rain

IMG_4182**service is spotty.. this is from Wednesday..no post tonight**

The rain returned today.

Before we left Tony dropped my car off at a local place to be looked it and then packed up his car.. We were a bit behind on our departure schedule.. but the bonus was I got to go for a run. In the pouring rain. I loved it. loved it! At the end Brave came on.. first time I have heard it on a run.. I kept going.. and dancing and smiled and belted that song out. Tony later told me he saw some other woman running in the rain and wondered if they had read my words about the wonderfulness that is running in the rain.. The way it feels to get soaked and keep moving under the additional weight and the way the sky looks foreboding yet beautiful and how the cold pelts you in the face and hurts and first till you grow numb to it and appreciate the wet.

Vacation..

IMG_4190Not sure if thats what this really is for us.. but can’t think of a different word to describe it. I enjoyed the time wiht Tony in the car. Listening to music.. and singing along…total comfortable silence and some good conversations. Charlotte was great. The only time she started to get fussy at all I gave her a box of mac and cheese to shake…settled her right down.. this girl loves her food.

On our drive we talked in part about what grief is like for us.. how it is a grief unlike any other. That we know we will never really get over it.. never truly heal and move on.. How so very scary that is for us.. . Its strange the expectations we feel within this world of child loss. We are learning though that we are not alone in it.. From talks we have together like today in the car and from support group and meeting other bereaved families.

First its that we “should be” curled up in a ball crying non stop.. not able to function. But we can… and then people see it and start to think we should be “getting over it” We never will though. There will always be hard days. Days that drag us back all the way back to the beginning.. Often those this grief is so personal that its done in private.. mine is unique I think.. Because its incredibly personal and private.. but I also share it through written word on a public forum.

..weren’t not even there yet though… this numb period.. new period is a honeymoon of sorts.. and its so terrifying.

For me, this pain can be so tortuous and cutting.. It can make my physically double over and feel like I don’t have the strength to stand. It can make me cry so loud I have to cover my mouth to stifle the sound and not wake up the house..

.. .then other times it feels foreign.. like I am in somebody else’s skin. It feels like I am reading somebody else’s story versus the one living it. There is really no in between for me right now. Numb and disconnect.. or torrential downpour.

No balance.

and I am left with a feeling of craziness and disorientation.

It feels like I am denying her when its not absorbing…

I know its my mind shutting down because its simply too much.. if I was constatnly aware that this is real then the pain would grind me down.. turn me to dust. The wind would blow me over. ..

.. . rain would wash me away.

Although that is tempting.. .

Today on our trip I find myself thinking of her everywhere. I dressed her in Jennifers old clothes. She would have loved to have seen her little sister in this outfit. We would have giggled about how tight it is on Charlottes chunky thighs versus so loose on hers. We would have looked through pictures of her in it.. .

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Charlotte is in Jennifers stroller. I push it.. and look at it and keep thinking I will look down and see Jennifer sitting in it..

Walking downtown I thought what shops she would be asking us to go into. We found a place to eat. I thought how easy it was to be able to just be out and eat. .. and of course regretted that thought immediately afterwards. Then we headed back to the car.

We were on the same side of the street as when we wandered to find the place to eat.. somehow we had missed this shop the first time around. .. we walked past it again.. but I stopped and looked back and walked back to take a peek. I called Tony in with me. There was a pastry with Charlottes name.. and then I noticed the meringues.. the ones that I saw in the window that made me want to turn around.. had a sign saying they are gluten free. . I cried. Just a little.. but right there in that store.

Walking to the car in the dwindling light of the setting sun I asked Tony why he thought I turned around.. was it her?

A generous friend offered this place for us to stay. Its a home. I wonder what she would think.. how much she would like tobe so close to the ocean.Charlottes pack n play in the bathroom here..  I keep remembering what it was like during radiation staying at Palo Alto with them.. ..my mind has wandered back to putting them to bed, Charlotte in the kitchen then.. in our little apartment..

. .. me and my girls.

That time was horrible in many ways. But it still holds so so many of my most cherished memories. I am so thankful for that time. The farther away it gets.. the more I realize how much it meant to me.. .rubbing her legs every night and talking .

