calling

I’m trying to follow that little voice inside my head a lot more lately. I would have used to call it my gut instinct… but now I attribute it to more than that.

I had been finding little things that reminded me of one of Jennifer’s little friends…and her mom…We had. . well fallen apart through all of this. And it hurt me. A lot. I hear its normal. I hear it happens a lot to friendships of woman who have lost children

. But these little signs and nudges the past few days made me want to call her today. To say lets talk..

So I did. We did. And I am glad.

I can’t say for sure what is leading me… or if I am just doing a better job now, following that intuition. But so far its been really good for me. If I feel like I should clean her room…or the books… or call a “old” (I put it in quotes since all of this is still so fresh nothing is old) I have been.

No matter what is leading me or the cause…I am glad it is happening for me… to me.

I will say again to anybody reading this down the road.. knowing a friend/sister/cousin struggling through a devasting loss.. reach out. Risk being rejected. Because the time you aren’t… the time you are there when they need you will be worth it. Don’t assume they know you care…We hardly know our left from our right…we need to be reminded you are here… that you care.

And if somebody (this includes me in the future) reads this that is stuck in the nightmare of their child’s death… reach out. Tell people what you need. Do not assume that they don’t care. They may just be paralyzed with not knowing what to do/say and fear of hurting you more.

…and FYI I think you cant hurt us anymore. Our child is dead…pretty much as low as it gets.

New uncharted territory. We all need to make our own maps.. and be willing to share it with each other.

Tonight we had a fun dinner with some of my family. Its hard though. I never know whats appropriate. I want to talk about her. I think about her. So many little things remind me of her. Yet my thoughts…they wouldn’t make sense if I blurted them out.  I don’t want to make gatherings awkward or sad. I don’t want to be a conversation stopper and I don’t want to monopolize it either.

And frankly sometimes I don’t even know what I want to say. I just want to speak her name.

Or actually just yell it. Moments capture me…I fade out of conversations…and I want to scream for her. I want to just yell

JENNIFER

To get it out of my head. . that physical release.

I want to make sure she is still present. If its this hard now… what will it be like 5 yrs… 10 yrs down the road?

Time is a strange twisted thing.

Tony told me yesterday we have been together for 12 yrs. My first thought was well cool.. he still makes my heart skip a beat after all these years… then ..

. .it completely deflated me.

Because it feels like we have been together for so long. Life before dating him is a blur in a lot of ways. But to think its only been 12 yrs. It made me realize how very long 12 years feels… and in turn how excruciatingly long it will be till I see her again.

JENNIFER

That feeling.. that need for her right now feels so strong. Its hard to write anything else.

JENNIFER

JENNIFER

DSC_0008

oh my sweet baby jennifer

65 Responses to “calling”

  1. Libby I am so glad you had some resolution with your friend tonight….those nudges, well, just a little more of Jennifer guiding you…. and you know what? If you feel lime screaming her name, then DO IT!!!! 500 times if you want! Who cares what others think!!!!

    1. Libby, so true!! Go out scream yell walk talk saying her name…. What ever you feel you just do…. Do not hide you!! Your feelings.. Your family loves you so much they would more then understand!! Libby if you barry it so you don’t take the conversation you hide a little of you each time.. I did that!!! I couldn’t show what I felt was my weakness.. It made me vulnerable to what my work put me through and in the end I had a break down.. 5 years still trying 2 over come from.. Please don’t please scream yell shout take over do whatever YOU have to do to feel healing.. Even if it makes no sense to someone else it doesn’t matter you have to heal to continue being there for your kids, your husband and most of all you!! JUST SCREAM!!!!!!! Its ok!!! Im hear for you and I love you! I never felt her kiss or even her hug but I felt her love and hurt to!! I don’t give a dam if my family thinks I am a big baby for crying so much over her – Im trying to accept a lot and let go of what wasn’t mine in the first place.. Its called healing.. Love her – yell for her cry for her heal for her.. Prayers and hugs as always…

  2. Love her beautiful brown eyes and wide smile. I wish I could take some of the pain away – really, I wish with everything that she were still here – and healthy. Continued prayers for you and your family. Love and hugs to you.

  3. Hurting so much for you, more than I can ever express with words.

    Libby, I am so sorry that all of this is real. I don’t want it to be real for you.

    Love to you, from one mama to another, utterly and always.

