Everybody grieves

Theres that popular kids book everybody poops.. I think I should write one called everybody grieves. Because this weekend that has been so apparent in my family. The ways we are all hurting. .. and all reaching for Jennifer, trying to connect.

Waking up to my husbands tears.. knowing immediately why.. Not even for a moment questioning what is upsetting him so much in the middle of the night. He is just broken.. struggling with every moment to keep his head above water. So he does in his waking hours what is easier for him. He gets mad and frustrated over everything.

Her first day of kinder. She was so nervous. It gave her comfort that Daddy came with us that morning.
Her first day of kinder. She was so nervous. It gave her comfort that Daddy came with us that morning.

But when I look at him all I see is a man completely overwhelmed.. overtaken with missing his daughter. I want so much to fix it for him. To be able to take his hand and run away. to take the burden off of his back and put it onto mine. It doesn’t work that way though.

Because I know we are in this together. We cannot save each other.. or even really help each other. We can just walk together .. well really crawl together through this hell .. knowing we are not alone.

Jonathan. He was so excited when I said we could play out front. He grabbed her bike. It hasn’t been touched for just a little over a year. I still so vividly remember the last time she was on it.

 

At a friends house all the kids riding around her cul de sac. Tony had taken the pedals off of it. So it could be a home made balance bike. Jennifer was frustrated that she was still just a touch too short to be able to properly ride hers. I remember telling her..

“Just wait baby doll. Soon you will be tall enough for your feet to hit the ground the right way.  Almost there babes”

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She never learned how to ride a bike. That day at her friends she laid her bike down and resigned herself to waiting until she grew just a little bit taller. None of us knew she wouldn’t. I fight the guilt over not just getting her a bike that actually fit her. Being too cheap.. banking on the future instead of investing in the moment.

do you know how baby?

will daddy get to teach you still

to hold the back of your seat.

or do you already know how?

i wish i knew

Jonathan could do it today though. Does that mean he is taller than her? My second child at only 5 the tallest of my children? He was so happy to be riding her bike. So proud because it was Jennifer’s. I worry for him. How much he needs her still.. I worry that he will reach for her the way he does here at home at school next year.. or at a tee-ball game and get teased. His heart.. its so vulnerable. And my ‘mama bear’ is so strong.. not a good combination.

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He is all signed up for tee ball. The only sport she played. He wants to use her glove so I found it for him today. A time when my cheap has now paid off.. Its black, not the pink she wanted so that it could be handed down.. It just wasn’t supposed to be like this.. she was supposed to give it to him.

Charlotte found Jennifer’s medal from her sports career today. She put in around her neck and kissed it. Over and over again. She does it to my necklace with her big sisters picture. She will grab it and kiss it. After the gym when I am not wearing it she will scratch at my neck looking for it. Its like a comfort to her.

We took the kids out for ice cream. A little girl walked in. Just her and her dad. Tony and I exchanged a silent promise to not look at each other. She was so much like Jennifer. I saw my daughter the way I believe others saw her. I could just sense the true kindness and the way she seemed to step lightly.. a mix of femininity and youth.

Last Thanksgiving. Jennifer always wanted to match her sister
Last Thanksgiving. Jennifer always wanted to match her sister

Charlotte was frozen in place looking at her. Her Dad looked at his daughter and said it wasn’t so long ago you were like that. . and smiled nostalgically over at me. I worried he would say they grow so quickly enjoy it.. and I would break apart.

I love my Charlotte. I am grateful everyday that I have a surviving daughter and thats its her, she is awesome. But she is different. And today watching that girl I missed my softer daughter. The one who could quietly walk in a room and capture it. Charlotte will capture a room too.. but like me she grabs it.. For Jennifer it was just handed to her.

I watched my Charlotte so intently watching this girl and I wondered if some of that magic would have rubbed off from her big sister. I actually went out and bought a purse, all I had was a diaper bag. Since its supposed to be slung around my shoulder Charlotte has no idea how a purse is supposed to go. So I bought one so she can learn. What a better example and teacher Jennifer was than me.

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And Nicholas. At prayer tonight he thanked Jesus quietly… he is naturally loud like me.. but he whispered it tonight. Thank you for sissy.. for Jennifer. And he meant it. With all of his heart he meant it.

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He got mad at me today and he stormed off. I heard him though and I followed him. To her room. He went to the corner of her bed and played one of her singing toys.. and I heard him singing along. Thats just how it used to be. When nobody else could comfort him he went to her. My independent boy would allow himself to be dependent on her and nobody else. Jonathan has tried to fill that space. But Nicholas won’t have it. So then there is this void.. when we can’t get through to him.. Its through those times she nicknamed him bubbas. What we all call him now. C’mere Bubbas.. and he would. He always would.

I wonder if she called to him today.. or if he just finally found a way to get to her again. To recapture what is lost for him.

He needed her today. He genuinely missed her. It was incredible to see him be soothed again the way only Jennifer could. Without physical presence she took care of him.

The last day before we knew about tumor progression.
The last day before we knew about tumor progression. She had to use her left hand. But she still got down to help him.

People tell me all the time. He won’t know .. he is too young. But he isn’t. This much I know.

everybody grieves ..

in this house.

we all grieve

we always will

For you.

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…until there is a cure..

