Happy 1st Birthday Baby Boy

As many of you know, this last Saturday, July 30th, was our sweet angel Everett’s 1st birthday in Heaven. As we spent our day as a family focusing on the many lessons his short life taught us we were reminded to take every moment we are given and cherish it as it’s our last.

It is hard to put into words what it feels like to celebrate a precious life taken from your family too soon and although we chose to focus on celebrating his life and not mourning his death it was still one of the hardest days of my life. A day, that I’m sure as the years go on without him will continue to bring just as much joy as it does pain.

Despite it all, I can say this, we felt him. We felt him in every moment we spent as a family on Saturday soaking up the time we have together in his memory. We felt him there with us honoring his first birthday as we made him a cake and his brother’s picked at it just like he would’ve for his smash cake session if he would’ve been born alive and well into our arms. We felt his light and laughter there with us as we sang him Happy Birthday and sent up his 1st birthday messages on a balloon to him in Heaven; sending all our love and kisses along with it. We felt him as we tucked his brothers into bed that night answering seemingly endless questions about their brother that continue to bring tears to my eyes and joy to my heart.

No matter where we are, no matter what we do, we will always feel his presence, he will always be a part of our family, he will always be celebrated. Everett may be our missing piece, but his memory will never be missing from our lives. Our children will grow up knowing and loving their brother awaiting them in Heaven; celebrating his birthday and honoring his short life here with us.

Happy 1st Birthday: Mommy loves you baby boy.

Always & forever.

From now until eternity.

 

The worst day of my life.

Lucas1yr-52.jpgA year ago today we found out we had lost you. It was, and still is the worst day of my life. A day I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. A day I wish no other parent would ever have to experience. A day that existed because of the evil in this world; an evil that even in it’s most powerful moments will never outshine the light your short life brought into our lives.
 
Three days later, on your birthday, after endless tears and sorrowful goodbyes we kissed your sweet lips for the first & last time. In this moment, we found out the true depth of a parents love; a love that reaches far beyond our comprehension and binds your soul to ours, a love that will forever remain with us; making us ache for you by our side until we are reunited again, a love that is more powerful than anything ever created on this Earth.
 
This weekend we will spend in honor of you baby boy. No longer mourning, but rather celebrating the light and love you brought, and continue to bring into our lives. With your brothers by our sides & your baby sister in my womb we will celebrate everything that you are and everything that you forever continue to be ❤
 
Mommy loves you baby boy.
 
Always & forever.
 
From now until eternity.
Everett’s Mommy

I will always reach for you.

Some mornings I wake up and I reach for you; even after almost a year without you, even after another life is growing inside my womb, even though your sweet cries never got a chance to wake me from my sleep. My maternal instinct kicks in and reminds me that you are missing from our lives and I wake, reaching for you.

If only my arms could reach far enough, pull you down from the heavens, whole and healthy and bring you back into our lives. We would live our lives here on Earth as we’d dreamed; with three ornery boys and one little princess by our side, whole, happy, no longer reaching for a piece of our family just out of our grasp.

Until our hands meet and you are back in my arms again I will always reach for you baby boy. 
Everett’s Mommy

Father’s Day with 3

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I imagined this day a lot differently. With a house filled full of knee high little boys running around chasing each other and a little one crawling behind. With giggles and laughter and yes, a few tears because boys will be boys & your brothers always play too rough. Your first Father’s Day with us would’ve been filled with hand print artwork for Daddy and lots of new foods for you to try.

I imagined taking our yearly Father’s Day pictures with you tucked tight in Daddy’s arms staring at him wide eyed. The tiny little details I would’ve captured and cherished forever of the bond you two had quickly developed; your tiny hand holding his, your sweet smile, and the way your eyes would light up around him. (I like to think my boys are Mama’s boys, but when push comes to shove they choose Daddy everytime!) But instead of these moments with you; we held our Everett Bear in your place and placed angel wings instead of hand prints on Daddy’s yearly Father’s Day art.

More often than not I forget to recognize the pain your Daddy went through when we lost you & the strength and courage it took (and continues to take) to push back his own anguish & carry his family through the storm. Your Daddy’s selflessness is remarkable; the love he has for you and your brothers is never ending. I see the same light in his eyes when he holds our Everett Bear as I do when he holds your brothers, the same unceasing love, but their is indescribable pain there as well, a pain that will follow us through our life here without you until we are reunited again. A pain none of us could bear without your Daddy by our sides, holding us together through it all.

There are no words for the gratefulness I have for having your Daddy in my life to pull me through the darkness and push me into the sunlight day after day. For loving a man who continues to love me even after seeing me hit rock bottom in my grief time and time again; for never giving up & never letting go. For loving a man who loves our son whom he will never get to hold on this Earth just as fiercely as he loves our children who walk beside us day after day. Our love is the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime & the family that love has created is the most precious and priceless kind of gift.
Everett’s Mommy

 

There are no rules. 