  4. Hi Libby, I have followed your story since mid January and I have not reached out to you because quite honestly I didn’t know what to say. What could I say that would even matter? Your blogs are hard for me to read but I am compelled to read them because of the strength that you exhibit, I am in awe of how you and Tony are getting through the days together with each others support. Through reading your story, I feel like I know Jennifer, I feel vey connected, maybe because I have a 3.5 year old daughter. Your story has truly had a huge impact on me, I have spent hours crying for you and asking God how he could allow this to happen. I look at my daughter and pray that she will stay healthy and safe, I think how could I ever live without her? I can’t even begin to conceptualize the degree of pain you as a mother must be feeling but I decided to write to you today because you said to not be afraid to reach out. I want you to know that you make me want to be a better mom and I thank you for that. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers daily!

  5. Don’t be afraid to talk about her, especially with family. They probably want to, also and don’t know how to bring her up. Continued prayers. Still here and reading and supporting you from afar!

  6. I read your blogs everyday and tho I have never met you I feel as if I know you. We belong to the same club, one that no parent should ever have to belong to. I see great insight in your thoughts and feelings. Say her name whenever you need to. I do this myself. I want to be reminded that he was here and that he mattered and hearing his name or talking about him gives me that.

    You are all in my thoughts daily.

  7. Hi Libby,

    Thank you for continuing to blog. I can sense in your writing how much you hurt but also how much clarity you are starting to see/feel. I just hope you continue to listen to your instincts. A mother’s intuition is always right. Listen to it…no matter how crazy it sounds to your logical brain. Jennifer is always with you. Say her name however loud or soft…she is listening. Love to you all…

  8. I know the writing helps you to get through. You should know it’s helping others. I’m glad you were able to reconnect with your friend. Jennifer is smiling down at you for making the call. Please let me know if you need anything; I’m around if you need me. Sending lots of love and hugs to you and the family. You all are in my thoughts.

  9. You are a brave woman and reaching out to your friend is one more example of your bravery. I’m proud of you for doing that and it sounds like moments like that help. Talk about Jennifer when you want to. Part of grieving is being able to share your thoughts, memories and shared love with the people that love you. I’m sure they would love the opportunity to hear stories that they may not know or just listen to how you’re feeling right now. We all love you and your family and are here for you.

    Hugs,

    Vanessa

  10. I’m with the first post, just yell her name 🙂 who cares what people think. And if u want to talk about her, well then u talk about her. Nothing wrong with that:) still praying for u daily. Much love

  11. Libby, I continue to pray for your family. Talk about Jennifer, yell her name, do what feels right to you. She is still with you, let her guide you. I’ll continue to read, daily. Wishing I could do more….

  12. I am so touched by what you are going through, will always go through, for the rest of your life. I have a girl and a boy that are my life and I do cherish them more everytime I read your post. Just know that you are touching other peoples lives with your family and Jennifer’s memmory will NEVER fade.

  13. Oh, Libby! I am one of these people who layed low because I am paralysed with grief and anger. I am following your family journey religiously, though, and think of you at all times. I also thought that you have good friends around and some were were not as close, you might not need me… I am here thought, whatever you need! And I will be here for as long as you need me.

  14. Hi Libby,

    I understand what it’s like to have friends fall away during our deepest losses. Although I’ve never lost a child, I lost my husband at 34. Some of my friends didn’t know what to say and they were obviously uncomfortable just being around my profound grief. It’s unfortunate you had to be the one to reach out, but the fact that you did tells me a lot about your character. Hang in there honey. Im praying for you and your family.

  15. You are right that people don’t know what to do. I/we who read your blog can give support in the only way we can because of geographical distance. But if I were closer I would definitely need to know that it’s ok to try multiple times to reach out. That’s valuable knowledge in case we ever find ourselves with a friend in this awful situation. God bless Libby and family

  16. Listen to your heart, follow where it leads in the grief process. When I lost my friend I reached out to a woman I didn’t even know that I had connected with on FB because she had lost her best friend and somehow I felt she could help me, she did help me. I couldn’t explain to anyone why I felt this intense need to connect with her, a stranger and yet I was rejecting help, visits and calls from some of our closest friends. I wouldn’t even take calls from my own Mother. It was what I needed in that moment. You are very brave to share what you feel. I wrote a lot of poems after our friends died (both her husband and her passed away in separate events 6 months apart from each other). I got a lot of criticism for putting things out there that were raw, painful and hard to hear. Yet, I got a lot of private messages from people telling me how much my honesty about death and all the gut wrenching parts of my reality helped them come to terms with their own grief and feel like they could talk about it. Grief in our culture is locked up behind closed doors and I don’t think it is something that anyone should hide. There will always be those “hidden parts” in the process, but sharing what is real is important and it does make a difference. So thank you for being real and honest and open. It takes a tremendous amount of courage <3

  17. Libby, I am always here. Always reading, always thinking and praying for you guys. Always ready to help pull the thread.

