Wednesday, January 14, 2015

10 Things I've Learned Since Losing our Daughter...

10 Things that I've learned since losing our daughter Lily Grace since she passed away in my arms 2 years ago (this picture is from that moment..):
1. every single person grieves differently

2. that just because some people are quieter about their grief, that doesn't mean they are doing better than someone who opens up about their grieving journey.. You're mislead if you think that.. some people don't speak up because society is too uncomfortable to hear or society starts judging them or for any other personal reason & that's okay but just know that one way (quiet or open) isn't better or worse than the other..

3. that grieving parents do have to learn how to live this new life without all of their children.. their new normal...

4. that people mean well when they respond to someone after hearing of their loss but really... some things really shouldn't be said.. (Please don't feel the need to fix us or the situation & it's usually better to keep it simple & say you're sorry.. and if you mean it then "I'm sorry.. I'll never forget ___..)

5. That losing a child can make you see the world differently or at least it did for me

6. That I don't believe in the stages of grieving in the sense that it follows a structured exact process of grieving... it's grief & it ebbs and flows... you never know what small bump could bounce you around "the stages"..

7. Don't judge the way a person grieves as long as they are not harmful to themselves or others.. heck I carried my daughters toy sea horse with me in my purse for at least the first year after she passed.. it was a comfort... I wasn't crazy just like a pacifier is a comfort to babies.. sometimes an item that belonged to the person, symbolic jewelry, or special items surrounding the situation can become very meaningful or comforting during the grieving journey...

8. Back to #7... don't talk like I'm not there.. whisper as I'm standing there "she lost her child or she's the one that lost her child".. especially as you introduce us or talk behind our backs about how we're doing.. we are the best judge of that... ask us

9. I can't speak for everyone but I can for many I think... say their name & don't forget them- especially on holidays, their birthdays, special dates (I.e. Would have been their first day of school or a graduation, etc).

10.. the constant trying to prove to others that we're okay can be exhausting or trying to prove that our grieving is normal... be thankful that you don't understand & you may think you understand but unless you have walked out paths then you DON'T understand.. be thankful.. 

Awkward silence...

Quickest way to end a conversation or make it awkward... Someone hearing that you had a child pass away.. 

This didn't happen today but I read something about how a grieving parents journey is so complicated because we are living the journey of many peoples worst fear.. the fear of losing a child... It's so unnatural.. not how things should be..

I heard today about someone getting their story published (their child was sick).. but then their child past away so the company/ hospital decided to not publish their story because it didn't have that happy ending.. so sometimes our stories are not always publishable because they don't give people hope of a positive ending or when people are meeting you & ask about your children & it gets to a point where they ask specifics (happens to me a lot because I have 5.. "Oh wow.. What ages..?)..

19..12..9.. 8.. & our youngest is in heaven.. "Oh.. Um.. sorry to hear that.."

Awkward silence.. It's not an ending that we picked.. but it's our life & our reality.. yes our child died but our stories are worth hearing.. our stories are pretty remarkable actually.. sad but amazing on so many levels.... .. I do understand both sides though but your moment of being uncomfortable is nothing compared to our lifetime of loss... just wanted to share my thoughts

Saturday, December 27, 2014

I'm back... :)

I have been missing in action for awhile now but I'm back.. 2014 was a very rough year for me.. no denying the reality that my daughter really died.  I had big intentions on taking so many hairbow donations like I did the first year after losing Lily.. we went back to Kosair Children's Hospital where Lily passed away at least 4-5 times after we lost Lily but then 2014 came which was 1 year and a few months after losing Lily and it was very hard.. I can't explain it..

I also had people reading my blog that shouldn't have been reading.. I can't go in to detail about that either but that is the biggest reason why I stopped blogging and made my blog private for one year.  I say "shouldn't have been reading" because yes it is public so anyone can read it but they were not reading it with good intentions.  People started using it as a negative thing for gossip which is beyond my comprehension.  I am a grieving parent who started this blog for our daughters journey.  I never thought our journey would end in losing our daughter or I would have kept my blog quieter.  My blog went from a means of communicating her birth, surgery, and progress to my outlet of emotions as I journey through the life of a grieving parent.

Here I am though.. I started Weight Watchers in September 2013 and I am still going to meetings.  I have lost about 45 pounds (I say about because we just had Christmas week so I am up a few pounds.. :) ha ha).  I also started running in 2014 and I dedicate my runs to our daughter Lily, our living children here on earth, for all children gone too soon, and for CHD (congenital heart defect) awareness.  I did some 5k's, a 10k, 10 miler, and my first ever half marathon... it was incredible.  I am still running and I did 2.5 miles today as a matter of fact.. :)

Running and Weight Watchers have been a healthy outlet for me along with writing.  Expressing my thoughts, emotions, and grieving (good, bad & ugly side to being a grieving parent) has helped me with my journey of loss.  This will be a journey that I will live with for the rest of my life so... read if you want.. but only read if you have good intentions.. if you have not lost a child then you will not understand so don't judge but just be supportive, learn, and be a part of the journey.. not against it.  Being against my journey only makes it worse.. think about it.  If you have questions then please ask me directly rather than discuss, assume, and interpret things.

