Thursday, September 6, 2012

Having a Hard Time

Since Joshua died, I have not had a horribly hard time with babies his age.

Just weeks after he died, we went up to University of Michigan to visit baby Bowen who was born just after Joshua. I held him and loved on him and visited with his parents. There were a few tears that were shed, but I got through it and felt good about it. I knew from the moment that Joshua died that I would have to face children who were the same age. I would have to watch them grow and I would have to deal with it.

I won't lie and say that it's been easy. There have been a few instances where I knew I couldn't attend a baby shower or two. There have been times that I have to skip over friend's albums on Facebook because the pain has been too raw, but this hasn't happened very often. Babies Joshua's age, have not bothered me like I thought they would.

However, it's becoming harder and harder for me. I see pictures of children who were born around the same time as Joshua. I see them walking and talking. I see them throwing balls and celebrating their birthdays. I see pictures of them with in the morning with pacifiers and bedhead. I see them in shopping carts at stores, strapped into carseats in their cars, and hear stories of the mischief they cause.

It's so incredibly hard sometimes.

There are days that I feel like Joshua was just a dream. His life a blur- something out of a half fairytale, half nightmare type of story. Then there are other days that it seems like he was growling at me through his pacifier just yesterday.

When I look at pictures of the children who were born around the same time as Joshua, I often catch myself wondering if their parents remember Joshua. I wonder if they recognize the gift that they have in their child. I wonder if they ever think of the mothers who don't get to see their child grow up. It's not a bitter feeling- just grief that comes and wreaks havoc in my heart.

Most times, I can't comment. Most times all I can do is muster a heart symbol. It's not because I'm bitter, but because every time I see a child his age, my heart breaks a tiny bit.

Lately, this has been really hard for me. I know I will move past it, and it won't be this hard forever, but sometimes the pain and grief are so raw.

If you are the parent of a child who is Joshua's age, please don't feel guilty. You cannot carry the guilt of your child living and mine dying. That is not your burden. This post is not directed at you. It is something that I have to deal with and usually writing about it helps me process it all. Love your baby and remember Joshua- that is all you need to do! :o)


Amy said...

I know this is not the same, but in a weird way, I understand. When I was trying to have a baby but having nothing but miscarriages, it was SO hard to watch women be pregnant who were at the same point in their pregnancy that I should've been. Then when they had their baby, I would imagine what my baby would've looked like.... I didn't begrudge them the joy of their babies, of course. But it was hard, watching them move on with something I wanted so desperately too.

All that to say (coming from someone who has a child about Joshua's age), I did not take this post personally. I get it. My heart hurts for you, Jill, it really does. I can't even begin to imagine the pain you endure on a daily basis. In fact -- I have never told anyone this -- when Joshua passed away a week after Evan was born, I seriously talked about changing Evan's middle name to Joshua. It had only been a week, I was not particularly attached to his middle name (I'm still not LOL! Dan named him, haha!). Joshua affected me that much.

Love & hugs. <3

The Houser's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beverley said...

As we approached Leyda's 1 year anniversary...I have jealousy (and anger and pain and frustration etc) too....she should be in 1st grade and all those cute fall clothes...

Yea, I get it....this grief sucks!

Jessica said...

praying for you. I know this is not the same. but we have all lost someone close to us. I lost my aunt 11 years ago this past August. It still hurts. I wish she was here to see me at college. She would have loved the fact that I was in college. She would have LOVED my baby cousin. She loved babies. This past Saturday, Her son got married. She should have been there. It was celebration but it was also very hard because I wished that she would have been there to celebrate the day. But I know that she was watching us from heaven. You are such a strong young woman and I admire you. Thank you being honest and real. Death sucks. grief sucks. But God will see us all through. thank you again for opening your heart and this blog for all of us to share and walk alongside you as you continue to grieve. Be blessed.

Kathie said...