  18. I read your blog everyday and my hurt just hurts for you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss. My daughter is just a few weeks younger than Jennifer and there are so many similarities. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. You have such beautiful memories and hopefully they will help carry you through these heart wrenching times. Your family is in my thoughts and heart all the time.

  19. I’ve been reading your blog daily for many months. Your writing is eloquent, raw, authentic and honest. It’s a gift to witness you grieve and heal. I know countless people will be helped through your words. I pray for you and your family often. Thank you for sharing your journey. I will keep praying and sending positive energy to you all.

  20. Losing a child is the hardest thing, in my opinion. It is hard to know how to talk about it to anyone or for anyone to know what to say. It is a unique club and unless you belong you cannot fully understand although none of us in it want anyone else to have to understand. 20 years later I still have a hard time talking about my daughter with anyone I don’t know well. I did finally pull out a picture of her and put it up in our house. I like having it where I can see it. I really think I waited too long to do it. I am married to someone else and his kids don’t know anything about her. Seems to me like a conversation stopper to bring her up. His kids were pretty much grown up when we married. My husband knows about her and is very patient when I want to talk about her. Lately my struggle has been our granddaughter who is so much like my girl was. I love being around her but it is hard at the same time. I especially hate that she goes home. I have noticed a very special bond between myself and our granddaughter. I wonder how much of it has to do with the reminder she is to me. You are in my thoughts.

  21. I love this post! People are often paralyzed from someone else’s loss, and they just don’t know what to do or say… It doesn’t matter if it is the right thing, just say it! Let the person grieving know you are thinking of them in some way.
    My grief counselor told me, “Losing Keith is always, for the rest of your life, going to suck. It will never be okay, and it will never be fair, and “everything happens for a reason” is a lie. But, it will slowly get better, and one day you won’t cry everyday, and one day you won’t cry every week, and in about 10 years, you’ll only cry once a month. It’s been almost three years, and I cry probably twice a week about it.
    Listen to those voices in your head, leading you down the path and helping you make decisions. I know it is her!
    Lots if love to you and your family

  22. So nice to encourage people to reach out even when they’re not sure what to say..just know sometimes people really do say obnoxious things because they haven’t lost anyone..ever. Lucky. Be prepared, someone may one day ask, “Aren’t you over it yet” – as if you are ever over the biggest heartbreak of your life? I think you are strong even when you think you are not. Scream outside when you need to, run as hard as you can when you need to get away for a moment because you need you time, one day at a time.

  23. I think Jennifer is leading u to find comfort in the little things. She wants you to be happy. Of course you will never forget her but she wants to know that you will be ok. She is always with u… When your son found that heart shaped rock to having urges in going in her room that is her saying she is always there.

  24. Time is funny. Some things are foggy in the past and some are as clear as day. I believe your memories of Jennifer will be clear in your mind forever. The important memories stick firm in our minds.

  25. Libby, I am reaching out. I think about Jennifer and you every day. I don’t have the words but just wanted you to know that I love you.

  26. Libby,

    With the way you grow and observe and view things- time may draw you closer, not further away. No one can think far down the road without being scared to death….you, especially. That is just too much.

    Last night I listened to this woman speak about fear, worrying, and the future. She said that tomorrow is not ours, it is God’s. We will be given the grace we need when that time is here…..but it is not ours yet. God is with us today.

    I say all of this having no CLUE how sad and awful you feel.

    A while back you taught me something I will NEVER FORGET. Now let me remind you of your own words. You said that you say no to your kids even though they may rage against you and not understand. They want something but you have to say no because you love them. At the same time you thought “God was a big dick”. Libby, I have thought of that 500 times since. You are so wise…..and because of this extraordinary wisdom I believe you are going to do amazing things….with Jennifer right there. Sorry for rambling. I just want you to know that as vulnerable and hurt as you are, you are a teacher….

