I don’t have it in me. I don’t have the strength to think about how to eloquently string my words together or edit. I don’t have the ability to consider what I want to say or how to say it so here is… my first piece since Caden left. It’s sloppy and organic. I’m just going to let the words flow, let God move, and see where we go.
On April 4th Caden was born. He was beautiful and perfect and so squishy. He had fuzzy hair and the most adorable little nose and the moment he looked at me my whole world shifted. I have a son. A baby boy. I’ve always wanted a little boy who would be just like his daddy (we all could use a little more Matt in the world) I was putty for this beautiful life that they laid in my arms. The next 4 days were hard but full of the purest love and then the worst day of my life took place on April 8 when my son, my beautiful boy, went to be with Jesus.
You think, in loss, that the hard times are the obvious… the death, the funeral, the memorial, but really the hardest times are the small things. Angel mama, I am there with you. I see you in those moments where the sky is just the right color blue that you remember his eyes or when you catch her scent in the breeze and the hot tears start running down your cheeks. These are those moments most will never understand or even see, but they are BIG moments to us. Defining moments that begin to shape our new life.
- The moment when your friends disappear - You’ve lost your baby and now you seem to lose a lot of other people with him. People don’t know how to look at you or talk to you any more so slowly they just disappear. Their lives move on and they become another memory.
- The moment you have an identity crisis - I’m a mom of two. I have a son you don’t see. I’m a heart mom, but I’m not at the hospital. I’m a grieving mother. Who am I? Those feelings are so real. It is hard to find a place where you fit.
- The moment when you laugh and it feels weird - I’m riddled with pain. How can I laugh? Is it wrong to laugh? Am I allowed to smile? Yes, mama. It’s ok. You cherish those memories of your sweet child and you find the joy in life. It’s the best way to honor them and then you’ll experience that moment when you laugh and it feels ok again… that hurts too. Just keep chasing joy.
- The moment when your family is missing a piece - This morning as we sat on the couch, Matt, Adelynn, and me, our family felt incomplete. We were supposed to be 4. It felt wrong and I cried (I do that a lot.) It's ok to cry... a lot. It's also ok not to cry.
- The moment you can’t feel empathy - You can’t stand to hear people complain about their pregnancy or their crying baby? You wish you could be up all night feeding and rocking yours again? You struggle seeing people wasting their life or being judgmental or hurtful? Me too! Big time. Mamas, we see life so differently now and it’s a blessing and a curse. We realize the value of a life and we have experienced the hurt of a lifetime. The only thing we can do is continue living and sharing our stories in hopes that other people will realize how blessed they truly are.
- The moment that you wake up - This one is painful so so painful. It’s those seconds you wake up and then your world comes crashing down all over again. You are reminded that your angel is gone. I’ve even had to tell myself out loud that Caden is gone, it is not a dream, and I can face the day. It is HARD, some days I do a whole lot of nothing, but I choose to live for him.
- The moment that life moved on - How can people leave and go back to work and continue on with life as if nothing happened. Don’t they realize that your life is frozen in grief! It is so incredibly difficult to see things go back to “normal” when you are struggling to even breathe. I’m here with you mama. We are in this time warp together where time is both stopped and spiraling at warp speed.
- The moment you lose control - The other day I knocked Caden’s picture off of the wall and burst into hysteria. I scared my daughter with the gut wrenching screams as if my son was dying all over again. IT HAPPENS. You are battling the toughest battle. Emotions are running wild within you so when you snap at the lady complaining about her kids or you scream at the dog because you just can’t take another minute just apologize and keep pushing forward. You are doing the best you can <3 Feel those feels. It’s OK.
- The moment you don’t recognize yourself - Anyone else look in the mirror and see that spark missing? Maybe your smile doesn’t quite reach as far as it used to. You are new. A piece of you is missing and you are going to be different, but different isn’t always bad! Different can be stronger and filled with purpose. You get to decide that. Remember change is hard, but change doesn’t have to be bad.
- The moment that was never a moment - The hardest moment. The moment I struggle with so many times a day. The one only those who have lost can comprehend… the memories that never got to be. Today Matt went to softball practice and I know it was hard. We were supposed to be at the hospital. He wasn’t supposed to play this season. He was supposed to take Caden to the fields when he was older to teach him to catch and throw. Those moments never got to be and they haunt us.
- The moment that you wish for the things you used to wish would go away - It feels weird to wish for surgeries and hospital stays and tubes and cords, but I would give anything for them right now because that would mean my baby is here. I’d give anything to stay up all night watching his chest rise and fall and holding his hand in mine. It’s something most can’t understand and it might sound a little crazy, but mama, you aren’t crazy! I’m with you. We just want our babies.
- The moment you feel that spark again- It feels funny at first to feel hopeful again. When you get that feeling of purpose, maybe it’s in the way you are going to honor your angels memory or something that your other children have done to bring you joy. Maybe you are starting to remember the things that used to make you feel alive. Whatever it is, embrace it. It is ok to feel ok sometimes. It is ok to smile and plan and live. I like to think it is what our angels would want. I want to live a full life in honor of our Caden and those sparks are my lighted path to getting there.
Whatever your moments are, I want you to know that they are ok. No one grieves the same and there is no right way. Your grief and healing is as unique as you are so grieve and feel. And always remember, we may grieve differently, but we never grieve alone.