Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Aftermath

Well,  I have been swirling in the aftermath of New Year's Day when we spread Silas's ashes in the ocean. It is crazy how the grief can creep up and bowl you over so intensely.  I had to leave work on Monday and I spent all night last night in tears.  I even cancelled my birthday party for Friday because the thought of "pretending happy" is just too much for me.  I still think what we did on Sunday and how we did it was perfect, but I hate that we had to do it at all.  I hate that my son is not here.  I keep hearing "how was your New Years?"  and it is such a stab in the chest.  I'm not about to tell people I spent it letting go of my babies cremations and so they assume I did the party/hangover weekend thing.  So wrong.  It's been nine months and sometimes the pain hurts like it did 6 months ago.

Plus, I am now eight months pregnant and finally hit the point where I feel really done being pregnant.  I have been pregnant for a year and a half straight and I am tired.  I am tired of all the usual pregnancy ailments and I just want my little girl here.  I want it to be February already and to know that she is alive and safe in this world.  I think part of what has hit me so hard is the fear that I might lose her too and I can't even bear the thought.  I won't survive another loss.  I hate that even have to think that way.  I hate that I can't be joyful and excited and confident that this pregnancy is going to end in a happy, healthy, alive baby.  I hate that I can't enjoy my birthday or the holidays.  I hate that this little girl is a result of the death of my little boy.  I want both my babies.  I hate that I feel so alone in this and that no one in my IRL can truly understand because they haven't experienced it.  I want to be "normal" again.  I want my life back a year ago.  I want my son!  And, I want my daughter here safe and alive in my arms.  I want assurance that she will be okay and I won't have to suffer another loss now or in the future.  I want to know that she will grow up and grow old, out live me.

uuugghhhh…why does life have to be so hard?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Spreading his ashes- January 1, 2012

Nate and I decided to spend New Years Day to spread Silas's ashes in the ocean at North Beach in Pt. Reyes.  We chose this beach because it is where we went when I was 40 weeks pregnant with him and have very fond memories of that day.  On that day, Nate thought up a song and laid on my lap and sang it to him.  He collected beautiful quartz crystal from the beach that we still have with us, we saw a coyote, and this beach is just beautiful, serene, and quiet.  We spent that day dreaming of bringing him back once he was born.

Unfortunately, that didn't happen to be the case, but today we did bring him back.  We chose today, the beginning of the New Year to represent letting go and releasing his physical being and some of our sorrow and grief and focus now on connecting with his spirit, which is always with us, and the joy of having had him in our life and knowing he will always remain in our heart.  Today, ended up being his memorial.  I don't think we intended it to feel that way, but it became that and it was beautiful.  It was just Nate and I.  We brought his cremations, flowers, paper to write him letters, and a poem to read.  It was absolutely beautiful at the beach, clear sunny skies, beautiful blue ocean with big waves.  We walked a ways out on the beach and found a place close to where we sat last time we were there.  We placed Silas's urn and flowers in the sand and wrote him messages, talked to him, watched the waves, and cried together.  We then shared our messages with each other and placed them in the urn with some petals from the flowers, a quartz crystal from the beach, and some sand.  We walked down to the water, I read a poem and Nate threw the urn, which opened in mid-air, into the ocean.  It was an incredibly hard thing to do, to let that little tangible bit of him go, but it also felt so right. 

I have been stressing for many months about planning a memorial and who we would invite and needing it to be perfect.  But, today happened naturally, organically and it couldn't have unfolded any better.  It was perfect and beautiful.  I am so glad that it was just Nate and I and we honored our son so sweetly by releasing his ashes into the ocean, the place we hold so close to our heart just as we hold him, our son, so close to our heart.  We spent the whole pregnancy with him at the beach every weekend and dreaming of him falling in love with the ocean just as we had so many years ago and releasing him into the ocean today was perfect.  We brought home a piece of wood Nate found that we sat on while we wrote our messages and we will turn it into a bench for our backyard and we collected another piece of quartz crystal that will be set next to the one we collected the last time we went.  We left the beach feeling a great sense of peace.

Nate and I then went to our favorite, special restaurant in Pt. Reyes and had a excellent lunch outside in the sun.  It has been a wonderful (hard, sad) beautiful day.
Here are a few pictures of our memorial.

This piece of board Nate found on the beach and we have brought it home to make a bench out of for our backyard.

Here is the poem that I read:

While Waiting For Thee by Sharon A. Bryington

Don't weep at my grave
For I am not there,
I've a date with a butterfly
To dance on the air.
If I'm missed, find a flower,
I'll be there too,
Sniffing it's fragrance
Right next to you.

Don't be sad
When you remember me,
For I'm singing in the sunshine,
Wild and free,
Flirting with the lightning,
Playing tag with the wind,
Chasing the thunder
Time and again,
Soaring with the eagle,
Swimming in the sea,
Enjoying all of nature
While I'm waiting for thee.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A glimmer of hope

Wait, wait…what is this I see?  Could it be a small break in the clouds?  I think I have seen a glimpse of the hope I have been searching for.

