Intertwined

October 5, 2013

Kaden is home.

I hate this.

I can’t believe we have to do this again. I’m tired of thinking that and hearing myself say it but it’s how I feel.

Again. Again. Again. 

We have to grieve again.

I look at our little shelf of – well. Death. Shelf of death. And I wonder, “How many more Lord?”

Or will we just stop? There won’t be a chance for another?

I hate that I feel this way. That his life is intertwined with the grief of losing Preston and Julian. That he isn’t going to get separate mourning because it can’t be separated from his brothers. I don’t like feeling angry about having to grieve again, and yet I do and that’s all there is to it. I’m not going to feel guilty about being mad I have to do this again.

No matter how I feel or don’t feel, he’s not coming back. I could cry or lay in bed or do what I’m doing and just plod along waiting for the next

A. Shoe to drop

B. Blessing to happen

and it won’t change the fact that he is sitting on my little shelf of death forever.

How morbid. How awful. I often wonder what people thought when they saw the twins urn. Now we have two. Like people show off trophies.

“Oh, look – three sons…”

Let me tell you about them, OH WAIT. I didn’t even get to know two and the son I finally held I only knew through tears and pain and prayer. Now we get to plan another memorial service that I honestly do not want to do. I just want to pretend it never happened. Of course that’s not “healing.”

This isn’t pretty. I’m not going to dress it up and tell you that my shelf is a way to honor them or they’re looking down on us or any of that bullshit.

It’s awful. I wish I wasn’t this person. It feels wrong to put them out and wrong to put them in the closet and I’m left grasping on just what to do with 3 little lives that changed ours forever, while fighting with, “What kind of a family puts their dead kids on a shelf with the autumn decorations?”

It’s all so incredibly horrible and horribly funny in a terrible sort of way where you laugh (as I did) reading that last sentence and then your throat chokes up a bit trying to rationalize it and you can’t. Life and grief and humor and joy and anger and hope all intertwined and it feels some days like one is trumping the other. But in the end nothing changes what happened. Shelf or closet. Anger or grief. It is what it is.

And it’s horrible.

43 Comments

  • nhcc2013

    November 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Diana,
    I don’t know you but found your blog on a friend’s facebook page. I have never lost a baby but have friends that have. For some reason I was drawn to the “baby loss” heading. I’ve been reading your story now for about 45 minutes with tears in my eyes. I’m terribly sorry for the pain and loss you’ve suffered. My heart hurts for you. You are a gifted writer and I appreciate your honesty – it has shed new light on how I can relate to my friends who have lost children. A lot of them are quiet and don’t show their emotion like you. It’s helpful to know the raw emotion you’re feeling. So thank you for sharing. I look forward to rejoicing the King together with you and your boys someday when we are united in the Kingdom as sisters in Christ. Prayers for you, sister <3
    -Angela

  • Heidi

    October 14, 2013 at 10:23 am

    I don’t know you but have been following your story–I just wanted to tell you that it’s ok to change your mind. It’s ok to put your boys’ urns wherever feels right to you in that moment, and to change your mind the next day, or the next hour. My brother died at age 4, and my mother has always struggled with how to handle this. Now, 30 years later, she keeps his urn in her bedroom, in a tucked-away corner but a special place where she can feel close to him. I don’t think any worthwhile human being would think that any decision you make regarding that is strange.

  • mommyinbonlee

    October 10, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    Diana, I don’t know you but I just wanted to tell you that I am praying for you.

  • Kim Erickson

    October 10, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    We lost our 3 year old a little over 5 years ago and we finally decided to put his urn away. We also have very few pictures of him up any more. The daily reminder was simply too much to bear. So, I would encourage you to also feel no pressure to keep up the shelf if it ever feels like you want to put it away. You and your family are the only ones who truly have to carry this burden, so carry it any way you can and know that there are others who are here to help, if that's even possible. I appreciated your honesty in this post. Many prayers for your journey.

  • Anne-Marie Lindsey (@DoNotFaint)

    October 7, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    There’s a Robert Frost poem in which a wife cannot understand how her husband can get through the day in which he must dig a grave for their infant child, now gone. It’s full of the tasks and choices that follow a child’s death, and the poem breaks my heart, because she wants to hang on to her moments with her child, but time just keeps going on. So she’s angry with her husband for doing the things that time demands someone do. How can he do anything? How can time just keep passing, and what is she supposed to do, if doing anything offends her?

    Given that Robert Frost does not seem to have had much in common with you, personality-wise, I must conclude that this is what grief is. We cannot go back, but the past will not leave. We cannot help going forward, but we do not want to risk our precious memories of what we have lost.

    Grief is a paradox, and there is nothing harder than living inside two opposing forces.

  • melody

    October 7, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Precious Diana. You are so so loved. It’s just not fair at all. I think about you every day – so many times a day. I just loved meeting you so much at Influence and wish that I could be with you today to just drink coffee and sit and cry or scream or talk or not talk at all or dumpster dive if we felt like it. Love you so very much friend.

