I cling to that, knowing that when it’s my turn, I want them to hug me in heaven and be so proud of the job I did down here in their memory. I want them to know what we chose to do is because we thought they were worth it – the pain and the shattered dreams and the heartache for the rest of my life – the 19 weeks and 4 days were worth it. The two hours with them were worth it.

I want them to know we loved them so much that they were worth the risk of loving again. In whatever capacity that takes.

29 Comments

  • grace at {Gabbing with Grace}

    June 2, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    I have often thought this the FULLNESS of the human experience…the parts that make life worth living…are the parts where tremendous joy and peace are found in the midst of life-altering struggle and pain. It sounds horrible, but it’s the peace found in relationship with God. It’s very true what your saying…I get it… the ‘life’ that can only truly be found after suffering. xo

  • Kate

    June 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    This post sums up pretty much how I feel regarding my miscarriages. My heart breaks for you as I know how hard it is with reminders everywhere, with some people unable to grasp that some days you do better than others.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you xx

  • Tweepwife

    June 1, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I think you are such an authentic writer, and mother. I love the idea that you are determined to live well. I often think about that – if something happened to me I would want my husband and children to flourish until we were joined again. I would not want them to honour my memory by being swallowed by grief. What courage you have to find strength in your faith and to truly live through your grief. Prayers for you.

  • Alexia @ Babies & Bacon

    June 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Just perfectly put. Don’t let anyone who tells you that you’re moving on too fast or that you’re not grieving enough. You’re doing what you feel and following your heart. You still have a lovely vibrant little girl at home and two beautiful boys in heaven that need you to just be you…happy, sad and everything in between. Thanks for being so honest and writing from your heart!

  • Meredith @ La Buena Vida

    June 1, 2012 at 9:24 am

    Another vote for sharing whatever it is that’s on your heart–the good, the bad, the ugly, the amazing.

    I think it’s so important to keep sharing the good even in the midst of crisis and grief–because God promises that he will work every situation in our lives for good. Even the situations that he didn’t cause and the ones that don’t make him happy. He has the power to redeem them. And so I think sharing the good even in the midst of crisis and grief is one way that we’re able to demonstrate the amazing ways that God continues to work our lives for good, even in the most difficult times.

  • Teresa

    June 1, 2012 at 6:18 am

    Of course you can’t dwell on the grief every day. It would drive you mad. You just keep blogging about whatever you need/want to. Nobody can judge you, everyone has a different life to live. *hugs*

  • Katie McAleece

    June 1, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Your posts really speak to me on many levels, because we are both experiencing the loss of people we love!

    I remember responding much like you are: You’re obviously a very strong person and you’ve kept your head above water really well. Some people will try to come at you and say that you aren’t “doing it right” and basically tell you grief involves a complete and total break down.

    But there is beauty in writing out your emotions and realizing the strength that comes with knowing you’ll SEE THEM AGAIN. and they are waiting. and they’re happy and whole and at peace.

    That is something that can’t be traded. I am happy for my Dad- he’s in heaven! I am jealous of where he is!

    Anyway I’m rambling. All this to say, I love your blogs. They encourage me. So thank you. Thank you.

  • Becki

    June 1, 2012 at 5:37 am

    This was a wonderful post! I hope you continue to find peace and hope despite the grief that will be with you for quite a while. God’s blessings on you today.

  • Sarah

    May 31, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Please keep sharing!! Everything! The good days/news and the bad days/news. Having a bad day myself today- they come and go and life goes on. You are a great inspiration, comfort and encouragement to me- Preston and Julian (and Bella) are imprinted on my heart because you share so openly. You are making them proud:)

  • Jenny

    May 31, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Grief is such a unique experience for everyone. I have learned as a nurse that grief is never wrong, just different. You seem to be handling everything as best as you can. Our family continues to pray for you.
    BTW – Don’t feel guilty in experiencing that abundant life and gifts of joy that are coming. I can’t speak for everyone, but I will rejoice with you indeed.

  • angela

    May 31, 2012 at 7:20 pm

    Not that I have the right to say, “I’m proud of you” but I am. I think your attitude about living a beautiful life in their honor and making them proud is a beautiful testament and memorial to those two sweet little souls who are indeed watching down on you.

  • Jennifer @ Also Known As the Wife

    May 31, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    You always have such an amazing way of looking at things. I know I tell you this all the time but I really can’t even begin to imagine what this is like for you and yet you’re just amazing through it all. You’re made of some strong stuff, Diana. <3

  • alexis

    May 31, 2012 at 6:21 pm

    Please don’t think you aren’t allowed to post other topics… you know I love checking everyday to see how you are… to see what great things you are letting us in on… but we all want you to be happy any way possible. No one thinks you’ve forgotten them and no one will question you for living life everyday.
    <3

  • Bethanygp

    May 31, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I admire your strength through all of this. You are obviously a very strong Christian woman with tremendous faith in God. I’d like to think that I would have the same faith and trust in God if the same thing were to happen to me but I honestly don’t know. You’ve really convicted me. I pray that God continues to bless you and your family on this journey.

  • Karen Frantz

    May 31, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    God bless you Diana. I am so sorry for your loss and rejoice with you that your boys are in Heaven safe in the bosom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. May His grace, mercy and peace fill your heart and mind as you go thru this journey of grief and life.