    Keep writing. I care, and don’t even know you. You can come on here and write Jennifer 500 times. Were here to listen.

    Ps- Time is definitely a weird thing..,,confusing…I agree!

  27. A friend who lost a child has told me this. Years after her son’s death, when the family was reminiscing about the lost son and what they remembered, her children born around that time would say, now tell me a story about me! She has no stories. As everything revolved around the loss, what was going on with the others got lost. As you make memories with your other precious three, write some of them down, they will need them in the future and you may, too.
    I love that you are following your intuition/whatever it is. I call it my God voice. Praying for you and yours.

  28. Just wanted you to know I think of Jennifer everyday. Her bright eyes and beautiful smile are always in my thoughts.

  29. There are many people reading your blog who don’t know your family (like myself). We are thinking about you and Jennifer every day. Today was the first day at my church that they didn’t say my nephew Dominic’s name during Prayers of the Faithful. It made me realize that others are starting to move on from his death. It made me realize that my kids and I need to talk about him more to remind everyone what a wonderful kid he was. Don’t be afraid to say Jennifer’s name or to tell others something funny that you remember. The more that you talk about her, the more comfortable other’s will be talking to you about her. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!

  30. I am constantly being reminded of Jennifer. A few minutes ago I saw a post on Facebook of a picture of a little boy playing at his older brothers grave. They added a sand box in front it. Of course I think of you and the process you are now going through. I thought how cool, you could do something special like that for your kids. Also, right now Sara Barellies is doing a concert on Palladia and right when I put in on she does “Brave”. I will never forget your daughter. I just wanted you to know this.

  31. Libby, follow your mommy heart. She will be the Angel that will touch you in unexpected and inexplicable ways, and at first you will wonder” what did just happen?” Then you will discover it was a true Angel , it was your sweet Jennifer. Personally , disaster of the kind not compatible with life has come close many times , I shake my head and ask myself ” how?” , I close my eyes and then I remember… My grandmother. Libby, you are an incredible human being going through unimaginable pain. I personally would have ended in a mental hospital. But you keep it together for your precious family. You are beyond amazing. Give yourself a break, grieve in a way that feels right to you. And when you are ready to start fighting that dreaded disease, I , a perfect stranger and the rest of us will be there to honor JLK , because her life means a lot to a lot of us who never knew her but now she truly lives in our hearts,

  32. The Ancient Egyptians believed that speaking someone’s name ensures that they will live forever. You see names all over the monuments. There’s even a special oval shape called the cartouche to encase the name. The name is important. I will help you say Jennifer’s name.

  33. I have Jennifer’s picture from the service on my fridge.. You don’t know me.. I know you through a friend.. I hope it’s ok that I do that… It reminds me daily of what you an your family are going through. I so wish there was more I could do then put her picture up and read your blog. I’m so so sorry Libby for the loss of Jennifer. We are here.. My family prays for your family.

  34. “That small voice,” listen to it as it guides through you immense time of grief. Her spirit lives…let her hear your voice. We love to listen to yours. My daily prayers include you and you family. Be brave!

  35. I’m here. And while we’ve been in Bumpies together since we were just Nesties, I know you may not know me that well. And that’s my fault. You share everything and I remember so many moments and milestones in your life over the years. I’ve joyfully shared do many stories and updates about the Kranz family…until October. Then I had to share the worst news. But I want you to know I’m here. If there is ever anything I can do, just ask. But even saying that, it seems silly expecting you to even think of asking. But you can.
    JENNIFER JENNIFER JENNIFER! I’m yelling out her name for you too. Honestly, I think others want to talk about her too but don’t want to hurt you. Bring her up. Speak her name. Share your memories. They will be embraced.
    With love, Baidra

  36. I am a stranger, but I too read your blog every day. I feel such a connection to Jennifer…and to you and your story/life. Praying for you each and every day. I really can’t even fathom how you are feeling. Having children of my own, I don’t even know how you are holding on. Your strength is amazing! God bless you and you family…

  37. Keep saying her name as much as you need to. March to the beat of your own drum, you deserve at least that. Sending daily love to you and your family.

  38. A part of me tells me not to bother you with this, but I’m going to tell you anyway, just in case it helps. After a little more than 40 years of marriage, my husband died, three months before his 62nd birthday. At the time, I didn’t understand how the world could continue, how God could expect me to go on without him. We were barely more than children when we got married, and he’d always been there, supporting my dreams, loving me with all my craziness. I didn’t think I could face life without him.

