Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stepping Back

I am going to admit something to you all.

I've been trying to keep up. I've been trying to be everything to everyone that needs me. I've been trying to support and love on other families who are battling the same demons I am. I've been trying to remain faithful to God.

I'm tired.

I can't do it anymore.

My grief is too much. There are so many little triggers that set me over the edge.

I am not doing well.

When Joshua died, I took a month. I took the kids to daycare and I literally laid on the couch everyday and did nothing. There were some days that I never even left the house. I went days without showering, didn't eat much, and struggled through each hour.

I continued to blog, facebook, and tweet. I accepted hundreds of new friends on facebook- I don't have a clue who most of them are. I tried to answer every single of the thousands of emails and messages that I received- even if it was with just a simple "thank you." I tried to write thank you cards to everyone who sent us gifts, cards, money, or watched the kids, cleaned our house, made us meals, or helped Shane in my absence (I know I missed some, there was no possible way I could keep it all straight.)

I've tried to continue to keep up with the world, all the while feeling like I'm drowning. I did this because I know there are so many people who have loved Joshua and our family. There are so many who have invested in our family, and have supported us financially, spiritually, and emotionally. And for that I am forever grateful. There are so many who have become my lifelines, my friends, and my strength when I can no longer be strong. Thank you.

However, there are triggers. There are things that set my pain over the edge and it's hard for me to continue.

You see, Joshua's death is a big, gaping, bloody and seeping wound right now. My entire world was rocked by his life and death. My worldview has changed, my faith has changed, and my relationships with others have changed. NOTHING is the same any more- and I'm terrified. It seems like any little thing rips the scab off of this wretched wound and the blood and seeping begins all over again.

Where I once felt safe- I no longer feel safe. Where I once felt like I knew the answers- I throw up my hands in surrender and have to rethink everything that I once knew to be true. The faith that was so strong at one time has been shaken to it's core- it's still strong and growing, but it's changed. My love for God is the strongest it has ever been, but it also has some major healing to do.

With that being said, some of the triggers to my grief and pain are through facebook, twitter, and other blogs. I get angry when I hear about "Miracles" or "Blessings." I get angry that God has answered others prayers, why not mine? I want to scream and say if you child died, would you still love God the way you say you do? Would you be so sure of His hand in your life, or would you run as far away from Him as you can? You see, these are all questions I have had to ask myself.

Why was your child so special? What did I do to deserve for my child to die and yours to live? Did I not pray hard enough? Did I not have enough people praying for him? Did I not trust enough that God could heal Joshua? I know the answers to these questions. I know that it was nothing that I did or didn't do. It wasn't that I didn't have enough faith or pray hard enough. But those are all things I have to grapple with between my heart and my mind.

(please don't mistake my anger as being directed towards any one person- it's not. it's anger within myself. I struggle because I want more than anything to love the children and families of those who have supported and loved us through our darkest days, but I just don't have the energy to do it right now.)

Quite honestly, when I hear that a baby is doing so well, I get jealous. The pain suffocates me. And I have to do what I HATE doing- fake it. (nothing makes me more angry than being fake)

So, I'm stepping away. I'm stepping away from twitter and facebook. I'm stepping away from other heart blogs. I will continue to write in my blog, but I cannot continue to subject myself to the pain any longer. This will not be a permenant thing- I don't know how long it will last-maybe it will be a year, maybe it will be a few months, maybe it will just be a day or two. I will be back. I will be more willing and eager than ever to help support families who are dealing with the awful monster that HLHS and CHD is. I want more than anything to help other families through what we have been through. I just simply can't do it until I, myself, am well. I won't be any good to anyone until I allow myself time to heal.

Please keep in touch. Please continue to email, read my blog, and leave comments. If you have my number, please, continue to call or text. I want to continue to pray for your families and your sweet children. If you need me to pray for you, your children, or your families, I would love to do so, just let me know through email or my comments. I am committed to continue to pray for all the CHD families who have become a second family to me. Don't mistake my stepping back as not wanting to be involved at all- I just can't make this my life right now, I need to guard my heart so that I can come back and be an even bigger support to those around me.

