Monday, June 6, 2011

What It's Like

When people find out I have a daughter in Heaven, they often say, "I can't imagine what that must be like".

Here is what I want to tell them (but I don't because I am too kind).

It is like having your entire being crushed.  It is like having your heart ripped out of your body, you entire sense of self and all security you've ever had taken away.

It is a physical pain that can't be described.  When you cry, it comes from a place so deep and so dark you surprise yourself that it is even there.

When you sleep it is fitful.  You can't sleep without medicinal help.  You don't want to sleep because you dream of your old life, your child, the way things were.  But then you wake up and in the fog of sleep and awake you find yourself frantically searching for your baby.  You don't want to sleep because waking up hurts too much.

As time passes everyone goes back to life as it was and you just can't.  You still cry at the drop of the hat, you end up at the cemetery laying next to your child's grave wishing you were with her.  You put on a brave face for others, but inside you are dying.

Years pass and people say, "Oh that must have been so hard".  You reply with, "Yes it is".

People who meet me now and see that I have 4 beautiful children think that I have only 4 beautiful children.  When they learn I have a 5th, an Angel waiting for me, they often say, "How did you do it? How did you have more children?"

I didn't have a choice.  I couldn't stop living because Emma was gone.  Believe me, I wanted to, but I knew that she had siblings that needed to come to Earth.

It is not easy though.  The first year of my children's lives are filled with my anxiety.

I worry.  I worry that I will lay them in their beds to sleep and come  back only to find them gone.

I worry that I will send Seth to check on Elliott and he will be the one to find his brother dead.

I force those thoughts out of my mind, but they always come back, ready to haunt at any given minute.

The other night, I went to the store. Alone. I was panicked the entire time.  Elliott was home asleep while Jeremy and the kids made dinner.

I convinced myself that I would come home to ambulances and firetrucks all around my house, and my baby would be gone.

This happens every time, with every child.  With Seth, I went to the gym when he was 4 months old.  Jeremy was home with him.  I was going 1 mile away.  I got there, and was in such a panic I couldn't even go in.  I turned around and went home.

I remember running into our apartment, eyes red from crying, and rushed to my baby.  I held him and just cried.  I was so convinced he'd be gone when I got home, I was shocked that he wasn't.

That is a portion of what it's like.

It is hell to lose a child.

It is terrifying to have more.

It is my life though, so I do it the best I know how and am grateful for every minute I get with each of my children.


Secret Agent Mama - Mishelle Lane said...

I'm so sorry that you have this pain.


Stephanie Wilson she/her @babysteph said...

Oh Kim, so much love to you.


Jen Crutchfield said...

Such a powerful post. Thanks for sharing.

LA @The Reel Family said...

Wow such a powerful post. I hope it helps you to a level to get it out and I can honestly say that I know someone out there is so thankful for these words. Words they may think but can't get out or words to help them feel not so alone. Thank you for sharing your heart today and I am so very sorry for this pain and loss of yours.

Lyndsay said...

I hope you find some peace, even if it's just miniscule, in writing about it. Sending much love to you... and to Emma.


JoyFilled said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. Ever since a good friend of mine lost her 13 month old daughter and then my cousin lost her newborn baby, I realized how important it is for parents who have lost children to share their feelings with those of use who haven't had to be in their shoes. We will never understand, but it is an honor to know we were trusted with those feelings, and that now we have a glimpse into something VERY real and VERY difficult.

I pray for your peace and comfort as you continue to ache for your sweet baby.

Sara Joy said...

Oh honey.
a) I love you, a million, million hugs.
b) I GET THIS. I do it too, all the time. I expect them to die while sleeping, while playing, while I'm laying the other one down for a nap. In an accident, in the car, in their exersaucer, choking, falling, everything and anything. It's awful and it is all the time. I am shocked they make it through ever single day.
You are not alone.
I can't wait until our families are reunited.

True Daughter of Mary said...

I have never been through this, and I an thankful. You, Loralee, Heather Sphor and others have taught me to be thankful. I have terrible PPD, especially with my last baby. I was scared to put him down. I didn't trust that anyone else could make sure he kept breathing, so I never put him down (I have nine children, so it wasn't fear from inexperience, it was def. the PPD). It took MONTHS for the fear to fade a little. Finally it is at the "regular" level - or maybe a bit more, as I have never lost a child, but have had two be very gravely ill and fortunate to survive. I feel like I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop.
I keep you and other mommas who have lost their sweet babies in my prayers. I hope that you are able to find some measure of peace. I know you won't have it completely until you are with her in heaven one day. God Bless you (and your husband) and your beautiful children, all five of them!

Kerri Maynard said...

Thank you for always being so honest, for just putting it out there. For helping us all. Remembering always.

Unknown said...

This made me cry. It's a soul crushing pain. I'm still in the I don't know how I'll have more stage.

Mommy Mo said...

Oh Kim, Kim, Kim. How I wish I could wrap you up in a big bear hug and take some of your pain away. I love you, friend.

Maria said...

I just happened upon this post and had to comment. I have had early pregnancy losses and I know how terrifying every pregnancy was after the previous losses. I never made the connection that losing a living child would make everything with every subsequent child terrifying. I am so very sorry for your loss and you will be in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your heart with us.

Mystic_Mom said...

My heart aches with your heart, and when I hold my miracle in my arms I'm thankful for every breath. Our angels will meet us when we get to heaven, and while we are here we won't forget them.

Lisa said...

you are an incredibly strong, beautiful woman. i'm so sorry for the loss you've endured and cannot even begin to comprehend it. i hope that with time you'll continue to grow and get stronger and then when the time is right, the Lord will reconnect you two and it will be beautiful and lovely to have your family together for all eternity :)

Unknown said...

Kim honey, I can't imagine your fear, worry and pain. Again, I hope writing it out helps you somewhat. I'm just so, SO sorry. I hope you feel the love and prayer I' sending you...

Arianne said...

I wish I didn't know this or get this. I am so glad you are still writing about it. I wish you could tell me it wasn't like this after time, but I know it is. I still plan what we'll do if (when?) this baby dies. All matter-of-fact like.

I had to find a new midwife last week and the one I found happens to also be a therapist. It's like winning the lottery. Her specialty is in women who've had traumatic births. Each appointment will be like therapy, and the first one already had me feeling more healed. If any of this PTSD anxiety/panic that you describe here can ever get better, it's worth the heart-sinking moments it takes to dredge through it all again. This is me rambling in your comments. :) xoxo

Abe Saves said...

Thanks for sharing Kim. I am now just weeks away from having our second baby and am terrified of how I will ever sleep or let this baby sleep. It's been 3 years since we lost Abram but the pain and terror is still very fresh. I have hope knowing that it's possible but know it will not be easy. Thanks for not sugar coating things...I can't stand that. Thanks for being real, open and honest. oxo

Juelle said...


Jessica said...

Oh my gosh, I just found you some how through stumbleupon and this is my life. I too lost a daughter and have four living children and I could have written this exact post, although not quite as perfectly as you have here. So glad to have found you.