opposite

I’m kicking…as hard as I can…

trying to not sink under. .

2 months is looming… pulling me down. .

This week has been leading me this direction.. today was a day where I felt like it has taken everything in me to not give in.. to not be swept away.. I had to keep going and trying for my boys. I cannot give up. But I am tired… tired on so many levels. More levels than I even knew existed.

..not even 2 months and I am already so weary of this constant ache.

We are looking into another kind of grief support group.. one thats more like a class and has something for the boys. Like a grief support group for kids. .. but they have to be at least 4. On one hand I get it.. Nicholas is only 2. .. but there is a lot impacting him as well. .. but nothing offered for him.

he is too young.

Ya no shit. Far too young.. … but here we are. .. . Here he is.

IMG_4318He gets so excited looking at pictures of her. SISSY he yells . .. look its sissy. Sometimes still so confused by her absence. At the zoo portion of the park I gave him the option of going off with just me and meeting up with the rest of the family later. He took it. It was just 30 minutes but I need to put in the effort more often. . He liked getting to be the leader. have me hold him or skip with him.. get to decide how long we stayed in one area. .. control his enviroment.

I liked it too. My Nicholas.. my gentle giant. At 2 I can already see how much he wants to protect me and take us all away from this heartache. He sees all of us grieving… watching the weight his mommy and daddy and brother all carry in different ways.

Today  they seemed to have many laughs and smiles.. and happiness .. a good childlike day.

Later on I couldn’t keep my head above it anymore and I watched them playing on the playground and cried. I thought it was a gentle enough it wouldn’t be noticed… I don’t think it was by any of the adults in the vicinity… Nicholas though..he saw. Almost immediately. He knows sorrow that well .. .that he can spot it across the playground.

you sad mommy?

Yes baby. Yes I am.

This interchange grabs Jonathan’s attention . . laser focus to me.

.. .damn it.

He walks up and offers a hug. A strong full bodied hug.

Nicholas. He is two. TWO!

damn it.

It isn’t supposed to be like this. He isn’t supposed to know what he already innately seems to know.

Her death stole her from me.. but it also stole so much of them too. I prepared my best to lose her..tried to imagine how it would be.. how my pain would be.. and Tony’s. I had no idea how deeply it would resonate within my boys.

Charlotte too?

I don’t know. But my good sleeper doesn’t sleep well anymore. IMG_4322

I wanted this… parenthood so much. Every aspect of it. But not this.. this I never expected.

please don’t let me fail them. my babies. please

I lost her. Not by any fault of my own but..

I failed her. I didn’t protect her.. I couldn’t. I know that I really do..          but that doesn’t appease my mothers instinct to protect her..

.. i cannot bear it again. To fail them too. That look in Nicholas little face.. a face still round with” babyhood”

you sad mommy.

I put a period now because looking at it again I don’t think it was a question.. more a statement. My sons see through me.. better than almost anybody else I know. These spectacular little beings.

You ever have those moments that you know are seared into your memory? This was one for me.

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Today was supposed to be a fun day. A day for them. I thought about her constantly. Wanted to run to the car.. run all the way home.. to my bed and her pinkie and nigh nigh.

I didn’t want to bring her up in the midst of all the happy for them. They deserve it. I didn’t want to haunt them with a ghost.

 

We always recap our favorite parts of our days at the end. Jonathan said it was just ok.. he misses sissy.

AHHHHHH

 

sorry buddy

For Nicholas it was riding on his first roller coaster. He loved it. It should have been the greatest memory of the day for Tony too. It was overwhelming though. Happy that one of his sons is enjoying something he also likes..

and a gut punch of despair over losing his first “roller coaster buddy” Jennifer should have been there with them. Should have been cheering her baby brother on and begging to go alone one time with Daddy too. ..

I came across a picture just now while uploading ones from today..Look at Tonys eyes. This picture was hours before that light was extinguished. I am embarrassed to say I didn’t even realize it… didn’t even remember that his eyes used to hold such

joy.peace.light

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It was just a few hours later we learned she wouldn’t even get the chance to fight. There was no real battle to be had.                         DIPG terminal upon diagnosis.

That day was the start of our slow journey towards our graves.