Thank you all so much for your love and support. Thank you for walking this along side us and lifting us up and carrying us through. I cannot continue on without you.

With much love to you  all,


jerrod said...

Absolutely everything you shared is warranted and without question correct. I don't know you at all except through your words, and I can't imagine the pain that you feel. Please know that our God is good and when we can't think good thoughts, live our life or even get out of bed... He is with us. He is our refuge in all things.

I'm so glad you will still be writing your blog. You and your family are true inspirations to so many people, I truly feel blessed to have the opportunity to read you.

God is good...and He will hold you through it all. Trust in that.

Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud said...

I think it goes without saying that everyone understands. Just know that we'll be thinking of you, praying for you and welcoming you back with open arms when you're ready.

Kristi, Live and Love...Out Loud

Teresa said...

Please know that our hearts and prayers are still and will always be with you and yours. With tremendous loss comes a tremendous amount of healing. You do what is right for you, and we will be here when you are ready.
Much love,

KAwhereamI said...

I hope you find the peace you desire. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you, your hubby, and your two beautiful babies you have here on earth. Joshua is in a perfect world. One day, we'll be lucky enough to join him. Until then, I'll pray that your wounds heal. Life will never be the same. I won't pretend to know the depths of your grief. I can't even imagine. I will do what I can- and that is pray. Big, humongous hugs your way, lady. You are strong- even if you don't see it, feel it, or even believe it.
Love and prayers,
Kristin (atyourcervix78)

Carrie Flynn said...

I'll continue praying for peace and strength for you and your family. You are such an incredible woman. <3 to you.

campfiresong said...

Good for you. At the end of the day it's your responsiblity to look out for yourself and your family - not keep up with FB and Twitter. Take the time you need to straighten things out and get back with God. You've taken the steps to support many others; now it's time to sit back and let them reciprocate. You don't owe anyone.
With much love, and prayers for healing and wisdom for you and your family,
Lindsey (dashingly)

Stephanie said...

I pray that peace comes quickly and that your heart is able to wrap around those truths that your mind knows. Your family and your sweet boy have touched my heart and will never be forgotten. You deserve time for YOU. I love you and will continue to lift each and every one of you up in prayer.

mybumpyjourney said...

That is completely understandable. I hope this will help. We will be out here cheering you on!!! <3

Amy said...

Oh Jill. I hurt so badly for you right now... but I completely understand where you're coming from. I too had to step back from the cyber-community when I was dealing with multiple pregnancy losses. It made me want to pull my hair out because I felt honest and true jealousy for the first time in my life and I had no idea how to handle it. You do what you gotta do. Self-preservation is critical. You need to take care of yourself first, THEN you can take care of other people. I will continue to read your blog and pray for you.

Jana A said...

You deserve the chance to grieve for YOU and your family and your sweet baby. I understand the desire to help everyone else and while it's probably your natural instinct, you have to take care of yourself first. I'm glad you're stepping back and looking inward to begin to heal as much as is possible. I wish I could tell you how long it would take, but from experience, it's a slow, up and down process. We are all here for you and will continue reading, supporting and praying for you. (((hugs)))

Angela said...

Oh Jill, I understand what you are saying here and am proud of you for acknowledging it. When Hazel first died, and even now still, I had such a problem seeing other babies, learning that friends were pregnant, and watching other people go home with healty children. It hurt so deeply. It didn't have anything to do with them, and it frustrated me to even feel anything but happiness for them. I think the best thing for me was when another mom who lost her daughter 7 years ago gave me the permission that it was okay not to be happy right now. It didn't mean I wouldn't get there. I am getting there. But some days I just can't. Hazel should be a year old on January 1st, and even now, 11 months later, I still have moments and days where I just can't read positive updates on other CHD children because those same questions come to mind. Why their child and not mine? I'm not sure if the "why" questions will ever go away, but now I'm starting to feel even if I knew the "why" it wouldn't change the fact that Hazel isn't here. It wouldn't lessen the heaviness on my chest, the ache in my heart, or the churning in my stomach when I imagine the rest of my life without her.