  • Rosie

    May 31, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    I just came across your Web site a few days ago. I know you will have dark moments, but I really admire you and think your perspective and your attitude in this post are amazing. You will never stop thinking about and loving your sons, however you will not let your grief define your life. I think most people do the opposite. I wish you the best as you navigate through this difficult part of your journey. Hugs!

  • Liz

    May 31, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    I think you summed grief up perfectly: “…this is how my life is lately. Like I’ve got a foot inside two worlds: normalcy and grief.” There is no one way to grieve, there are all different stages, and you can easily swing between more than one stage. Even now, almost two years after losing my grandfather, I have moments when the pain slams into me, but I also live my life.

    I get it.

  • Jess

    May 31, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I think Tesa said it best (above) – No one will understand, but we all can sympathize with you.

    I don’t understand what you’re going through, I don’t feel what you feel, but I do hurt for you. Every post of yours I read, I cry. Whether while I write the comment, tweet to you, post on my Facebook, or read the article itself. I hurt for you every time I see a photo of twins, or a pregnancy announcement stating that twins are on the way. I think of you and your family every day and I have never met you (and probably will never meet you).

    I pray that you continue to live a wonderful life after the boys. I pray you continue to be the mother Bella deserves, and that God gives your the courage to fight every day. Above all, I pray that God gives you understanding in this time of grief. Your sons will always look down at you and smile.

  • Kathryn

    May 31, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Reading your posts gives me so much hope – hope that even though horrible things happen to amazing people, God is there. Thank you for being so open and sharing your heart. That is such a gift.

  • Tanya

    May 31, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    This is your journey…it doesn’t matter if everyone else understands it or not. Just keep writing! Although I think you’d be amazed at how many of us feel you are putting into words the exact feelings we have had. I had my sister’s graduation and 2 weddings to attend (one in which I was the matron of honor, the other my husband was the best man) in the three weeks after we lost our second child. When I look at pictures from that time I can see the stress on my face, but I also remember happy moments. And those are what helped me to move forward…

  • Rebecca

    May 31, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    Your boys already have so much to be proud of. You are moving through your grief with so much courage and hope. I’m admiring and learning from you with each post that you share. Thank you 🙂

  • Abigail

    May 31, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    How do you always put things so perfectly? I’ve been struggling with similar thoughts on my blog. Thank you for reminding me that there is life within grief and it’s okay to celebrate that and talk about it. I keep saying this but it’s always true, you are amazing.

  • TheNextMartha

    May 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Though I am sad for this grief you are going through, I am honored that you let us be here for it. For you. Love/Hugs.

  • Jill

    May 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Life happens. We all grieve in our own way. You do what you need to do for yourself and your family. Don’t worry about what others around you or on here think. You are an amazing woman. Just remember to live life.

  • Tesa

    May 31, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I just wanted to say that I really find you to be a inspiration. You fought for your little guys where a lot of women would have given up. You are exactly what a mother should be. One who will fight for the lives of her children despite how grim things look . Those little guys are surely looking down from heaven, holding each other smiling and saying “Thats my mom. She risked her life for us. She never let us go easy. It was a good choice that was made, to make her our mommy”

    No one will understand the grief you are going through. We can sympathizes. But it is so personal that no one can possible truly understand. Even for those of us who have lost kids in some way shape or form.

    And that will always be there. A little empty spot where their physical presence should have been.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Dont “Hurry up and get over it” There is no such thing and anyone who suggests that has no idea what you are going through.

    I have a question though, and It might seem callous. But did you get to hold them before they passed? I know it doesnt seem like a great thing to ask, but I am wondering. To me, it would seem a boon to be able to have that after all the fighting you did.

    Im so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you

  • Misty Pratt

    May 31, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Life goes on around us, whether the people we love have moved on from here or not. I walked into my grandpa’s workshop the other day, and was hit with such a feeling of him “being there” that it brought tears to my eyes. But he has been dead 6 years, and since then, I have gotten married, had a baby, bought a house, and started a business of my own. I have felt moments of extreme joy, despite him being gone from my life.

    I hope you will feel comfortable sharing all of your good news with us here on the blog, as I for one will be reading along and sharing in your joy. You deserve that, whether it’s been weeks, months or even years after their deaths.

  • Lyz

    May 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I think grieving is a never-ending journey. Carving that space out in your life to remember and to mourn is so important, but I love what you wrote…in that space is life too. Abundant life, which is all I hope for you and your family.

  • Amanda, The Real Shiksa

    May 31, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Hi There,

    My first time actually saying hello – but I’ve been following for quite a while.

    This post was lovely, and a big turning point in this process for you, I think. Keep doing what makes you and your family going strong, you’ll find the right way for YOU.

    Not sure if music is your thing, but a song that helped me when I lost my mother 7 years ago Mother’s Day is “Save a Place For Me” by Matthew West. And more recently “Happiness” by The Fray. Check them out – the lyrics are so moving and I think you’ll be able to relate.

    Thinking of you all,
    Amanda

  • stephanie

    May 31, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    This post is really speaking to me today. It’s like I can feel the words washing over my heart and allowing me to open up just a little. It’s your blog. You share what you want. But, by sharing this journey with us you have opened up my heart and made me feel like it’s okay to be sad. I always try to be so strong and not cry.Today, I feel like I can sit down and look at pictures and just remember the blessing that it was.

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