Thursday, May 17, 2012

To Hold You Again...

5/17/2012               9:45 a.m

Dear Brynna,

I love you.  I love you so much.  And I miss you.  So much.

So much has been going on in the last month or so and I feel like a robot who is frozen in time, watching life pass by around me.

I ache to hold you, touch you, see you smile, hear you laugh, hear you cry. 

I have thought so many times about writing but I can’t seem to complete any one thought.  So much feels undone.

In 9 short days, you will be 7 months old.  Do you know how hard that is for me to write?  7 months you have been missing from our life.  7 months we have longed to have a “do-over”, a “second chance”.  7 months we have wondered what we could have possibly done to deserve this level of pain.

Earlier this month, your Daddy and I took your brothers to California for your Uncle Conner’s wedding.  We were there for a week, and before the wedding, we took the boys to Disneyland.  3 days in Disneyland felt like holding our hand over a fire.  There were little girls and baby girls everywhere. It felt so unfair.  Why does everyone else get their daughter while ours is in heaven?  Of course, I know in my logical head, that there had to be other people there among us who have suffered such pain or are suffering now, but it’s hard to get your heart to believe what your head knows to be true. 

That’s one of the really hard parts about this whole grief thing.  To those on the outside, we appear normal.  Standing up, putting one foot in front of the other….

But on the inside, it feels as if our arms and legs have been cut off, and we are trying with all that we have left to crawl across the floor toward some sort of salvation.

I love you, Brynn.  Daddy loves you.  Your three wonderful brothers love you.  And right now loving you continues to hurt because we want so very badly for you to be here with us.  Is that selfish?  I don’t know.

The wedding was beautiful and it was so wonderful to see your Uncle Conner so happy.  He and Cassie are a wonderful match for each other.

Again, though, I was having a hard time “gearing up to be happy”.  It still feels so far to fall if we take a chance on “happy”, because inevitably we are faced with our reality which is that this is permanent.  And that is devastating.

People smiled and laughed and danced around like crazy, happy people at the reception.  I used to be one of those people.  But now I am different.  I sit here now writing this and I am sobbing with that knowledge.  I am different. 
I am sad.  My heart is broken.  I am broken.

I used to be one of the first ones on the dance floor and one of the last to leave.  Your Daddy and I used to dance around like fools, not caring one little bit what “everyone else” thought.  Now, I can’t sum up the energy, or the interest, or whatever it is that I would need to get out there and be happy dancing.

So I sat and watched.  For some of the time, your brother Jackson sat on my lap and kept me company, but for a good amount of the time I sat there alone.  Alone.


I feel alone in a lot of this now.  People are calling less and less.  Some people never call.  Some people call and ask “how are you?” but really I know they are asking, “are you back to normal yet?  Is it okay to talk to you?  Will you be the old Laura we knew and loved?”

Don’t get me wrong, we have a small, very consistently loving and supportive core group of family and a few friends that are still here holding us up, but it is much, much quieter.

That’s a really hard reality.  On one hand, I can understand.  Nearly 7 months have passed and people have their lives to live and their own heartaches and trials.  However, to me it still feels like yesterday when you had to leave us in just the blink of an eye, and I hurt as much today as I did then.  I don’t wish this pain on anyone, but I also don’t want to do this alone.  It’s too hard.  We need all the support and love we can get.  Otherwise we run the risk of fading into the darkness.  Becoming only shadows of the people we once were.

And very, very few people ask about or talk directly to your Daddy about how he is doing.  He is going to work every day, doing the best he can to support our broken family, and not very many people are comfortable acknowledging or helping to carry his burden of grief.

The Saturday before Mother’s Day was a very sad one in our house.  Daddy and I spent a lot of time sitting side by side on the couch staring out the window in silence.  What is left to say?  We know each other’s pain.  We are in exactly the same tiny boat in this ocean of tears, trying to maneuver our way toward shore with broken paddles and aching, tired bodies.

We cried.  We talked about you.  We held each other.  We played with the boys. We did our best to muddle our way through the day.

Then, that night, when your brothers went to bed, Daddy said he had to get out of the house for a bit.  He said he’d be back in about an hour, but he just needed to go and clear his head.  I completely understood, and told him I’d be waiting when he was ready to come home.

After almost 2 hours, the front door opened and Daddy asked if I had gotten his text.  I told him I hadn’t and he suggested I check my phone.  Long story short, he had sent a voice memo saying he was going to do Mother’s Day differently this year, and instead of a cheesy, store bought card, he was going to tell me how he felt.  He proceeded to acknowledge that this was not how we planned or hoped our life would be, but that he is grateful to have me to navigate this awful road with.

Then he asked me to go upstairs and wait in the playroom for him.  I did.  He told me to close my eyes.  I closed them.  Then he placed something soft in my arms and said, “7 pounds 11 ounces feels like this.”

He had taken the stuffed pink frog he bought from the hospital gift shop for you, and filled it with enough craft sand that it now weighs exactly what you did when you were born.

Oh, how my arms tingled and my heart leaped with joy when my body remembered what it felt like to hold you!  How empty my arms have been.  How my heart has ached to feel you against my chest.  I held that frog right over my chest where I held you, and I closed my eyes and I cried.  And Daddy cried.

I wrapped the frog in your soft, pink blanket and I stood and rocked it like I was rocking you.  I know to the outside, I must have looked crazy.  But I just closed my eyes and let myself go to a different place.  A place where I get to hold my sweet, newborn baby girl.  A place where my heart isn’t broken and my arms don’t ache with emptiness.  I went to the place I have been wanting to go for over half a year.  I went to the place where you exist with us, not apart from us.


What a wonderful man your dad is!  How lucky I am to have him in my life!  He loves me like nothing I’ve every known.  He loves you and your brothers like nothing he’s ever known.

I am not telling you all of this, my sweet girl, to burden your perfect heart.  I am not attempting to call you back from wherever you are or tether you to us with the ropes of grief that surround my own heart.  I am telling you all of this because I love you.  And I trust that wherever you are, you know this.  I trust that you feel our love for you, and you are strong enough to stand witness to this pain.  This love is unending, and so I guess so is the pain.

I love you, Brynna.


P.S. I brought you home a stuffed Minnie Mouse from Disneyland and she is in your room with your other dolls.  Your Auntie Andrea also bought us an ornament from Disneyland for our tree this next Christmas.  It’s a “Sleeping Beauty” ornament and it is perfect….. for so many reasons.


Cindy Richeson said...

Wow...what an amazing gift Steven gave you! He is one very thoughtful man. Love you Laura and think about your whole family everyday. Just wanted you to know that and hope that releaves a little of your 'alone' feeling. Xoxo, Cindy

skideep1212 said...

Thank you, Cindy. You are sweet to take time to write. Thank you also, for reading. It means a lot.

Anonymous said...

Laura your post was beautiful and I love what Steven thought of to help ease your aching to hold Brynna. He is a special are both special and we love you all very much. I have been reading your posts here but I didn't realize until today that I could respond to them. Love you, Julie

Anonymous said...

You are amazing. I love your courage. i love the way you write.