"Because life is fragile and death inevitable, we must make the most of each day."
President Thomas S. Monson

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Tale of Despereaux





I LOVED this movie. I think almost anyone that is filled with grief could leave it with both hope and inspiration. In short...the movie shows how one's person grief can affect many in both good and bad ways...even in ways they dont realize.

Have fun at the movie!...or you know...read the book if you like that =)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Rainbow


On Christmas morning there was a lot of rain. As we sat down for our Lunch we noticed a beautiful rainbow in the sky, centered nicely behind our house. I don't have to mention anything more about rainbows, they are our symbol that Amberlee is still with us. They feel like Amberlee is nudging us and reminding us not to forget her. It was so special for us to see this rainbow, on Christmas, a holiday where we miss her the most.
We love you baby princess, forever!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I found this on Compassionate Friends Website...=)

MY WISH LIST* I wish you would not be afraid to speak my loved one'sname. They lived and were important and I need to hear their name.
* If I cry and get emotional if we talk about my loved one,I wish you knew that it isn't because you hurt me: the fact thatthey died causes my tears. You have allowed me to cry and Ithank you. Crying and emotional outbursts are healing
* I will have emotional highs and lows, ups and downs. Iwish you wouldn't think that if I have a good cry my grief is allover, or that if I have a bad day I need psychiatric counseling.
* Being Bereaved is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn'tstay away from me.
* I wish you knew all the "crazy" grief reactions that I amhaving are in fact very normal. Depression, anger, fear,hopelessness and a questioning of values and beliefs are to beexpected following a death.
* I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in 6months. The first few years are going to be exceedinglytraumatic for me. As with alcoholics, I will never be "cured" ora "formerly bereaved", but forevermore be recovering from mybereavement.
* I wish you understood the physical reaction to grief. Imay gain weight, lose weight, sleep all the time or not at all,develop a host of illnesses and be accident prone, all of whichare related to my grief.
* Our loved one's birthday, the anniversary of their deathand the holidays can be terrible times for us. I wish you couldtell us that you are thinking of us and them on these days. Andif we get quiet and withdrawn, just know that we are thinkingabout them and don't try to coerce us into being cheerful.
* I wish your wouldn't offer to take me out for a drink, or toa party, this is a temporary crutch and the only way I canget through this grief is to experience it. I have to hurtbefore I can heal.
* I wish you understood that grief changes people. I am notthe same person I was before my beloved died and I will never bethat person again. If you keep waiting for me to "get back to myold self" you will stay frustrated. I am a new creature with newthoughts, dreams, aspirations, values and beliefs. Please try toget to know this different me -- I'm the one who'll be here from now on.
--Author unknown

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Changing my tune...




The 1st couple of weeks of the Holiday Season were ok for me. NO major drama...I was excited, happy even to approach them. I felt like this year would be different and things were looking up, and then it hit me.

I put up my decorations late. I didn't put them all up last year. This year I didn't have time. The day I completed them all, I sat down to relish in the spirit and instead of pure Joy I felt something much different. Sadness encompassed me as I began to think about my sweet baby and what she is not looking at or experiencing this year. I wondered if she would be pulling on my Christmas tree, trying to touch the lights. As I tried to think that I might be mad at this I instantly realized that I want her here to do it. I want her here to break ornaments and wander around my house in awe of the changes that the Holidays bring. I want to hear her little voice, and see her smile when she looks at Santa. But I won't get this, the gift I want most of all, will not come for me in this lifetime.

Since that day the Holidays have been difficult. I try to take my anger out when I am exercising. I began jogging recently, and when it is hard to breathe and it hurts, I can push myself because I push my pain into it, and it helps. I am stuck in a conundrum though. I don't really want to celebrate because Amberlee won't be with us. However, I want to enjoy the Season for my other children.

Friends and Family have called and ask how I am doing. I tell them...o.k. and they sense something. Most of them ask what is wrong. I don't want to be rude, but I wish they could be empathetic and try to understand what I am missing. The Holidays are about family, but my family is not complete right now. We are missing one person, and it makes all the difference.

I am dreading Christmas Morning. I picture my children coming out to open their presents and get their stockings. I can see it now in my mind...all of the stockings will be hung and stuffed, all but one. Amberlee's stocking will sit all by itself, still hanging unremoved from the fireplace, empty. It seems so wrong, but this is the life that we have now. I realize there will be Joy in the upcoming Holidays...I just wish it were possible that that Joy could be more full.

Thanks for listening.

P.S. I changed the songs on my blog for the season. I heard "Where Are You Christmas" by Faith Hill the other day, and it seemed to fit the emotions that are consumming me. The song ends with hope which is where I feel I am most of the time. I am sure that one day Christmas will have the same magic it once did. Right now, I guess we are simply trying to redefine what we experience.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Letter from Maria Beth Chapman, about her loss and Christmas


I am sure that some of you know, Steven Curtis Chapman (a prominent gospel singer) lost his daughter this year, when her brother accidentally ran her over in their driveway. Their hearts and faith are amazing. Their situation, is similiar to our own, and their suffering appears to mirror ours as well. While their beliefs are slightly different...they are still very close to my own. Steven's wife, Mary Beth Chapman, published a Christmas letter that had a very touching description of Mary (the mother of Christ), and what she might have felt as she knew what would happen to her son.
I can only imagine knowing throughout the brief time that we had, that Amberlee was going to die. How would that change us? I would hope that I would be the same mother, but I am certain I would have cherished the smaller moments much more. I was inspired by Mary Beth's thoughts, and I felt it was best to share them here. I wish you all Happy Holidays...I am here for you if you need me, just ask.


Beth


As I anticipate Christmas 2008, I have many thoughts flying through my heart and head. The last several days, my mind has not been able to stop thinking about Mary, the mother of Jesus. Pregnant and scared, knowing that the baby she was carrying eventually would pay the ultimate price of His life. How would I have lived differently if I knew that my time with Maria was going to be this short? Regretfully, I would have lived much differently. I would have purposely hugged and kissed more. I would have tried to memorize and lock away in my heart certain smells and smiles. I would have colored more and worked less. I would have laughed more and fussed less. Bedtime wouldn’t have become a chore to check off the list of things to get done. Instead it would have been more of an opportunity to listen about the day and offer whatever words were needed. The swimming pool wouldn’t have been too cold to swim in. The flowers in the garden would have all been picked, and definitely more ice cream would have been consumed!

