I am still confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord
Psalm 27: 13-14

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The final marker...and looking ahead

Well, on the 16th is was our final one year marker. The day we drove to the cemetery for Zac's burial. I remember the day was cold, dreary, windy and snowing. It was ugly...the way I was feeling inside. I remember as we got in our car to leave for Zac's burial it was the second hardest drive apart from driving to his funeral. Still an utter disbelief for what was happening. Still in complete shock. I don't remember the directions we were given by the funeral director, I don't remember the words spoken by the pastor...I just remember the pain of the day looking at our son's tiny casket one last time. And knowing that as we left it would be lowered in to the ground. What parent wouldn't just want to scoop up their child and just run far far away. But that was not the way we got to end things. After the short service and after saying our final farewells, we got back in to our vehicle...and drove away. Both days, the funeral and the burial, I knew I could no longer do anything for Zac. Knew my days as his earthly mommy were over. And all I could think about was getting to the hospital to be with Evan. That was my place now. By his side to let him know I was with him every step of the way. I remember loving family wanting me to lay down and rest...but that was impossible. The moment I would close my eyes I would relive my pain over and over and over again. Rest was not an option. I had to keep going because it was the only way I knew to keep breathing. On the 16th I went to the cemetery for our final one year marker. Sat once again and wrote a note, this time not just to Zac, but to myself, and to God. The day was beautiful. Very opposite of last year. The sun was shining, the wind was cool but gentle, and the snow was melting. It was almost "perfect" as a reminder to me that with each day there is newness. With each day there is something to look towards. I wrote in my note that never in a million life times would I ever forget Zac, nor would I ever stop loving him and talking with him or speaking his name. But that I know he wants me to move forward. I can not change the past, and the present is what it is. But it is also beautiful. It's hard for me to say that, because it's hard to let go of the sadness. And there will always be sadness...that goes without say. BUT, I have to come to terms with what is. Not what I wish could have been. On the 16th I walked from Zac's grave and drove away from the cemetery with the usual tears...but this time resolving to look ahead. Zac will always be a part of that...but I HAVE to figure out the new norm. Life has been good. As much as many times I don't feel that way, it has. And I hope that it will keep getting better. I have hopes and dreams still. But most importantly I have Evan and Brett here who need all of me. There will always be a spot reserved just for Zac, as there is with Jack, Ethan and now Evan and Brett. Special pieces belong to special people in my heart. Yes, I'm sure a lot of my entries will still contain moments of confusion and grief...but I hope that now I can start to focus on how to move ahead...without forgetting the past, but without the past overtaking my present and future. I still feel a very real part of the NICU, and will always do something yearly for them to honor both my sons, but to return what they did for us. And I hope that through that other parents going through the nightmare of NICU and nothing "typical" of what they dreamed of will feel love somehow by a complete stranger. Strangers reached out to me during those days, and I will never forget them. And I hope that I can repay somehow. I'm still grieving...not wallowing. I'm still a mother who lost a child...not a robot who can just forget and move on without ever feeling her childs presense near her. BUT, I also need to find renewed strength and renewed hope. I need to believe once again that hope and faith just aren't pretty words. I held on tight to those ideals for many years, and I need to grab on once again. I need to become vulnerable once more. I think of so many who have suffered the loss of a child. So many who went full (and past) term only to lose their child in shocking ways. So many who never got to hold their child before they went home to heaven. My heart is always with these special people...because just as I feel no longer a part of the special and unique world of a mother of multiples...I am a part of a special and unique world of mothers who have lost and who are trying to rebuild themselves once again. No one can imagine our pain, no one can "only guess" what it feels like...because there is no pain comparable. There is no understanding what has not been experienced. And thank God for the many who have not had to go through this living hell! I am not strong. I am not amazing. I am not commendable. I am breathing. I am moving one foot in front of the other. I am focusing on the life I DO have and realizing I need to be completely here for the men in my life...my son and my husband. I want to be strong, I want to be amazing, I want to be commendable. And maybe one day I might see myself as that, but right now I see myself as someone fighting to find the beauty in each day. Again, I have to point out that when I say that, I mean through the sorrow of the loss of Zac. See...it gets very tricky, because when I make comments like this and share these thoughts I'm sure many people think that I'm not focusing on Evan and not feeling the joy and love for him. Wow...couldn't be more wrong. This is where the agonizing part comes in with grief and joy...the tug of war between emotions. Because with Evan I feel an abundance of love, joy, hope, strength, courage, and fight within me. He is my today and my tomorrow. He brings smiles and giggles and laughter and comedy moments. He is my example of strength, courage and fight. Look what he went through. Oh, if only I could truly share the fight that boy gave during those 66 NICU days. The very memory brings tears to my eyes now. He amazes me! And all at the same time puts me to shame for the feelings of weakness I can feel. But now it's time to carry Zac in my memory and my heart, but to hold my Evan in my arms, my heart and my eyes. And I hope many of you will continue to journey along my side and watch as Evan grows, and the lessons I learn from him, and the relationship that I begin to rebuild with God. I've kept God at arms length and didn't want to allow myself to trust Him again because I felt betrayed and let down and like we weren't good enough for the miracle of Zac to live...but I look at Evan and realize...how could I not trust Him? Look at all He did for Evan, and continues to do daily!! Again, I will never understand, but now it's time to stop trying to (hmmm, easier said than done I know!). It's time to find who I am once more. It's time to love both my sons without wishing days away. Grief has no time frame. And I'm not saying that I'm magically going to stop grieving. But it's time to give life a chance to show me what it has yet to offer. I'm terrified, but I have to see. Hugs, Heather


  1. Sometimes I am lost for words when I read your posts (like now), but I don't care how many times I say it, I love you my friend and I pray for you, Evan and Brett as often as I find the strength to be able to pray. I also will never stop missing or remembering Zac with you either. Please don't ever think that I'm trying to placate you with Scripture,that is never my intent, but as I read your post I couldn't help but think how strong you really are. I know you don't feel it, think it or believe it, but I DO see it. You have such inner strength and courage and although you have so many conflicting thoughts and feelings about your relationship with God, I believe that even in your darkest sorrow, your strength has been gleaned from Him. He has never left your side or stopped weeping or caring for you. Feelings, whilst so very valid, are not such a reliable predictor of fact and the fact is that God weeps with you too over your three precious children in heaven and all you have had to endure through such devastating and heartbreaking loss on this earth. Anyway, I'll stop rambling (didn't I say I had no words?! lol). Just wanted to encourage your heart with this:

    2 Corinthians 12:9
    But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.

  2. With you every step....much love, dear friend!