do you get counseling..

I decided to blog about some FAQs and comments that I get..In particular I notice that as time goes on I get more judgmental themed comments on the blog. Im ok with that.. I have a thickish skin. ..

But i’d be lying if I said it wasn’t part of the reason I blog publicly less .. I still need the release I get from writing.. but it does make me more hesitant to share..

I am realizing more and more how misunderstood the way I am choosing to do this whole grief thing is.. So I figured why not tackle a few of those constants.. or the ones that have bugged me the most.

** “Do you get counseling, you need counseling**”.

I try to explain it this way. One. I need lots of counseling, A “ish-ton” one might say. So I get it in a mulititue of ways. Traditional talk therapy, bereaved parent groups/friends, the gym and my blog.

Two and perhaps the most important thing for you.. any of you to know. If you met me on the street you would have no idea. The blog is a window into the deepest darkest corners of my mind and heart.

Not the main part. A real part yes.. but not the loudest.. Not even the most honest part of me.

But I believe by digging in and cleaning out those corners with the elbow grease of my blog I will be better in the long run … And thus far I have found that to be very true.

My sister said recently as I have been coping with the end of year 3 and the start of year 4.. She said that the random day in July might not be hard.. but that the “milestone days” or the moments that jump up and hurt.. Well they will just knock me straight down and back.

BUT- just because I ache..ache as badly as I did the week she died doesn’t mean I haven’t made tremendous strides.. It actually means the opposite I think. I am hyper aware of the lows.. Because I do have the highs now too.

Thank you for caring I hope that all makes sense

** “Its so good to see you smile.”**

Again this blog is my outlet.. of course I miss her. .. everyday.  But my grief doesn’t control me. Not even close.

Actually quite the opposite..  Because the vibrancy and the color I can see in this life now is so much richer. Because I know. I know the darkness too.

Im still just a normal mom.. who has babies crying into her backside making dinner..

I have this newfound ability to embrace the moment. And not bank on or obsess on the future. .. That is a gift. .. a gift I would trade back for my little girl anytime.. But gift none the less.

It has helped me to learn to forgive and try not to judge others too..  That the guy that cut me off on the freeway might be headed to the hospital.. or the parents that have their “way too old” child in a stroller might have a really good reason for it. .. Because we never really know the whole story.. Even if we think we do.. even if we read their innermost thoughts shared on a public forum. .. We just only see that snippet. ..

Its not that anything I have ever written isn’t true. It is. Every word. Its just not my constant truth. Not my everyday overarching truth.

..and I’m a mom trying to figure out snapchat with my kids

*** You are hurting your living kids.. they will resent you etc.. ***

Well I’d be lying if I said this didn’t sting a little.. Or if I said this wasn’t a huge personal concern of mine. .. But not for the reasons anyone has ever mentioned. I worry they will be mad I have shared any of their experience publicly. .. But I have. And I likely will continue to do so.. until I don’t. But I am fully aware that I am making a choice for them right now.. and one day they may thank me.. or they may not.. I guess I just feel like thats pretty much the definition of parenthood… We do our best to muddle through.. and our kids will thank us for the choices we made… or they won’t..

Raising surviving kids after child loss doesn’t change the essence of parenting.

The biggest thing for us has been to always admit we don’t know what the hell we are doing.. just like we have never really known the “correct” way to parent. We do our best to treat each child according to their needs…

Just like Tony and I deal so uniquely in our processing of our grief,  our kids do as well.. especially as they grow their needs change,  we try to address it as best as possible. I wrote once how a “jennifer song” came on and one boy begged me to turn it off and the other one begged me to turn it up. So I pulled over got the one the one didn’t want to hear out and let the other one rock out in the car.. I wrote how torn I was on not knowing who to be with.. because they both wanted me.. And I realized only while writing it that I could have improved on that moment of parenting..

So basically… I am 100% sure we are making mistakes.. just like I always have as a parent.. But I also know we are also having some incredible successes and that my kids know (at least right now) they can ask for what they need. Like my much more private guy.. the one who hates crying.. He asked to go back to the bereaved family camp we went to previously.. He has asked for more personal therepy and we are delivering..

