I am a SAHM with 5 children. My 5th child,Larson, lived for an amazing but short 23 hours. He is now safe in the arms of Jesus enjoying his eternal home. I also have an amazing husband who I have been married to for 10 years!! Praise the Lord.
Please be gentle with me for I am grieving. The sea I swim in is a lonely oneand the shore seems miles away. Waves of despair numb my soulas I struggle through each day. My heart is heavy with sorrow. I want to shout and screamand repeatedly ask 'why?' At times, my grief overwhelms me and I weep bitterly,so great is my loss. Please don’t turn away or tell me to move on with my life. I must embrace my pain before I can begin to heal. Companion me through tears and sit with me in loving silence. Honor where I am in my journey,not where you think I should be. Listen patiently to my story,I may need to tell it over and over again. It’s how I begin to grasp the enormity of my loss. Nurture me through the weeks and months ahead. Forgive me when I seem distant and inconsolable. A small flame still burns within my heart,and shared memories may trigger both laughter and tears. I need your support and understanding.There is no right or wrong way to grieve. I must find my own path. Please, will you walk beside me?
Oh Little Larson
Little Larson Oh Little Larson You died a long time ago. Oh how we miss you. You were cute and little. But you struggled deeply. You tried to fight,But it was to hard. And now you are with the Holy One. In Heaven playing with your mates who suffered too. You are perfect now. Oh how we all long to live with you there. Oh little Larson we miss you.
Go ahead and mention my child, The one that died, you know. Don't worry about hurting me further. The depth of my pain doesn't show. Don't worry about making me cry. I'm already crying inside. Help me to heal by releasing the tears that I try to hide. I'm hurt when you just keep silent, Pretending he didn't exist. I'd rather you mention my child, Knowing that he has been missed. You asked me how I was doing. I say "pretty good" or "fine". But healing is something ongoing I feel it will take a lifetime. ~ Elizabeth Dent ~
6 years have come and gone sine we said hello and good-by to our son Larson. This past weekend we CHOSE to go away to celebrate his life. We have done this now for 6 years. Each year we have somewhat agonized over what we should do to celebrate Larson's life. It's somewhat of an awkward time. With his siblings we have the privilege to ask for their suggestions and to be a part of their day. This past week was the first time that I questioned whether or not we need to celebrate by going away for a family vacation over his birthday. I'm not really sure why this has come about. I think I've wondered how long we will do this. But then I think of his siblings...we celebrate them every year. I know many will say...duh, they are alive! I am always grateful to celebrate another year with my children as I know we are not promised even 1 more! While I have 4 children still walking on this earth, I am confident that Larson is very much alive also, but in the most glorious place you can be...HEAVEN! So, do we celebrate him. Well here is what I thought about..
On October 2, 2007 we were told that we had 24 hours to decide if we wanted to "terminate" our pregnancy....WE CHOSE TO CELEBRATE HIS LIFE!!
We were told that our son was "incompatible with life"....WE CHOSE TO CELEBRATE HIS LIFE
We were told that my pregnancy was high-risk and as a result we could both die....WE CHOSE TO CELEBRATE HIS LIFE
We were told he may die in-utero....WE CHOSE TO CELEBRATE HIS LIFE
We were told he may not take a breath....WE CHOSE TO CELEBRATE HIS LIFE
We were told that 75% of marriages fall apart after the loss of a child....WE CHOSE TO CELEBRATE HIS LIFE
So after some thought I have realized....we will still continue to CHOOSE TO CELEBRATE HIS LIFE
It may not be with trips or balloon; cakes and themes; birthday cards and gifts. Larson's celebrations are much more authentic because we choose at that time in our life to pause and celebrate what Larson did for our family and those around us. While 23 hours was not enough, he did PLENTY during that time! He for sure taught me more than I would have ever been able to teach him.
As a mother, we celebrate our kids and the gifts they are to us. While I have buried one of mine and gave him back to the Lord, we CHOOSE to celebrate the gift he still gives.
The life of our son continues to remind us of the faithful Father in Heaven who allowed us to be parents to an amazing 5th child. We will CHOOSE TO CELEBRATE HIM!