At this point in my life I am still a busy working Mom on a weight loss journey while running for a good outlet and writing as I go... join me if you want... I will talk about all of the above... Are you ready?? :) Welcome back everyone..  :)

***This picture was taken on Christmas Day 2014... just a few days ago.. I just loved how the light came in on the picture.. I always feel like it's Lily giving us a sign from heaven and the light in this picture was amazing.. it was all around me on Christmas... Writing is good for me and it feels good to write on this blog again.. Thanks everyone!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

One year ago today...I was in labor to have you sweet Lily Grace..

My last post... before I lay down.. 
One year ago today.. at this time.. we were waiting (this picture is of her Dad and siblings waiting.. I took this picture from the bed where I was in labor) Lily always did things on her own time.. her delivery wasn't any different... 

She would cover her face up for ultrasound pictures or show us her face when she felt like it...

Her chromosome's weren't like other people.. she was unique and she didn't "read the manual" the doctors said  Lily was her own person from the second she started to develop..

A true fighter.. she beat so many odds..ultrasound after ultrasound she proved people wrong about how her "mosaic" chromosomes could effect her..

"Do you want to terminate".. can you imagine if I did that.. look at her.. look at what she did and how people say that her life changed them in her 18 days of existing here on earth and 9 months during my pregnancy....

She was worth it.. everything that this journey has put me through.. from the second of her heart diagnosis through her full journey of life through her first birthday in heaven... she was and always will be worth it..

I wouldn't change it for anything.. Happy 1st birthday in heaven sweet little Lily..

One year ago today at 11:08 am.. you "graced" us with your presence and started to change everyone else's life too.. you had already changed my life.. from the second that I saw pregnant on my pregnancy test... (which was exactly one week before we took our last family trip even to this day and that was to Disney World..).. I couldn't ride anything because I was pregnant with Lily and I didn't want to take any chances but it let me spend time with Lily in Disney World..

The chaplain at the hospital asked me to close my eyes and think of a day that is peaceful with Lily outside of the hospital.. I told her Disney World.. I would love to take all of my kids.. including Lily to Disney World.. where everything is magical and everything feels good..

If even for just the time you are there.. 7 days or however long the trip may be.. a magical place where everything is happy.. it's so peaceful and fun.. I so wish our journey would have been different so I could REALLY take you there sweet girl..

Your first birthday decorations are Disney themed of course.. it only seemed fitting..

Occupying my mind...

At 11:50 pm I wrote this on Lily's FB page (I'm adding more to this one at the bottom): In 10 minutes the date of 8/11/13 signifies my angel daughters first

To occupy my mind... I made a shelf specifically to hold spools of ribbon.. 

I've never made a shelf or any furniture from scratch before.. went to Lowes last weekend and bought everything.. This is the finished product (before sanding & painting it white)...

It's still wet with wood glue so I can't put too many things of ribbon on the shelf yet but I put some on for you to see how it will work..

This shelf will hold all of the ribbon for "The Lily Grace Project- Hairbows for Happiness"

**I'd like to thank Pinterest for this design (crown molding on the edge of the shelves to hold the ribbon on the shelf)..

I'm working to make it easier to make hairbows in my house.. This shelf goes in my Lily Grace memorial/ hairbow craft room... I'm on my way 

Happy early 1st birthday Lily Grace... RIP 8/11/12 - 8/29/12 

**It is just so unbelievable.. I can't believe that it has been one year.. I can't believe how hard this is.. It has been raining here and I swear.. I feel like the rain is coming from the tears that I have been shedding because I have been crying so much.. it is so hard.. my heart physically hurts like it did when she first passed away.. It is so unbelievable.. 

So I am going to finally go to bed.. try to sleep... wake up and start cleaning for her mini birthday party... 

I don't even know what to do with her candles.. do we sing?  Who blows it out?  It sucks that we even have to think about it..  

Saturday, August 10, 2013

One year ago today... admitted to hospital to have our Lily Grace

One year ago today around 4 pm, my doctor sent me straight to the hospital to be induced right after my checkup... 

I had a hospital stay a few days prior to this.. August 10th was on a Friday & Lily "graced" us with her presence the next day on Saturday, August 11, 2012... (original due date was 8/21/12)

I can't believe she will be one tomorrow..

Please remember Lily tomorrow.. here is a link to her remembrance:

**For those that want to print their own Lily Grace balloon tags.. here is the link

Balloon tags for Lily's 1st birthday balloon release..

I shared this on Lily's Facebook page on Thursday, August 8th:
Sad night... BUT... on a positive note.. Look at the tags that I made (with adjustments & printing by Able Printing in Louisville, KY)... 

This is a front & back view of the tag that will be attached to all of Lily's balloons at her first birthday balloon release this Sunday