Something has shifted over this holiday weekend.  For the first time in 8 ½ months, I have seen a glimpse of the person I once was.  I know that I will never be the same, but a spark of life came back into my soul over this weekend.  I don’t know why or how, but it did.  I am noticing it in the little things.  For example, for months I was dreading the holiday season and didn’t want to spend it with family because I was afraid it would be too painful of a reminder of the family member, my son, who is missing.  However, as Thanksgiving approached, I became eager to spend quality time with family.  I used to love entertaining and having parties at my house, and this was the first weekend that I felt joy in that again.  I was excited to set the house up, cook, make fun appetizers, take family pictures, play games, and just be with my family.  And, it was a sweet day.  At dinner, there were tears and many acknowledgements of Silas which felt so nice to hear from the mouths of my family. 

Another thing I noticed, is I started to wear make-up again.  I got all dressed up on Thanksgiving day, including make-up, but I have also been wearing make-up to go to work the last two days.  I had stopped caring about how I looked, but in these past few days, I have felt good and wanted to look good as well.

Before I became pregnant with Silas, I had been a vegetarian.  I stopped when I became pregnant because I was craving meat so much.  However, I have decided to go back to a mostly vegetarian diet (for health reasons) and last night I experimented with a new vegetarian dish.  I have never cooked with lentils before and I went to the store, bought some, and really enjoyed making a new, healthy, vegetarian meal.  I feel excited again to explore new recipes and cook with ingredients I have never used before.

It feels so good to be enjoying life again.  I don’t know how long it will last (I know these things come in waves, and don't get me wrong, I am still grieving and tears are quick to come), but I want to be fully present and mindful of this positive, hopeful, alive place I am in right now.

Speaking of being mindful, I have recently become very interested in studying Buddhism again and practicing meditation.  I thank Silas for awakening the more spiritual side of myself and I think I have finally found something that makes sense to me.  I have been doing my best to meditate almost every day for at least 15 minutes.  I will slowly increase my time as my practice becomes more integrated and easier.  On Sunday, I was meditating (which I do in the kids room) and out of nowhere, I had an overwhelming feeling that Silas was there with me.  My lips even began to tingle as if he was giving me a little kiss.  I then had this powerful urge to cradle my arms.  So, I did.  I cradled my arms and closed my eyes and sat with my son’s spirit.  It was the most amazing experience.  It is the first time in 8 ½ months that I felt like he came to me.  And, I believe it wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t begun my meditation practice and convinced myself to do it in that moment even though I was tired and really wanted to go to bed.

I am just feeling so grateful for my life and the people who are in it.  I never thought I would feel this way again.  But I am, and I want to cherish this feeling while it is here.  I truly believe good things are coming, including and most especially my sweet little girl who is due to arrive in February.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Yesterday a fifteen year old boy in my residential treatment center had a healthy son.  I have been dealing with this planned pregnancy between him and his sixteen year old girlfriend since he entered our program in May.  Now, I am faced with the fruition of this pregnancy in a healthy baby boy to a drug addicted, manipulative, selfish boy child and his equally immature and emotionally abusive girlfriend.  I have found in dealing with this since May, I have cultivated an unhealthy dislike for this boy.  I have been faced with the evil side of myself, in a way I never have before.  Yesterday, after hearing that his girlfriend had given birth to their son, I became so angry and sad (which I emotionally vomited all of my evil thoughts onto my coworker) that these two people have their son and I don’t.  How do I make sense of that? 

With a restless night of sleep and much contemplation, I realized that I don’t really hate this kid, I hate the situation.  I hate that these two irresponsible, unfit parents get their son when my son was taken away from me.  Even eight months down the line, I have such a hard time trying to make sense of that in my head.  People say, “things happen for a reason”, but how do they explain this?  There is no explanation.  I just have to sit with the reality that things don’t make sense, these people aren’t more deserving of a child than me, but they got their child and I didn’t. 

I hate that I am constantly faced with this reality; my son is dead and other peoples aren’t.  When will the “why me’s?” go away?  Will I ever be able to accept that this is forever my reality?  When will I be able to be happy for others good fortune and healthy babies without being more sad about my loss and my crappy reality? 

Some people assume that now that I am pregnant again (51/2 months) that things are “better”.  Not perfect obviously, but as it was said to me, “I assumed that you would be able to find joy in things again”.  At first, I thought that this statement was an unfair judgment that I have no joy, but when I really think about it is kind of true.  I can laugh, I can be lighthearted, I can be hopeful for this baby, but am I truly joyful?  I don’t think so.  This baby doesn’t take away my deep despair and sadness about losing my son.  I hope maybe, if I am lucky enough to birth to an alive, healthy baby in February, that I will find some joy again in my life.  But, there will always be a hole.  My family will never be complete.  And, I don’t know if I will ever be able to get rid of the envy I have of others who do not know my reality.