I wonder what it was like for Mary after her son’s death. I know she saw him resurrected and was certain of the fact that she would she him again, but she was still his mom. Mary found favor with God; therefore she was chosen to be Jesus’ mom. But because God favored Mary, she was also chosen to suffer. Not just at the crucifixion, but her whole life. She was chosen to carry a baby in her womb, be persecuted and give birth in a dirty stable. Most of the time at Christmas we end the story there…. in the stable, with Mary, Joseph and Jesus receiving their company. Wise men, shepherds, and angels - you get the picture in your head right? The star, the animals, the Nativity! What about the rest of it? Mary, mothering the Son of God! She was human, she had a baby, and she raised that baby with the heaviness that she was to see him suffer and thus she too would suffer. I think when Mary was hiding things in her heart; it was a lot more than the reality of whom she carried in her womb. I am certain that she was hiding away the memories of first smiles and steps, as well as the first tears and tumbles. Knowing what was to come, did Mary have the opportunity to live differently as a mom to her little boy? I believe she did. I am sure that she watched him differently, taught him differently, and prayed differently. I can only imagine the discussions that she and Joseph would have when their son wasn’t listening, how they probably begged God to let the cup pass from them, but in the end yielding up the prayer we all hesitate to pray when it comes to our children…. Your will be done. UGGHH!!!! I don’t want to. I didn’t want to on May 21st, and I still don’t want to now. Yet somehow we did, and somehow we will continue to. I am reminded more than ever this Christmas, that it doesn’t end at the Nativity in Bethlehem in a cozy manger… it is a journey all the way to the cross on the hill in Golgotha on Good Friday.


Christmas for the Chapmans this year represents suffering. For that matter, from here on may we always remember that it represents the ultimate suffering that came. But isn’t it amazing that it is called GOOD Friday? Why is it good if it is full of suffering? Because Easter came on Sunday and what Satan intended for evil, God intended for GOOD! Christmas ultimately ends at Easter and the reality that we will see Maria again! If we are to live as Christ, then we will suffer like Christ. I am thankful this Christmas more than ever for Easter. When all the questions I have will be answered and all the tears I have will be wiped away. Until then, Merry Christmas with the reality that Easter came and all of this suffering will some day be gone in a moment, and all things will become new and right and awesome!


Thanks for your prayers during this journey. It isn’t an easy one and your love and support is continually needed. May you be richly blessed for gracing us with your love.


Longing to be washing dishes in heaven with Maria,Mary Beth for all the Chapman family.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Another Mother's Strength

Every once in awhile I read something from another mother that inspires me on my journey. All stories inspire me actually, but some just hit the right spot in my heart. I am happy to share with you Lisa's Strength. Everytime we think, "Oh, I have it so bad."; evertime we have a pity party. We have to realize that there are others that have suffered more than us. If they can have the strength to move on...than so can we. This is a long and difficult road, but we can walk it togther.

Here is Lisa's Wish for Hope:

My story of Hope. I found MISS in March of 05 right after I lost my 4th child. My son Peyton was born still at 21 weeks from a true knot in his cord. I never knew things like this could happen I have 3 living children and never had any issues with those pregnancies and was in total devastation that something like this could happen to our family. The blame the guilt you name it we lived through it all.

We knew right away that we wanted to try again ASAP and were assured that this was a fluke and chances of another stillborn were very slim so with that information we started trying again. We found ourselves pregnant again in Aug 05 only to miscarry at 6weeks again why me questions but no answers.

So here we go again we had been trying add a 4th living child to our family since 03 with no luck. In April of 06 we were pregnant again around 12 weeks I started bleeding heavy and was sent home from the hospital to miscarry only I didn’t turned out I had placenta previa my Beautiful daughter Lilly was growing strong and right on target. On Dec 6th 2006 I had what would turn out to be my last Dr’s appt.Lilly sounded great and we were scheduled to be induced on Dec 20th My husband’s birthday she was coming 3 weeks early since we lost Peyton my Dr wanted her here as soon as we hit 37weeks . 37 weeks never came 2 days later I could not get Lilly to move I knew in my heart she was gone. Lilly was born still on Dec 8th 2006 at 36 weeks reasons unknown my perfect beautiful rainbow baby gone. How could this happen you told us the odds were 95% that we would bring her home why us again what had we done to have 3 babies die in a row.We buried Lilly 1 week before Christmas my entire family destroyed no reason to go on in my eyes why did my living children need me I had failed their brother and sister and would surely fail them to. Days turned into months and months.We started talking about trying again had we totally lost our minds yes!!!! our hearts and arms ached for another child could we risk losing another child that was a chance we decided to take. 11 months after Lilly died I got that BFP the anxiety started on day 1 I just knew that we doomed that this baby to would die. The weeks went by and baby bean was growing and growing. I had a million Dr’s appt and a Set date to be induced 34 weeks regardless this child was coming even if that meant nicu time.

June 25th 2008 Our Beautiful Son Cooper William was born ALIVE and CRYING I have never felt so many emotions all in one. To hear those cries after 2 silent births was the most amazing sound in the world!!I know the pit that all of you are in right now the despair you are living with but without hope what do we have? I never gave up HOPE when many would have stopped and thier dream would have died with them and now my arms are filled.Please know that one day you to will have reasons to HOPE you will be able to smile again at the little things.All of you are the strongest women I have ever met.Hugs, Lisa

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Jay the Phoenix Real Estate Guy

There is a blog by the Phoenix Real Estate Guy. He made some comments right after Amberlee died, and everyone on the blog followed suit. It got pretty deep seated in hatred. Well I tried to talk to Jay, the Phoenix Real Estate Guy, and eventually it got through. People were so mean, and causing so much trauma to Kyle and I, he shut down the posting, after I posted a rather strong comment against the haters.

Today I got an e-mail in my inbox. It was from that blog again. So often I fear opening these because I never know if the comment is filled with hate or love. This one was filled with love, from somebody that has lost a family member the same way. Her letter follows:

My nephew died the same way. On August 13 2008. He was 3 years old. My mom forgot him in the car. She never took him to daycare before, but this day was different. People hate us. But you know what... Really, we are ok with that. I'd much rather have everyone hate us than to EVER know what it is that we are going through. I cannot get mad or upset with any of them. But you know what... It really hurts to get online and read the blogs of others, those who talk about something that they dont even know about. They say "That grandmother was on drugs" or "I bet she didnt forget her smokes"... To tell you the truth, it could happen to anyone. My mom does not smoke, drink, do any type of drug and she's the kind of person who wont even move the car unless I am buckled in and I'm 21. She is by far the most caring person in the world. She has given everything to everyone. And she still gives. ..

To the family of Amberlee, I am so sorry and I can relate to what you are going through. I remember when I first heard about your story... I judged ya'll. Wrongly, I know that now. How I wish I didnt. But I know now. I'm sorry.

For someone who takes even the best care of their child has the ability to forget. And also... Find a way to make sure you dont forget... I know that there are those out there who say... I know I wont... You know what... Maybe you wont, but does it hurt to have a back up plan?They now have this thing that you put in the baby seat that sends out an alarm to your keychain if there is weight in the seat and you walk away. It could very well save your childs life.

As for us, my family... We are working hard to make sure that this slows. Our goal is to keep kids from dying in car related accidents. Now there are things that we cannot help, but for everything else, we plan to do whatever we can to get the word out. FOR EVERYONE. Even if we save just ONE child, we will have accomplished something. Please everyone Love your babies. And take the time to REMEMBER. And know, Accidents happen... Plan for accidents. Catch them before you make them.

Thank you Nancy, for sending usgood thoughts. I agree with you. I would rather people hate me than to have to go through what I am going through. Ultimately though, I wish they would understand more than they judge.