Charlotte is starting to walk more and more.. Moms and grandmas commented about it. I numbly smile. Try to act like it matters to me the way it should…

Driving home my 3 living. .. ok .. .3 youngest  (trying that out, a tip from her glitter squad)  fell asleep and my husband and I talked. We talked about how Jonathan missed Jennifer after he saw me hurting. .

Tony told me he had said it earlier.. beginning of our day when they were together in the zoo he said he missed her and was thinking about her. Before he saw my tears.

I was reading blog comments from yesterdays entry. .. being taken back to my fears about those closest forgetting her.. or just not wanting to bring down a happy time.

.. just like I felt again today.

the opposite side of it though.

Missing her. Thinking about her, yet not bringing her up just in case they weren’t.IMG_0349

They were. They are.

Just like me.

I hate so much that this is where we are living. A place where 2 yr olds and 4yr olds so intimately know the worst life can throw at you..but they do. I can’t change that.

Its a blessing and a curse..but one I am eternally grateful for..

Barely 6yrs

Jennifer was simply that incredible.

Unforgettable.

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54 Responses to “opposite”

  1. God Bless. I am so very sorry for your loss. Sometimes life has no answers or reasons. Jennifer is so beautiful and sparkles with her smile, eyes, and soul. Love, Jan

  2. She is absolutely unforgettable! The sparkle and light radiates from her smile. I’ll never forget our trip to Gilroy Gardens with you all. She wanted to take D on every ride and oh how they had so much fun! I wish we had gotten more pictures of them there. I think I only have 3 or 4. Not enough, but the memories will last forever!!

  3. Gosh, unforgettable is an understatement! I am
    Glad “3 youngest” was brought up. I like that best. Thinking of all of you today

  4. I believe one can be happy and sad at the same time, and that is par for this course you are on. I hope the moments of happiness will eventually be much more, and that the unforgettable memories you all have of JLK will be part of that daily happiness. Sending peace & hugs for you to persevere through today.

  5. I do promise you that Charlotte will know all about her sissy….every little detail. I also promise that while you still will always have tears, you will someday have a smile with those tears. And before you even realize it, you alk will be seeing signs. And as messed up as this next statement is, you will laugh, smile & cry all together when Charlotte notices those signs. She truly & honestly is always there. just keep putting one foot in front of the other….you will trip, but you will get back up. Take it minute by minute, then hour by hour.

  6. Still reading, still thinking of all of you every day, and I will continue to. Most of the time I don’t know what to say. Yes, Jennifer really IS unforgettable. <3

  7. She is unforgettable. We will never forget her.

    I like the ‘3 youngest’ strategy. I do NOT like that you have to use it.

  8. Jennifer is simply in your core. She’s been tucked in there since before she was born. your youngest munchkins are so adorable and i guess it is only normal for them to be tuned in to your feelings. Jennifer would have as well and she’d be proud they are giving you hugs when you need them. they are on the journey with you..and you will lead them well, and to a place of balance. i wish so much that they didn’t learn this way about grief. hugs…

  9. I think of you and your family every day. I don’t know you personally but I feel like I do through your words in your blog. When I put my 4 year old to bed we always say a prayer for you and your family to make it through another day and to find some sort of peace. Know that you are not alone

  10. My dear Libby,
    A friend of mine recently lost his husband, and a couple of days ago she wrote something so beautiful, and I immediately thought of you and JLK:

    “Nobody goes and nothing is ever lost. In fact, there is no place separated from us where those that we love can be.
    The highest dimensions overlap and penetrate ours, and even though our 5 senses tell us the opposite, we are eternally One with those that we care for, united by the indestructible ties of the heart. The love that we gave is always with them as well as their love is always with us.”

    You are always in my thoughts, Love and Light for your highest good.

  11. This incredible spark has been extinguished. May her powerful spirit guide you, hold you and carry you through life so you can continue to be the bestest mommy ever!!

    Love and Hugs
    Prabha

  12. It is so unfair that Jonathan and Nicholas and, I believe in her own way, Charlotte are faced with knowing sadness, loss and greif like this. Children so young shouldn’t have to know that. They also are getting to know compassion, sensitivity and selflessness that children so young rarely get to experience and that is incredible. What amazing children you have raised. All 4 of them. Alway reading, always praying, always loving.

