Tag: parenting through grief

muscle memory

They call it muscle memory.. mus·cle mem·o·ry noun 1. the ability to reproduce a particular movement without conscious thought, acquired as a result of frequent repetition of that movement. Yup. Both boys are struggling. Jonathan started first. His teacher came out and spoke to me after school.. He was getting in trouble at home.. Nothing major just acting out. .. and needy. Nothing seems to be enough for him. My first thought was Jennifer.. Because I knew the time was coming. .. But I do not ever want to force grief upon them.. or excuse poor behavior because their sister died. So we looked.. we tried to find other reasons.. and actually thought we had.. ..but the behavior continued. Then Nicholas’ teacher asked to speak with me.. Worried about him. He was pulling inward.. not acting like himself.. oh sweet boy Still. I didn’t want to immediately think it was[…]

the power of a memory

My mind often struggles to catch up with my reality. Most of the time Im not even aware of it. My daughter was here. Jennifer lived. And Jennifer died. Forever 6. The other day the kids played a joke on me. They all got in the car to go somewhere like they do everyday but when I walked over to buckle Bridgette in Jonathan was in her seat … the car erupted in giggles as I jumped back in confusion and surprise. I was laughing as I started to say Jennifer did that when she was your age.. It was like somebody ran across my stomach with a blade. The pain. Sharp. Immediate and shocking. He is 7. She is 6. Little brother older than big sister. Luckily I didn’t get the sentence out of my mouth and they were all too busy being proud of themselves to hear me.[…]

flawed but whole

I have these positive posts planned. These things I want to write about laid out in my head and I get excited for it. Excited to explore different avenues of myself and my thoughts and my heart in the way that blogging allows me to. But.. my body seems to know. I write a lot now on Thursdays. My Mom watches 3 of the bigger kids .. will it be like that for the rest of my life.. will I forever stumble over how to refer to my kids. 3 bigger,  the kids,  the girls,  .. its a constant and subtle stab.. one is missing one is missing.. So my parents have them on Thursdays. Its my work day. I try to fill the day with all things Unravel.. and at night we go to counseling. Somewhere along the line I started writing while Bridgette slept. And now its part of[…]

growing up with grief..

Grief has a place in our family.. at our table. Its kinda like a sibling to them.. One that grows and changes right along with them. Parenting a child through grief is something I never really imagined myself having to do. And most of the time I don’t feel well equipped to do it. Its much harder than I thought it would be. I am so grateful I am not alone in doing it though.. I feel so deeply for parents that lose their spouse and have to face this alone. .. Right now its Nicholas. His struggles are deep and loud and real. The disappointment he felt flipping through the most recent yearbook and realizing his sister wouldn’t be in it.. The look of settled in disappointment in his eyes. It was unnerving and unnatural to see that in a boy of his age. I ached for him. I[…]

maybe the kids have it right..

Maybe Jennifer is painting the sky pink for us right now. I wish she was with us. Just here in the car right now. Im going to blow these bubbles up to heaven. Sissy can pop them. Can I sleep in here? I dreamt about Jennifer. I miss her and I am scared. Constant. My missing of her is a constant living part of me. And it is part of my kids too. Those are the comments I have heard in just the past few days. Just sudden and randomly they share,  I have them too.. I just don’t share mine. To protect them.. or whoever I am with. I keep those thoughts silent. To not let it seem like my life is overtaken by the one I can’t touch anymore. My kids though have the freedom to give those thoughts and wishes and hopes a voice. They don’t have[…]

forgiveness for mothers day

Another mothers day is coming. .. I dread it. And then I feel so much guilt over that. I still have my amazing mom and I know so many others that don’t. .I am lucky not just to still have a mom.. but to have her be MY mom and my kids Coco. I am a mother to 4 of the most incredible people you could ever hope to meet. They love me. They will want to show me they love me… in simple and often sticky ways. ..but .. the one that made me a mommy. The one that bestowed the most important title on me is missing.  I remember that first year so well. And that first Fathers day. How surreal it was after years of infertility.. 5 losses.. We finally got to celebrate. Tony and I promised each other we would always make a big deal out[…]

gray

Definition of gray a. of the color gray b. tending toward gray c. dull in color having the hair gray clothed in gray a. lacking cheer or brightness in mood, outlook, style, or flavor; also: dismal, gloomy<a gray day> b. prosaically ordinary: dull, uninteresting having an intermediate and often vaguely defined position, condition, or character     I am gray. I live and survive in the gray now.. This is the merriam-webster definition of gray.. and I think it suits me.. This new AD me that I discovered in this post.. Parenting after child loss is a bitch. All parenting is hard. All parents question themselves.. I always have. But now the stakes seem so impossibly high. That if I am wrong I can be doing some real damage to their little hearts. Nicholas is hard lately. Really really hard. Angry. Defiant. Stubborn. .. and hurting. Maybe more than the rest of us right now. Is[…]

back home

Children are resilient. But they are also vulnerable and trusting. They believe. They hope. They try to make things right. Jennifer always did. She fought. She hoped. She trusted. Children are supposed to be innocent. I stole my 4 year olds innocence. .. Another piece of it at least.. I had to rip more of it away from him. I get told not to put my grief on them. To not misplace my feelings as theirs. They are so young they won’t remember. They barely knew her .. or never knew her.  That my kids are innocent. But they aren’t. Cancer. Her death. Lack of funding. It stole their innocence. Charlotte was only 9 months .. and Bridgette wasn’t even born yet. .. The boys decided to donate their birthdays to Unravel. Instead of presents from friends they asked for donations they could make to save other kids. One thing[…]