My son was born just a few months before Joshua. I want you to know that I do think of Joshua a lot. Sometimes it's when I see a post of yours on facebook, but other times it's random. Earlier today I was cleaning my office at work and cleaned off my computer desk and he just popped into my mind. The day he passed, I was at work and I was about ready to go into our team meeting that we have every Wednesday. I read your plea for prayers, and right before I went to team I read that he had passed. So a lot of the time when I am preparing for our team meeting I think of that day.

You are never far from my heart and whenever I do something like participate in a March of Dimes event, Joshua's name is right there next to my own kids' names when I write on my nametag who I'm there for, along with several other angels.

Love you Jill, and sending you lots of cyberhugs.


Auntie M said...

I had a rather deep & lovely reply written here a few hours ago & accidentally shut off all the open tabs when I shut down FB so now you will have to put up with a not so deep response. ;-)

Before I forget, I think it was very sweet of you, in the midst of your grief & pouring out your heart, to remember & think of those who have children close to Joshua's age & tell them that this isn't directed at them & that they shouldn't feel guilty for sharing about their kids. I'm guessing that most parents would have read this (even without that addendum) and responded like Trenton's mom above: with extra love & gratitude & kisses for their kids.

And as I said earlier this evening (see your earlier post): grief sucks, plain & simple!

And this grief--this "should have" "what-would-he..." kind of grief that is hitting you lately is understandable. My nephew would have only been 9 months younger than my niece & there are still times (nearly 3 years later) that sometimes my heart skips a beat when I see her doing something and I wonder what he would have been like, what he would have been doing, etc, right now. And I look at his little brother and see him growing and doing all these wonderful things & I wonder if his big brother would have done the same sort of things. There are times I look at my nephew and think, there should be two of them here! Does this mean I somehow resent my niece or other nephew? Not on your life! It's just that that weird, sucker-punch grief can come out of no where asking, "What would it have been like?"

And so, you have been getting sucker-punched by the "What If's" and "Should Have's." It's not like you have gone out looking for them or have sat dwelling on them: they just hit. Because, as I said earlier: in a good & perfect world you wouldn't be wondering because Joshua would be here.

And you want to know the irony of it all--while it hurts you right now to see/hear about little 2 year olds & what they are doing, there will be some other time where you will be missing Joshua & all you will want is to see & hear about kids his age because grief is freakin' crazy like that! It ebbs & flows & makes sense sometimes while making no snese at others. Grief isn't about rationality--it's about a broken heart that misses someone like crazy!

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal."
~Author Unknown

I know some people will jump on me for that quote: "where's your faith? God can heal anything!" True. But sometimes--as we well know--God chooses not to choose all things physical & while I believe that He does indeed heal our emotions, sometimes it is by cleaning & stitching up a gaping, oozing, nasty wound (like the death of a child)...then that cleansed & stitched wound slowly heals. And guess what? Sometimes it gets split open again & needs to be stitched up again. And then slowly, slowly a scar covers over the wound so that it is no longer raw and sore to the touch or obvious to everyone: but the scar is there as a reminder, covering & protecting that special place that stores, in your case, the precious memory of your beloved son, Joshua.

Don't rush the healing. Always reach out for help when it hurts... God may be our Healer, but you'll find He has given you many nurses, friends, companions, etc (call us what you may) to help along the way. We're here for you. ANY time!

Love you, Jill!!

Auntie M said...

Ye gads! Typos!!! Mistakes!!! I should just delete & start over but that would be my 3rd try at

Obviously should be SENSE not snese in that one paragraph...but that is rather funny spelling "sense" wrong!

And then: ...sometimes God chooses not to HEAL all things physical...

McCammons said...

When I started to read your blog my little dude was only a few months old, and I remember those moments, and your son all the time. I remember thinking what would I do, say, feel, etc, if I were in her shoes. Pray is all I could do, and I think of you and your family all the time. (I read all your posts, just don't comment all the time either :) I would hope that not one person would take this post personally, except to heart to remember and pray for you all. These are your feelings, your thoughts, and they are not against other people. I am so glad you share with us and can get some relief from writing it and know that although we are not "there" with you, were are "here"" :) Hugs

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