Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I just need to get it all out.

Since Joshua's death, and after all of the attacks that took place, I have struggled with how much information to share through my blog. I have always used my blog as my outlet, to get my thoughts out, process through my days, and figure out how to deal with life in general.. My intentions behind my blogging have never been for personal gain. They have never been to stir the pot, to cause trouble, or to draw attention on a wide scale. They have simply been for me to work through life's difficulties with the support of people who are committed to praying and sharing their experiences. But since the attacks took place, I have been extremely careful with what I post.

I don't like it and quite frankly, if I can't write the way I want to write and share what I want to share, I'm going to stop blogging. I don't want it to come to that. I have blogged (using a different blogging site) for over 4 years now. I don't want to stop. It has become such an important part of my life.

So I'm going to get it all out. I'm going to risk opening myself up for more attacks. I will continue to moderate my comments and delete nasty ones (especially if they are written anyonoumsly- those mean ABSOLUTELY nothing to me)- not because I don't apprecaite differening opinions, but because I am not going to allow people to write nasty things about me. I have never been a weak person who has allowed people to trample over me and treat me like garbage, and I'm not going to become that person now. I am "fierce and fiesty" afterall!

So here we go:

Let me start of by addressing nasty anynomous comments. All I'm going to say that they will never have a voice here. 

Next, I'd like you to know that I do not think that ALL intactivists are crazy evil people. They are NOT! We have been blessed by the intactivists reaching out to support us and love us through our grief. You have no idea how much it means to me when I read a comment that says "I am an intactivist, and while I would not have made your choices, I respect you and grieve with you." I totally appreciate differing opinions. I will even listen to and think about differing opinions as long as they are presented respectfully- and by respectfully I don't mean by telling me that I deserved for my child to die- if you think that is respectful, I think we have bigger issues here.

Also, just because I don't want to lie or not disclose the full truth to so many of you who have really cared about us, (I really hope there isn't an anti group for this one!) Shane and I decided, the day Joshua died, to cremate him. We made that decision within hours of Joshua's death (before we knew of all of the controversy surrounding his death). We are not originally from Huntington, and we don't plan on staying here for ever. We couldn't bear the thought of burying him and then possibly moving far away and leaving him here. I didn't want to post that we cremated him, because I was am afraid that people would attack us for that decision as well. We are not trying to hide anything in regards to his death, we simply want to keep him with us wherever we go, and burying him would not allow us to do that. The coroner signed off on his death last week and he was cremated on Thursday. We are now in the process of looking for an urn which seems to be a tough task. We can't find anything that we love and want to keep him in.

And finally, I want to tell you how I have really felt regarding the attacks on our family. We have heard over and over that the way we were treated was awful, and while I agree, I'm almost thankful for it. It really softened the blow of losing Joshua. It gave my mind something else to think about. The words never really hurt us. They were just words (and from our point of view, they were words with no truth to them). They were hidden behind the anynomous name, and they were nothing but a good distraction to us. So in an extremely weird way, thank you for attacking us (BY THE WAY, I AM NOT GIVING YOU PERMISSION TO DO IT AGAIN!). Thank you for giving us the distraction to soften the blow. But most of all, thank you to those who have loved us, prayed for us, and sent us messages, emails, tweets, and comments in support of us. Your support- knowing that we had people who believed in us and loved us, made the biggest impact on us.

Throughout all of this, my faith in humanity has been reconfirmed. There are more good people out there than bad, parents who are willing to band together to protect each other- and that's why I want to get all of this out. Because there are so many of you who truly care about our family, and I want to keep it as real as possible with you. My relationships in real life are based on truth, loyalty, and love- I want the same for my cyber friendships as well.'s all out and I feel good. (although I feel like I need to hold my breath and close my eyes- I'm hoping I didn't just throw myself to the wolves again.....)


Lisa said...

Thinking of you often, Jill. No stones from me. There have been many times over the years when I have wished we had chosen to cremate Clint. I don't know that we will ever leave the area--we've always lived within an hour of his burial spot--but I do feel tied to it.
Please, God, do not allow the 'anti-cremation' inactivists to wrech havoc here!

Chrissy said...

It's so sad that you and your family have not been allowed to grieve in peace. I hope things turn around for you, and soon.

I love blogging, and like you, I'd hate to ever feel forced to give it up. The thing is, it's YOUR blog. It's YOUR life. It's YOUR child. What anyone else thinks is really irrelevant. WHO CARES if they agree about Joshua's cremation? You have to do what is best for YOU, and for your family.

