Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Some days the name of this blog (and my life) feels more like the last half of the word, instead of the first.  Some days, it's hard to be joyful.  Some days, it is all challenge.  Sometimes the day is much more raincloud than sunshine.  And I have to remind myself, it's ok.  Sometimes.

With child loss, the pain is always present - just under the surface.  It can so easily be stirred, like a pebble tossed onto a still pond.  Once evoked, the pain ripples causing a visible upset and change.  There are certain times I know to brace myself for the pain, anniversaries or occasions in which I will be reminded of Austin.  Other times it may be a surprise, like a familiar song on the radio, and instead of providing comfort, it sends me back in a spiral of grief.

As a mom, I do turn off the pain a lot.  Sometimes I just have to.  Though it would be easy to give in and let the sadness take over, I have a life to live and a family that needs me to be present.  It's part of where the idea for this blog came to life.  I knew the pain from his loss would never leave but I needed a way to face each day.  Focusing on the positive and finding the joy in every day is what keeps me moving forward. 

But then there are other times when I feel as if the chair is knocked out from under me.  When the grief comes swelling back and threatens to take hold.  When the pain is so raw it hurts physically.  And often, that pain comes after seeing the grief in someone I love.  If Tim or Noah have had a rough time, for whatever reason, and are especially saddened with missing Austin, it hurts me to the core.  All the feelings I have pushed aside come welling up, battling with the hurt of knowing there's nothing I can do to truly ease their pain.

It's such a harsh reminder of the masks we all wear in child loss.  And what I'm learning is that it is such a cycle.  Just when you think you've reached the top, that you've climbed out of the grief, something small can suck you back in again. 

For us, the rest of this school year will be our struggle.  As so many families celebrate the milestone of their child graduating  - and all that goes with it - this season is just a painful reminder of what we're not experiencing because Austin is no longer with us.  So many dreams and plans of what could've been, ended too soon.  And it is hard...for all of us.
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Below, is a portion of The Broken Windshield, I wrote just a few months after losing Austin , that's been three years now.  While I'm grateful to see areas now in which we are better and moving forward, it is still such a good description of what living with a loss is like for a family....

Our family is like a cracked windshield. The initial impact of where it broke is visible but you can still see through to go forward. However, from that blow, tiny cracks and splinters now appear. They are thin lines, some hardly noticeable. I can feel them breaking and splitting our family ....

...It is a nightmare in slow motion. A roller coaster ride that you can't get off of. Most of the time you just try to remain numb and move about your day, robotically, to get through. ....

You never know what might stop you and cause you to cry, to remember. Even you don't know how your body, mind and soul will react.  It is like you are held hostage. The old you is gone locked away somewhere deep inside. This new person has filled the space and is living your life. But this isn't your life at all. This isn't what you dreamed of, what your plans were. There is no happily ever after in this book.

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Chapters of our book were torn out; against our will the story was rewritten.  While our fairy tale is changed, I'm hopeful because I know future chapters contain happiness.  Even on days it seems painfully sad.  Those days, I just need a little more prayers.  I'll forever treasure the past story of our life and the beautiful character that was Austin.  And I look forward because I do know how our story ends.   Our happily ever after will be at The End, written in majestic script up in heavenly skies.


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