I hope my words aren't hurtful in any way. I don't mean to suggest I know what you as Joshua's mother are going through because only you and the Lord know that. I just relate to what you write so strongly, and it always helped me to hear from others that my thoughts and feelings were "normal". Be patient with your heart and take care of you.

In Christ,

tsmbarnett said...

I think all who know you, personally or through twitter, fb, and your blog totally understand. I know I do. You will be in our prayers.


BlessedMommy said...

Jill, I adore you and understand completely.


kirsten michelle said...

Yep, yep. I get it.


maryjo said...

I'm not preaching, but...yes I guess I am...well we used to do something called a Duo and it was spending 3 days and 2 nights alone with God's Word and just praying and reading the Bible in the woods with just a sleeping bag and a shelter we'd each make out of branches.

I love my Heavenly Father because of those times...because He answered me, He whispered how much He Loves me...little ole me and He told me that in the end everything will work out...I just need to Trust Him. It took the quietness of being alone..for that amount of time with only His Word to get me to the point of being able to receive His message.

Yes, He will speak to you and you will know that it is from the Creator.

Nikki said...


What you say astounds me. You are just...incredible. No one here blames you, or is upset with you for stepping back. Honestly, I've been in total shock that you've been "doing well", and I'm heartbroken to see that's not the case. But I do understand why you've been faking it. You don't need to fake with me.

If you want to be gone for a year, I will still pray for you. I will still think of your family. I will still let Joshua's spirit live in me. I will still let his influence continue to make me a better mother.

Because you are stepping back means the rest of us need to step up and lift you in prayer. You need to feel our love and our support.

PLEASE watch this video and know that I love you. I only know you through your blog and facebook, but you are my sister in God. I am crying for you today. I am crying for your loss that I can't even begin to fathom.



lovingmysoldier said...

give yourself time to heal, give yourself time to be angry! It is ok! love hugs and prayers

Mama Bennie said...

Take all the time you need ♥

Princess in a Hoodie said...


There is no need to apologize or explain. You do what you have to do to heal and help your family heal. No matter how long it is..we will all be here for you to welcome you back with open arms. Please know that you, Shane and your children will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. Take all the time you need.

Three Ring Circus said...

Take all the time you need! There is no right or wrong length of time to grieve. You deserve to take whatever time you need.

My family will be thinking of yours!

AO xoxxo said...

Praying for you and your family! Take all the time you need!!

tashsparkles said...

Anyone who has been through a loss should understand. I lost my mother 5 years ago and I still have those triggers. I've spent today missing her. I still get angry when I hear of people surviving conditions similar to hers.

Take your time. Heal. Be with your family.

steve, bess & dizzy said...

I'm praying your 'time away' will be very fruitful time with the Lord & your family!

Stephanie, Daughter of the Risen King said...

Yankee!! No one expects as much from you as YOU do from yourself, not even God.
Peace girl, Peace for you in this season of your life,
Love you.

Deidre said...

Oh Jill... I understand, I wish that none of us had to understand the nightmare that we live but at least we have each other I suppose... I've thought about doing the same thing myself... Love ya and will continue praying for you!!!

brittanyib said...

Continued prayers for you hun. I hope your time off provides some comfort and healing, take as long as you need<3

bookmouse said...

All this is totally understandable. You need time to heal. You're a human being, not a superhero, so take as long as you need and give yourself a break.

Christine said...

*HUG* You do what you need to do! This whole situation just SUCKS and I completely understand where you are coming from. *HUG*

existere said...

I think this sounds like a good plan. A really, really good plan. I hope the time away gives you the space to mourn, heal, mourn again, grow, and just be. Best wishes for you and your family.

Joy (Joy In This Journey) said...

I can relate to this -- my daughter died 2 years ago (also CHD), and I had to back off for awhile too. I had to give myself time and space to do the hard work of grieving. My faith is completely rocked and being rebuilt, and it has been so much more difficult than I ever dreamed. I still cannot read too much because it's so painful. You will be in my prayers.

Sparklyfarts said...

I just want you to remember that all the cards, messages, etc. are meant to be support for YOU in YOUR time of need dear. You are not and should NOT feel obligated to keep up with everyone or thank everyone personally. That is a burden that YOU do not need. Everyone is here to support you and care about you, and fight for you if need be. You don't have to give back right now, it's not the time. You grieve and you worry about you and your family, not us.