Love to all!
Beth

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Been Awhile...


I know it has been a while since I have written. Most days I feel great, like I am really doing better and on the road to be my new self. Normal, if I can ever call myself that again. I realize more and more that the sense of normalcy may never again exist though. I also realize that this burden will never quite leave. That is ok...I feel it is important to find blessings from tragedy...and I am on my quest to help others that suffer this same fate.


Lately I am taking on more of the household duties. This is something I have been crippled on since Amberlee passed away. Kyle is wonderful, and he helps and picks up where I simply can not, but I feel guilty and want so bad to do better and help more. Mostly I focus on the girls, and their routine, homework, and needs, but lately I am adding dishes, laundry, and cleaning as well. This week I even began exercising in the same way I did when all of thise trauma started.


I know to the naked eye this might not seem like much. Unfortunately it is to me. It brings up memories, flashbacks, and emotions that are hard to swallow. I struggle to move forward day to day, but I know that I have to. I have to do better not only for myself, but for my family. I've eliminated the dwelling on the past aspect, but some things I cannot control.


Lately music is affecting me. A song will come on and I will be drawn to tears by a trigger in the song. Then I will remember her, and think about what she might be doing. I wonder how many people can understand this, if they have never been through such a loss. I wonder how many of my friends and family can understand that every once in awhile it feels like that pain is fresh again.


I honestly think I am doing well. Please don't believe that the negativity of this shows that I am not. I just need a little support to help me on the path right now. But isn't that what life is about. Holding a friend's hand when we know they need it. Helping people be guided toward a brighter tomorrow.


As always, thank you for your thoughts and prayers.


Beth

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween


Holidays were so difficult last year...and I really felt that things were better...that things were not so difficult. I got ready for halloween this year and got the girls ready and thought nothing of it.
Then the day came. I was almost paralyzed with fear this morning. I did not want to get out of bed...I especially did not want to go to the girls' school to volunteer. It seems like volunteering was something I did with Amberlee. The year I was pregnant with her was my best year...I had so much fun doing it...the students even looked forward to when I would come into class and talk to them. Then I delivered Amberlee...and I was blessed to still have the energy and time allowance to go to the school, but then Amberlee was gone.

Now I feel like I don't want to volunteer at all. The school probably reminds me of her more than anything. It is exactly the same as it was when I was there pregnant with her. The same smells, the same sights...the same teachers. I can barely bear to enter the school without her...and I am not sure if I will ever get past this.

I called a friend this morning...to ask her to help me figure this out. I wanted to be there for my other children...but I couldn't muster the courage. Unfortunately my friend did not have the time this morning...it being Halloween and all...to talk in depth. You know what though...I was extremely grateful when I got to the school and right as I was exiting the car my phone rang. It was my friend. Checking up on me...and trying to help me with my decision. It meant a lot that even though she could not talk to me right then...she did call me back to make sure I was o.k.

I did make it to the school...I have no profound insight on it though, because although I enjoyed seeing my children in their classrooms and taking pictures...I feel too disconnected to actually enjoy being there. My emotions are so strong I even considered putting them in another school. I hope that time will help...but I am not sure it will. If you are praying for anything for us right now...please pray that I will one day have the strength to volunteer again. I know how much this will benefit my girls...not just them but also their education.

Thanks for travelling this road with me.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Pictures from Phoenix Children's Memorial 2008

The memorial service was good. I am glad Kyle & I went. The speakers shared personal stories about their own losses, and experienced medical professionals shared the influence our children have on an eternal perspective of learning to heal. Here are the pictures that I took to remember the Memorial Service. It is the last of our Memorials. My favorite part was the Bagpipes. It was amazing to hear them in honor of my child. I also enjoyed the music tremendously. They chose songs that I never thought to put toward our tragedy, but I am always happy to hear another song that can both remind me and help me to move forward in life.

Monday, October 27, 2008

An Encounter with her name...

A month or so ago I volunteered at a School book fair for my children. I was excited to start volunteering again, and I jumped at the opportunity because I enjoy the book fair so much. I was doing fine the first day. I even left excited for the next day, and then the next day came.

I went to the book fair like normal. Sat down, and got ready to ring the orders for the children. The other volunteer that would sit next to me...sat down, and another Mom came up to speak to her. Side note: I feel like I am out of the loop, rarely getting a change to speak to other Moms or even to volunteer, but I feel like I will never quite "fit" in again. A year passed by and I never went to the school...it was like the year just was sucked out of my life...Digressing......

Well this other Mom asks my helper, "So how is Amberly doing this year?".
What?
Did she just say that?
Panic struck...and I couldn't breathe. I am lucky...I chose a very unique name for Amberlee...and until now I have NEVER run into it. I was stopped dead in my tracks when this Mom said this to my helper. I instantly began to cry...and shake...I didn't know how to escape in the chair I was in...I had nowhere to go.

Shortly after the helper was done with her conversation and she immediately looked at me...she introduced herself...but unfortunately I am certain I will NEVER remember her name because I was in shock. I put one finger up and gestured that I needed her to hold on while I got myself together, and then I apologized. I said "I am sorry but do you have a daughter named Amberly?"...she smiled and she said yes...as if that was not enough...she gestured to Amberly and had her come over to me as she introduced her.

This beautiful 10 year old girl had no idea why I appeared afraid of her. I was grateful to see her short and very blonde hair and blue eyes (opposite of my Amberlee). I was also grateful when she showed me the spelling of her name. But I sat there with a flood of emotion and flashbacks that I try to suppress on my best days.

I explained to the Mom, so she wouldn't think I was absolutely Crazy, just slightly. I said my daughter's name was Amberlee and she passed away. She then said..."All my friends called me to warn me, I wanted to meet you." She apologized for my loss, and wanted to listen to the story. I was a little upset...I am not happy that people are talking about me and our situation...but I guess it is common place. I just wish they would talk to me. It seems like people at the school don't even realize something happened.

I guess some things I just can't prepare for. I never know when something will trigger an emotion...and I cannot prepare for the worst of emotions that I am experiencing. I wish this were different...it would be much easier to deal when I have time. Meeting Amberly was a blessing and a curse. The event of meeting her was horrible, but now I look at her when she walks by at the school and I can smile. I remember my baby...and I think...Wow...one day, in another life I might get to see her grow to be just as beautiful as this girl.

I am always grateful to find hope despite the sorrow I feel.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sisterhood...& Baby John

After Amberlee left us for heaven not many people would talk about her. Almost Nobody had the courage to come up to me and ask anything about her, or how I was doing. People were simply too afraid to say anything to me, for fear they would hurt me...I desperately wanted to hear it though. I wanted people to hurt me if they must, but just SAY HER NAME!

Well there was one person who did not know me well, but she had the courage to say her name. Easter weekend Ashley was in my ward, visiting family. I recognized her from afar, and I was excited to talk to her as I had not seen Ashley in years. I only heard about her in passing from family members, and I knew some of what Ashley had experienced in life, but not a lot.

