Finding Comfort After Loss

Last May when I lost the twins, I remember feeling completely lost on how to find any type of comfort in my daily routine. For about a month, I backed off of everything I’d done prior that I loved – mostly writing other places.

When I started up again, I felt extremely guilty for talking about anything else but the boys. I felt bad for wanting to write at Babble and Military Family about something other than loss. I wrestled constantly with sharing my grief online, with any type of social media that I shared it on. I felt as if every time I said anything normal, everyone was going to wonder if I was “all better” or “over it” or the worst:

trying to gain attention from their short lives and the tragedy.

Even though very few people made any type of remarks making me feel like that, I still had the nagging feeling that grief and loss should be done alone. Private. And all enveloping – you grieved completely and totally or it wasn’t really grief. You did it every moment of every day and you couldn’t fathom doing anything else or it wasn’t really grief. You didn’t really love them that much if you could talk about anything else or wanted to share it publicly.

Oh, how wrong I was. In the past nearly 18 months I’ve learned that being online is one of my forms of comfort. Writing about my loss and notย about my loss is healing for me. Finding other parents who know what I’ve been through and tell me their own stories is comforting. Tweeting about being sad or a funny part of my day is comforting. It’s comforting to be sad and to be normal.

I’ve learned from the twins that everyone grieves completely differently, and that my way of grieving this time is to do it in stages. I think of Kaden, Preston, and Julian every single moment of every day. But that doesn’t mean that I spend all day in bed. (And that’s ok if that’s where you are – truly.) I simply can’t do it that way, I have to be able to have a life and let grief overwhelm when it needs to.

This time I let it consume me when it hits. And then when I’m done with that powerful moment, I move onto something that brings me comfort – guilt free. If it’s snuggling with Bella, I do it. If it’s throwing myself into a blog post for Babble on homeschool, then I do that. I will head to a farmer’s market tomorrow, take Bella to a playdate next week, and have dinner with friends this weekend. We’re tryingย to find a balance of life and grief entwined together. It’s my own, very personal, process and I’m learning to accept how I handle it right now.

I hope this might bring a little comfort to another parent struggling with how to grieve and find normalcy too. xo

 

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Comments

  1. You are a light to others even in the midst of your own dark times. God bless you! I pray for you daily…

  2. Ashley Hood Miller says:

    You are so right.

  3. The most important part is that you do give yourself space to grieve. When my mom passed (I was 19), I distracted myself with college, restaurant jobs, extracurriculars, whatever. It wasn’t until years later that the grief hit, and I had to go through it, at some time or another.

    Wishing peace to your family.

  4. So, so wise. xo

  5. So well said! My heart continues to ache for you and I pray for your sweet family often. Recently I have have been listening to Pastor Warren’s series “How to Get Through what you are Going Through,” stemming from the loss of his son to suicide earlier in the year. One thing that he said that stuck out to me was that grieving is a demonstration that we are made in the image of God because He grieves. he stated it more eloquently but it’s a really good series on living through loss. Not trying to put a spiritual bandaid over your great loss, but here’s the link to the series in case you’re interested in listening
    http://m.saddleback.com/#/media/weekendmessages/

  6. Very nicely put.

  7. First let me express my sincerest condolences to you and your family. <3

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It is so important. I lost my husband to cancer just about 2 years ago now and I remember (and still do) feeling all the guilt you are talking about regarding the "right" way to grieve. God made us all differently and there is no "right" way.

    Bless you so much!

  8. Holly Simon Cass says:

    Sweet girl!! You are amazing <3 I think of you everyday and pray for you multiple times a day and have for well over a year! Our brains can be our worst enemy sometimes with the crazy thoughts that pop in there…. Don't listen to that!! Keep writing!! It is a wonderful gift and you are truly a blessing in my life- I LOVE reading what you write on your blogs and I cry with you during the saddest times…. ((Hugs))

  9. I know how you feel and you just need to do what's right for you.

  10. One more thing, loss is a very private thing and no one will know what you are going through even though you may have a “normal” front and doing “normal” things, doesn’t mean you are not thinking about them or missing them or hurting inside. Stay strong, we are all still praying for you and our family.

  11. Prayers and love going out to you. Never let anyone make you feel bad about dealing with this in any way you see fit.

  12. I love this. It’s so very true. I never got to hold the two babies I lost, so I know it’s different, but I used to feel the same way. Was I grieving “too much” for people? Was I not grieving “enough”? If I laughed at something, did it mean I didn’t care anymore? Honestly, I still struggle with these things.

    Thank you for this. You do what you need to do. For you and for Bella. And we’ll be praying for you along the way.