No doubt about it though. I am doing some of this wrong. My kids do not have the perfect childhood.. but then again..  they never did. .. Just now some of the wrongs will be different than they would have been if their sister hadn’t died.

We are a big emotions family. Always have been.. Our kids have fears. They have pain and sadness and anger.. They get that from us. ..

But they got love and they got joy. They have giggles and positivity.. And they get that from us too. And they get a helluva lot more of the latter. Of that I have zero doubt.

We do play-doh and we make messes.. We have time outs and we play tag..

I appreciate all the comments. Even the harsher ones that have come up as of late. .. Because they clarify things for me. ..

They make me question myself. .. They make me question still choosing to share.. Because I am learning so many people don’t seem to understand what this blog is for me. A outlet. For the dark.. for the scary .. for the deep. That it is not my constant state of being.. but rather the antithesis of it.

Writing this blog .. giving a voice to the fears and the dirty inside. Its helps prevent it from becoming my reality. 

I share so others that are walking in my shoes know they are not alone. I share because it helps me so much to read a entry like this by my friend Jaime.. about how she feels looking back at her daughters final hours..

And I share because I read so much of what I feel and write about shared by other bereaved parents in private groups and forums. .. I have wondered why its not shared more publicly.. but now I get it.  I think we are scared of getting judged .. of getting told we aren’t doing this right. For a long time I was spared those comments .. And for the most part I still am.. but they do happen .. And they can be hard to digest.

But I have learned I am grateful for it. Because I am me. I am always me. Push and I push back. Can’t help it. So when I am told (based of off this entry) that I deserve my guilt and my pain. That I am awful because I let her suffer.. It makes me take a truly honest and hard look at it. .. And it forced me to admit.. The unthinkable. The thing that for some reason is terrifying to admit. ..

Its not my fault. And I did the very best I could. .. 

 

I had no idea. No freaking clue how to help her die. But I tried.. I tried like hell to do it right.

Its hind site.. it that after the fact 20/20 vision that allows room for that crushing guilt. Its not reality that gives it life.. Its just regret and time that does it. Time to think and obsess.. Time to back track and plan and re-plan for what has already occurred. ..

(And for any other bereaved parent reading these words thinking you will never get to this point.. Keep working at it however you need to and you will. .. I know you doubt it so much right now.. but you can do this. .. and we both know you will have to do it over and over again, because that is just the truth of child loss.. But you can. .. we can do this. )

..problem is. When it comes to a 6 year old dying.. there is no right. ..just so much wrong.

Along with that cruel hind site is the crush of the loss of the time I counted on. The lifetime of hers that I counted on getting to make so much more positive than negative. .

I’m not exactly sure why.. but its still so hard to truly allow myself to feel .. To acknowledge the ultimate truth..Its not my fault and I did the best I could…because I love her. And she still died.

i love you jennifer

and because of that

i will always

be so sorry

you died.

..until there is a cure..

 

34 Responses to “do you get counseling..”

  1. Sending love to you Mama. Nothing can ever change that. I am grateful to you and your family and am always thinking of you guys.

  2. It’s really easy for someone who has never been through what you have to sit in judgement with the I would never__________. I think of your family everyday, and I’m glad you find relief through your blog. I will continue to read whenever you decide to post. It is clear that your living children are well loved. Praying for you all always, and of course for a cure. ❤️

  3. We are all amateurs in this parenting deal. Just when you think you have a little bit nailed something else happens.
    It’s hard to believe someone is so judgmental of decisions we all hope to God we never have to make. You do the best you can with the all the resources you have. That’s all you can do.

    Thank you for introducing new concepts like – for them because of her –

    Thank you for sharing the journey. I wish it was a different journey but here we all are. And Jennifer will be remembered!

  4. This post says it all Momma…. thank you again for sharing so much of yourself. I find myself nodding as I read, as if you know me and my thoughts as another Mom trying to survive having a child die and taking care of living ones all in the same breath. So, thank you. Just thank you for being here…………and writing. It’s risky, but I hope still worth it. You make a difference.
    Much peace to you and a smile.

