rulebook

I need this.. this moment to myself and with myself. . about me right now.. I want to purge. But I feel so much like a bottle thats been shook and shook.. so full its impossible to take the lid off safely.

rulebook4
I love this girl. She loved to laugh and she was able to make everybody feel like the most important person in the world.

jennifer. jennifer. jennifer

The candle above was how she was represented with our extended family this Easter.. My daughter.. A candle. How did this possibly happen?

I can’t do this. I really don’t think I am equipped to handle this. Their needs… their baggage so heavy. .. so confusing along with my own. My needs.. my grief.. my own grostesegely scarred heart struggling day to day. How can I care for theirs?

I’m not strong enough. I just want to lay down and sleep. Not have to worry about anybody else’s needs but just time to lick my own wounds. Because their hurts just deepen my own.

I don’t know how to do this all and I am so scared. Everyday I wake up scared.. unsure of what I am going to face that day.. with low confidence that I will be able to handle it.

I hate this life.

So much.

How hard it is to parent effectively in this new world. To now know what is the motivating thing behind bad behavior. Is it normal 3 yr old or 5 yr old behavior .. or is it because they are missing their sister.. It matters. The why matters so much more than the what to me. Because if its normal the consequences need to be doled out.. But if its missing their sister.. their old lives without an ability to explain it then I need to have a gentler hand.. and when its calmer.. quieter get to the heart of the matter..

..their broken heart..

But how do I know?? How am I supposed to know??

No rulebook for raising kids.. and certainly none for raising kids in a family of grief.

Nicholas has been struggling so much lately. Boldly defiant .. physical when he is any bit angry. A fairly constant and immediate bad reaction that was becoming predictable. He is needing his own space and place in our family. So we have worked with him. Trying to find ways to show him how important he is.. and that really emphasize his good behaviors. To not let him got lost in the shadow of a dead big sister and a needy big brother. The past few days he has been better, cleaner.

I love this boy. He is solid and gentle. He tries so hard and loves to help anybody that needs it.
I love this boy. He is solid and gentle. He tries so hard and loves to help anybody that needs it.

Jonathan was the opposite. . Loud raging outbursts, but sporadic and therefore impossible to gauge. His pendulum is swinging far.. incredibly loving and kind.. to mean and lashing out. Like the releases give him space to be the boy he yearns to be.. but today has been off the charts.. with an inability to reel it back in.. the slightest upset sending him over the edge.

I love this boy. He feels so deeply and but shares it selectively.
I love this boy. He feels so deeply and but shares it selectively.He wants to be the best he can be. 

My heart aches for them. And fears for them.. and our futures. Charlotte will be adding her emotional needs soon .. and then this new baby. They won’t know Jennifer.. but they will know her absence. The indelible mark that has left on us all.. on every aspect of our lives. They too will grieve.. But differently and for different things. And we will have to carry them through.

But I feel so weak. I am so broken. What if I can’t give them who they need and what they deserve?

help me jennifer

please baby

help me.

rulebook3..until there is a cure..

12 Responses to “rulebook”

  1. This won’t help I’m sure, but I’m saying it anyway. You don’t feel strong, but Libby I have stayed in bed all day for so so so much less. So much less.

    I wish there was some way out of this for you, for you all. You think about time. You calculate the distance that covers the rest of your days. It yawns out in front of you. It’s too much. I do think drunks and addicts are onto something when they say one day at a time.

    That sounds like a bandaid for a chest torn open.

    I don’t mean enjoy the moment. I guess I mean if only you could look at your feet as you climb, and not the mountain.

    But what do I know, here on my couch.

    Still reading, still listening, still thinking of your family. Wishing I could do more. (This is where I pause, and pause: how can I hit “submit comment” when I haven’t done more. I feel ashamed. When I think of you in unravel mode, I think bulldozer. Libby, I will not just be sorry, ok.)

    1. Mae is so right. Watch your feet and not the mountain. What a great way to put it!

      You can do it. You ARE doing it. One day at a time. One step at a time. You are making this journey that no parent should ever have to take.