  13. She is and will always be unforgettable. You are an incredible mother, remember that. Lots of love and prayers to you, Libby. <3

  14. Libby, as I look at Jennifers precious face everyday I pray for strength for you and your family, i read your blogs everyday and feel your pain I wish I could say there’s a time limit on grieving but I can’t. They say time heals but again when does that start. I can promise you I will never forget Jennifer she’s touched my heart in a way I can’t explain and so have you and your beautiful family. I’m here for the long haul Libby on the journey of never forgetting Jennifer. You mention how you and the boys Get sad when your out doing thing because either it reminds you of Jennifer or the feeling Jennifers being left out or forgotten, I was thinking have you ever thought about bringing something that belonged to Jennifer place’s with you so that way you and the boys could feel like sissys there with you,it might just help all of you. Just a thought. Big hugs for all of you and Angel kisses for Jennifer.

  15. Aching with you, and lifting you up in prayer, I can only offer this to hold on to. I pray it every day with your and Tony’s names:

    “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon Libby and Tony, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide them to the path of peace.” Luke 1: 78-79

    And my favorite words from a song I listened to during my darkest time- “I will cling to You and trust You’re holding me.”

    He is, you know . . . . holding you and Jennifer both. Together. Forever.

  16. It must get harder and harder each day to get farther away from her life. So so sorry you have to try to cope with this grief. I cry every time I read a blog. I hope you find the smallest moment of peace today. xo

  17. Libby you are an amazing and wonderful mother doing your very best considering the situation. You are all hurting on different levels. Yes your boys and even little Charolette is feeling the absence of Jennifer. Every day is a struggle for you I am so sure but the best you can do is focus on your fundraisers and your family as hard as that all is. Focus on what you want to do in her name and honor. You will in your heart know you are doing something good and in her name. I imagine that 2 months feels like a eternity of not seeing your beautiful Jennifer and the pain has too be beyond anything you ever could or would imagine. You have 3 other children that are depending on you and you are doing so well handling all of that. You are way too hard on yourself by feeling your not always doing what you should. I am sure that the day will come when this gets just a little and I do mean little bit easier. Your children are so fortunate to have you as a mother and so lucky they have the love you have for them. Some kids don’t have that and their situation is nothing like yours. Two months is a long time not to see your little girl but its so early in the grieving process. Its still way to fresh to feel any different than how you feel. You have an amazing husband and you both need to be there for each other. Sometimes we feel our pain is like no one elses but I am sure he feels the same way. Stay close and comfort each other when its necessary like you two are doing and in time hopefully it will get a little easier. I am always searching for the right words to write to try and give you some kind of comfort but there are no words that I can come up with to do that. I can tell you that you and your family are in my prayers and always asking God for strength and comfort for you and your family. I know once you decide what you will do as far as fundraiser for pediatric cancer and in her honor your day will be filled with some happiness knowing you are doing something in her name to help other families. I am going to do my part to make people aware of that monster disease. Remember that grief doesnt have a time limit and you will always grieve for Jennifer just that in time you will be able to handle it and accept it. God Bless you and your family and may he comfort you each and every day.

  18. I love u Libby i am hear reading about u and Jennifer and ur babies please keep blogging I am praying for u and wish for ur heart to have peace. Love u hugs to u.

  19. Libby-I don’t know you or Jennifer. I do know one of your family members who you went to high school with-she explained how you were related but I don’t understand.

    At any rate, I just want you to know my thoughts are with you always. “Brave” is now one of my favorite songs as well.

    I admire you for doing the best you can for Jonathan, Nicholas, and Charlotte despite dealing with your grief. You are doing a wonderful job at all that and please remember that always.

  20. Still reading everyday. You inspire me to be an advocate for my children, not as small as yours, not battling anything but teenage “stuff” but you make me stronger. Thank you.

  21. You are still a family of 6. Just one went home to heaven before you. You will all be together again, but for now she is with God. No pain. Just pure happiness. And within a blink of her eye her mom and dad and brothers and sister will be with her. Hang in there, you will see her again. You and your family are in my prayers. PS: I really enjoy the pictures and videos of Jennifer, she’s such a sweet girl.