  • Lisa

    October 6, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I don’t know you but as a mother, my heart hurts for you. You and your family have been in my thoughts and prayers. I believe that our loving God is keeping your sons near his side and that you will see them again, whole and beautiful.”This is what the gospel gives us, not immunity from death, but victory over it through the hope we have in a glorious resurection”-Richard J. Maynes. Hang in their Diana. Your are an inspiration to me. Please know that God does love you and is watching over you.

  • Adrienne Jones

    October 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    Grief is a bastard. But then, so is death, so I guess they deserve each other. I'm so sorry you have to know so much about both. It's brutally unfair.

  • Deborah Cruz

    October 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Keep writing through it. It is the only way to get through it. You are surviving it. This is the hardest thing that can ever happen to a mother. You are braver than me. After my 1st loss, last year I knew I couldn’t do it again. My heart couldn’t take the pain but I will tell you, now on some days, I think…maybe I could. Maybe next time there wouldn’t be a loss and I know you know that feeling too. Just write it down. Cry it out. Talk about it and do whatever helps YOU cope. There is no right or wrong way to learn to live with the loss of a child. I still cry and feel like someone has punched me in the gut. I miss the baby I will never know and you will miss your sons because you loved them so damn much. Do what you need to carry on. We are here if you need us. I am so very sorry that you are going through this again. XOXO

  • burpclothsblog

    October 6, 2013 at 11:08 am

    I’m so sorry, Diana.

  • Sana Sanasana

    October 6, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    amen

  • TheNextMartha

    October 6, 2013 at 9:18 am

    You are allowed. There are so many who wish that shelf to be different for you. Lots of love. .

  • Nikki

    October 6, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Continually wishing strength and peace for your family.

  • Dee P.

    October 6, 2013 at 7:15 am

    You are always, always in my thoughts….xo

  • Elizabeth Clements

    October 6, 2013 at 6:54 am

    “Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.” Truvy Jones~Steel Magnolias

  • sweetnessitselfblog

    October 6, 2013 at 12:43 am

    I don’t know what to say except I am praying for you and am praying for you. You’re beautiful.

  • Casey B.

    October 5, 2013 at 11:25 pm

    Dear Ms. Lovely Diana,

    I have been following you for a while and my heart just hurts for your pain.

    I don’t know if it will help, but I saw this quote today and thought of you. I hope that it helps in a little way

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LdRmMapyZkQ/UknxBG-quGI/AAAAAAAAIq4/mHrumCjanIs/s1600/Come-unto-him.gif

    You are wonderful and beautiful. I’m sending hugs and prayers your way.

  • Sherri Kuhn

    October 5, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I hate that this is how it is now for you… that three little boys are missing in your home. But not in your heart. I cannot imagine your pain, but I am glad you are writing your real feelings.

  • Debby Dawson

    October 6, 2013 at 3:56 am

    :'( still praying. I hate this for you.

  • Julie Ketter

    October 6, 2013 at 3:55 am

    It's all so foreign and crazy and unfathomable because this stuff shouldn't happen. We weren't meant to lose our babies. Whether you bury them like I did or you put them in an urn like your boys, a mother was never meant to have to do this. Ever. I'm glad you're not ashamed of your anger. You shouldn't be. This is all wrong. I'm still praying for your family. <3

  • Stephanie

    October 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Reading your post today is like reading my mind from a few years ago. Horribly terrifically comforting to know that others think and experience grief the same way. I hate having to fancy up the language to make others more comfortable, this isn’t a memorial tribute to our never forgotten angel, it’s a picture of my dead baby boy. Yep, I get your shelf of death.
    I hate that you have to go through this again and I imagine one of the worst parts of grieving again is knowing exactly how bad it is going to be.
    Take care

  • Jenny

    October 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    Oh, Diana, how I adore you so. No one would want to be in your shoes, so I can’t blame you for wanting to kick said shoes off the side of a tall, tall bridge. You own your feelings so well. Kudos, mama. And hugs.

  • Christine Griffin

    October 5, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    This post I really could relate to. It is sad and horrible but true. We are temporarily in a very small apartment waiting to move into our new home. There is no room here for anything. My hubby is packed away in the laundry room. Perhaps when my 14 year old son is old enough to make a healthy decision, I will allow him the choice of where to place dads ashes. I wish you peace, and meanwhile if you can’t cry, just laugh.

  • Jessica Numbers

    October 6, 2013 at 2:52 am

    I admire your honesty. I don't know what to say other than I wish I could hug you

  • Meg

    October 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    My husband and I read this entry together, and before you even said anything about it we were already unsure of what we, personally, would choose to do with the ashes of any children we lost. We were talking about how we didn’t know if we could put them up to see them every day, that it would be too sad, but that putting them where we couldn’t see them seemed like it would be like we were trying to forget they existed, too.

    I imagine it’s very difficult to face a decision like this because being in your club sucks, and you can’t really ask other people “hey, what do you do with your dead kids?” Because, even though so many people have this exact situation, it’s still so hush hush. Which is stupid–could you imagine how much we could help each other if we could just talk about it?