There are no rules for grieving a child taken too soon; no playbook, no bereaved parenting for dummies with step by step instructions on how and when to heal, no degree you earn that certifies you whole & healthy. I used to wonder why that was, before I experienced this kind of devastating earth shattering loss myself: why there isn’t a guide for what bereaved parents where going through in a world full with people more than willing to give you their two cents.

I don’t wonder anymore. Now, I know the reality of living without a piece of your soul, without your child by your side.

Now, I know.

I know that there is no right way to heal; no amount of DIY books or tutorials could get the steps right. There is no day marked in highlighter on the calendar in which you will wake up whole and completely healed. No passage of time that completely heals the scars losing a child leaves on your heart and mind. No time machine to jump into to take you back to the time before; the time before you learned the reality of child loss. A time before you and your whole world changed, before a part of your heart went missing from this world, a time when you recognized the person staring back at you in the mirror.

There will be days filled with heart ache and darkness. Days filled with light and hope (I promise you, they are coming). Sometime the darkness will overcome you and the sunshine in your world will be quick, overcast, and fleeting. And then, when you least expect it, the sun will shine through and hope will once again fill your heart if you choose to allow it.

So choose. Choose to open your mind, heart, and soul to the love and light in this world. Choose to see the rays of light shinning through the storm clouds. Chose to give yourself the grace to have heartache and pain as well as uninhibited joy; never ignoring either when they pass through your life. Chose to see the loved ones still walking this earth beside you ready and willing to take your hand. Chose to honor your child with every breath that you take by breathing and living, truly living, without them by your side.

This choice will not be an easy one. There will be days when you consciously have to put one foot in front of the other to complete the simplest of tasks. There will be days that seem to drag on, without end, even when you’re begging and screaming on your knees for the sun to set. But then, there will be days when it feels as if you and flying on the wings of your angel. Days when you can physically feel the light that is now a part of your child beaming down on you and shinning through in everything that you do: these days are worth every tear, every bit of heartache so embrace every day.

Embrace the bad days as much as you embrace the good because without either where would we be? Without embracing the pain and heartache that comes with remembering our children we’d be left in a world where our child doesn’t exist and no amount of joy or happiness is worth forgetting the sweet baby that once grew in your womb.

Everett’s Mommy

 

Everett,

You’ve taught me so much baby boy. I never realized how much someone can be a part of our lives without physically being here with us. You’re presence in this world, in our family, & with your siblings resonates with me everyday. I see you in everything that we do and all that we are; your short life impacted our world more than you will ever know.

I will forever be thankful for the signs you send us, reminding us that you are never far away. The forget me nots, previously unnoticed, that now seems to pop up everywhere; their tiny, but perfect blooms reminding me of your precious body we held for far too short of time. The way my mind automatically sees you when I watch your brothers at play: they are getting along better and better every day, quickly becoming best friends, you would be so proud. The way every kick your sister makes resonates in my heart, in my soul, and reminds me of the sweetest kicks I used to feel while you where growing in my womb. I know you’re watching over her as she grows; keeping her safe and healthy until I can hold her in my arms as I had hoped and dreamed to hold you.

Although I will always miss you and long for you in our lives, I know in my heart that you are where you belong, in the arms of the Angels causing unimaginable mischief; I am more thankful for that realization than you could ever imagine and I count down the days until I hold you in my arms again baby boy.

Mommy loves you Everett. Always & Forever. From this world into the next.

8 months and counting…

Absentmindedly looking at our calendar this morning I realized what day it was; the 30th. I never thought I could despise a date so much, something as simple as two numbers marked on our calendar can destroy my entire day and send me reeling back in my grieving process. I’ve come to love months without this date in them, months that don’t scream a reminder of what we’ve lost at me every time I see a 3 and a 0 nestle beside each other. I don’t need that added reminder; not a moment goes by where I don’t long to hold you in my arms, your life, your death are unforgettably a part of me.

I know it won’t always be like this, I know one day this date will pass by without a second thought of the pain it once brought and we will celebrate your birthday without searing pain running through our hearts, but for now little one I embrace the pain, the anguish, the sometimes seemingly unending trail of tears that accompany remembering you. I embrace them because they are a part of me, a part of you and with great love comes great pain and Lord only knows how great my love for you is.

Let the 30th no longer be a reminder of your death, but of your life baby boy. And every month lived without you one step closer to holding you in my arms again. (Thank you Bean for that beautiful reminder.)

-Everett’s Mommy

8 short months ago today we held your precious body and kissed your tiny lips for the first and last time on this Earth. We said goodbye, knowing it wasn’t goodbye forever. We love you Everett Charles and you will always be remembered as our missing piece. 