Really, it's been more like 5 1/2 years, but I really didn't know what to call this post. Actually I had forgotten my password and had to reset it to even get in to write. Somehow that felt good. I was able to step away from this as I aloud myself to heal away from this. Not that it is bad, I just really needed a break. I sat at my computer so much, for so long, that I think it wore it out! I went from researching my son's "incompatible with life" diagnosis to other stories to back issues and back again. I am finally in a place where pain seems to be a distant memory. It's been 5 years since saying hello and good-bye to Larson and 3 since having back surgery. I was just remembering today, the span of about 4 years where pain was my roommate. I went from emotional pain to physical pain and somehow that is exactly where God wanted me to be. There are times I find myself "waiting in the balance" and wondering when the "next trial will come" and then I remind myself that is not where God wants me to be. Somehow living again, meant laughing again and intentionally enjoying life again. I know...it sounds crazy...I have 4 other wonderful children that are amazing and yet grief somehow stole my joy. It's amazing how you have to make a daily choice to have joy. Yes! I never thought that would be me. I was exhausted to choose joy because it didn't come naturally anymore and yet now it is new roommate for me. Grief is a visitor that no longer has a grip on my and joy is my friend. God is so honest when he says "I will never leave you or forsake you" and I am so grateful that while having to choose joy, God was helping me with my choice.
Now 5 years later, I have the privileged of pouring into 28 1st graders on a daily basis. I do not take for granted their life, nor do I question why I am there. For so long, I wondered what God wanted me to do after the death of our son. I felt very stuck. But He always had a plan. After recovering from back surgery ( a year later!), the principal and my children's school asked if I could finish up the year for a teacher. This was my "ticket" out of the mire. I was grateful to help someone else. And her I am....2 1/2 years later. As I close up another year with a wonderful group of children, I can say that I am grateful for my incredible husband, wonderful children and the place we call work. It is work to teach and parent and live, but God doesn't promise it to easy, but he does promise it to be perfect!! His perfect! It seems messy at times, but He is behind it all and somehow it is perfectly beautiful and messy!
It’s hard to believe how long it’s been since I have written on this blog. It’s even harder to believe that it has been 4 years since we said hello and good-bye to our son. Life is different. Life is good. Life is sobering. Life is real. Life is amazing with a faithful God.
I have spent some time this week reflecting on the past 4 years. It’s amazing where we are at right now. It really is. I know that when I was pregnant and reading blogs, I couldn’t imagine what 4 years would look like. I couldn’t imagine anything going forward because quite frankly at that time, life was standing still!! Would I ever feel joy again? How?
I realize now that joy is different for me. It is not joy in the things I had before. It is a scared joy in the things above.
Four years ago as we anticipated and prepared for Larson’s birth, I knew that the inevitable would happen—DEATH. I had already had 4 children. I knew what it was like to add to my family. It was easy. Sure there was a season of craziness. A period of transition as we got used to more work. I didn’t know how to have a child die. This was not normal. You get pregnant and anticipated the arrival of a spectacular event. You don’t get pregnant to plan a funeral, but that’s what we did. We had been planning a funeral for 17 weeks.
We made a decision when we received Larson’s diagnosis to watch his life unfold according to what God had desired. He arrived with an incredible smile and a miraculous cry! That cry was like no other. He had fluid in his lungs! It was a gift for sure! God gave us 23 amazingly sacred and beautiful hours of life. It’s not what I wanted. It’s not what we had hoped for. We wanted more. We wanted years!
The first couple of years where the hardest for me. Yes! 2 years was rough. Not what I expected. At times unbearable. I wrestled with God. He listened. I asked God questions. He answered. Not always how I had hoped or prayed for but he did answer. I went through dark times. God was there. A year after Larson died, I had incredible back and leg pain. I wondered why this? Eventually I had back surgery and then spent time recovering from surgery. The path I continued down was nothing I had imagined. I wanted my son. I wanted more children. That was not a part of our families story, but God has been faithful. Yes, He is Good!!
I have come to see the beauty of God’s faithfulness. It's not always been easy but it is being created by the Creator Himself. There has been darkness and depression. There has been laughter and tears. There has been pain and suffering. There has been smiles and anger. There is the good, the bad and ugly. There still is! But I am no longer stuck in the darkness. There truly is beauty from ashes. Not the beauty that the world looks for. My son is still gone. There will always be incompleteness in our family. But beauty isn’t there. Beauty is in hope. Beauty is in mercy. Beauty is joy in the LORD. Beauty is in a unchanging God. Beauty is in Jesus.