    Hugs!

  5. Still here, still reading, still rooting for you and your family and still thinking of Jennifer everyday in my interactions with my own kiddies. I was appalled to read some of the comments from your last post – people are crazy judgemental and will never know what this must be like for you. We are all doing the best we can with the cards we are dealt and I’m in awe of your strength. Love the picture of your little one crying in your backside while you are smiling and totally not sweating the small stuff -plus the pizza looks delish! Your family is beautiful and I wish all of you peace, love and light! Until there is a cure…

  6. I still believe most of the moms don’t judge you, but admire your strength and willingness to share. Thanks for sharing your deepest thoughts. And hope you find peace in writing.

  7. I think there is no wrong way to grieve and no time limit as well. She will miss out on so much life, 80+ more years of life, and as a mama, you are allowed to grieve every missed second of it. As for parenting grief or not show me someone who has it all figured out and ill show you a liar. We are all just winging it honestly. And everychild is different, you have to parent them all differently. Even the ones you may not be able to see. Doesn’t stop being their parent.

    Never second guess your self, and tell everyone else to shove it. Don’t feed the tolls. I love your posts. They make me think, and feel, and care about something bigger than myself.

  8. I want to say snarky, immature things about any one of the people that were ballsy enough to criticize you, but I won’t. I’ll just say that I truly believe that whatever their criticisms were were born or their own self doubt. None of us that still have all our children living could possibly have any room to critique you or you grieving process. It’s insane to even suppose that we could possibly know what YOU should or shouldn’t be doing. F ’em.

  9. Still reading each post and praying for your family…thank you for sharing- you are a great mama doing the best you can after the unthinkable. LOVE4JLK always💕💕

  10. Angry at anyone who made you for a second doubt yourself. The outpouring of self-reflection on this blog have shown time and time again that you are an intuitive parent who has strong instincts for what her kids need. I’m certain you make far fewer mistakes than parents who aren’t as in tune with their children’s psychology and needs. You did everything right for Jennifer, to the best of what you knew at the time. You’re solid gold, Libby. Never doubt that.

  11. You are an amazing mother. your words and your Jennifer have helped me to be a better mama. Thank you for sharing her and you with us. I will keep reading for as long as you are willing to write. Thank you.

  12. everyone does things differently. there is no wrong or right. you did the very best you could in YOUR moment. She knew she was loved beyond measure. You were with her every step of the way. YOUR moment. and hers. but you have the challenge of being the one who looks back and says maybe I could have done this or this. but you did the VERY BEST you could. no one knows how to help anyone let alone your child die. I can’t even imagine. and you are doing the VERY BEST you can now. don’t beat yourself up either (any of you) you are all on this journey together and NO ONE knows how that journey should go but you all. as for the haters. let them walk in your shoes for a month. feel all you feel, do all you do. share with everyone your every emotion. let them do that, then they can talk. and it will probably be different. Thank you for sharing Jennifer with us and for sharing your families journey. I for one, will never stop sharing her story and how we can help. 4% is not enough. #love4jlk and all of you..

  13. It was not your fault, and you did the best your could….hands down. I appreciate all of your posts and I know it helps others who have lost a child. Let’s hope in the very near future, no parent will ever have to lose their child to Cancer and no one will have to deal with the life long sadness of such a loss. You and your entire family are wonderful people to allow us, ones who like me, have never had the privilege of meeting you, to share your story and your deep thoughts. You are selfless.

  14. I’m so glad you are not letting criticism get you down. There are always people who think they know how to do it better, but, of course, they don’t. There are many more people who are inspired by your words, so don’t stop writing them. I’m a grandma who doesn’t know you, but have followed your blog since the beginning. I have great respect for you and your strength. I even have a couple pictures of your kids on my phone because they’re beautiful and, like my grandkids, they make me smile.

  15. You are an inspiration and amazingly strong, Jennifer’s mom. Keep swimming…..you have changed my life goal. I want to make a difference for these children, and I will.

