Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Life Updates

What's going on in our household?

Emily ~ She's been pretty busy babysitting.  She's still busy as ever with her violin practice and private summer lessons.  She singing constantly and can never get enough of music.  She has been reading a fair amount as well.  She's still working on her duct tape projects and has started making some friendship bracelets again.  She's preparing for the start of 7th grade in just a few short weeks.   She has her rougher days where her grief all but overwhelms her.  At her age she's pretty open about simply saying she's upset and missing tiny.

Jace ~ He's busy as always.   Constantly moving.  He's been joining me at the gym frequently and has made some friends there that he enjoys chatting with.  He works out some, sips tea, and visits with friends.  It's his own time and for that he really enjoys it.  He's getting ready to start 5th grade in just a few short weeks as well.  His grief surfaces more at night when he stops moving, sometimes making sleep a bit tough.

Benjamin ~ He's in a mood lately.  He spends most of his days in his footed pj's playing his electronics.  We've had alot of issues with him eating and drinking enough.  Last week we ended up having to take him in and the doc attempted IV access as he was so dehydrated.  We are fighting constantly to keep him drinking as that is top priority.  His doc thinks it's his way of dealing with grief.  Ben is getting ready to start the 3rd grade in just a few weeks.

Ariana ~ She's girly as ever.  It's all princess games, girly dress up, and baby dolls.  She wears dresses every opportunity she gets and believes all of her dolls should do the same.  Her american girl dolls now own more shoes than she does!!  She deals with her grief by talking about death constantly.  She is the first to chat about Eli as though he's coming back any moment, and has no problem openly talking about her memories.  She will be starting 1st grade in just a few short weeks.

Hopkins ~ Our little furry friend is busy as always.  He's almost housebroken and loves staying close to  one of us.  He is a little over 3 months old and loves to run thru the house at full speed.  He can jump on the couch and spends all of his nap times curled up on the couch next to whoever might be sitting.  He loves his toys and has learned to play fetch with a tennis ball.

Bob ~ Busy working as always.  He's on a more stable work schedule so we actually get to see him a bit more consistently.  The stress of his job is definitely still high.  When home he and I have been working out together and going on long walks.

Me ~ I'm here.  I read alot.  I crochet.  I play games with bob or the kids.  I have been working out twice a week with a personal trainer and then as many more times as possible each week on my own.  I'm working on running and hoping to run my first 5K the end of Sept.  It's something I'm finding to really enjoy.  I still can't seem to keep up with cooking, which results in alot of ordering food.  The kids are loving that for whatever it's worth.  I'm learning to "hide" my grief a bit more and make it thru the days.  I can atleast finally give a good socially acceptable answer when the customary hi how are you questions come along.

We are starting family grief counseling classes where we can be around other families who have experienced grief of their own.  We are looking forward to sharing experiences with others, even though it's super nerve wracking as well.

It's been 2 months, 2 weeks, 5 days, 14 hrs, 45 min and 20 sec OR 11 wks 3 days 14 hrs.  We are surviving the best we know how and that's really all I can say at this point.

Life will be changing for us in the next few weeks.  We are excited and a bit apprehensive for these changes.  Either way we know that change is inevitable and necessary.

oh and as always we are constantly walking around eyes open, witnessing our tiny hero in the butterflies that hang all around us, the lone bird who sits on the line outside our house staring at our home, the lone bird that circles over his grave all so often, then glitter we find around, the wind in his chimes, and the rain that seems to always fall at the perfect moments that our souls weep.  Our eyes and ears and hearts are always open for signs of our little man!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Journeying thru Grief

"Time to quit living in the shadow of the dead and get back to the world of the living.  You have 4 other kids."

"Time to quit wrapping yourself up in the death of the dead and get back to playing a meaningful role in the life of the living."

These are 2 comments that were posted on my last post, both by the same person with a fake name and profile.  I really could care less who posted them, but I do care for myself, my family and for ALL the other families who have lost someone close.  This isn't how it works.  These are the types of things that should NEVER be said to someone going thru loss, thru the grieving process.

These comments were posted to my family 9 weeks and 6 days after our son, our brother, our tiny hero passed away in our arms right in front of our eyes.  9 weeks and 6 days after we watched our child go from full of life to struggling for every breath he took to not breathing to his heart finally stopping.  After we watched the doctors work for 14 hrs trying to save our baby as his life slipped away, as the doctors and nurses and our family tried to desperately grasp as our grip loosened.  As we watched them begin CPR, as we screamed for them to stop, as the tubes and wires were ripped off our baby.  As we spent our final moments with our son, our brother, wrapped in our arms in a twin hospital bed in the middle of ICU.  As hrs later we bathed our hero for the final time, dressing him in his beautiful pj's, making sure each hair on his little head was perfect, that all of his lotions and tubies and covers were properly in place.  As we walked out of that hospital hand in hand pushing an empty wheelchair, never to be filled again.  As we walked into our home without our baby, noticing all the quiet empty spots.  As we planned a funeral for our 3 1/2  yr old baby.  As we kissed his cold head and closed his casket for the last time.  As we sat thru a funeral, an event that you always picture for someone who has lived a full life, yet for us was a small coffin, and teddy bears, and children's books, and stories of peek a boo and messing with the darned washer.  As we carried that way to light coffin to it's final resting place.  As they lowered the coffin into the vault and the vault into the ground.  As we watched Ben feel emotions and cry, something we have never seen.  As we witnessed Jace try to jump into the grave because he couldn't handle his emotions.  As Emily had asthma attack after asthma attack as overwhelming tears constantly racked her body.  As Ari kept asking when we got to take Eli home. As I crumbled to the ground because my legs could no longer stand.  As Bob shook with emotions to much for him to handle.  As tears poured down our faces and our friends and families as well.

Do NOT tell us to get over it.  Move on.  Join the land of the living.  What is it exactly that you think we do each day?

We cook, eat, play games, read books, swim, go to the movies, eat out, shop, go to museums, go to the park, workout, run, walk, goof off on electronics, clean house, go to work, babysit, have date nights, have dinner and game night with friends, pay bills, talk on the phone, crochet, practice violin, get together with friends, have sleepovers, fight sometimes, go to time outs, get in trouble, visit with family, celebrate holidays and birthdays, go to doctor appts, go to school events....visit our tiny's grave and mourn and cry and laugh and tell stories and look at pictures and GRIEVE.  That's exactly what we should be doing.  

We have been thru hell and we are doing a damn good job of making it thru each and every day.  A part of us is missing and we are allowed to grieve and live at the exact same time.

Please allow us to grieve.  Please allow other families to grieve too.  Losing a child, sibling, grandchild,  spouse, parent, grandparent, friend, and so many other important people in our lives is HARD.  It's painful.  It's brutal.  Allow the grief process to happen as it happens.  Grief is vital and so is good support.  Be the support that we and so many others on the journey of grief NEED.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Funeral and Burial Video

I have been meaning to share this video for a few weeks but just haven't yet. I'm honestly not sure why.
Like all of the videos it is raw and unedited photos. Our amazing photographer friends both spent the day capturing Eli's funeral and burial. They got the laughs, the tears, and everything in between! They are beautiful!

Be sure to have your speakers on.  For those who attended the funeral it will sound familiar, for those who didn't attend, the songs in this video are the 4 songs we chose for Eli's service.