I left the main Sacrament Room to sit on a more comfortable couch, I was pregnant with Riesse and uncomfortable. (I am reminded I also needed a snack.) Ashley sat nearby me, she was also pregnant (but looked much better than I). I talked to her a bit, and we remembered each other and caught up a bit. But what amazed me the most is that Ashley asked me about Amberlee. This person, who barely knew me, remembered my daughter, and had the courage to ask me about Amberlee. It meant more to me than most memories of that year, and it still does.

I wish the story ended here, but little did I know, a little over a month later, Ashley would endure the same fate as I...when her soon to be born son was lost all too soon.

I have no doubt in my mind that our meeting was not a coincidence. I am certain that the paths our lives take are meant to lead us to those people that can influence us, or help us to grow. I have no doubt that Ashley was supposed to be in church that day, to tell me what she did, so that I could remember and be grateful to her. Grateful that she was one of the only people that dared to ask about my daughter that she knew was in heaven. I am glad that I can help her to grow through her loss, and I can be here for her because of mine.

I truly believe that this is what is meant by sisterhood. Together we can use our experiences to bring compassion for those that cannot see where this tragedy might lead them. Once I have walked the road alone, I can better hold someone's hand to try and keep them from falling while we travel together toward a happier place.

Thanks a million, Ashley!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A Tree for Amberlee








Kyle's brother Kevin and his wife Denise planted this tree for Amberlee today. Their almost 4 your old son Gregary was a big help as well. It is so precious...a little baby tree that we just can't wait to see grow. We are so grateful for their expression of support, and memory of Amberlee. We'll keep you updated as the tree grows.

Thanks Kevin, Denise, & Gregary...we can't wait to see it in person!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

October 15th

Shalayne...from Junior/High School...Thanks for coming!

Trevor & Zegee (We met them at M.I.S.S.), we were remembering their son Diego as well, he passed away due to complications after a car accident. Zegee was in in her 7th month of pregnancy, when the accident occurred, and he lived 1 day.

Shauna, Crazy as ever...this is her "Cheerleader" pose.

Me & Kyle...Oh and my FAT arm, LOL

Mike & Riesse...honestly, she was the highlight of our night...what a cutie!

Carrie...She is thinking about New Kids On The Block, hence the Smile.

Rich the entertainer...

His better 1/2, Sommer, and Lilly

Their Family, minus the 2 that weren't there.

Note: Alicia & Justin came as well but I have to edit their picture...Michelle showed up too, she also lost a baby, Amber, after a fatal birth defect took her life shortly after birth.


For October 15th we invited our family and friends to Claim Jumpers for desert and talking. The day was actually a nice day of rememberance. Sometimes it is difficult to focus on the good, when you are surrounded by grief and sorrow, but October 15th felt to me like a day I could focus on just Amberlee, and not all the end stage sadness that happened in her life. Kyle and I decided that this is the day we will remember Amberlee with our friends and family, from now on. At this point we feel that Amberlee's "Heaven Day" & "Birthday" will now be more of a private family thing. Having said that...I feel somewhat pressured by others to "move on". Although I will not be "moving on" I can respect that others don't quite feel the pain in the same way...I understand that they don't comprehend because they have not been through it. I am happy that they have not been through it, regardless of my need to have them acknowledge my daughter.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Divorce Statistic is WRONG!

I hope that everyone who reads this can have hope that their relationship is not destined to fail based on the statistics that our friends love to rant off. I was told many times that 50% even up to 75% of couples divorce after they lose a child. This simply is not true, and I find comfort in knowing that my fight...is worth the battle.

I ran across an article that said this awhile ago...someone asked me to post it here so I am now posting it.
http://sids-network.org/experts/divorse.htm

Furthermore...I posted these comments on the M.I.S.S. Forum for Bereaved Families and Dr. JoAnne Cacciatore commented as follows...

"I've just published an article in a peer reviewed journal with DeFrain and Jones' regarding couples after the death of a baby. Another article is being published in Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care and demonstrates that most mothers rely most heavily on their partner, this being the most important variable in maternal anxiety and depression.Most couples do not divorce shortly after a child's death. The numbers are approximately 10% though it is difficult once you control for time (longitudinally 30% or more couples eventually divorce anyway, non-bereaved). In many couples, this experience brings them closer."

This is wonderful news...and all of us that experience the loss of a child can now rest at ease and focus on what needs to be focused on, our families and getting back to life with loss.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Gorilla's Grief...

I ran across this article and thought is was interesting. I was actually intrigued by it. This poor Gorilla's 3 months old baby boy (sound familiar), died in her arms...and she held him and grieved over him for days. Zoo visitors watched her emotions in tears, as she mourned the loss of her baby and continued to look at him hoping he would somehow spring back to life

I apologize for the content that is listed on the side bar, but the article is good...if you can just keep your focus there.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1046549/A-mothers-grief-Heartbroken-gorilla-cradles-dead-baby.html

Friday, October 3, 2008

A precious gift...

I heard about the website "To Write Their Names In Sand" but I hadn't yet contacted them. The sweet woman that runs the site lost her son in January. In a dream...she saw 3 children running on a beach and they stopped in the distance and they were writing something in the sand. As she approached the children ran away...and she saw what they wrote...it was the names of her 3 children. If you e-mail her on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, she will write the name of your child that has passed in the sand for you.

I intended to e-mail her...but yesterday I got an e-mail from her. She was grateful that I made the M.I.S.S. Conference video...and she had a present for me. I opened the link and there it was...


Sweet Carly had written Amberlee's name in the sand for me...I started crying instantly...and could not stop for several minutes...In fact I am crying as I write this. It is just so precious. I am touched when others show they love, even this much. I am even more touched by a stranger that can show this kind of love.

Thank you Carly...for bringing all of our angels...Alive again...by writing their names on the sand!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

M.I.S.S. Conference Video!



I made this video out of pictures from the M.I.S.S. Conference...honestly it is my 1st video ever...but I think it turned out ok...I hope you enjoy it.

If there are any pictures you would like for yourself feel free to e-mail and describe the picture...I will try my best to get it to you.

As always...you want to pause the music at the bottom of the blog in order to hear the music on the video...and not go crazy.

Beth

Monday, September 29, 2008

I need a few moments...


I apologize that I have not yet posted about the M.I.S.S. Conference. I can say that it was amazing! I loved the experience! As with any experience there was both good and bad, but mostly good. I feel like I need to collect my thoughts and decided what exactly to write. I met so many friends that will now go down this long road with me. I was blessed by their souls, their experience, and their precious babies; all of which are gone much too soon.

I added two amazing songs to the bottom of my playlist. If you cannot see them use the white bar on the side to scroll down. The songs are called Precious Child, and Beauty From Pain. I have to add them as some of the most significant songs in explaining my grief and pain. Please listen to them...and please absorb their words knowing they are bringing me to tears and expressing my innermost grief. If you cannot understand, I am happy, because you don't have to bear this same burden...but if you can...I am happy to be able to share these songs with you as an expression of both our pain.