I still think of Larson daily. I smile as I consider his little body and every detail about it. I like that I can still imagine all of it. I don’t want to forget anything about him. When I think of Larson, it is no longer painful. It is not filled with the gut-wrenching grief and sadness. I don’t fill like I’m in the slough of despond and will not make it out. I am no longer in a pit. I am so very grateful for what God has given to me. Yes! Grateful for each one of my children and my husband and everything that is wrapped up in it. It’s not always easy, but the dance between joy and grief is beautiful. It’s beautiful because God is here! I don’t hope for perfection. I am satisfied with imperfect.
Last week, I was caught off guard by my attitude. After sailing through the seasons and feeling quite settled, suddenly I felt a stir in my heart. A darkness. I was anticipating Larson’s birthday. I’m not going to lie. His birthday is hard. The day to day of life is now normal, but there is nothing normal about celebrating a birthday without the birthday boy. How do you celebrate? We have done something with our kids each year and I am so grateful we have. We take the time to pause. To celebrate life. To celebrate another day of life. To thank God for getting us through the good and bad. We celebrate the incredible gift in a son, brother, nephew and grandson who impacted many! We celebrate Jesus who has allowed us the hope to see our son again.
After trying to fight my emotions, I decided to give in. To which his video and let the tears fall. He is worth the tears and heartache as much as he is worth the laughter and joy. Because in this place of grief (even 4 years out!) is also an amazing God. A God who was with us at Larson’s diagnosis, during the 17 weeks that we carried him, in the delivery room as we greeted him, in the hospital room as we enjoyed our time and God was there when we had to say good-bye and let Larson go. Yes, 4 days later I am still in this dance. And I am still dancing!!! Sometimes it’s graceful and smooth and other times I fall. But my partner is amazing. I don’t stay down for long because I have practiced this dance for a while now. It’s not uncomfortable anymore when I am clumsy, and I am ok with falling, because the fall is as beautiful as when I get up. Somehow in the fall the worship is sweeter and my gratitude deeper.
Thank you to all the many friends who continue to think about Larson. It always warms a parent’s heart to hear about their children and Larson is no different. We have some incredible friends who have walked by our side all this time and we have made many more. Until next time…
We have just a week left before my kiddos go back to school and mentally it has been hard for me to fathom. My youngest is going this year, so after 10 years of having kids at home...I will be adjusting to something new! I will probably be at the school EVERYDAY like a stalker mom! Well maybe not, but I do substitute at their school and hopefully I will be doing that more.
This summer has gone by so fast but I've enjoyed every minute of it.
My back continues to be good, although after our trip to the beach and LOTS of sitting I have had some achiness so back to PT for me and I'm on some strong anti-inflammation drugs. I think its working this far. One thing I have to do less of is sitting and hence one of the reasons I don't update by blog quite as often. Maybe its also because I stand up while I'm typing :) It's not so comfortable.
So for now...I will continue to enjoy my kiddos...life without chronic pain...and every moment before I blink again and they are 4 years older! Man does time go WAY to fast. If I could only slow down time. It just seems to be picking up pace.
This song could not have said it better...(Remember to turn off my music..:-)
I have lots of thoughts...usually great posts (in my head) at night when it is time to go to bed. Right now i'm not sure what to write other then I have MANY blog posts! They are just in my head right now. When I have time..I hope to sit and write more. Some of them are on life...some on Larson...some on my faith...some on life's journey! But for now... I am enjoying my children, the sun and summer, being able to be active again and living without back pain!
Gods marvelous Word is such a gift. While that is what we need daily for our nourishment, I have also found music has been an incredible preacher to my soul! The Lord has used it often to encourage me and to Praise Him. I can be found blaring it in my house or in my car...with the sunroof open! Much to my daughters dismay as we are pulling up in the carpool line! I certainly don't try to embarrass her! :) This song is amazing by Matt Redman. Through whatever circumstance we are in...He is so worthy to be praised. Forever and a Day! Praise God for giving individuals the talent to sing songs that praise His name and are faithful to do so. To God be the Glory!!! I hope you enjoy this song and may it bless you as it has me. Be sure to turn off the music on my page at the bottom
Well...I've realized its been more then a month since I've posted and thought I would do a quick update for those who may wonder :) and for those who have faithfully prayed.