 

 

 

20 Responses to “Everybody grieves”

  1. As I read your entry today, (I have Pandora playing in the background) Let Her Go, by Jasmine Thompson came on. Cannot ever hear this song without thinking of your Jennifer. My heart is so heavy for all of you. Hoping she comes to each one of you in her own special, Jennifer way. Sending my love.

  2. You know what I am going to say…I am so very sorry and sending tons of Hugs!
    What I really want to say is- this sucks like nothing else and my heart is breaking. But you know that too! I wish I could make it all go away and bring Jennifer back. She and the entire Kranz Family is such a huge part of our day. We think about you often.

  3. Everybody Grieves- I would bubuy copies of it and distribute it at schools and the public library! He is not top young to know that someone he loves is gone. He is too young to really remember how sick she was, but not too young to grieve.

    I am sorry for your hurt. I wish I could do something to make it better. But since I can’t, I run, and I fundraise. For them, because of her….and because of you.

  4. You’re never too young to remember love and comfort. I absolutely think he will always remember his sister. Which of course means he will remember the pain; but I hope one day the good memories come before the pain.

    Sending you all love and light.

  5. Jennifer is so very beautiful. I can tell she lit up any room she walked into. Im sorry Libby. We love Jennifer. We love you all. Until there is a cure. #LOVE4JLK♡

  6. Dear Libby, I want to tell you how much your posts mean to me. I still wait for them, read them, and grieve with you. Then I pray for you. Mostly I pray Luke 1:78, since I think of the 5 of you whenever I read it. And I thank Jesus for always, always, always being with you . . . with Tony as he cries in the night, with you as you look through your amazing photographs for just the right one (and they are always heartbreakingly beautiful), with Jonathan as he longs for his big sissy, with Nicholas when he needs Jennifer’s special comforting, and with Charlotte who is sensitive to this loss in ways we can’t know. I hope you can feel Him with you all, crawling through this hell with you, holding you as you weep, being your strength when you have none. Jennifer knows He is with you. . .She can actually SEE Him!

    I also want you to know that you have described Jennifer so lovingly, so completely, that I feel I know her heart and soul. And that is what enables me to grieve deeply with you because she is no longer here. I miss you, sweet Jennifer, and I can’t wait to meet you in Heaven.

  7. So thinking of your whole family this holiday season without your beloved Jennifer. In all of her pictures, Jennifer looks so sweet and graceful…always offering a gentle hand to help or providing her sweet open arms for hugs – no doubt she had such a kind and loving heart. And with your words…you are spreading Jennifer’s love …and it is reaching far and wide! I wish you all love, light and healing.

  8. She was truly an angel on earth and now in Heaven. Sending extra prayers of comfort for your entire family. LOVE4JLK always and forever.

  9. So heartbreaking. So sorry you’re experiencing this nightmare. Truly sorry. For all 6 of you….and beyond.

    Sending lots of love.

    Jennifer<3

    XO

  10. I pray she envelopes them with her love. I pray she comes to you in your dreams and you feel her arms around you. She continues to change people’s lives with her love & grace.
    love and prayers

  11. I think it’s absurd when people say that small children (even babies) don’t grieve for their loved ones. It is so obvious that grief hits them just as hard as it hits adults, just in different ways. I am so beyond sorry…and totally heartbroken…that your entire family is going through this pain. I’m still deeply grieving my mother, who passed very unexpectedly a little over a year ago. My daughter (only child) was 3 at the time of her Nonna’s passing. She was very close to my mom. She still grieves for her grandmother sometimes. It’s hard to know that the grief isn’t only hurting so badly for you, but also for your children. Something that you just can’t “kiss and make it better”. So difficult for a parent to deal with mentally. I pray that you, Tony and the children find ways to connect with Jennifer and bring you comfort. I’m not sure exactly how much “control” over things on earth a person has when they have passed on to Heaven, but I do believe that they can show their presence from time to time. I hope Jennifer is able to share her spirit with all of you, and that you find comfort in knowing that life, while seeming like a horribly long time when you are grieving, is indeed short. You will see her soon. Our lifetime is but a blink of an eye in Heaven’s time. A lifetime of loss…but an absolute eternity with her in your arms again.

  12. Libby today has been about Jennifer at my house. I sat down at my computer and watched all the movies you had posted. I cried through the whole thing just trying to imagine your heart break and what your family is going through. My husband came over and asked me is this about the pretty little girl that died of cancer last year and I said yes it is. He just shook his head and said its so wrong !!! So so wrong. Yes it is. My heart hurts for Tony too. In one of the movies we were watching it looked like he was going to loose it and I could see the tears well up in his eyes. I have no words that could possible comfort you all I have is prayers for Jesus to comfort you and everyone in your family and home. God bless your family and what a strong bond you have to each other.

  13. Still here, still reading and praying for you all. Sometimes the stuff you say strikes me so much, ‘banking on the future instead of investing in the moment’… to change this daily practice still proves so elusive to me, yet I desire to do so.

    And, of course you should write that book (in your not-so-spare-time). What a gift, what a legacy, what a perfect way to (warning-marketing speak…) package your experience, so that it could be easily digested to help those who need it most, grieving kids and those parents trying to help them process that grief along with theirs. I totally wish you would put this on your list of things to do (in your not-so-spare-time).

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