Sarah said...

I don't know you personally, but want you to know that I will be praying for you, I can not imagine the pain you are in. Just know there are hundreds of people that are thinking of you during this difficult time and do whatever you need to do for you and your family, you don't owe anyone any explanation. God Bless.

P.S. You are an amazing mom, Joshua, Caleb, Hannah, and God all know that, and anyone else who thinks otherwise their opinion doesn't matter anyways.

Sincerely, Sarah from Arizona

Anonymous said...

My mother who was a devout Christian died an awful death from cervical cancer. During her illness we all prayed for her healing and I was so sure that God was not going to let her die. I watched her suffer and eventually die and it has changed my whole concept of God, my faith etc. I used to walk around thinking I was protected by God but I don't feel that way any more.

I no longer believe in divine healing. I now think there is a path for your life to follow and God does not intervene one way or the other. What is ordained is ordained - some people are lucky and survive horrific diseases whilst others succomb. The Bible says it rains on the just and the unjust.

When it really mattered, God did not show his concern for me or my family and it has left me with a crisis of faith. I am not sure how one keeps believing that God is good when all the evidence states otherwise.

Casey Sallee said...

Honey I am so sorry for what you are going through I am so sorry what you had to endure after the loss of your precious baby. I too have an infant son born with HLHS. He is still with us so I dont know about losing a child but may someday. I know the hurt and pain of living with the disease and NO ONE should have to be bashed as you have been. I commented on the video and am sure it will get flagged because it does NOT support the message he is trying to send and am happy so many people are flagging it. Do you have a facebook? I would love to talk to you

Anonymous said...

its time to move on. you had your 51 days then you decided to end it. you have 2 other children to live for. deal with it.

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

And you've had OVER 51 days to scrutinize my every word, my every action, and my every tweet, facebook, and blog post. why don't you move on now?

I am with my children 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I love them, nurture them, play with them, snuggle them, cook with them, and provide them with as much happiness as I can while being sensitive to the loss of their brother that they expienced. We are living life. We have no other choice. I am dealing with this the best way I know how. Maybe it's different than the way you would deal with the loss, but does that make me wrong? no. Does that make you wrong? no. It's just different. Call me a bad parent, call me a murderer, tell me I deserved for my child to die. You don't know me any more than I know you.

Yes, I have put my life out there for others to read. The bad will come. I understand that. I'm not afraid of you. I'm not run by your cowardly words. My life- Joshua's life are making a difference to so many. My prayer is that it will make a difference in your life as well. God knows who you are. God knows what you have been through. Yet, he still loves you. Even when you try to be ugly and hateful towards others. He loves you despite your words and your actions. I hope you can one day realize that His love is enough to take away your pain. His love is enough for you. He did send His Son for you after all.

Anonymous said...

what did you do to make God take your baby? He still loves me. You must have did something awful to make him do that to you. Think about your past..karma comes back 3fold.

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

if I believed in karma (which I don't) then maybe you should think about your future. karma comes back 3fold.

And no, I don't believe I did anything to make god "take" my baby. He allowed it to happen. he didn't make it happen, and he didn't do it on purpose. I know His love runs deep for me (and you). that is the only Hope I have.

Nikki said...

Anonymous must have a really empty life, Jill if he/she has nothing better to do than get on here and try to hurt you. It's pathetic. Don't waste your time or energy on such a horrible person. Let God deal with them.

Mommy K said...

Jill, I am still lifting you up in prayer. I am close by, so if you ever wanna meet up for coffee and just talk, let me know. I'd love to hear more about Joshua and your family. I'd love to see more pictures. We could talk homeschool, too, if you wanted to. Obviously, if you just need to be with family and close friends, don't let my offer be a burden to you. No offense will be taken hear. Just trying to offer my support in a more tangible way. Thinking of you often...

La Belle Vie said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I just found your blog and will be praying for you and your family. I understand the frustration with God. I haven't lost a child but I am unable to carry a child. I can relate to feeling like God has let you down. Lots of prayers, Jessa xx

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