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A Decade of Pondering

June 17, 2022

They would have been 10 last month.

Preston and Julian.

A decade old. Probably 5th grade. I wonder if they would have decided to switch places at school some days. Or if I would have ever gotten them confused – like when I get mad at Bella or Char and call them the wrong name first.

I didn’t write about it last month because there was too much going on. The school year was ending, and there are still moments where the ending of things I love feels a little like a death. The grief seems awfully close to the same feeling I know so well already.

So I left writing alone.

10 years seems pivotal in grief. I remember wondering what it would feel like 10 years later.

In the thick of my grief and trauma, I couldn’t have imagined I’d ever be ok.

(Spoiler – I’m only partially ok lol)

They impact everything still. How strange it is. Two little boys I held for a few hours – they never spoke to me. Never opened their eyes. Never made their own memories or walked through my door. Never saw daylight or celebrated a real birthday.

They changed my whole world even a decade later.

I bought a brick at Char’s preschool to place in a garden/labyrinth dedicated to a preschool mama who passed away years ago. Every time I walk past it, I look down at what was etched:

For our three boys.

Who should be here.

Instead of heaven.

It’s been a long time since I slid down on my floor and sobbed so hard I thought I’d never come back from the grief that held me. Sometimes I miss that rawness, how it felt like everything I’d gone through was just a breath away from where I sat. If I just held still enough at that moment…

And now I can look at some of the small pile of pictures I have.

I can think of those memories, and the pain hits less sharply.

There’s a verse in Luke that says, “But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

I wonder if she did that after Jesus died too. When the grief wasn’t quite as fresh. If she tucked all that way and thought of it as she grew older and watched her other children live.

It feels like that’s what I’ve done. I treasured up all those things – the good, the hard, and the traumatic – and I ponder them in my heart.

10 years – and the rest of my life.

4 Comments

  • Sally

    June 18, 2022 at 2:47 am

    I have been following you since the twins were born and you often aren’t far from my thoughts, wondering how you and your precious family are doing. Wishing some much love to you, and your boys in heaven.

  • Kim

    June 18, 2022 at 12:21 am

    I lost my twins 7 years ago. The memories of my daughter announcing she was going to have a brother and a sister still pop up every year. I’m partially numb now. I still feel it, but it seems like a distant memory instead of a raw emotion.

  • Jan

    June 17, 2022 at 11:15 pm

    I somehow followed you back about 8 years ago. I was so pleased to see this Twitter post. I have often wondered how you were doing. A friend of ours most a baby and I led them to you as a source of reference for the pain of loss. You sound like you’re doing much better. Time helps you manage and I’m sure your 3 sweet boys are close to you each day. Lovely to read your blog . A Canadian that cares .

    1. Nichole

      June 18, 2022 at 10:42 am

      I was an avid follower all those years ago, before during and right after the boys. Jan will be 10 years since I said goodbye to what should have been my 3rd baby. Lost to an Ectopic ruptured pregnancy. It still hurts. I went on to have 2 more babies and they are not babies anymore. Last year I finally got the strength to get a tattoo for ALL of my babies. You are amazing.

{Thoughts}

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