Love always,
Beth

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

2 Days to Conference Time!

First of all...I am soooo excited for Thursday...I feel different emotions. I am wondering if the relief of getting some sort of help will make me cry the whole time. I feel like I am going to walk into the conference and start crying. I picture myself sobbing through the registration...how embarrassing am I. Second of all, I just can't wait to hear what people say... and to relate to others that have experienced a loss like this... and to work with specialists that are trained to help people through the loss of a child. I am contemplating bringing Riesse...I am not sure I can stay the better part of 3 days without her...I hope it works...but things like this have a way of doing that.

Thank you to everyone that keeps asking about the car wash... fortunately our tax refund came just in time to pay the fee. I think someone bigger is watching out for me...heck I'll just say it...Thank You, God for taking care of this for me.

I can't wait to show pictures and explain how it changes me or helps me. I know there are many people that can't attend this year...maybe the pictures will give them the strength and will to do it next year.

Monday, September 22, 2008

18 Months

The day came and went and it wasn't too bad. I went out with some friends at night...and overall the day was so busy I couldn't dwell...this is a good thing. I wish more people would call and tell me they are thinking about me...or her. I hope they do for the two year...I am not going to ask them directly though...because then it is not sincere. I know I am high maintenence in regards to this...I just really need to feel the love of others...it helps me get by...it makes me feel like there is a reason to keep trying. I hope this is understandable...because I understand people are uncomfortable with talking about it...but saying you care is a whole different thing. Am I right/wrong here?

My newest blessing is screaming for attention...I'll chat more later.

Love Beth

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Tomorrow...She would be 18 months old...=(

Kyle pointed out to me on Saturday that Amberlee would be 18 months old now. Well he was slightly wrong, because that date is actually tomorrow. I was kind of frustrated that he said this. I probably would have flown by it and realized it the next day or so...once I was past the date and no longer would be as affected. Now I am sitting here...and have spent the weekend thinking about it. About her. About how much I have forgotten, and long to remember.

I looked at a picture of her, that was a different angle and realized that it caught a different glimpse of her in it. A minor detail...that means slightly more now. Its just the little details that my memory has robbed me of. They seem so precious once you have lost a child though. I guess in a way it is a blessing, because dwelling on those details is part of what stops me in life. I try to remind myself that I have forgotten some of the same details for my children that are still with me...but somehow that doesn't comfort me as much as it should. I contemplate whether I am a good mother, if I am forgetting what little time I had. Maybe this is part of the veil...that exists to allow us to focus on the things that are more important right now.

I have felt much better lately. I guess the month long sadness...last month... was something I needed. I am getting by much better now. I can only assume that today will be sad though. 18 months is one of my favorite ages. The babies start talking at that age, and they are so cute and innocent still. They can walk around, and sometimes even show affection by saying I love you. I wish Amberlee was 18 months old! I would love to see her hair longer, her cute smiles, and hear what her voice would sound like. I would love to see her comically wobble through our house, barely able to hold a toy, but still managing. I know she will be 18 months old for me one day...when I pass on and see her in my next life. Again though...this is less comforting than it sounds.

I really wish I had more pictures, or even a video. We went to Disneyland at the beginning of the month that Amberlee died in. We took her with us...so she did get to go to Disneyland & Knotts Berry Farm. I think that is such a fun fact. We have no pictures though. Some people robbed us right after her death...and they took our video camera (and all our videos) as well as our cameras which probably contained the memory card with Disneyland on it. I can remember sitting on a bench and feeding her in several locations...and people always told me she was so beautiful. Sometimes I wonder...if they knew what happened...how they would think or feel.

I still haven't stopped missing a child. Everywhere we go I count...and when I get to 5 I always begin to panic because I don't see the 6th...but then I remember...she isn't here. It is simple reminder...as if we needed one. I just wish it wasn't so often.

Hopefully I will get a chance to visit the Temple tomorrow...or even her gravesite. Both would be amazing...but time is confined betweeen the errands that must be done...and the fact that I always have another little person with me. It is a great blessing to be able to say that...I know I have been given more than I deserve.

When I go to bed tonight and say my prayers...I'll ask for more strength...as I know many of you are doing for me. I'll ask for a comforting presence to help me through. I may even ask to feel Amberlee with me for a moment...maybe for once I will see her smile back at me or even in my dreams, rather than just feel her. These moments are few and far between...I cherish every one.

Good night...till morning.
Please leave well wishes if you feel so inclined. They mean a lot to all of us.

You can always leave a comment by clicking on the pink area at the bottom of every post...where it says "words of encouragement".

Friday, September 19, 2008

Phoenix Children's Hospital, 2007 Memorial, Update





These are my submissions for the Phoenix Children's Hospital Memorial.

I am still not sure if I am going. I am thinking about it. The scrapbook page and picture were due today, and I drove with Kelli to the hospital to submit them. I am glad I did that much, but I am still undecided. Interestingly only a couple hundred children die at that hospital each year. Any loss is sad, but I thought that it would be much more. Obviously more children are saved than are lost and that is a good thing. It seems a little easier to attend if there are less than 200 families there. Please comment if you have an opinion on the matter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sometimes I just come here...

Sometimes when I feel sad or miss Amberlee...I go to her website just to listen to the music, and look back on pictures or memories. It is like a scrapbook in ways, of all they things she has left me before, during, and after the 3 short months I had her. In no way does it take that away, but I hope that the music and the atmosphere can bring comfort to others.

I just felt like saying this...as today and yesterday have been less than desireable? I am trying to keep busy to stay positive...sorry if you are missing my posts.

Beth

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Broken Pitcher


Angie Smith suggested on her blog that anyone suffering a loss such as this should break a pitcher and glue it back together as therapy. There is a lot of symbolism in doing this. During the week of the Anniversary of Amberlee's death I bought a pitcher. I went outside, to the exact place in the driveway that she was in when she was hurt, and I took a pitcher in a pillowcase and smashed it. At 1st I didn't hit it very hard, and got little result. The 2nd time I gave it a good smack, and it shattered. It felt awesome breaking it in that place, very rewarding. It was not very fun glueing it together. I came up with many ideas for the symbolism of the pitcher though.

1. One side does not look very bad, but the other side looks horrid. It is similiar to how people see me or how I allow them to see me now. On the surface, and from one side of me I look like I am doing well, but on another side of me...it is difficult to bear this burden.

2. The 1st pieces I put together were really challenging to find matches for. I was not sure what I was doing, or even how to do it. These pieces, once put together did not look or even feel as good as the rest. This is similiar to time since Amberlee died. The beginning was challenging and I was not sure, but I am getting used to it and trying to figure it out.

3. The handle, is broken. It did not stay together as one piece. It is no longer able to support the pitcher on its own. This could mirror my support system. It has changed...and I can no longer rely on one piece of it to keep me up.

4. I put together my pitcher 1st, and then we did another. I was able to help the other family member because of my experience. I think this is pretty self explanatory.

5. The pitcher does not seem as beautiful as it was before, but in a way it is more beautiful. It is now a work of art, and there is character that was not present before it was broken. Again, self explanatory. I am changed as well.