I miss that. So much. Just simple moments with her. .. and it starts. . .

.. downpour of reality washing over me… through me..

consuming me.

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38 Responses to “rain”

  1. I found this blog through a series of coincidences and I have returned to read it every night. I’ve heard you say comments from the strangers reading your blog are somehow helpful. I have so much to say, but nothing to say. I just wanted you to know that yet another person is reading and praying for you and your family. I don’t even know you and your family, but I have been deeply touched by your writing and it would not be possible to forget that beautiful girl of yours.

  2. Hope you have a good break from home! I believe it was her that made you turn around…she will always be right with you, in your heart!

    XOXO

  3. We call it the “still quiet voice.” Always listen for it and you will never be alone. Be brave! Prayers to you and yours.

  4. Grief. You do such a good job describing it -torrential downpour or numbing disconnect. You don’t “get over it”. It forever changes you. I think you too will find your balance will come. At first it will be easy to knock you off balance, a memory, a thought, a scent… but eventually the extremes of downpour and disconnect will be fewer. A day that you’ll expect to be difficult won’t be as bad as you thought and an ordinary day will knock you right off your feet. You’ll feel you’re right back to the initial grief but you’ll make peace with it sooner and find a balance once again.
    Praying for you , that you will be comforted…again and again.

  5. The rain, it feels so liberating..the running in the rain is so therapeutic. So glad you felt a teeny bit of freedom, happiness, and togetherness all at one time. I love running in the rain. This past weekend a friend of mine and I ran the She is Beautiful Race and we thought of your Jennifer. I think you most definitely see her and feel her. She is always with you. We are all here with you, thinking of you.

  6. That was her alright…. No doubts

    You must remember that although people think you should be “getting over it” its not anyone else’s grief! You will do what you need to do for as long as you need too. With time, and only with time, the up and down days will become farther apart. You will go a whole day and maybe shed 10 tears instead of 100….. And that is a good day in my book!

    Enjoy your get away. Watch the waves. Let the earth talk to you. Find her little messages from heaven. They are all around.
    Love and prayers~Sarah

  7. Hoping for some healing & peaceful moments for you guys this trip. As for grief, you are in a marathon, not a sprint race. I hope you feel the crowds cheering you along this marathon of grief, not with any expectation that you are “over it”, rather with amazement that you are up and moving, through this fire & into the rain. <3

  8. Grief is different for us all. I say I’d be in a ball
    Curled up, crying… But how do I know? That’s just how I imagine it… I have twin sons- if something happened to one, god forbid, I would probably look like I was moving on as well. None of us that know your story- that know of Jennifer- we know you’ll never forget her and in fact will be in everything you do. We know you are strong, fearless and raw in emotion- you are Libby, you are loved and admired!

  9. Libby,
    It takes me so much time to finish reading each of your blogs, it’s like every 3 or 4 sentences I need to stop and breath and “control” my tears, I cannot imagine what it is for you to live it.

    So glad that you guys are taking this “vacations”, I love to see Charlotte with you in the pictures, that baby just makes me smile, the same way as JLK.

    I wish I had words to help you feel better, but I don’t, just know that you and your family are constantly in my mind, sending you Love and Light for your highest good.

  10. Beautiful words – you just draw us in, and I am immersed in your emotions. I have no experience with grief like this, but I’m certain there is no right or wrong. It just is. If it’s crying in front of gluten-free treats, that’s what is. You, Tony, and all of your children remain in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings to you.

  11. The picture at the end of your post, of you and Jennifer just takes my breath away…you can “see” the bond you two have. I have no doubt in my my mind that she spent every moment of her life knowing how deeply you loved her.
    I read every post, but often do not have any words to say…they just don’t exist.

  12. I am sure Jennifer giggled over Charlotte’s chunky thighs in her old clothes and enjoyed those macaroons. She is with you; I just know it. Sending you hugs!!

  13. It must indeed be incredible to realize this sorrow will never leave you. It will be adjusted to, but never gone. There are no “shoulds” for you. Your experience is your experience; no one but you can fully understand it. Thanks for sharing it so we can try.

