Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Here we are at the end of another year, I don't think I have really strong feelings good or bad about embarking upon a new year. 2011 brought many things to us, a few changes (becoming a student and getting a promotion) and another successful year for River's Rally.

2012 is already getting packed full of things to do, plans and dreams we hope to make come true...I hope we continue on this path and are able to make some of these things happen.

I was just reading a dear friend, Melissa's blog, and thought that I would share the following:

New Year's Resolutions for Bereaved Parents
I Resolve:

That I will grieve as much and for as long as I feel like grieving, 
and that I will not let others put a time table on my grief.

That I will grieve in whatever way I feel like grieving, and I will ignore those who try to tell me 
what I should or should not be feeling and how I should or should not be behaving.

That I will cry whenever and wherever I feel like crying, and that I will not hold back my tears just because someone else feels I should be "brave" or "getting better" or "healing by now."

That I will talk about my child as often as I want to, 
and that I will not let others turn me off just because they can't deal with their own feelings.

That I will not expect family and friends to know how I feel, 
 understanding that one who has not lost a child cannot possibly know how I feel.

That I will not blame myself for my child's death, 
and I will constantly remind myself that I did the best job of parenting I could possibly have done. 
 But when feelings of guilt are overwhelming, 
I will remind myself that this is a normal part of the grief process and it will pass.

That I will not be afraid or ashamed to seek professional help, if I feel it is necessary.

That I will commune with my child at least once a day in whatever way feels comfortable and natural to me, and that I won't feel compelled to explain this communion to others or to justify or even discuss it with them.

I will keep the truth in my heart--the truth that my child is always with me in spirit.

That I will try to eat, sleep, and exercise every day in order to give my body strength it will need to help me cope with my grief.

To know that I am not losing my mind and I will remind myself that loss of memory, feelings of disorientation, lack of energy, and a sense of vulnerability are all a normal part of the grief process.

To know that I will heal, even though it will take a long time.

To let myself heal and not feel guilty about not feeling better sooner.

To remind myself that the grief process is circuitous--that is, I will not make steady upward progress. And when I find myself slipping back into the old moods of despair and depression, I will tell myself that "slipping backward" is also a normal part of the mourning process, and that these moods, too, will pass.

To try to be happy about something for some part of every day, knowing that at first, I may have to force myself to think cheerful thoughts so eventually they can become a habit.

I have not been one to make New Year's resolutions in the past, mostly because I would always fail at them if I did, but the above resolutions do ring very true. I am wishing for happiness to all of my dearest friends and family this New Year's Eve. I will be celebrating with a very special little boy in my arms and another one in my heart. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Again

Well, here we are two days before Christmas, 2011. This week has been tough to put into words. We finally got all of the presents done, wrapped, cookies baked and delivered. Technically, I suppose we are ready for Christmas. Why do I feel like I could crawl under the covers and come out sometime in January?

I have some excitement for Christmas. Asher is almost two and will have a ball opening gifts. Every time we turn on the lights on the tree, he points and says "Wow" in his amazing little voice. He says "tree" every time he sees one in a book. I truly am thrilled for him to enjoy this season.

With that being said, I cannot figure out how it is possible to go from such extreme joy to such sorrow in a matter of seconds? This week I have found myself snuggling with Asher, giving him giant hugs and kisses and being filled with how sweet life can be. Then I go to sleep, or attempt to and cuddle River's blanket and cry. At that moment, I am filled with so much pain that I cannot even begin to describe it.

How can this be our third Christmas without him? How can it be that he and his little brother will never get to rush to open gifts Christmas morning? I have been asked by a few new babyloss families how the first or second Christmas should be and I have decided the following:

*Year one was numbness, we really don't even remember most of it except that it was crummy.
*Year two was shock, just the general feeling that this hadn't really happened to us.
*Year three, this year, I guess I am in disbelief that River is not here to celebrate with us.

It seems to hurt in a different way this year. I miss him tremendously, but unlike the last two years that seem a little foggy, this year is very clear. We will never get to celebrate Christmas with him on Earth. There still  seems to be denial that this is what life is going to be like, forever. Forever, seems unimaginable, I guess that's where the disbelief comes in. Maybe next year will bring more acceptance. Who knows? We only hope that other people remember him and that he is part of our family. His name will be included in our cards and gifts. He will have ornaments on the tree. He will live on in our hearts.

If you are reading this and are not a member of a bereaved family, please remember that it means the world to have our children mentioned. We will likely cry but not for reasons you may think. Remember that we hurt and miss them every day and you talking about them cannot make this worse. Actually, not talking about them makes it worse. We do realize it is uncomfortable for most people but take time to remember that we are uncomfortable every day without them here.

If you are reading this and you are a member of a bereaved family, know that we are thinking of you. We are remembering your children. We hope this holiday season is gentle on you as you cherish whatever amount of time you may have had, no matter how big or small. I have met some of the most amazing people in this journey without River and I am so blessed that he brought so many of you into my life. We are sending you all lots of love and prayers.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Giveaway Winner!!

It was my pleasure to participate in the 25 Days of Giveaways!
The winner using is:

#6 Sarah!
Congratulations! I will be contacting you to work out details and shipping arrangements.

My thoughts are with everyone as we celebrate without our children. I hope everyone has a peaceful holiday season.

Guest Post: 12 Days of Christmas with You in Heaven

I am honored to be a guest at Small Bird Studios today for the 12 Days of Christmas with You in Heaven

Fran's lovely idea to share things that we have done for the holidays to remember our children is amazing! Every year, we make some kind of ornament for the grandparents and aunts and uncles to place on their trees. It is our way of helping them remember River through the holidays.
I hope you will visit Small Bird Studios to see how this was made. Check back there each day through December 12th to see other lovely ideas and wonderful ornaments!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

25 Days of Giveaways!!

I am very honored to be part of this! Thank you to Tina for putting this together. Have I mentioned how blessed I am to have found such amazing people to share this journey with? I really cannot express how grateful I am to all of them for their creativity and ideas to keep our children's names alive. It truly is a blessing to take part in creating these memories.

Every year, we make some kind of ornament for the grandparents and aunts and uncles to place on their trees. It is our way of helping them remember River through the holidays. I would like to giveaway a personalized ornament.
All you have to do for the giveaway is leave a comment here with the name and color you would like for the ornament. I will use to choose a winner on Monday December 5th at 9:00pm (CST) so the item can be made and shipped in time for the holidays!

NOTE: ** See how this was made! I will be guest posting the tutorial tomorrow, December 5th, at Small Bird Studios. Check back there each day through December 12th to see other lovely ideas and wonderful ornaments!