6. When I broke the pitcher I could not see it because it was in a pillowcase as it was shattering. It did not matter though, it shattered anyway. I had to put it back together again. I could not see as my life was shattering either, and regardless, I still have to pick up the pieces.

7. There are pieces missing, and they always will be missing...there is nothing I can do to put them back where they were before.

8. There is no 2nd chance to break the pitcher. 1 try only, and I have to figure it out from here. I will not get a 2nd chance to make this wrong right again.

9. Pieces fell apart all over my house and driveway. In a way, they left a mark, and will always be part of my home. Amberlee did too, and was there as well.

10. I feel that the vase was stronger before I broke it. The glue cannot make it better now, or ever as strong as it was. Liquid will now pour through the vase, without support. I cannot hold back my tears now. I cannot hold them as simply as before. I am weaker in some ways because of the loss I have sustained.

If you ever have to break a vase in honor of a loss in your life...I hope that it can heal you the same as it has for me. It definitely helped me to rethink some things, and to see myself in the way I am after tragedy. I am grateful to Angie for suggesting it, and I hope that she enjoys seeing my vase, as well as my repair.

Pennies From Heaven...



So this morning Camille smiles and comes up to me for a hug...like she does almost every morning. I simply adore cuddles from anyone. Then she floored me...

"Mommy, I found a penny in my Bed from Amberlee, and I put it in my treasure box!"

We explained to our kids that when they find a penny pick it up, it is a penny from heaven that somebody sent them because they were thinking of them. Also, Camille and I made a treasure box as a project because she is alone during the day. So obviously this was a treasure for her.

I asked Camille, so did you dream about her too. She said "Yes! We played kitchen and I made food for Amberlee."

These little moments are precious. I adore every single one.

Need I say more.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Amberlee's 1st Birthday, March 22, 2008

A lot of people have asked about Amberlee's Birthday. We did it before I started this blog, but I thought it was such an amazing event that I wanted to share it despite the fact that it is nearly 6 months later. I hope you enjoy the beauty of the celebration. Basically, we all got together with enough balloons for everyone there. The girls made cards for each balloon, with a little heart on each card. Everyone who wanted to...wrote a message to Amberlee and attached it to the balloon. At the end of the party we released the balloons and sent them to Amberlee in Heaven. It was an amazing sight to see her colors flying together toward her. Of course there was wind on this day, as there always is when we are thinking of her.

We also had a birthday cake, which I couldn't make, it was just too difficult. It was fun to celebrate this day, and it brought even more peace into our lives, to celebrate her life on a day that we could. It was sad not having her there, but friends and family have a way of making up for that.

Enjoy the show...Beth

UPDATE: I just got this message from a friend...and it really made me happy...I thought I would share.

Oh my Gosh!! I was looking at your blogs...great recipes by the way, that I can not wait to try! And realized that we saw Amberlee's balloons. I was preparing to host Easter, and my Father-in-Law was here. We watched them drift off slightly to the North but mostly to the East, I was amazed at how many there were and what beautiful colors that were chosen!!What a great way to celebrate her first Birthday with your friends and family.
A very nice tribute to her!!
Have a great night!
Doni

Then another friends said this.

strange how everything is connected
i'm sure thousands of people were amazed by them!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Good & The Bad, sometimes end in tears...

Read This Post 1st, and then the next Post

So today was amazingly difficult and beautiful. I'll explain why...in order...so you can understand why I appreciate it, but feel that I needed to be reminded of why we are here with tears of pain and gratitude at the same time.

I have NEVER been a believer of small prayers. I am actually quite cynical of people who pray over such things as grocery lists, plumbing, what they should wear. The last one is a stretch I know but it only shows my previous cynicism. Today I decided that I will believe in those things when I had an AHA moment that forced me to stop denying their strength.

I have a bike rack attached to my Expedition. I tried to go to Walmart today but as I got out 4 Mexican men began speaking in Spanish to each other (part of which I understood), while they were staring at the bike rack on my vehicle and smiling. I assume they were not looking at my cute tooshie (because it just isn't), and figured out they were discussing stealing my bike rack. I have a good intuition about things so I just left instead of going into Walmart.

I got frustrated being trapped by the bike rack, but I tried to pull it off and I couldn't get it. So I called a friend, Ed, who told me to ask God to help me. I laughed at him thinking he was mocking me and then I explained that I don't believe God answers prayers like that, he has better things to do with his time. He then said, maybe you should pray nobody will steal it then...I said, No thanks, I just don't think that is what prayer is for. Well Ed told me that he would pray for me, because he knew I wasn't going to do it myself.

I hung up the phone, picked up the same tool I was using previously and tried the bike rack again. Within 2 minutes it was off, and quite easily might I add. I texted Ed and asked him if he had prayed, careful not to disclose details because I wanted to hear what he said. He said he asked God to help me get the rack off as quickly and easily as possible. (My jaw dropped open here and hung for about 20 minutes).

I am amazed. I guess I can no longer be cynical. I now believe that even little prayers can be answered, no matter how unimportant they might seem. Thanks Ed, for making me rethink life, and understand the blessings we are able to obtain.

However, as many days are not filled with AHA moments and Joy, something else had to cloud my happiness. I'll share in my next post...but first a scripture.

Moses 5:11 says
"And Eve, his wife, heard all these things and was glad, saying: Were it not for our transgression we never should have had seed, and never should have known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient."

Part 2 of the Good and the Bad

I was contemplating my joy while I ate Chik Fil A and let my kids play on the play place. I really am amazed at the truth to small prayer. My whole life I never thought it really worked. Unfortunately the high from this could not last, and I feel I am supposed to be taught a lesson here.

As I left Chik Fil A, the 1st thing I noticed out the door was a Green CRV sitting right there in front of me. I thought about Amberlee, and I was sad, but this wasn't too bad because I see them all the time, they are just simple reminders of how we lost her.

After I loaded the kids another car parked next to me and the lady getting out was very nice, although she looked as though she just had a baby, which I did not see. I questioned in my mind, but passed it off because of the previous car thing. I turned around to get into my car when I noticed Amberlee's exact car seat sitting in the back of their car. Panic struck immediately. 2 traumatic things right next to each other, the car seat and the car. I couldn't help but stare. I am shaking at this point and honestly don't understand why I would be faced with such circumstances, when I notice that the worst is not yet over. I look a little closer and realize that there is a hospital belongings bag in the carseat that is not actually buckled in the back seat. Is this punishment?

I got in the car, tried to catch my breath, and began driving. I couldn't breath right, and I got lost for about 5 minutes. I was crying and I just couldn't think at all. I am guessing this is a full blown panic attack at this point.

Never have I been faced with such aweful reminders especially all together at the same time. I guess that this is just life. We have to feel the pain as well as the pleasure. Our blessings and our losses create who we are, and they make us truly believe in right or wrong. I am definitely going to cling to the good feelings, because lets just face it, they are easier and more fun. It is just interesting to have such dramatic events in one day that are so opposite, I felt I should share them, as well as the scripture that came to mind.

With Love,
Beth

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Church

I did end up going to church. Strangely after I wrote the previous post I went to sleep, and I woke up feeling better. I am still sad, but I feel better.