    In ten days, it will be 4 years. I’m facing the 5th time the world has turned to spring without him. I can’t really say it’s easier. It isn’t as sharp and pointed and tearing, but it still aches and feels wrong and hurts and I still cry. At some point, I began to write him letters, to tell him how I’m feeling, to tell him things that are going on in life. It has helped me some. I don’t write every day, and they aren’t long letters. They’re on a private wordpress blog.

    It sort of lets the pressure of the missing and distress release a little bit. Maybe it would help you, too, to write to Jennifer, and put in pictures of family moments – make her a silent partner of your family. I still wonder how the world can keep turning when he isn’t in it … but it does.

  39. Libby, I just want to hug you and hold you in my arms and let you cry, let you scream her name, let you grieve! I keep praying for some kind of peace for you, but I just don’t know what to ask God for, but I do know He knows what you need, so I will continue to pray for you, every day!
    Love to you!!!

  40. Hi Libby,
    I don’t know you but I am from Gilroy and I have followed Jennifer’s story since the beginning. Through your words I fell into love with your daughter and I prayed for her and grieved for her. I want to thank you for sharing her story and for continuing to share.
    I have one child, a 9 year old daughter, that after reading your words I realized I have taken for granted more times than I care to share. I missed so much because I was busy looking at facebook or checking emails or watching something on TV. Your words have taught me to stop and listen to what she has to say, to not take that phone call in the middle of a conversation and to take advantage of moments that I can’t get back.
    I wish that I could take away your hurt and I wish that it wasn’t because of your loss that I learned these things, because no parent should ever have to lose a child. But, I want to thank you for teaching me to be a better parent and thank you for opening my eyes to all that I was missing. You are an amazing mother Libby and your children are blessed to have you.
    Jennifer will never be forgotten, She will live on in the hearts of all the people you touched with her story.

  41. That photo is beautiful. I am a stranger but you are reaching out to us thru your blog so I hope you feel us reaching back to you. I spent some time with close friends this wekend. I shared your story. We spoke about Jennifer a few times through out the weekend. I want you to know by you sharing your story, we are sharing your story and we will continue to do so in hopes of finding a cure.

  42. I have read all of your posts and pray for you and your family. There are no words for your loss and my heart aches for your family. I know that Jennifer is alive and that you will see her again. Our Heavenly Father designed us to live in families not just here on earth but after this life and through the eternities. Those feelings are promptings from a loving Heavenly Father who knows what you need and who knows Jennifer. You have not lost her, this time is a painful separation however you will be reunited with her and your relationship will continue. I know this with everything that I am….

  43. I have been writing and deleting messages to you for over two hours straight. I turned off my computer and tossed and turned in bed. For some reason I must post this tonight. I am so sorry that I do not have the ability to share my heart like you do in words, please forgive me if this comes out poorly… I want you to find peace desperately. I want you to breathe in the fog and let it heal you, let your memories slip, let them go. I don’t know if you can survive without letting her go. I want you to stop reliving it, stop watching her video because you are torturing yourself. Please let her siblings let her go. They have a chance to recover, they are so very young. Let them forget the heartbreak of losing their sister. I am not saying to forget or pretend, just not to proactively inflict pain on yourself by keeping her every moment alive in your mind. She is in a better place. No one wants someone they love to feel the way you feel. She would be devastated to watch you mourn. Your son staying with you when he knew you were hurting was his way of trying to help you heal. Oh Libby, let her go, do not keep her room a shrine, instead turn it into something that heals your soul. You have not lost her forever, she just went ahead without you. Please. My heart cannot take your other children losing you to grief. It has not been long at all, I simply mean to plant the seed that you must let her go to continue living. If a year from now you watch that video and walk by her room as she left it, you will be no better than you are today. Jennifer is healed, healing YOU is the goal now Libby. Put the same energy you gave her when you did everything in your power to heal her, into healing you. You are who I hurt and pray for now. The precious child that lost her battle with cancer is in heaven, now I pray for her mom.

  44. Even though you can’t hear us, we (my daughter and I) say her name, too. She’s become part of our story through you. We won’t ever forget her name. We won’t ever forget her glittered face when we sing Brave.

  45. JENIFER… Make up a song. Sing it loud! Dance to it with your other children and Tony. I know you have a lot closer friends than me but I am here and listening and hugging my children tighter because of you.

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