splintered

It has been a week since your services. So tonight Charlotte and I went through all the letters..those tangible expressions of IMG_3927love. I waited since it was the final part of that day..that beautifully tragic day.

The death of your child.

Its splinters and rips at all areas of our lives. Changes so much of who we once were…

Traditionally Tony is the homebody. And I am on the go. Normally I like noise and people. Tony is more subdued and likes his life that way also.

Then our daughter died…

Today I took my first non cemetery or funeral parlor trip out of the house in town. Starbucks. Tony and Charlotte were waiting in the car, Jonathan at school. If I hadn’t had Nicholas with me I think I would have ran back out. I felt that familiar feeling…blood pounding in my ears…

But I had him with me…even had a conversation or two…although no idea what I said. Then we dropped him off at our friends house. And headed back to the cemetery.

We found the general area we want to bury our daughter….our forever 6 year old daughter. I think she will really stay 6 in heaven. Its been interesting to think about and hear about all the possibilities …

Tony wanted…needed..to pick our her actual plot today..I guess I should say our actual plot since all 3 of us will eventually be buried there. I call dibs on being buried first by the way.

crap…or next I guess…

But we didn’t know which exact spots are open in the area we liked.

…rip.

It mattered to Tony. A lot. That we pick a spot today. Check something off the list.

It mattered to me. A lot. That I pick the right spot so I had to know the exact open spaces.

We dug in. Both of us. Invested by our grief in this battle. So in the rain we yelled and we tore into each other…

splintered.

I mean who could we have been bothering right?

But heres the kicker. Here is where death turns you upside down. We didn’t solve it. We got in the car and drove away. In silence.

A change from who we have always been. A couple to come together and work it out…right then. Communication being our best attribute as a couple. When we looked back at all the struggles we had to become parents…We always have said its what has helped us be better parents. But I am realizing now thats not the whole story. That time was also preparation for this time.

This living breathing…all consuming nightmare….ripping apart who we have been.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe came home and and separated. I followed my body’s desire. I changed and went for a run (ok jog) in the cold pouring rain. I cried. I sobbed. But my feet kept moving. I thought of so much about her. How much I used to take her on morning runs with me. Never in rain like this. But often in the mist of the morning. All bundled up in her pink beanie and layers of blankets.

I miss you baby. My first and only running buddy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I thought about what I will call a run I plan to do in her honor…I even thought of the tag line for it.

And I wailed. Luckily in the weather I was the only one on the levy so I could, as Elsa would say…let it go.

I cannot say I am totally sure what Tony did. My best guess is he cried on the couch. We went to get our boys. And somehow moved past and through it. Separately to come back together. Another huge change for us. To not need to talk it out.

Later today I talked with another mother, 11 years my “bereaved senior”, and she unknowingly put a name to this newly acquired skill of ours..

grace.

We have just automatically settled into this new way of dealing with….

and loving

each other.

Splintered but not broken.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

56 Responses to “splintered”

  1. Such beautiful memories of both of you. I pray for you and your husband to be patient with each other. I wish for more peaceful moments. I wish for better days…lighter days…happier days.

  2. I remember days like that. We started all of our conversations with ” I won’t mean this tomorrow but right now #%&*^%##@%^&(*^$#@$&*()” fill in the blanks. My husband too wanted things to “move along”. We were magnets spinning, sometimes we stuck together and sometimes we repelled each other. The one thing you can’t see inside this place you live now….time….. it takes time.
    Try not to rush things and Try not to put things off. I couldn’t put a meal together much less make big decisions.
    Hubs and I just morphed, silently to accommodate the other.
    I had to tell my story over and over and over to anyone who’d listen or couldn’t move to another line O.o He didn’t understand that. He wanted to “move on”. We are still together and raised three more kids.

    time

  3. An angel wrote in the book of life
    my baby’s date of birth,
    then whispered
    as she closed the book,
    “To beautiful for earth.”

    Libby

    One day in heaven you will hold her in your arms again.

    Andrea

  4. I wish I had the words to make you feel better. As always, sending my prayers, hugs and love. I think about your beautiful Jennifer and Family often. I said I would never run a marathon. It would never be on my bucket list. You tell me when and where your run will be and I will be there!

  5. An Indescribable journey of survival… 

    Very difficult to find words… As none seem to be fitting…

    Other than
    Grace

  6. Grief is not pretty. Anyone who does not understand that has never been there. It is what it is. Keep moving Libby. You’re doing it.

  7. I don’t have much to say to this one. Just know lots of love is still coming from the Armas-Losoya household. We love you so much. I pray for more moments of Grace for you and Tony.