  16. WOW, how dare anyone ever question you and your feeling or the way you did things. No one can ever truly understand what it’s like to be in your shoes unless they have been in those same shoes. Shame on them. I have nothing but respect and so much love for you and your family. You have changed the way I parent my daughter and made me a better mother to her. Keep doing you Libby. I will always be here reading your every word and supporting you. I appreciate how much you have shared with us. Nothing but love for you. xoxo

  17. Your writings always make such sense, and are such a honest account of how you felt at a certain moment. I have never lost a child, I know how lucky I am but I do work in end of life care and there is no right way to grieve, act or speak after a loss. There is no time limit to grief either. You do a great job of trying to give each child what they need for them. They will grow up so grateful at your understanding of their personalities. It makes me sad that Jennifer died, children should not die, we should die first not them, that is not the plan but the plan does not always work. You have taught me to speak up, write and yell for funding for childhood cancer and it has also helped me in dealing with friends and co workers who have lost a child or a grandchild. You have given a glimpse into your window of loss.

  18. You are one amazingly strong woman. I met you at the San Diego Mom’s Night Out and your story touched me deeply. Your blog moved me. I appreciate the raw honesty you display- because that is therapeutic and real. And I am sure very cleansing as well. Keep doing you, and your 5 beautiful children, the 4 you get to hug each night, and the one you hold in your heart forever will always love you. And I hope to see you at another mom’s night out, so I can tell you this in person.

  19. I am so sorry that you have had to deal with judgmental comments on top of the unimaginable pain you are enduring since Jennifer died. The fact that you share the depths and rawness of your soul and your intimate journey through grief is so courageous, beautiful and inspiring. If someone doesn’t like or agree with your blog they shouldn’t read it. I hope the negative comments don’t deter you from honoring who you. JLK forever.

  20. It really pains me to hear about and read people criticising the way you have been grieving the loss of your daughter. The idea that someone else might know better than you how to care for her in that moment or to process any of this makes me feel sick and sad and angry. I don’t go very long in my life without thinking about you and Jennifer, what your family has experienced and the incredible, inspiring and literally unfathomable way you have not only processed your pain and loss but also what you have done with your strength and power and in her name. I also can’t really convey the way that following your blog and connecting to your experience as a mother and as a person who has suffered her own loss (though not the loss of a child which is completely different) has changed me. Made me more present and more grateful. I can’t imagine being motivated to say anything to you other than “thank you” or “I support you” or to send you love. That you are able to again rise in the face of this hardship amazes me even more. Thank you for being strong enough and brave enough to be truthful about the real darkness of loss and grief. Your voice is so valuable and I am truly sorry for anyone who hasn’t had the chance to learn and grow from hearing it.

  21. I am just sad. I feel such anger and disgust, that my kids live in a world where it is even fathomable to tell a mother that she deserved the pain of losing her precious daughter or for her child to die! I try hard every single day to raise my children in the “right” way, the truth of the matter is NO ONE KNOWS THE ” RIGHT” WAY! Even though you share grief on here- I can tell you that I can read between any lines of grief and/or sadness -that you care so very deeply & your one hell of a great mother! I’m literally sick that you’ve been treated that way whatsoever! I will pray for them that have mis- treated you and never conform to their sick, hateful & selfish ways! Libby… please share and don’t ever let anyone take that outlet away! I miss your blogs and it does so much to keep us all
    DOING and not just being sorry!