  13. I’ve been a long time reader, but have never posted. Your writing is a joy to read, regardless of the subject. I would hope that there isn’t a single person out there judging you for how you go through this process of grieving. And I hope you can refrain from judging yourself. Everyone’s way of dealing with loss is as individual as that person. The important thing is being true to yourself and your family and it seems to me you’re succeeding beyond the best of expectations.

  14. You are so strong! I am in awe of your grace.

  15. Praying for you.

  16. You are a truly amazing woman. My heart goes out to you every time I read what you've been through. I think of you often and send you healing thoughts every day.

  17. Your wisdom overwhelms me. I love you and I think we could be friends in real life. You are too precious. Also, I think that Bella and my Hayes would be best pals.

  18. You are in my thoughts and my heart.

  19. Well said. Every emotional experience is different for every individual. Your grief process for Kaden may even be different from the way you handled it with Julian and Preston and that is completely OKAY. I would hate to see you refrain from sharing your talents with the world because you thought you had to do things a certain way. Be yourself and your true friends will make themselves known.

    As always, we’re thinking about you in our house. Continue to take care of yourself and your family. <3

  20. there is no right way, no timetable, no road map to grief or loss (of any kind) and so I do what you do, I let it overwhelm me if I need to and then I figure getting out of bed is a success and a win for that day, that moment.

    I think that grieving the way you are..is the RIGHT way for you. As it should be.

    thinking of you..as always.

  21. You wonderful woman.

    I’ve cried for you when cry and been happy for you when you’re happy. You deserve every inkling of happiness you can get and you deserve to cry for any that you lost.

    Love you and your family. Pray and think of you pretty much daily.

  22. I only found your blog thru She Reads Truth not long ago. It is almost as if God allowed me to find it so that I could follow you in your grief. I have never in my 27 years, felt such deep pain for another person as I do for you…and I’ve never even met you. I look at my son & wonder how you’ve made it without turning your back on your faith. It seems mine is so easily shaken, even after experiencing God & His goodness. You amaze me and inspire me to continue to wrestle with Him & fight for my faith. You are a vessel, sister, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing Him to use you. I’m
    praying for more grace & comfort for the both of us. <3

  23. When I see you online, I always want to let you know that I’m thinking of you. But I second guess it because I never know if you’ll read my comment at a time when you need it, or at a time when you didn’t need to be reminded. I’m really glad to know that you’re finding a balance. That life goes on and loss doesn’t define you.

  24. As you said, if you are there or are not there that’s okay, too.

    Where you find yourself in the process through the journey of grief is where you will be. You do what you need to to live your life and not let it swallow you whole. Judgment is not acceptable from anyone, so I hope you’re never made to feel this way by anyone you know or don’t know. Ya know? (hugs) to you. I’m glad you’re writing.

  25. Thinking of you and your family constantly. Sending hugs and good wishes to you.

  26. I have no words of wisdom at all on this subject, but it totally makes sense to me that everyone has their own special ways of finding comfort and dealing with loss. Life isn’t about spending every day in mourning. You are one incredibly strong lady. I am constantly thinking and praying for you and your family. There are no apologies for writing whatever’s on your heart.

  27. You are truly an inspiration Diana. Please know that you and your three precious boys have touched SO many lives.

  28. You are an amazing and inspiring woman.

  29. I love and admire you so much. You sharing with us as you grieve in your own way, is such a gift. You’re changing the world, sister. Hugs and prayers always.

  30. Love that! Take care of yourself and are gracious toward yourself. The right way to go about this is YOUR way, and there's nothing to be gained from observing your grief in any way that doesn't bring you healing. Hope it heals your heart a little to know that you are being a blessing to others, even in this hard time. Lots of love and prayers!

  31. What has hit me about you is how you keep writing. To me that is so encouraging. Not to completely clam up, but to keep writing.

  32. I just came here to tell you that you’re grieving wrong. I know, because I grieved *right*. Or something. I think that’s what you’re supposed to say to grieving people? Seriously, though, you’re a better person, mother and wife for letting the grief come and doing it your way. I heart you.

  33. You are amazing for so many reasons. I love the way you are going with your emotions rather than fighting them. I wish you the best, I really do. My heart still breaks a little every time I see you post or tweet, but you are inspiring in your strength. If nothing else, your experience and your babies have given you the power to inspire others with your words. It’s powerful beyond what you can imagine.

  34. I’m SO glad that you are writing. Although I haven’t experienced the level of loss that you and your family have experienced…it doesn’t mean that I won’t..or that someone else finds themselves in similar situations. I think there is power in sharing and building a community around your grief, because there is strength in sharing and strength in finding support. Share when you feel you want to, we’re all here for you! xo

  35. You write from your heart and I admire that but mostly, you are an amazing woman! I can’t imagine your grief, your sadness, your anger, your unbreakable, beautiful heart but I am sending you virtual hugs!!!!