You have not broken the law. You have not done anything immoral. You have nothing to hide, and it's sad that the world is making you feel as though you do.

Praying for you and your family.

Mommy of 2 Boys said...

This is you blog, it is your 'outlet' per say. You should be able to say whatever you want without fear of being criticized. You do what you feel is best for yourself and your family. Don't listen to those 'haters'. God Bless you all.

EnVii said...

if you ever need to talk i am here.. i know you dont know me but i too have a child that past away from hypoplastic left heart syndrome. My heart goes out to you and youa re always in my prayers

Becca said...

Very well said. God Bless you and your family and know that we are all here to hold you up and support you. No judgment from me. I can never presume to think that I know what you are going through. said...

I can not imagine the grief you are dealing with and how much worse it's been made by the nasty things people have said and done. I'm praying that things get easier for you and your family.

Darlene Blair said...

Dear Jill, very well said and so true on all counts. Your decisions have all been made based on what is right for you and your family all of them. On the subject of an urn, that must be so hard to find for one so small and young. A suggestion I have is to take one Joshua's favorite stuffed animals and after putting ashes in a sealed container but them in it. This way it will be something of his to have him with and it with him forever. Bless you and your family. <3

Readily A Parent said...

You have to wonder, eh? I think God knew what He was doing. He gave you something to focus on besides the grief and he gave everyone else a chance to look inside themselves and find the grace and humility we need, especially in dealing with others. The haters were outed and you stood strong and I guess He knew you could.
On another note, it sounds like cremation was the best option for your family. I have nothing against it but do know some religious people who do. Hopefully they're religious enough to not give you a hard time about it.

Erin said...

The amount of nastiness I have seen in the blogging world (you are the third blogger I follow who has been attacked) is ASTOUNDING. I cannot FATHOM attacking someone who has just lost their child. But, I am glad your faith in people has been reconfirmed. As for the cremation, I probably would have made the same decision. We are not from FL and while I don't think we'll leave, I'm not sure I'd want to be away from my child either. DH and I plan to be cremated so to me, the decision makes sense.

Keep on blogging. There will always be nasty people...just hold your head high and ignore them.

Erin said...

Another very well thought out and said post!! You still remain in my prayers! Continue to do what YOU feel is best for YOUR family!!

Carla Sue said...

Miss Jill, you know how I feel about this all. I want cremated, Jose wants cremated and if one of our children were to pass away (heaven forbid), we would most likely cremate them as well. There is nothing immoral about any of the decisions that you have made. You are human and you made decisions based on God's will. It's kinda funny because I was telling Molly last week that this whole fiasco may have been a blessing in disguise because it was a distraction. It allowed you to grieve, but also gave you something else you had to focus on because it just kept coming at you. I pray that it fizzles out and stops soon, however, until then, use your words and your heart to share the light with their areas of darkness. I love you dearly sweet pea. And I know you're not as fierce and fiesty as you try to come off as. ;) *HUGS*

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

carla- you can't out me like that! haha! compared to you, I'm sweet as sugar! ha! hugs to you friend!

Anonymous said...

Sending ((Hugs)). That is all. No stones here either. He is your son and I can understand why you would want him with you always. My mother has a baby girl buried in Michigan and she speaks of her sometimes. My sister Rhonda. We are in Oklahoma. She has even visited Rhonda. It isn't easy for her. ((Hugs again)))


Deanna said...

Praying for you and your family still!

Anonymous said...

You are a very brave woman. I've followed your blog since before Joshua was born. I've never commented tho. I pray for your family daily. I pray that you will find peace. You will never completely heal from all this but you will find away, your own way, with dealing w/ everything. I'm so sorry for all the people bashing you for what you did. You did nothing wrong!! You loved your child deeply!! That was conveyed in every post you wrote. Praying for you and your family still!!!

The White Family-Jason, Dana and Michael said...

So happy that you have chosen to continue sharing with us and teaching us how to be a strong christian woman! I am truly blessed that you contacted me and that I have followed you through this journey, it has taught me so much about God's grace. And you have been a testament of how to truly Walk in Faith! I regret I never got to visit with you at PMC but I hope that when you are ready you will join us at Mended Little Hearts, you are a part of our family! And I still would enjoy visiting with you, one on one when you decide it is time. I have come to love you, Shane, Caleb and Hannah as I have shed tears for you all, laughed about your childrens silly comments and prayed for your healing. Your lives are embedded in my heart forever, you have touched me deeply!
Heart Hugs,

Wayne and Sue Rasmussen said...