  8. Grace indeed. I will also be there for whatever run you plan in her honor, every year! Love and prayers daily.

  9. When you put together that run in her honor I will be the first to sign up. Love to you and continued prayers for GRACE.

  10. Think in times like these men and women are just different.
    Like you I’ve had times when I have just felt like running,problem is I am not a runner.For something that means alot to me I think maybe I might just try to be.I think once you are a little further down the grief process you are going to do great things in Jennifers memory.Continued prayers for you and Tony.

  11. My heart hurts and hurts for you. HUGS HUGS HUGS!

    And on a different topic altogether… I wish I could get my child to ride in a jogging stroller. I’d be so much thinner.

  12. praying for more grace for you and Tony… you are doing an amazing job, of all of it, by the way. thoughts and prayers from families that don’t really know you, but feel like they do. in peace, carey

  13. I normally don’t pray but I have found it in myself to pray. To pray for you and your family, but especially you. HUGS HUGS AND MORE HUGS FOR YOU

  14. Oh Libby, I don’t know you, but so many times I’ve cried (bawled) for you and with you. You are so honest and brave. There is no perfect way to get through this.Your best (wailing, running, writing, withdrawing fighting, talking) is more than good enough.

  15. The death of a loved one can either bring you closer or tear you apart. I’m praying for you and your family – for a closeness that conquers all, even the grief of losing your daughter.

  16. You are both doing what you can to survive right now and I know you will find love and support when you need it most. Tony is a wonderful husband and father, just like you are a wonderful and loving mother. I think you taking time to go running is such an incredibly brave step forward. Sending you hugs and love.

    Vanessa

  17. I am a single mother of 3 little boys…the oldest (4yrs old) with disabilities. I was always running around trying to figure out my next move for our future to keep myself from being sad or depressed about my new life.
    Since following your heartbreaking journey, I’ve learned to stop, sit down and hold my little men. I even began calling our couch the “snuggle couch” because it has room for all 4 of us. I hold on to them so tight. By sharing your story, you are helping so many mothers. You are suffering the worst pain a mother can suffer and I cry thinking about how I can easily be in your shoes..so I will forever snuggle with my boys in Jennifer’s memory… Your family will forever be a part of our daily snuggling routine.

    1. Stay strong Veronica! I am also a single mother of 3 boys (two with autism) and their dad died when they were all toddlers. My boys are now teens and even though there are really hard days, It does get better. The biggest gift/advice that I can give you that it’s ok to take care of yourself. Take breaks and do things for you. It isn’t selfish, it’s a necessity! It’s also ok to do what you have to do just to get through the day. Just know you don’t have to conform to other’s idea of how to live. If your kid wants to wear the same shirt everyday of the week that’s fine (buy multiples). Toys all over the place, oh well. Just do what you think is right by you and your babies and know other people understand and care about you.

  18. I think about you and your family every day Libby. Thank you for sharing your feelings so freely. People that never knew Jennifer now mourn with you. I hope that comforts you in some small way.
    I have no wise words…none. Just want to let you know that. <3

  19. Libby,
    I’ve commented weeks ago and have followed your difficult journey. As the days pass and the comments get fewer and fewer, please know that you and your family are not forgotten. You have more supporters than you could imagine. Don’t forget about the silent ones, that cannot express themselves. Many of us just don’t feel we have the “right” words to say, but we are supporting and caring about you and your family. You are not alone, even if it feels so defiantly so.

  20. My son & I say a prayer every night for you, Jennifer & your family. We will now add GRACE. We pray for grace to settle softy over you. I have a 9 month old son if you ever need a play date & a new face to share your story with. I have read every word, but would love to hear it from direct from you. Xoxoxo stay you!

  21. Thank you for continuing to share your journey, Libby. I know you don’t want to be called “strong,” but I can only imagine what kind of guts it takes just to make it through each day right now. You once told me and some of our mom friends about an “I love you because” board that only you and Tony used to share reasons that you love each other — some big, some small, some silly, others serious … and I thought, what a great idea. Take heart in the fact that while your relationship will be different going forward, there are positive things that may come out of the changes that you both will be able to appreciate. And, neither he nor you will ever have any shortage of things to write on that board. Thinking of you constantly, friend.

  22. As we were going through grief as a family, I remember someone saying “it’s easier when you have shared grief, because you have people around you that understand”. I disagree. It’s hard enough dealing with your own grief, feeling everyday that you are going insane. Then you have others around you that are also grieving – only handling grief differently, and not always in way you understand. The days you feel you are turning a corner, you have someone near you having their bad day. It’s so very very tough. But as you move through it, understanding each other, giving each other time, space and the unspoken hug – there comes a time when having someone next to you that’s been through it with you is priceless.