      I know it doesnt help in the end, but I am sending you all my strength, Libby. Be brave.

  2. You are a good mom. You are doing great. Your kids WILL be ok. They just will. Take many deep breaths whether from your bed, dealing with a tantrum, or in your car. Scream into your pillow.
    You are a good mom. Your kids will be just fine.

  3. You are an amazing mom. Just take one step at a time. One foot in front of the other. That’s all you can do. Thinking of you all always. LOVE4JLK ♡

  4. I truly responded to the way Mae phrased it, it is so true, when your path becomes a broken road, sometimes it is necessary to just keep focused on your feet, not the mountain ahead of you. And take many a moment to pause, to breath, and to take in your surroundings and find some peace in that moment. I know, as a mom who has journeyed the pediatric cancer path with both my son and my grandson….you need those moments to stay grounded. I also know how hard it is to feel like you are understanding and meeting the emotional needs of your other children….so easy to double guess their responses to almost everything, you want to alleviate their pain so badly. I also know you are an amazing, sensitive, loving, strong woman and your kiddos have those same traits…they will continue through life as wonderful, loving children with a clear sense of self….because of the family they are part of. With your boys, have you considered yoga for children to help them with their emotions. A simple, wonderful poster with poses is at this site, it might be an activity that you would all enjoy together, calming, affirming, strengthening heart hugs to all of you http://childhood101.com/2015/04/yoga-for-kids/

  5. I think that Mae said it so perfectly. Focusing on “now”, instead of the “forever” in front of you…that’s what I do to keep me sane. It’s not the same grief as you are going through (which I am sure is mountains more than mine), but I am still finding it difficult to breathe every day since my mom (my absolute best friend) passed away a year and a half ago. Every day is a struggle, every day I just want to fast forward to bed time so that I can go to sleep and see her in my dreams again. It isn’t a decent way to live, and I know my child and my husband deserve more of “me” than I have given them since I began my journey in grief. Lately, I’ve been trying to focus on “now”, trying to forget that I will not see my mother again in this lifetime. It’s not easy, but it helps.

    You are strong, no matter what you think…you ARE. I have stayed in bed all day for so much less, like Mae said before me. You are out there DOING something brilliant and still able to make memories for your family. You are insanely strong…but no person was created with the inner strength to live on after burying their child. No parent should have to do this…that is why it is so very difficult to pull yourself back together after it happens. It isn’t the natural “order of iife”. You are finding your own strength…it is there, you have proved it, though you do not see it. My prayers are with your family always.

  6. You get up every day and live, even when you feel like you can’t. You focus so much energy on your family and their needs, even when your own aren’t being met. You let them see you hurt, and you let them see you re-focus and carry on despite the hurt. What you are is an amazing role model. And what you will end up with is amazing, strong, resilient, caring kids.

    You clearly worry that you aren’t doing the best you can for them, but the fact that you worry about it proves that you are. And kids aren’t idiots, they’re smarter than adults, they see by your actions how important they are to you. Just by getting up every day you are teaching them these things. I know a lot of people tell you that you are strong, but to me what you are is a role model. Your strength isn’t that you push forward through an impossible situation that was thrust upon you with no choice, you have to do that. Your strength is your love. That’s what is inspiring about you, and your family – including Jennifer. So much love.

  7. You are a wonderful mother. Don’t doubt yourself. You will make mistakes your human but that is good mistakes are good without them we don’t grow. They too (your kids) will see that when they make mistakes it is normal and nothing wrong with them were all just human. Mom’s put so much pressure on themselves and give ourselves expectations and when we don’t think weve met those expectations were critical of ourselves. Don’t be. You wouldn’t let ur kids beat themselves up so don’t think it’s ok to beat yourself up either. It helps for moms to team tag. I know when I get frustrated having someone to give me a break helps. Mom’s need some time to recoup the constant responsibilities. No one could do things better than you. You are truly incredible. Bless you.

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