  14. Libby, you don’t know me, but your blog makes me cry every day and makes me try to appreciate every second with my kids that much more. I’m trying your “turn one no into a yes” resolution as well. I also suffered a loss (my mother, only 6 weeks before I gave birth to my first child) three years ago. Something you said resounded in me. You said “It feels like I am denying her when its not absorbing.” I had the same feeling–a feeling of guilt if I wasn’t re-living my mother’s death and thinking of the awful details. I told my therapist that I felt guilty not keeping those thoughts in my head, as if I were–as you said–denying her. My therapist asked me whether my mother would want me to make myself unhappy with those thoughts, and whether she would want me to let those thoughts dominate all of my other memories. She asked me what purpose those thoughts served; did they help my mom now? The answer to all of those questions was “no,” and that helped me a little bit, to get past that awful point. Sending thoughts for moments of relief for you and your family.

  15. Libby & Tony,

    Keep going,keep fighting the good fight, keep loving, keep talking..

    You guys are special and amazing people.

    Much love from New Zealand. xx 🙂

  16. well, i haven’t run in a long time… knees get older as you get older lol. but your post made me want to run in the rain! things will remind you of Jennifer… and how lucky you are to be reminded or guided by her! whether it’s running in the rain or turning to those GF cookies and pastries! i’m sure you’ll turn around and feel like she should be there. and she should. somehow you will go on and show your kids how to be joyful through the pain. I am hoping the love you have for all of your kids and each other wraps around you like a blankie and brings you comfort. And that the love and caring pouring over you from friends and family and strangers and researchers warms you in some way.

  17. Libby, thinking of you this Saturday evening as I read this. Strangers and friends.Charlotte is such a chunky monkey I can’t help but smile, even if I want to cry with you. Jennifer, I’m SURE, thinks she is just as silly and sweet and a total love.

  18. You Should Write A Book. I Read Your Blog Everyday And Am Reminded Of How Precious Life Is And Moments Are. I Am Inspired By You To Make A Change. I Think Your Words Could Penetrate Millions And Benefit Pediatric Cancer Research. A Book Of Your Journey Written So Brutally Honest As You Do Here Would Help So Many Others Dealing With The Same Thing While contributing To Cancer Research Would Be Aamazing. I Know You Think Your Just A Grieving Mom Venting About Your Journey, But I Hope You Know, Really Know You’re So Much More Than That. You’re Amazing!

  19. Love the picture of you and lil chunky Charlotte. I know Jennifer loves it too. Nice to see the two of you smiling. You’re doing it. Keep on going.

    Much Love

  20. thinking of you…praying for comfort. I’m glad you are able to feel her when she calls to you. I hope that her spirit wraps itself around you when you’re at your lowest. That when you are feeling like you can’t go on, that “something” pulls you upwards and fills you with a tiny bit of ‘hope’ (for lack of a better word). I keep reading….and praying…and hoping. xoxo

  21. Libby, I too, as many others here, found your blog through a series of coincidences. A family in my school district has a young son battling cancer and she had liked one of your posts. When I clicked on it, it was early February and your story spoke to my heart. A year ago, my healthy 46 yr old husband had a muscle pull that wouldn’t get better. It turned out to be a blood clot that led to the discovery of many clots in his lungs and spots on his liver and a mass in his colon. Stage 4 colon cancer with no symptoms, our world changed forever in the blink of an eye.
    Your strength gives me strength. Jan and February were very difficult months, but your words felt like words of encouragement, telling me that I can do it too. I, also battled infertility. Several rounds of IVF and other treatments. our son was full term stillborn because of a cord accident. Eventually, our daughter was born, and is now17. I thought that was our little family’s medical “stuff” too, we couldn’t possibly be given more to handle. I was wrong.
    I just want you to know that you have lifted me up when I have needed it most. I think to myself, if Libby can do it, so can I. I recently have taken up running, not even sure I can actually call it that, as a way to deal with my stress. It is pouring here in Massachusetts today…. And I think I may just head out there. Thank you Libby for sharing, you are helping me be brave.

    1. aw, Lisa. So sorry to hear of your husband’s death. you have been through so much. I am always amazed at what a human can endure and still survive. hang in .

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