  22. I relate so much to all that you say Libby. 10 years on from this beast taking my son Ben I still struggle to accept that I couldn’t have somehow saved him or at least eased his suffering, that I should have tried harder. I used my FB page to pour out my grief but I don’t do it so often any more. Not because I don’t want to, but because I felt pressured into doing it less by others. Apparently doing it so much was hard for them to see – poor them huh! And it meant I was not moving on! Aaaaagh! They have no idea! That people dare to criticise you, or any bereaved parent angers me greatly. It saddens me that you blog less because of it, this is your outlet, your catharsis, your space – do what you need to do. Jennifer is without doubt super proud of you. Xxx

  23. I find your blogs so helpful! You answer so many questions I have….ones that no one else can answer unless they’ve been on the same journey. As you said in this blog ‘…there’s so many wrongs to this.’ My daughter Eva is 5 and we’re almost a year into this nightmare. She’s still fighting but I find some days I’m grieving so hard, even though she’s here, that I’m forgetting to enjoy the fact she is here then the guilt kicks in. Sending you and your family lots of love xxx

  24. It pains me immensely to see ao many people judging you on your journey of child loss. I’ve never gone through what you have, therefore I could not even begin to understand your struggle. A person should not judge another who is walking down a different path in life. You didn’t ask for this to happen. You were given this life of confusion, anger and grief…but there is no guide book for it. No room for judgement.

    I imagine that your blog has helped other bereaved parents come to terms with their grief, and give them a sliver of hope for the future. Let them know that there can be genuine moments of happiness even in their times of sorrow. For people like myself, who have never been down the road of child loss, it gives us a glimpse into the pain, a real reason why we should care. Your words at various times have brought tears to my eyes, a smile to my face, and a sense of anger and determination…a real, true reason why I should not just be “sorry”, but also active. Your writing is an outlet for you to speak your darkest thoughts, and also capture beautiful moments in your life for you to keep and look back upon when the mind fails to recall. Those words are also a call to action, because as you said…watching your beautiful 6 year old die has nothing “right”, just everything “wrong”.

    I sincerely hope that the sting of judgemental words by ignorant and callous people do not ever detour you from writing or speaking publicly. For every snarky and rude person out there, there are hundreds of others who truly try to understand, even when we know we cannot. You have absolutely been through Hell on earth and are blessed with a powerful and beautiful writing ability…your words can change the world.

  25. The only people who truly understand are those who have also lost a child. I have not lost my child, but my grandchild to cancer. I believe the grief is different in many ways, the loss is deeper for the parents, you have lost a piece of yourself. The grandparent grieves the loss of a beloved grandchild and bears the worry about their own child, and how they cope with their loss. I agree, the milestone days are the worst, her birthday for me, is the worst, it causes a day of quiet tears. Ignore the trolls, they do not matter, stay strong and keep memories alive, hugs.

  26. I have read your blog for several years and have yet to comment. I have always admired how raw and honest you are in your blog. There is no perfect way to parent and there’s certainly no perfect way to grieve. Sadly, there are many who judge others to make themselves feel better. I hope you keep doing what you need to do without giving thought to those sad souls.

    Thank you for your honesty and for sharing Jennifer Lynn with us.

  27. Libby, you are in inspiration. NEVER stop telling your story. You are Jennifer’s voice now and the world needs to hear it.

  28. Screw them Libby. If it helps you to write, keep writing. And as much as I and many others enjoy your writing, when it stops helping, stop. Your children will know that you loved them and will know that you wrote to help you be a better mother, and to celebrate the life of their adored sister. Thank you for letting me know Jennifer.

  29. I’ve been reading all along, but haven’t commented in a very long time. It would seem this blog helps you be a better everything. It’s the safe place for the dark things, as you wrote. A rational person would surmise that this a just a piece of a full life. People have to realize that social media only shows so much. Some post endless pictures of what they want to portray as near perfect lives. I would no sooner believe that to be true than to believe that the Kranz family lives a life of 24/7 grieving. You WILL always grieve. It is but one part of your life. Real life. Parenting is a crap shoot. Nobody gets it 100 percent right and your kids will be fine. This is YOUR safe space. Don’t let anyone take that away.

  30. If people are following your blog they should know your getting counseling. You’ve talked about it. They should also know because you’ve said over and over this is not who you are this is your outlet. Your writing reminds us what we’ve lost by ignoring childhood cancer. It’s beautiful Jennifer Parker and Katherine. Your writing reminds us that we will lose more precious children if we don’t act. For you it’s an outlet for us a reminder. A look Into what can happen to any of us.

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