The Life After

Tomorrow we leave for Colorado. My little sister is getting married and I’m the maid of honor, Sam is a groomsman, and… Bella is the flower girl.

So I hope you’re all ready to die of the cute in a few days.

I’ve spent today running around like crazy – getting her hair cut, picking up some last minute wedding gifts, grabbing the dresses, doing all the laundry, sorting and packing clothes/food/toys/and so.many.chargers.

Someone needs to invent a universal charger. For everything – phones, plugs, kid toys. It’s ridiculous how many things we have to have chargers for.

We have our sitter watching the house and pets. Except Charlie, he comes with us.

To be honest? As excited as I am for the wedding and trip home, I’m also really apprehensive. It’ll be the first time since Kaden died, and really since the twins died too, that we’ll be in a group of people we’ve known since Sam and I were both young – but haven’t seen in years. Some will have babies that will be one of my sons’ ages. I was pregnant alongside a few.

Everyone got a baby. But me. Again.

In so many ways, I’m thankful all of this happened so far away and not in the small town we came from. I don’t know if I could have dealt with the constant gossip and pitying looks from everyone. Here I’m unknown so it’s easy to go out and not worry about that.

Now, of course I’m aware that this mindset is also the same as thinking, “This is all about ME. Everyone will see ME and feel sorry for ME.” When in fact, this is actually not my day at all. But it’s still there, and it weighs on me. I don’t want the condolences, the pity, the looks, the uncomfortable small talk.

Yet I don’t want to be ignored. And I certainly don’t want my sons to not even exist in those moments. I don’t want to fall apart and I don’t want to pretend everything is ok.

It’s truly a lose/lose for everyone. I want what I don’t, so you can’t win with it.

I have no idea what anyone sees me as from the outside. If you read this blog – what bits and pieces you’ve put together over the years. I don’t know if everyone pities me, wishes I’d be happier, wants to hear more about loss, wonders if I pay attention to Sam and Bella, thinks I’m a disaster, assumes every day I spend in a corner crying, etc. I don’t know. So I go before people – some of who have read my blog, most of who haven’t seen me since I was fresh out of high school – and they all know and yet don’t. They know and they can’t comprehend and I’m some anomaly to them.

I hate being pitied or talked to as if life is over for me. That because I don’t have a big family, my hopes and dreams must be just – done.

And if I could say anything, I’d say that my life has become something I’m pretty protective of. I love my quiet home and even El Paso. I have a unique relationship with both Sam and Bella that a few years ago I would have never imagined. I love being a mama, but I also love that I have a passion outside of that that allows me to work at home. I love that I know what I want to “be” and I’m pursuing it daily. I wish so much we had our three little boys, yet I’m glad that their tiny lives changed ours so dramatically for the better.

My life isn’t sad, terrible, a nightmare, or so awful. All the things I’ve read over the years. My life is meaningful. It has profound beauty in it that shows up as my suffering eases just a little. I know no one wants to walk my path, and that I’m every mother’s worst nightmare. That stings – but I also know that I’m so blessed in ways both seen and unseen.

And not #soblessed like that hashtag – but really and truly blessed with things that people spend their lives waiting for.

I have a purpose as a mother and wife, a passion as a writer, and a relationship with Jesus that propels me to seek Him even after the unimaginable happens again.

I’ll see my sons again. One day I’ll be fulfilled in that way. Until then, I want people to know my life isn’t about loss as much as it is the unexpected beauty unfolding after.


Comments

  1. I totally understand that pitiful look. So many times I’ve received it from people who got to take their babies home when I didn’t. It’s kinda why I became somewhat of a hermit and declined invitations to group outings. It’s tiring.

    I’m glad you continue to post about such things. it makes me feel more normal in my journey as a loss mommy.

  2. Laurel Watkins says:

    Great blog post, as usual! I wish there were some magical words that could be said to parents that have lost children that convey sorrow but not pity, that says we think about their children in heaven, too, and that when we are silent, it’s not because we’ve forgotten their loss….if only those words existed.

  3. Love you girlfriend, once again this is so very well said.

  4. Great post. In case you’re interested, here’s how I see you: As a wife and mom, just like me. As someone who seems to handle life, and all of its joys and sorrows, with grace. I see you as damn strong, and as a great writer. I realize the point of your post isn’t to solicit compliments (even though I don’t know you in real life, I get the impression from reading your blog that that isn’t your style), but I wanted to reassure you anyway that your story and your writings evoke a lot more than “pity”. I hope your trip is wonderful, that any uncomfortable moments are fleeting, and that you find comfort and fun with your family :)

  5. Love what Leslie said. You are one beautiful, strong, smart, passionate, empathetic, funny, capable lady. Praying for your time “back home” and that it is more “normal” than painful. <3 <3

  6. beautifully said! You are amazing Diana

  7. I don’t know what kind of people think that not having a big family makes your life bad or lacking. Yes your life would look a lot different if y’all hadn’t suffered the losses you did, but that doesn’t negate or devalue the happy marriage and little girl you do have. I don’t have any kids yet, but at this point I’m already thinking one and done. I don’t wanna clean a 5 bedroom house or figure out how to finance 4 college educations. Those are the people I personally feel sorry for. I guess pity is in the eye of the beholder. I hope people can be sad with you that your little boys aren’t here, but not purely because your family doesn’t consist of X members. Because that is just ridiculous. Small family solidarity.

  8. I remember the look of pity. A few months after my mom passed, I was so tired of it that I actually told one of my mom’s friends that “this isn’t the funeral, this is the grocery store, and I’m glad I bumped into you because I get to tell you that my summer job is really fun…” I was still technically a teenager, so I guess I was allowed to be a little snarky.

  9. I think the pity follows us for years. You’re right though, when and if it doesn’t then sometimes I feel like that takes away from my son in heaven. It’s almost like the pity has it’s own little presence too.
    I hope you, Sam, and Bella have a wonderful trip filled with laughs, tears, and all that family vacations are made of. I see you as an amazing inspiration and I’m so glad you continue to write. Your sister is very lucky to have you by her side this weekend.

  10. You have taught me so much – about faith, about life, about death, and about motherhood. I am so thankful to have learned more about how to be compassionate and caring when friends need that the most – in the hardest of circumstances. I've also been reminded that none of us know where our life journeys may take us tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your experience. Please know that some mamas look upon you with admiration and amazement without judgement. I love reading your honesty – in the highs, lows, and in betweens. I feel honored, even though it's a "blog" friendship, to have you as a friend. You're real. That's the best that anyone can be.

  11. It is hard. Every new meeting it’s do you talk about them, and how hard or awkward will that be. Or do you not, and feel like you are denying them by not talking about them. It’s lose/lose, you are right.

  12. I have 4 children, but I had 6 pregnancies. I wonder if people are judging me. I wanted those other babies, I miss them, should I be happy with the babies I got to keep, of course! but I Wanted those other babies too. I'll keep trying for more, but you wonder what everyone is thinking. :) http://lonerual.weebly.com/blog

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