Tag: sibling loss

her Christmas gift

We woke up all with Jennifer on our hearts and minds… And as it turns out the feeling was mutual. My niece came over last night and saved Christmas for the second year in a row. She came over to wrap presents for my kids. Without her to talk with and to honestly do most of it I don’t know if it would have gotten done. It is so hard to not be wrapping for her.. So I just avoid it at all costs. As I fell asleep silent tears hit my pillow..  as I was helplessly wishing I could give her a present.. This morning the very first thing Nicholas did was ask my a question about sissy.. He was groggy, wiping sleeping from his eyes and asked if she used to wear boxers.. I was taken aback and at first said no.. but then realized she probably did[…]

dirty truth

Grinding. Heavy. Sharp. Never the words I wold have imagined myself using to describe Christmas time. Short. Sensitive. Hurting. Never the words I would have imagined my husband using to describe us this time of year. Everyday is just hard. No other way to describe it. The ache for her is palpable. The memories of our last year with her. Such a short time we knew she had cancer.. This time of year brings it all back. The family pictures we took.. . Her face swollen with steroids. . A trip to Disneyland. . Presents that barely got played with.. And now. A vast empty. How can it hurt this much? How are we supposed to survive this? I don’t want to do it all over again. But I am. We are. Day after day. Its not fair. Why my daughter? I hate this part of it. The searing and[…]

ground to outer space

I forgot. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten… Cookie and cocoa and lights. A tradition that matters. We started it Jennifer’s first Christmas. It was always a celebration of getting to be parents. A night I always remembered and appreciated how hard fought for these children of ours were.  As each year we went from 1 to 2 to 3 … 4… with our 4th child then we knew we be losing our first one.. But I loved it. One of the only things that I actually have looked forward to these 2 seasons without her.. Because I remembered so much so fondly. The way she would get so excited.. Even showing her siblings that were just sleeping babies the lights. Squealing out to everybody whose window to look out of. I needed that. That remembering of the happy noises. My boys fight. A lot. And they fight hard. It[…]

love wasn’t enough..

Christmas is almost here.  A day I counted down to and used to love. Even more after having children then I did even as a child. It was pure magic to get to experience it with them.. I’ve lost that. I’m sad. I miss my daughter. I look at her stocking and hate that I know it won’t be filled with gifts for her. Although we started a tradition last year that we are going to stick with. Santa will bring something to the whole family in honor of Jennifer. So at least her stocking will be taken down and laid out.. even though she won’t be here to run to it. .. Just thinking about it all makes my stomach hurt… and clench .. And the same words tunnel their way through my brain.. Keeping me up. .. but she’s only 6. just barely 6.  And then my brain[…]

tomorrow

Tomorrow I will dust myself off.. Tomorrow I will pick myself up … but today.. Today I crumble. Today my 2 year old toddles over to me and asks to be picked up. Today she offers to kiss my owie and wipes away my tears. Today we start to clean up the garage.. and find bags of my dead daughters clothing. Ones she wore and lived in before we knew the string of letters DIPG and the power they would forever hold over me. Today I ache for her so deeply. Today I am a really crappy mom and today I feel horrible about it.. but can’t seem to stop. .. today. today I find watermelon on clothes she never wore but were in her things. ok sissy .. tomorrow ok.. better tomorrow.. i just can’t today.. sorry Today I bury my face in the jammies she wore so often.[…]

unrequited best friend

It’s happening. Jonathan is surpassing his big sister. Last week he sat next to me and he read. He opened up a book and he read. She was so close to it. She really wanted to learn how. Now when I want her to know the words I write I say them aloud. Because she can’t read. I was trying to meal plan for Thanksgiving. Thinking of what I wanted to make.. I was already feeling the missing shape of her in our lives. And I heard him. Finger to page. Word by word. He was reading. And I cried. For him. Proud of him and his accomplishment. And so sad for never getting to have that moment with Jennifer. Soon he will outlive her. Soon it will all be new to me. A mom for 8 years yet I am experiencing all the firsts with my 6 year old.[…]

final word

Grief is a strange thing…a fluid thing. The way it manifests itself in adults and kids. It really keeps you on your toes. Often times Tony and I don’t even know we are struggling with big grief until we start tackling it. We will just turn to the other one and say the words.. The ones that will unleash a landslide of understanding for the fights or explosions or misunderstandings of the last few weeks. With kids its a sudden twist. I want them to know they can talk to me or other safe adults. I want them to also know its ok to not be grieving their sister. Its ok to just be. . It is a small tightrope to be walking along. That balance between openness and demonstrating healthy big emotions while still allowing them to just be kids. They surprise us though. They often do it very[…]

inside out

Its a grind for us all right now. Just passing our 2 year anniversary of her diagnosis and birthday. Its like the start of our really hard time. And frankly we just really don’t want to do it. I am mad. I am angry. I have done this all before and I just don’t want to have to do it all again. Now its not the fear of the unknown.. It’s the known. But we already did it. We already had a Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years Eve without her.. And I don’t want to have to face it again. Halloween was good. We had fun. .. But it was so hard. A grind. Like gravity is so much stronger right now. This force and pull pushing and forcing me down. I should say us. Because my husband .. He is struggling too.. For all the same reasons. Its[…]

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[…]

a bench

Two days in the books of school for my “not supposed to be the oldest”.. It still doesn’t seem real. Like a fog that he is in kindergarten. Because Jennifer is in kindergarten .. so he can’t possibly be. .. Because if he is.. well then where is she? I know. I know the answer but apparently the mind and heart can do incredible things to protect themselves.. because some parts of me still seem to be content in denial. Like if I close my eyes and just breathe I can go back. I can pretend its not real. Every morning I face it again. Every morning I re-remember. .. one is missing.  I thought it was just then.. that fleeting first moment of opening my eyes. .. But I was wrong. It seems it is bigger and integrated into more areas of me than I even knew. Jonathan seems[…]