Tree of Remembrance
Candles lit in remembrance of all our little angels
What a beautiful day to walk and remember together...
Releasing of bird to symbolize our angels. What a beautiful moment!
Together, yet apart...
Every time I see Evan chasing his shadow...I can't help wondering what it would have been like with him chasing his brother!
On Saturday we participated in a Pregnancy and Infant Loss Walk for Remembrance and Hope.
It was held in Moose Jaw, SK.
Perfectly fitting as this was where our journey of unexplained infertility and years of heart break began.
The ceremony was beautiful. There were maybe 25 of us gathered together to remember all our angels. My heart broke for those who sat empty armed while some of us had our living children with us. My heart broke, because I know that pain of sitting in agony with my arms empty and watching others with theirs filled with laughing children or sleeping babies. I know all too well that feeling after we lost our first three babies.
I don't often speak of the third baby we lost. Maybe because in the medical world this baby barely began before we knew we lost him/her. This baby was a whisper of a triplet in our first pregnancy. But at our 6 week ultra sound our little whisper was already gone...but the proof that he/she had begun was there.
I'm often ashamed that I don't include this little one when I speak of us losing our identical twins. We named our identical twins, but never this little angel. So to me, this little one is known as "whisper", because we only caught a whisper of his/her existance.
We walked in remembrance of our four heaven-bound babies. We walked in honor of the fight Zac gave for me and his brother. For saving both of us.
We walked in honor of my twin sisters, Catherine and Michelle.
We walked in memory and in honor of friends who have lost special angels.
And we walked in love and support with these strangers we did not know, but who we are forever connected to because of our losses.
The day was emotional. I could feel the tension in me the day before. I could feel my panic. I could feel every emotion of the day we lost Zac, his funeral and burial. I could remember the agony of learning we lost our first babies at our "routine" ultra sound...and the feeling of loss walking in to that hospital for our D&C and feeling like we just walked away and left our babies remains to who knows where or what. Never knowing what became of them, or if they were given the decency and respect of more than just a garbage can.
As we all gathered before the walk, a song was played. A song that tears the very core of my heart out. "I Will Carry You", sung by the group Selah. If you have heard this song...then you know why it would have broken my heart. Every time I hear it I can't help but sob uncontrollably. And there, as I tried to sit all brave and holding myself together...I lost it. Uncontrollably.
I felt Brett's hand take mine, and I lost it even more.
I am so glad he was there.
I am so glad he reached for my hand while I tried to be all "tough" and "brave".
I am so glad that he is by my side every day.
The walk was beautiful.
Living in Moose Jaw, I had never enjoyed that park before. Never knew just how beautiful it was!
And it was perfect. The perfect path, perfect distance, perfect sunny (yet windy) day.
And how do you call such a reason for this walk "perfect"?
The reason was by no means perfect...but God allowed a sunny day. He allowed the beauty of the leaves and the colors of fall, and the reminder that as one season comes to an end, another begins.
I don't know if this season of loss ever ends. I don't know if the pain and heart ache ever ends.
But we are given an opportunity to hope again. We are given a choice to celebrate our little ones in heaven by the way we live each new day.
And even though there are days where my pain is more than I can bare...I can hope.
Hope as a word has become very distant to me. Very scary. Hope is scary. It is making yourself vulnerable. It is putting yourself out there.
But what is life without hope? It's sad, and dark.
So no matter how much hope scares me...I WILL hope!
And no matter how alone I feel on the journey...I know that I am not. I know that God is with me. I don't have to chase after Him and beg Him to be my friend. I don't have to hope that He'll want to ask how I'm doing...and will lovingly sit by my side and listen.
He just IS by my side. He IS my friend. I am NOT alone with Him on my journey. He DOES want to genuinely know how I'm doing. He WANTS me to allow Him to be there for me. He DOES listen.
I just have to allow myself to let Him in.
He is the friend that never fails, who never turns His back. Who loves me even though some days I'm sad.
I am also greatful to those in my life who walk this journey with me. People that have encouraged me, and helped me to laugh. People who inspire me to be a better person. People who allow me to speak of my hard days, and people who really want to listen and really want to know how I am doing...truly doing.
People who have come along side me through some of the darkest days, and also celebrate in the good!
You are special to me. More special than I can ever say.
You have been a true blessing to me. You have been an answer to prayer.
It is a freeing feeling to be real.
Thank you for loving me. Thank you for loving my children through my memories.
Thank you for encouraging me, and for being by my side.
Thank you for being the true meaning of friend.
Last night I was so drained after we got home and Evan went to bed. I looked at pictures of the days when Zac was alive. I looked at pictures of his beautiful eyes.
I looked at pictures of my precious Evan, and pictures of him as he has grown.
I remembered the hope I had those first days after their birth. The dreams we had of watching both our boys grow together.
And it hurt. It will always hurt.
And as I watch Evan as he chases his shadow...I will always wonder what life would have been like. I always see the reflection on the ground of who should be by Evan's side.
But we do have the truth of eternity. The truth that we will not be apart forever. The comfort of knowing that one day all my babies will meet me at heavens gate with a smile and open arms, like no time has passed between us at all.
I am blessed to have had Evan with us on our walk. What a true blessing. What an honor. What a gift.
Every day I know more and more how lucky I am.
He is precious to us. He is my heart. He is my air.
As you all know, the cemetery where Zac "is" is no more than a look outside my windows. Every day a train passes that way, and every day we hear the train's "choo choo" as Evan calls it. And now that the leaves are falling we can see it very clearly.
Evan loves that train. Every time he hears it we have to stop what we are doing (including eating) and go on to the deck and watch it pass.
The other day I was telling Evan how when the train passes the cemetery and "choo choo's", it is saying "Hi Zac!" I said to Evan "can you say Hi Zacy?" and out of his precious mouth came "hi acy!"
Tears just sprung to my eyes. To hear my son say his brothers name was pure music to my heart.
And I want him to know his brother as best as I can share him with Evan. Honestly...Evan knows Zac more intimately than I ever did...he knows his brother in a way I never could have. But we will say his name!
And then as we were about to head in to the house, Evan blew a kiss...and that just melted me even more!
Anyhow, it is now past midnight. I really should get to sleep. I was cleaning like a crazy person and doing laundry before this post so I could breathe a bit easier in the morning. But now it's time to get some sleep so I can keep up with my busy little boy!
I am thinking of you all, those close to my heart who have lost precious little ones...and I want you to know that your babies were remembered with us yesterday! They are remembered EVERY day.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month.
My challenge to each of you is to really reach out to someone in your life that you know has lost a child/ren...and ask them about their babies. Ask them how you can remember them along side these parents. BE THERE for them even if it's just by lighting a candle or a moment of silence.
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I can't remember the exact time, but at either 7 or 8pm in each your own time zones, (I'll have to double check and confirm this for you all) we light a candle in remembrance of each of our lost ones. Candles are lit all over the world, and we come united to remember and just share a moment of silence.
I ask each of you to share in this time. Light a candle. Release a balloon in memory of a lost angel. Call a friend or family member and let them know you remember. Don't be afraid to reach out.
We ache every day...it doesn't go away. But knowing we are not alone helps to comfort us!