    I think about you all the time, every day. And I wish I didn’t, because that would mean you never had to go through this. I wouldn’t have to think of you. Because you’d be happy, and wouldn’t need my thoughts.

  • Amy VanKleeck

    October 6, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Crying with you tonight. <3

  • Shannon McAvoy

    October 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Gah, I can’t imagine the pain. Oh sweet lady I continue to pray for you.

  • Molly Huggins

    October 6, 2013 at 2:43 am

    I pray for you all the time. I looked at your verse in Job in depth for a book I am writing and this is what Matthew Henry's commentary said on it: “This is a high expression of faith. We must rejoice in God when we have nothing else to rejoice in, and cling to Him, yes, though we cannot for the present find comfort in Him (P.560)." I am praying for you to keep clinging.

  • Andrea B (@goodgirlgonered)

    October 5, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    I am so sorry, Diana. I wish I had words. I don’t have the right ones but I send you continued strength.

  • Melanie

    October 5, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Don’t try to rationalize it. I once put my miscarried child in the freezer next to the ice cream. Why? Because I didn’t know what else to do. So just do what feels best for you because there honestly is no right or wrong when grieving. Many hugs and prayers to you, hon. Many, many hugs and prayers…

    1. Gina Perna

      October 5, 2013 at 11:17 pm

      I completely agree with Melanie– there is no wrong way to grieve, especially when you are not only grieving once, but threefold. New or not, this is not normal. I lost my daughter at 10 1/2 years old, and have had her on a shelf with pictures and seasonal decor. I have always worried about offending or discomforting others with this, and would sometimes try to put her in the closet. It would last about two seconds before that mere action caused me tremendous heartache and angst. People will always judge how you are behaving, how you are grieving because they think they’re trying to help you move forward and not dwell and be stuck focusing on the loss/losses. But people don’t know unless it personally happens to them. They just don’t know. My ex-fiancée (not my daughter’s father) convinced me to go back to work a week after my daughter died because he thought he was helping me. Regardless of how I told him I wasn’t ready just yet, he wouldn’t let up. So I went to work, and I struggled more. I sat in my car and had lunch by myself everyday for about 3 months. I wasnt ready. Grieve however it comes, Diana. There is no wrong way.

  • Daniele Lindsey

    October 6, 2013 at 2:35 am

    "…Hast thou considered my servant Job…?"

  • Mandy Ford (@TGL_mandyford)

    October 5, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Your honesty with all of this is what shows me you are dealing with it in the healthiest way possible…it does suck and it is just horrible and you aren’t trying to hide it. I did laugh a bit when you said you had them on the same shelf as your autumn decorations because it probably does seem odd to some, but it is your way of honoring them and dealing with it and that is beautiful. Lots of hugs and prayers to you as you wade through this horribly difficult time.

  • Ruth Lind Judkins Wright

    October 5, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Bless your sweet honest hurting heart. I’m so sorry you are going thru this. There are no words that can help right now. The pain is deep and real, but God is right there with you. You will never be the same. Your “new normal” will always be missing your 3 little angels…………..praying for you and sending hugs to surround you with peace and acceptance, tears and love…………

  • Molly

    October 5, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    It might be strange to say this but this is probably my favorite post you’ve written. So real. So raw. Let it all out, Diana. Curse if you need to. I’ll be reading even if you don’t want to post it. I care about how you feel going through this and I want to encourage you to keep writing exactly what you feel.

  • Mandy Undziakiewicz

    October 6, 2013 at 2:21 am

    I can't fathom what you're going through, but I'm here. Here, listening per se to your words. Me and many others. We may not all know you like your best friend might, but we're like an big net, linked in arms walking behind you. Let it all out sister. We gladly sit and listen. <3

  • Jennifer Dziak Waldo

    October 6, 2013 at 2:17 am

    you have every right to be mad, furious, angry, pissed and grieving. Take as long as you need, whatever it takes, whatever you can do to drive this pain away. Please know you're not alone, I'm grieving with you (even never meeting), you're in my heart, in my prayers, in my mind. Know you are a child of the Lord, He knows this pain and grief and will never leave you. Life and death tether us to the holy one. Praying for you still!!! xoxo

  • Heather Boersma

    October 6, 2013 at 2:10 am

    Diana. Thank you for your honesty through this journey. I truly believe that you are helping SO many women who have dealt with this kind of loss before. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Emily

    October 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    It is horrible and I am so sorry. Praying always!

  • Abby

    October 5, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    It is horrible, and sometimes the people of God just have to call misery what it is. We mourn with hope, but it’s still deep mourning. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. I’m praying for you.

  • Karen

    October 5, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    I am praying for you all.

  • jill@babyrabies

    October 5, 2013 at 7:56 pm

    It is horrible. I’m so sorry, Diana. You just keep being honest. Keep writing your way through this. So many are loving you through this, and I can’t imagine anyone, especially not God himself, could fault you for any of these feelings- individually or all together.

  • Beth Zimmerman (@BethZimmerman)

    October 5, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I’m so sorry. Praying for you!

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