God has definitely given you a gift to be able to express yourself so well, even when the situation could give rise to a whole different way of dealing with it. God bless you as you continue to love Him, love Shane, and love Caleb, Hannah and Joshua. My parents were both cremated ... when I found out years ago they planned it, it bothered me. Not for religious reasons ... it was just something I didn't understand. A little maturity solved that problem and my husband and I both plan to be cremated as well. Hopefully you can find the perfect urn (or toy per Darlene) to put your little guy's ashes in. Praying for peace.

Tara said...

I love that you are so open and honest...despite of what you have been through. Your strength and convictions really speak to me and I have learned so much through your wisdom and willingness to share your heart.

Just wanted to let you know your family is always in my thoughts and prayers! Blessings and hugs your way!


Steph said...

Very well said, Jill. You have every right to do what you want with Joshua and I would want to take him everywhere with me as well - makes perfect sense. He is with you no matter what, as your angel, just remember that. I agree with everything you said. God bless you and your family, I continue to think of you and pray for your family. Take care & always do what JILL KNOWS is RIGHT for her and her family!!!

Maria said...

I just started reading your blog and I am so sorry about your beautiful baby boy. I know all too well the pain of losing a child, as my daughter lost her little girl two years ago a week before she was due to be born. It's a loss that never goes away, you just learn to live with it. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. As for the situation with the people attacking you, all I can say about that is that I am appalled. What has this world come to? I am sorry for what they have put you through. With respect to your question about the urn for baby Joshua...let me tell you what my daughter and her husband did. They did buy a small beautiful urn, but she keeps that urn inside a plush bear that we had made for our angel Sophia before she was born. Her mother-in-law made a silk pocket inside the back of the bear and she put the urn in there. Sophia's bear is predominantly present in their home, and she accompanied them to the hospital last year when Sophia's baby brother was born. Not sure if this would work for you, but just wanted to tell you what we did. Much love and hugs...Maria Paris

baby foot fluff said...

i'm glad you are still blogging, i love to read them even though sometimes they make me sob out loud. i can't imagine why anyone would object to cremation but it seems that there is some militant group somewhere that is against anything that exists. LOL! i continue to think about you and your family daily and pray most fervently for you. prayer is a new thing to me and i find i am liking it. God bless!

Auntie M said...

Once again: good for you! This is your blog & your family and you should make the choice for each without fear of ridicule or reprimations from outsiders.
As for cremation: that makes perfect sense to me. My nephew was cremated precisely because the future was uncertain for his parents, and am so glad they did so as he, too, moved to WA with them last spring. To imagine him left behind would be devistating.
I will send you a couple of urn ideas via a private FB email later today.
Keeping you & yours in thoughts & prayers

Anonymous said...

Jill I can so relate to the cremation aspect. Our daughter has a CHD, and if she were to lose her battle, I told my husband before she was ever born and we were planning her funeral then that I wanted her to be cremated so she would always be with me. I could not bear to ever move and leave her alone.

Much love and peace to you as you start this new journey. It is one that I have no idea how you are feeling - but know that I weep for your family.

Shannon Egan

Debby@Just Breathe said...

This is your place to speak the truth, I admire you for moving forward and not letting them get to you. People who leave rude comments have nothing in their hearts and God knows that. ((HUGS))

Lisette said...

This is YOUR space, you keep writting as you please. You have a follower in me that is for sure. We decided to cremate our daughter and so many people frowned upon that, not sure why because after all it was my decision to make. I am so THANKFUL that I did. I love having her home with me. Finding an urn wasn't easy. We chose a teddy bear (in the light urns). On the days where I just need to feel her close I love knowing that I can get some comfort in holding her bear. Some people probably think I am crazy but again I really don't care. ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Jill ~ you truly are an inspiration to me. your faith in God and belief in people is such an amazing thing. Thank you for sharing Joshua and your family. You are an amazing woman.
love to you all.

Mason and Carter's Dad said...

Just wanted to let you know that we are still praying for you and your family.

Stephanie Dunning said...

I'm new to your blog but I read about what's been going on and I'm shocked by the treatment you've encountered. I wish you the best and feel you did nothing wrong. I'm sorry you lost your beautiful baby and I'm glad you're still blogging.