I'm feeling really well. PRAISE GOD!! I can't tell you that I had expectations before going into the surgery. I didn't have complete hope of the surgery even working. I tried so many things over the course of the last 14 months that I felt would work. Each "therapy" or treatment I tried, I faithfully prayed about and talked with my husband about before moving forward. And each treatment failed. Acupuncture, Chiropractic care, physical therapy, cortisone shots and decompression therapy. After all this, my pre surgery MRI was the same as it was when I originally did one 10 months before!! Yikes!!
I have realized over the course of the last couple years that God can use Eastern Medicine, Western Medicine or NO medicine to heal or not to heal me. OK..maybe I'm a slow learner or slow trust er, who knows! But I knew this pain could have become my thorn. As much as I didn't want that, I knew God was the creator of my story and that only HE has the answer. I didn't google before the surgery and I decided to go in with blind faith...I'll deal with whatever it is afterward!!
Well I can say for now...almost 4 1/2 weeks after surgery...that my pain in my legs is gone and I am healing well from the surgery itself. I had some surgery pain for sure. It was a little hairy the first couple weeks. I am still limited to no bending, twisting and lifting only 15 pounds or less. No housecleaning or laundry for now! Bummer I know :) So for know, I am resting in this "new" life of not walking around in constant physical pain. It really changed me and my life for the last year. Less patience and LOTS of emotion. I have realized now...JUST HOW MUCH PAIN I WAS IN! Amazing how your body adapts to a certain extent to your circumstances. My body was tense and I just learned to deal (sort of! ) with it.
I do have compassion on those who are living with a debilitating condition. You can look great and pulled together on the outside, but be falling apart on the inside. I've tried my hardest this last year to keep it together, but often I just wanted to cry all the time. Simply tasks were so difficult. I couldn't do anything without pain. Yep..it was with me ALL the time.
After 14 months of chronic pain, my body is learning how to relax again. It was always in protect mode. Really I'm trying to figure out how to do things again. I was so used to having things be so much work that I'm getting used to not having to. I really find myself with more time on my hand then before, because it doesn't take me as long to do things. Grocery shopping, cooking..etc. was hard.
This last few years have been difficult. I won't lie..I had hoped things looked different. After losing Larson, my heart has ached for him. I ached for my children to have another sibling. Not as a replacement but for them to be able to experience new life! To also tangibly see God give. They already saw Him take away. But my Father in Heaven has had other plans for me and my family. While it may not be the desires of my own heart, I have continued to be at His feet praying that He would give me the desires of HIS heart. This has defiantly been a long season of prayer and questions. But as always...my Father has been there.
God has written my story perfectly...yet differently then I had hoped. So my prayer has continued to be that I would rest knowing that He does not make mistakes. While I wanted a different gift...He has found the pain He has given to me to be the most perfect gift of all. This season has caused me to... long more for a relationship with my Saviour, pray more often and ask for direction and answers, being more comfortable with others who are hurting, enjoy the children I have with me, and also more of a longing for eternity and the return of Jesus. And although I feel all these things, I know...I have MUCH more to learn. Yikes!
God is so good.
I really am SO GRATEFUL that God would allow this surgery to be successful up to this point. I am also well aware that this may not stay this way but for now I am trying to rest in this and enjoy my life the way the Lord would have me too. And to be content in all He has for me.
This blog was created in order to communicate with our family and friends about our journey of grief with our son Larson. Larson was diagnosed on October 2nd, 2007 with HPE alobar. He was born on January 22nd, 2008 and lived for a wonderful 23 hours. I created this blogt to make communicating easier and more efficent following Larsons death. It journals my emotions, hopes, fears and everything in between. Grief is difficult...unpredictable...exhausting and confusing. If you are in a similar situation feel free to email me. I know that the journey can be a bit easier when traveled with a friend who has gone through it also. May Larsons story declare the Lords faithfulness during lifes most trying and darkest times.