I believe that we need to be in church. I believe that we learn lessons there that are tailored specifically for us, and I would love to impose upon you exactly what I mean.

Re-read the post I did yesterday. It is filled with angst, depression, sadness, frustration, anger, all negative emotions...I am not saying I am cured...I am simply saying that there was a lesson for me in church. This lesson makes me rethink how I feel.

The 1st person that spoke today had a personal story she wanted to share. She said that she used to be filled with depression several years ago. She said she would cry, and that her friends and family worried about her. She was a single mother, and medication as well as therapy did not help, she was still depressed. One day an image of her Heavenly Father came into her mind. She said that he saw that she was depressed and that this made him sad to see her suffering. She said that she felt bad that God would watch over her and see her suffering much like he saw his son Jesus Christ suffering. She decided that she did not want him to feel that way, so she would make a change in her life, because ultimately she wanted to be happy and she knows that that is what her Heavenly Father wants for her too.

It is not surprising to me that someone would share such a story that has amazing similarity to my life. I find more and more that when I go to church, there is a reason, I am there to learn and be inspired. I am almost always inspired, and so I yearn to be there even when I cannot go. I am grateful for this story, because it changes my viewpoint just a little.

It is OK for me to suffer, and it is okay for me to be sad. The trials we are put here on this earth to endure are meant to teach us a better way as much as they are meant to prove that we can choose right above wrong, and ultimately live in Heaven once more. Obviously I have lost a lot and it takes time to heal the pain and make me somewhat whole again. Although I do not believe that I will ever be fully whole again, I do believe I can feel better...I can feel happier. Like the speaker in church I don't want my Heavenly Father looking down at me suffering which could cause him to suffer as well. I know he loves me...I know he is rooting for me to be happy again. That is my goal.

I feel as though I have wasted so many prayers that were sent out for me. I hope that you all know that I am trying...I don't mean to waste them...but I do rely on their strength. I truly hope that I can make the most out of this situation, and I can become a better person. It is just difficult when the sadness outweighs the happiness. I am sure we have all been here at some point.

I am looking toward more positive days, and I am hoping that you will continue to send prayers my way and my family's way. I am sorry that these posts have gotten so personal...I think they are important and crucial to understanding this sort of loss.

Thanks again for listening.
Beth

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Deep Thoughts & Brutal Truths

I am not sure where to start, but I can tell you all this will be a long post that probably most people won't read, even though it is the one you should probably pay the most attention to if you care. So here it goes.

I am approaching my 3rd week of sadness, and I have honestly had 1 good day in that week. Until now things were looking up, but I truly feel that I am looking down a road right now, and I cannot see the end. Maybe if I just would cry about it, I could move forward...maybe I just need to do that, cry. I just really want someone to cry with...someone that I know cares deeply about what I am going through, and wants me to be happy but understands my struggle.

I understand that my friends and family want to move on, well they have moved on. Unfortunately it is not so easy for me. I just can't simply forget my struggles. They are here, not when I choose them to be, but when they want to be. I remember at the most inconvenient times, and I struggle when I don't have the time to struggle.

My thoughts lately:
I think that maybe I am so sad lately because Riesse is going through things that I never saw Amberlee go through. I am so blessed to have Riesse, but I am truly sad that I don't have Amberlee too. I did mention my current state on a website for mothers that miss their children that passed away, and many people told me the 2nd year would be one of the hardest. Ayayay, I was not prepared for this. Can you stand by my side for this year and know it is harder for me? Does anybody have the energy to give me more than they have, or are you all spent?

I am pushing my husband away, as he is pushing me away. On the surface it looks ok, but the depth is not there. I don't want to hurt him anymore than he already hurts, but he is the only one that understands as well. Do you know how much that sucks! He wants me to talk to him...so I will test the waters and try, but I am afraid to talk to him.

I am trying really hard to figure out what God wants from me with all of this. What kind of a servant am I suppossed to be for him? How do I figure out exactly where he wants me and what he wants me to do with the person I am becoming?

This might sound strange but I just want to go the cemetary with a box of tissues and all my girlfriends (yes all of them) and I want to just break down and cry like I should have a long time ago, with all of them. I want to see them cry too, so I truly know that they are saddened too and they miss Amberlee too.

I am afraid that I will cry all throughout church tomorrow. I hate crying in front of people, but I am struggling so much right now that I feel there will be nothing but sobs the whole time. Does that mean I should still go? (I think I know the answer, but I have that whole problem with making others uncomfortable).

I saw a friends baby's grave the other day, and he has a headstone....We did not buy one for Amberlee. I am wondering if we should have...his was so beautiful. At the time I didn't see the importance, but I am second guessing my decision. I like her locket and her addition to her grandparents headstone, but maybe she needs a headstone just for her??? hmmm

And finally...does this blog even help. Is there a point to it, and am I succeeding in sharing a message that I hope will bless people in the long run...with understanding, empathy, knowledge of what to do with loss.

This is the most jumbled post ever I am sure...but I didn't want to make a book out of my thoughts as much as I just wanted to share them. I imagine a day in the future where my pain might be a distant memory, but my love still remains. Please pray for that day for me and my family. I know it will bless our lives at some point, but we have to put the pieces together before we can make it that far.

Love,
Beth

Friday, August 29, 2008

Thank you General Motors...now can you make the sensor too?


I know that Jan Null, the professor that works with Hyperthermia deaths, has talked to General Motors...On their website they posted this article along with a couple of video's that would teach people the dangers of leaving a child in a car. However, only 1-5 of the 36 deaths a year (last year 41) are done intentionally. Teaching parents is not the only solution. We need to request sensors for cars from dealerships and manufacturers, basically everyone that sells them. This would not be occuring had they not developed the air bag, so why is it so difficult to create a sensor as well. I realize MONEY is the root of the problem, but how much do they spend a year in redevelopment of the airbag. Fortunately the airbag saves lives, but in the case of children alone in a backseat it can also take lives. I would buy a car with a sensor, or even pay to have one put in my car....how about you?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I found this just now...

When looking up Hyperthermia I noticed that Consumer Reports is attempting to spur legislation to make it safer for our children in the back seat.
http://blogs.consumerreports.org/safety/2008/08/hyperthermia-de.html
http://planetfeedback.typepad.com/mommage/2008/08/car-safety-advo.html
If we could simply get sensors that prevent your car from locking if the seatbelt is engaged it would save lives. This never happened before the invention of the airbag...becuase now we put our children in the backseat instead, but interestingly there were no deaths due to airbags last year at all. There has to be some sort of solution...lets try to invoke debate and interest to install these sensors...I know we never think it will happen to us, but the truth is...it Can and it does happen to those who are the best of parents.

Sad News...Updated

I don't check the sight everyday, but I looked it up today and I have bad news. Apparently 33 children have now died as a result of Hyperthermia from being left in a vehicle. Unfortunately this is much higher than last year at this time (26), and I fear the statistics will prove to be worse by the end of the year considering September is one of the deadliest months.