Christie Huggins said...

We cremated Tristan, as well, for the same reason...we don't have a "home" that we know will be forever. We move often. I couldn't bear burying him anywhere and then having to move away from him. When I pass away someday, he will be buried with me. I didn't want to bury him in our parent's home town either. Though it's "home," it's been a place that we have tried dearly to run away's a place of crime, clicks and bad family memories. A friend of mine sent a memory box to us from "Things Remembered" and he rests there. When we move to our new house, I'll probably place him in the nursery that was meant to be his. We built that house with him in mind....thinking he would be coming home with us, healthy and whole. Life is so brutal, and I am sorry you are experiencing this. I am there with you. Tristan left us May 2nd.

Prayerfully and lovingly,


lmnop said...

"fiesty" would rhyme with "yeasty."

I assume you meaning to write "feisty?"

Heidi said...

Lovely message! I admire your courage and honesty!

Nikki said...

Jill-I love that you are so open and honest about your feelings! I love reading your blog because you say whats on your mind :)

I feel honored that you shared such a personal story about Joshua's cremation and your reasons behind it. I'm sorry you felt that you needed to hide it...but I understand why. It will take some time for you to trust again after what happened to you (the attacks) and know that we are all here. We are all supporting you. We are all praying for you. We are all loving you and your family!

Laanykidsmom said...

I am glad you have the strength to keep going. You shouldn't have to give up blogging if you enjoy it. I can only hope that people have the decency to either support you or just leave you alone. I will never understand what people get out of being so nasty! I am so glad your faith in humanity is restored and that you have seen goodness after such ugliness. Your story is amazing; thank you for sharing it with us.

Mommy E said...

I just wanted to post that i think your idea about telling your 4 year old about cremation with 'ashes to ashes' sounds like a VERY good way to do it. I worked daycare for a long time, and that sounds like something a four year old would understand much better than anything I could think of!

Nadine said...

Praying for you and your family. I admire that you are through all of this craziness still willing and able to be so honest and open. You've endured so much and yet you have such a great attitude! GOD bless you girl! Anyone who judges you wrongly for making the best decision for your family should be ashamed of themselves. Just for the record, I would have had him cremated too and for the same reason.

mina said...

No one should ever fault you for the decisions you make, because they ARE only yours to make! I hope you continue to use your blog as an outlet, it should be your place to express whatever you feel like. Having blogged myself for three years I know how it can keep me going during some rough stretches.

Ella said...

I heard once that when you can tell your trespassers 'Thank you FOR GIVING me- this opportunity" (to heal grow etc..) that is when your body, mind, spirit is wholly healing & forgiving.

I am so thankful to have met you. Reading your posts on a regular basis help keep me focused on what is really important.

Lynn said...

Ive been reading your blog since before Joshua was born. I was coming here daily after he was born to read your updates on him, and I was praying hard for you guys. I too, do not agree with the people who attacked you. That was just wrong on so many levels.

I do hope and pray that you and your family continues to find peace in this storm. You are in my prayers. Daily.

A daily reader,
Mom of two.
Joshua (2-21-1998) and Xavier (11-19-2009)

Anonymous said...

I've only been following your blog since Joshua's passing. I'm sorry for your loss, and I'm sorry I didn't find you sooner. What a great blessing you are for so many!

But regardless, I've been struck by several things about your blog.
1. I LOVE the redhead banner - I am a fellow redhead
2. I love your writing style - raw and the real deal
3. I read the archives - I also have CHD baby
4. I love to read about God in your posts - I am a fellow Christian

With # 4 being stated. I can relate to your possibly not wanting to be real on here. I have a blog for my little girl as we go through what's happening with her.
But it's just that....
a place for me to keep people updated. I've learned really quickly that it's become a place for the initial facts. And in doing that, there was so much more I wanted to say. Facts are facts. But how I feel about the facts, or what I think God is doing... or not doing that's a whole different ball game. So I just recently started a second blog for me. A place I can be real. A place that if I'm temporarily mad at God, I don't have to deal with the Christian whiplash of people who don't know what it's like to walk in my shoes.

I just want to encourage you to keep it real... whether it's here or if you feel like you need to do it in another place. But your blogging is very therapeutic for you. And it's encouraging to me to see a woman of God take a hit and still stand for God. I love that and admire that about you.
I've only written 1 thing on my personal blog, and it's about joy. Although I haven't experienced anything remotely similar to what you have endured and still live through - I think this entry is kind of universal for Christians going through a hard time. If your interested and have time I would love to have you read "Letter to Joy".