  36. Paulina Coy says:

    Hi Diana, my name is Paulina and I found your blog and about your
    Kaden through SRT. First I want to say I am very sorry for your loss and I say it wholeheartedly as someone that understands where you're at. Yesterday and today's posts have touched my heart because I can see myself in them. I don't know how appropriate it would be to share my story but I just want you to know that you're not alone.I think us parents of babes in Heaven ought to stick together because only we can understand the loss and the pain. I am glad you are allowing yourself to grieve however you need to, I sometimes listen to a song that remind me of my son and make me cry just to feel the grief. I send you hugs and love.

  37. Thank you for this. We lost our son in May at 23 weeks due to infection and placental abruption. Lately it’s been hard to find that “new normal” mix of grief and daily life without feeling guilty about not being sad every moment. I am so grateful to you and the many other parents who have experienced a loss and bravely share their grief process publicly – it helps me as I find my way. I am still praying for your family to feel the comfort and loving arms of God.

  38. We don’t know each other but I think of you often. You coming here to talk about your grief and your amazing way of dealing with it feels like a conversation we are having. You are reaching out to all these people who you don’t personally know but care about you. You are telling us how you are doing. Letting us know you are healing in your way. I love hearing from you. It lets me know that you are “ok”. The fact you are talking in any way shape or form is healing. You are not hiding and surrounding yourself in pain. You are living. What any one who loves you would want you to do. I may sound selfish but I want to keep hearing from you. I want to know you are healing. You are amazing and strong. Embracing and feeling your pain and then going to snuggle with Bella- my definition of pure strength.

  39. Dianna,

    Not sure even what to say because I haven’t visited your blog in some time and I came back to see pictures of your new baby… I’m so incredibly sorry for your loss and for all of the pain and grief you are going through right now. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love, Cortni

  40. Steph Bletzacker says:

    Hello there. Just heard about your sweet boy from Brickyard buffalo doing a fund raiser for your family. I read some of your posts and cried and was flooded with emotions for you and of my past. My third child, Luke, was born at 41 weeks with a rare heart condition. He lived only 18hours. We thought he was perfectly healthy so this grabbed us by surprise with such rapidity that it stunned our souls. We just celebrated his second birthday on August 26. I’m sorry that you have to experience this, again. I can’t imagine having to do it again. I really can’t. On his second birthday I prayed with a thankful heart that two years had gone by. It was such a difficult and sorrowful time in my life that I feel relieved to have it behind me a bit. That may sound bad but it’s nice to not be so consumed with grief. I’ll pray for you as you sort out your new normal and find your way through the grieving process. Thank you for your faith and continued love for our Heavenly Feather who really is watching over all of this and loves you so much. He will be with you as well as your sons. I know that to be true. It looks like you have plenty of friends to lean on but If you ever need an understanding mom you can contact me. Xoxo Xoxo

  41. Beautifully written! I am so sorry for your loss, and I hope that you can let go of any guilt because you are still living, and it’s ok to live for the right now. They will always be in your heart and at the back of your mind in everything you do. Hugs mama!

  42. Wow…thank you, Diana for that post…two weeks ago today, I delivered our son Caleb at 30 weeks…he had Potter’s syndrome. He was diagnosed at 17 weeks gestation so we were aware of his fatal prognosis early on. Terminating the pregnancy was not an option for me because I knew God was not done yet and of course, we were praying and believing for a miracle. Delivering him 10 weeks early was totally unexpected but, God’s grace And mercy orchestrated everything. Labor and delivery were quick, Caleb was born alive, and both my husband and I had a chance to hold his little life before he passed away very peacefully and quietly in my arms. Now I am also learning to grieve. I love how open and honest you are about your grief process and I can very closely relate to the way you are going through the process. The times I feel I gain the most strength from my tears are when I fully allow that wave of grief to drown and overwhelm me. It lasts as long as I need it to, and then I move on and do what I need to to take care of myself. We also have another child. His name is trey and he’s 21 months. Our children are miracles! I’ve never been more grateful for my son Trey’s life! Diana, I first came across your blog the week before I delivered Caleb. I sobbed for you as I read about Kaden, not knowing that I would so desperately need to know your struggle as I was about to lose my own son. As you know it is so comforting to know we are not alone. Thank you for openly sharing and grieving with all of us.

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  1. […] Finding Comfort After Loss —>ย Diana Wrote […]

  2. […] though of course, losing a pet cannot be equated to losing your own child, Diana’s post on grieving really spoke to me. It was almost exactly how I felt, and sometimes, I felt condemned by even my […]

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