  23. When I told my friend (who lost her child to leukemia) about JLK and your story, I asked her how she ever survived the death of her child. Her response…..”Grace”.

    I pray daily for God’s merciful grace for all of you.

  24. Wow, how awesome is this, Libby. Your openness and humility now offers a way for other moms to not only give love and encouragement back to you, but to one another in their struggles. I hope and pray that blesses you!

    This is truly the beginning . . . and ONLY the beginning . . . of the ripples of God’s amazing GRACE. It isn’t merely “undeserved blessing,” as we used to hear . . . It is the breathtaking, unimaginable strength and power of the Almighty, which He gives freely to us (His own beloved children), so that we not only survive, but rise victorious. And it is within you and Tony, even when you can’t feel it. I pray today for the grace to just keep believing and trusting in Him.

  25. Praying for God’s grace daily. He gives us just the amount of grace for each and every day that we need. Not an ounce more or less. Day by day. Just keep pushing forward.

  26. Because of these blogs Libby I volunteered today to be a witness and notary at a senior living center. No they aren’t children although some if their minds seem to revert to that of a child but it was a way for me to face the times I went to see my own mom and sit by her bed while she died. I walked down the hall to find a drink and saw each residents door and how they each decorate them and thought of how we decorated my moms. I could feel my chest get tight but after spending a few hours helping the residents with wills I walked out feeling better about doing something in her memory. Our prayers are with you and Tony and yes, grace is the word of the day or days. ..

  27. Seding love to you and your family each day and with each post. I read every entry and most days are not sure what to write. I only know I want to write so you know I’m still here,reading, caring and thinking of you all.

  28. Life is never “the same” after your child passes away. I have lost two children at young ages and I still hurt after over 25 years with my 8 year old. I wish no parent had to live with this.
    Libby, you had a perfect angel. She didn’t have to grow old to get her wings. Will she be young forever? Yes, I believe so. I think I shared this once with you already. But before my son, Nathan passed away, he told me he had a dream. He described my mother and my first born, my daughter, Bonnie who passed after 20 hours in the hospital with heart disease we never knew she had. She was 27 days old with heart problems.
    Nathan said he seen and old lady, then telling me how my mother looked down to a mole on her face I forgot she had and this old lady was holding a baby girl who was bald. My daughter was my only bald baby. He said things were real white and beautiful. Nathan told me “That someday, when God is ready we’ll a lll be together again”. Nathan fought his brain tumor 7 months.
    You have beautiful children that still need you, love them extra special. Jennifer is forever in your heart. Give yourself all the time you need. At the end of the day remember that you’re still loved and needed by many. Keep running and if you want to punch something, hit a pillow… You have ever right.

  29. Hi Libby,

    I don’t know you but I follow your blog daily, thanks for sharing your journey with all of us.
    Constantly during the day I think of you and your beautiful family, sending lots of Light for your highest good.
    Hugs

  30. I truly believe, with all of my heart that JLK has always been one of your guardian angels. So many times couples who cannot conceive children are able to, after they adopt. With all that I have, I know that she came to you so that you could carry to term your three beautiful children. She remained until her purpose was complete. She is now that same angel watching over you again, happy with what she accomplished, but saddened too, in your grief. She is with you- and you will feel her all of your days on this earth.

    1. I agree with everything you said and appreciate your kind words. But just so you know its actually very rare to have a biological baby after adopted. Less than 10%!

      1. “…its actually very rare to have a biological baby after adopted. Less than 10%!”

        Even more powerful. :o)

  31. Dearest Libby, GOD is with you and your little Jennifer is with GOD. Good for you that you had the strength to go for a run. I remember probably the 1st year after my son, Mike died, I had the “busy ies” as I called them. If I didn’t stop moving I wouldn’t feel it. He died Aug 2nd. In the spring I made a memory garden, planned a 25 year anniversary party for us. I just kept moving. Then of course one day I couldn’t move anymore. And then I had to face “it”. So you keep running, you do whatever helps you at that moment. God be with you and Tony and your family. And know that when you see a butterfly or lady bug, your sweet Jennifer is saying hi, I am here with you mom.

  32. As always, another gut-wrenching,but lovely,blog. Loving Charlotte’s wild hair in one of the pics. Such lovely pics of Jennifer too.

    Thanks for letting us share your life Libby.

    Hugs and love 🙂 🙂 🙂

  33. I still pray for you often, and I think of you and your family all the time. I pray that in time you can heal, although I know you will never be whole again. And for that, I’m so sorry.

  34. Thinking of you all the time. You’re not alone, so many are still here. I know your heart aches beyond all comprehension. Keep breathing. Sending you love and peace and more love.

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