About the cremation thing... first off, it can't offend people when it's your family's personal choice and no one else's business.

But since you put it out there - I'll say I LOVE the idea. I've always talked about it for myself (which has alarmed my husband - I made him promise that he would not go against this wish for myself).
I believe it's the soul that really makes a body. Since the soul is flying high with Jesus, I find the whole process of burial a tradition that I don't want to continue for myself. And I'm most certain that's what I would do for my daughter. (But this would probably warrant more discussion with my husband). But every family needs to do what is most healthy for their grieving process.
God bless you, and the woman that God is continually forming in you.
You are an inspiration to us all.

Kristine said...

Cora was cremated for the exact same reasons. I understand where you're coming from. Having her close is also nice. I just couldn't leave her somewhere that I knew we were moving away from. xo

ArizonaIntactivist said...

I couldn't imagine leaving a son behind either...

I hope you find a beautiful resting place for Joshua's body soon...but KNOW his spirit is always with you!

Anonymous said...

Honestly, other than you have lost a child and I haven't (though I do have one with cancer) I know exactly how you feel.

I too have blogged for YEARS, I love it. It's my outlet too and I've been attacked many many times by other vicious people, who still 3 years later attack and harass me (I pray you will NOT be harassed like that!)

I think you have handled things very graciously, and you are a very strong and amazing woman!

I see no problem with you cremating your son. My husband and I have always said that if our children ever died (we pray they will not, but with having a son with cancer, this IS a conversation we have had as you NEVER know what the future holds!!) But we've already decided cremation is what we will do, because we do not plan on living where we live forever either, and we do not want to leave our child behind.

Stay strong! Keep blogging! Keeping being fierce and feisty!! That's what us red heads do best.

Kari said...

How do I not know you and already LOVE YOU??!!! YOU GO, GIRL!!!

XO, Kari, Joel's mommy

CHD Fighter said...

Jill ... all I want to say is that you are HIS MOTHER and you should never have to explain your reasoning for anything ... you should not have ever had too ... I'm so sorry that while you were/are/continue to grieve that people took it upon themselves to judge/attack/slander your name ... you have the right to do for yourself/your family/your son what you feel is right and I'm so sorry that you ever felt the need to have that questioned ... I truly pray that God will give you peace and hope and many blessings in your life ... because you deserve it!!! The people who attacked you whether anonymous or not are in need of prayers too ... and while you were being attacked I did not want to jump in and give fuel to their fire ... as a CHDer myself I have made many decisions people don't agree with ... but at the end of the day ... only God can truly judge me ... I hope you realize how supported you are ... and I am praying for you and your family!!!

Bobbi Janay said...

You doing what is best for you and your family is all that matters now.

bonnie555 said...

jill, every time i read your blog i cry. every time i see your sweet baby boy's pic i cry. i'm a redhead too so i identify with you - we redheads are a breed apart.

i was devastated by the disgusting comments and actions of a very vocal minority of my fellow intactavists. you obviously loved your little boy so, so much and you did what the doctors told you was the right thing at the time. my anger in this situation was always aimed at the doctors who pushed for the surgery to happen immediately and the surgeon who should have been monitoring joshua very very closely afterwards.

towards you, a fellow redhead and a mother who was doing what she - with the support of her doctors - felt was neccessary at the time, i feel nothing but sympathy and compassion. i also feel that even tho you are still deeply immersed in grief, you need to realise that the people who put joshua in danger were the people wielding the scalpels - the very ones you were trusting to protect him.

you loved your baby. i know you did.

Anonymous said...

Would you tell random strangers on the street all of these personal things? If not, maybe use some descretion online. Reading back through posts it seems as though you are already unstable and need a lot of attention from others.

Deleting the old posts about nearly killing your son etc, lead me to believe you are covering something up and don't really deserve sympathy and while grief is personal, sometimes one needs to know what to share and what to keep private.

Ambizzle said...

I still can not believe how awful and cruel some people are. I came across your blog the wrong way, from an "Intactavist" site attacking you and your family. I am no longer a "fan" of that site. Attacking a person is not the way to win them over to your "side." I can't say it enough, I'm so sorry for your loss.

Anonymous said...

Fitting that he had a warrior's pyre. It will speed his soul back to the creator.


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