  22. I heard “Brave” this morning on my way into work and thought about the glitter shoot. Thank you for sharing your unforgettable Jennifer with all of us and for letting us be here with you. I think of all of you every day and hope that all of our love and support gives you a tiny measure of peace.

    Sending love and hugs.

    Vanessa

  23. There is never forgetting! We will always remember Jennifer, even those who didn’t know her personally.
    We learn through you what a joyous child she was. Keep that alive, always!

  24. How can anyone forget JLK. We left for our trip today, one I booked the day of her service because I am trying (like many others) to live differently. At our layover I was getting a snack and the girl in front of me had a sparkly heart key fob that someone made for her. It immediately reminded me of JLK…. She is the reason I am here right now…. Never will forget…… Spreading the glitter always

  25. I find myself here everyday, reading and rereading. Your words are so raw, so true, and so powerful. The love you have for Jennifer will never be forgotten. We are all here to help you fight for childhood cancer research and keep Jennifer’s memory alive.

    On a side note, I made a tribute for JLK and I would love for you, Libby, and anyone else who would like to remember Jennifer, to watch it. Here’s the link: https://vimeo.com/91209394
    Please share and spread the word about Jennifer and childhood cancer! I know it would mean a lot to me but even more so to the Kranz family and other families of children affected by cancer.

  26. I’m not really one to comment, but I read your blog every time there is one to read. You are inspirational even in the darkest days. Thank you for sharing your journey – it is helping me to become a better nurse and mother. I think of you when I am at work (working Peds/NICU) and it makes me appreciate more where the families I am serving are … you are making a difference sharing your story. Thank you. I’m looking forward to the future opportunities of action for your amazing cause to increase awareness and funding for pediatric cancer research. I too pray there will be a day when there is a better prognosis for the children and families who get the diagnosis of cancer.

  27. Once anybody looks at a picture of that beautiful little face it is unforgettable.I hate that cancer takes a piece of everybody in the family.The only way that I try to make sense of both of our children being taken away so young,is to look at it like it only took them a few short years to achieve their whole life purpose.That must make them pretty special.I can tell you that the pain will stay with you but the breakdowns don’t come as often as time goes on.Keep putting on that brave face and being there for your younger children you are doing great.I can only imagine how hard it must be having such little ones that need all your attention and time.Continued prayers.

  28. Your last sentence about Jennifer being unforgettable is so very true in so many ways. Sofia and Jennifer only played together one or two times at a few 2011 play dates, but she made an impact on Sofia. First reason I know is because Sofia remembered her name after playing with her only one time. Sofia is beyond terrible at remembering names, she still doesn’t know all the kids names in her preschool class. Every play date after the one she met Jennifer the first words out of her mouth were” will Jennifer be there?”
    Then tonight driving home in the car Sofia starts talking about God and heaven. As we talked she suddenly announced to everyone in the car her friend Jennifer was in heaven with God. She then started to tell me all the things she thought Jennifer was doing in heaven. First she said she was walking on a pyramid, then she was eating chocolate, then she said she was dancing and doing cartwheels, she finally settled on Jennifer playing dress up as a fairy.
    She holds a special place in my daughters heart and will always be unforgettable.

  29. I was ok til I got the word unforgettable. That word brought the tears tonight. Absolutely she is that. And her sparkling eyes and smiles are just that. I think about the two boys. So in tune to you and how you are feeling. Such love. I feel the love from all of you to each other. Like I could reach out and hold it in my hands. You are a great mom. They all ALL feel that love pouring out from you.

  30. I haven’t been able to get on to my wifi at home.. So I go to town so I can get free wifi so I can read your post and I can read your beUtiful stories happy and sad about your family …. YES Jennifer is that unforgettable xx

  31. She is unforgettable without a doubt and so is the rest of the Kranz family!! I never know what to say because I know nothing I say will take your pain away I’m posting to let you know that I’m here , I’m listening and I hope and pray it gets easier for you guys one day! I’m reading and thinking of your family and Jennifer daily, and will never forget your story..I’m here

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