Please join us in sharing your loved ones story and/or supporting those we have on the Forever Beat in Mine Remembrance Wall: https://www.facebook.com/foreverbeatinmineremembrancewall/ in honor of our sweet Angel born sleeping on July 30, 2015. 

The King Boys

It was one of those days today where a simple conversation with a stranger at church brought me to tears, but for once, my tears where shed not for my own loss, but for anothers.

It’s the simplest of questions that often comes up in small talk, “how many kids do you have?”  This seemingly innocent question often makes you cringe and sends your head reeling with a thousand questions when you’ve experienced the loss of a child. Do I turn this pleasant conversation to an awkward end and tell the truth or do I lie and live with the guilt that accompanies denying my third born son that grew in my womb for 20 short weeks?

With a deep breathe and an aching heart I chose to answer truthfully and use the time I had left in this conversation to honor the life of our sweet Everett. Much to my surprise, the truth which is often met with an awkward apology and a swift goodbye, was greeted with the genuine love and understanding of two hearts that have shared the same pain. Not only did I receive validation for the increasingly aching pain I still feel 9 short months after losing our angel, but I helped to give another grieving Mommy the courage to speak her truth to a complete stranger.

I’ve learned so much from this brief encounter at church today and healed even more from it.

Loss Mama’s,

You don’t have to close your heart to the hurt that can come from sharing your child’s life. That pain, that isolation doesn’t have to be yours and yours alone to bear. There are so many other women out there experiencing the same anguish, the same mind numbing heartache just waiting for someone to reach out and help pull them out of the darkness even if just for a moment. So look around you and keep your eyes open for other women like you struggling to live a life without a part of their heart.

Everett’s Mommy

My heart aches with wanting you. 

I’ve never wanted something so much in my life. 

I want you here with me baby boy; it’s selfish, I know, but I can’t stop myself from wanting you. I’d give anything to hold you, to see your chest rising and falling with the miraculous breath of a healthy newborn, to watch you grow alongside your brothers and spend the rest of my days living the beautifully chaotic life having three King boys would’ve brought me. My heart literally aches with the need to hold you; my empty arms just another reminder of our life without you.

In just six short days you would’ve been in my arms. Your sweet baby smell permeating the air as I held you close for the first time. Our family gathered around us welcoming our Christmas miracle into this world. Our house filled with the third child we have longed for. Instead we are all left with empty arms and broken hearts this Holiday season. It is almost too much to bear, living this life without you beside us.

But in my darkest hours when I lie awake in the middle of the night with tears streaming down my face yearning for you I turn to Him. I turn to the One who will watch over you until I hold you again. I turn to Jesus. Even in the deepest depths of my sorrows I am reminded that one thing and one thing alone will bring me to you again: Jesus Christ.

I will continue to hold onto the hope, the endless love and understanding that He and He alone can give me.

I turn to you Lord in my darkest hours and surrender it all to you. 

Everett’s Mommy

Mommy Warrior

Visit scribblesandcrumbs.com for more life after loss support

Just fifteen short weeks after our son Everett was born still into our world I find myself beginning to repair the heart I once believe to be broken for all eternity; the pieces may be clumsily glued back together with the love of my friends and family, forever tattered at the edges, but here I sit, just fifteen short weeks after Everett’s birth beginning to heal. I am dreadingly “moving on with my life” because, as a mother, I must face the facts: I am still here. I am still living, still breathing, still standing. Everett may be gone, but my life lives on and what kind of legacy would I be creating for him if his life & his death were my destruction. What kind of life would I be giving his brothers and father if I lived out the rest of my days wallowing in my grief and letting it consume me?

It’s simply the truth of  life after child loss; your world crashes around you and comes to a halting stop. Your heart shatters into what seems like a million irreparable pieces. Everything changes and you feel like you can’t go on. But reality is, the world keeps spinning around you: a fact that often seems unfair and cruel in the midst of your grief. But I promise you, one day you will get out of bed, take a shower, and continue living in a world without your child. You will move on. 

I know, I know, for many of you the mere thought of “moving on” without your child is unimaginable. We’ve been trained to believe that “moving on” means forgetting, but, let me assure you, it does not. Whether it is days, weeks, months, or years from now there will come a day when you can read this and see it for the truth that it is: Moving on does not mean forgetting. It does not make you a bad mother or lessen the love you hold for your child. A mother’s love surpasses time and space; a mother’s love continues from now until eternity from this life into the next. Nothing and no one can change that. 

So, all you fellow bereaved Mommy’s out there (and I’m speaking to all you women out there who have experienced child loss, at any stage; whether through early pregnancy loss, miscarriage, still birth, or the loss of a child after birth) whose hearts are still beating in spit of being battered and broken do me a favor and repeat after me:

Whisper it.

Yell it.

Scream it if you will.

I am a child loss survivor.

I am strong.

I am brave.

I am courageous.

I AM A WARRIOR.

I am a Mommy warrior!” 

-Everett’s Mommy