The latest include a set of 3 year old twins that were stuck in a car when they got into it apparently playing. Also a sister (5) and her brother (2) who were found in the car after apparently playing in it. http://ggweather.com/heat/31_2008.htm Always Lock Your Car, even in your own driveway!
In addition, a Pastor and his wife lost their daughter when the father accidentally forgot to take the daughter out of the car. http://ggweather.com/heat/27_2008.htm Always Check Every Car that you Pass!

These people need our prayers...I know how they are suffering and I know how much the media judges these people and makes them feel worthless. Please, please, please, keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Great News!!!

So I looked into it...and we got a scholarship for at least part of the funds for the conference. I am very grateful. Also, they will let Camille go...she will be 7 weeks under the age limit, but she is very mature (as you all know) and intelligent for her age. The powers that be would rather her get the help she may need, and the skills she can use to deal with her feelings, so they are allowing her to go. I am so excited...it might seem strange to you all, but there will be many there that will be able to help me with feelings that not everyone can understand...feelings that maybe I hide from you just a little because I am afraid for you to know how bad it gets every now and then.

We will still be holding the car wash for the remainder of the funds. The girls are excited to be a part of it. Of course we will show pictures after he conference and let you know just how much it helped, but as of now it looks very promising that we will be able to attend.

Thank you!
Beth

PS if you know of anyone that might benefit from this conference...any doctors, nurses, or other families that have lost a child, please refer them to the site. I am reading about previous conferences and everyone that has gone says it is a life changing event, that helped them tremendously.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A Good Friend...made a BIG mistake...

OK...so I know I am dwelling...but I can't let it go so I hope you can all learn from this.

I had a friend tell me (several months ago), that I needed to move on. I realize that in some ways this statement is true. I love this friend of mine a lot, and she has never given me bad advice, but I feel that this was the wrong thing to say. I hope that nobody else ever tells me this...I hope that everyone can learn from this. I am trying everyday, making an effort to move forward, but moving on maybe is impossible. I will always have a hole in my heart. I have bad days, most of the time it is just days. AS you might have noticed I spent a lot of time on my Blogs lately. When I am struggling I stay on the computer as a means to avoid the feelings I have in life. Blogging=Life Frustration. This past 8 days or so has been bad. I haven't cried and maybe that is what needs to happen here. I need someone to cry with though, and I haven't picked anyone yet. I need someone I can scream at, that will undesrtand and say all the right things all the while knowing I am not screaming at them.

I am realizing more and more I cannot force myself to change the emotion that I have. I have to go with it. The more I do this, the more I can get where I need to be. I am sorry but my dear friend, I will not MOVE ON. I cannot ignore the pain that exists in my soul. I hope that you can undertand that and love me and listen to me regardless, as I will continue to love you even though you are wrong.

Beth

PS I will start a list of names on this blog for everyone that tells me to Move On so that the world may scourn you, you have been forewarned (just kidding of course)

PPS If you would like to apply for the position of shoulder to cry on...leave you comment as an application here.

I hope I am showing I do have a sense of humor still, at least at the end.
Bereaved Parents Wish List

1. I wish my child hadn't died. I wish I had him back.

2. I wish you wouldn't be afraid to speak my child's name. My child lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that he was important to you also.

3. If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child I wish you knew that it isn't because you have hurt me. My child's death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child, and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.

4. I wish you wouldn't "forget" my child again by removing his pictures, artwork, or other remembrances from your home.

5. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me. I need you now more than ever.

6. I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you; but, I also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child, my favorite topic of the day.

7. I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my child's death pains you, too. I wish you would let me know those things through a phone call, a card or note, or a real big hug.

8. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die.

9. I am working very hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child, and I will always grieve that he is dead.

10. I wish you wouldn't expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy." Neither will happen for a very long time, so don't frustrate yourself.

11. I don't want to have a "pity party," but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.

12. I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I'm feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.

13. When I say "I'm doing okay," I wish you could understand that I don't "feel" okay and that I struggle daily.

14. I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I'm having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I'm quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

15. Your advice to "take one day at a time" is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I'm doing good to handle an hour at a time.

16. Please excuse me if I seem rude, certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off. When I walk away, I wish you would let me find a quiet place to spend time alone.

17. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my child died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before my child died, and I will never be that person again.

18. I wish very much that you could understand; understand my loss and my grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. BUT I pray daily that you will never understand.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Bereavement Conference...Just What I Need

I was researching a bit on some websites that I love that deal with infant loss. I ran into a conference schedule for a conference for bereaved parents.

http://www.missfoundation.org/conference/index.php

I was shocked to realize that the conference is sponsored by ASU and in Phoenix! I am so excited. There are only a couple of problems...the 2 youngest children can't go (solved: thanks Kelli & Wendi), and it is pricey (about $400) for 3 girls, Kyle & Myself. So, I will be holding a Car Wash in front of my house sometime in the next month. Feel free to stop by and get a scrub, heck I will even do bicycles. I am going to this conference no matter what, I have not yet gotten any professional help nor have the girls, and I feel this is exactly what we need. Have I mentioned I am excited to go yet, if not let me say it again...oh wait I just did.

I found this video that discusses the foundation if you are interested click the picture to play the video...You can pause the blog music at the bottom of the page in order to hear the video.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Consider the Lillies

This song was sung at Amberlee's funeral, and it is simply beautiful. A few weeks afterward, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performed it as well. This is significant because the 2 family members that sang it at the funeral, also performed it with the choir. I thought I would include a video of this performance, and the inspiring song because I just found it on YouTube a couple of days ago. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fever...

So...sometimes random things affect me...and today was no exception. Riesse got 4 shots yesterday, and she is running a fever, a rather high fever. I was up most of the night with her, and I have no problem being with her and taking care of her. I love giving extra attention to a sick child, I want them to feel especially loved when they are ill. However, as I was driving today it hit me. I just started crying, and I realized that I am pushing her away whenever her fever gets high. I just can't be near her until the Tylenol takes down the fever, and this is unlike me. Hmmm...

As I was driving it all clicked...My children are usually not sick and they have not had high fevers for quite sometime. This may even be the first time that one of them has had a high fever, since Amberlee's death. The last time I held a child that felt hot, was when I held Amberlee for the paramedics. Whenever I have a stimulus like this, that makes me remember, it makes me remember everything. Sometimes I remember little details that I try hard not to remember. Unfortunatly, this time made me remember a lot. I am going to try not to push Riesse away now that I realize why, but I cannot believe how aversive I am to her because of her fever. I really hate some of these emotions, and I realize they are all part of healing, I just want it to be normal again. I know it never will, but that doesn't stop me from wanting it.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

...And yet another Stage...




So today I went to pick up the remainder of Amberlee's things from the Police Station.


As I was standing in the evidence pick-up area, I struggled. I was shaking, and rather dizzy...and I kept looking through the window while the people working seemed to wait for an unnecessary amount of time to bring the (evidence) stuff out to me.


Suddenly Amberlee's things were there. I am glad it was all in bags, because I probably would have collapsed if I had actually seen the items right away. I signed the paper, loaded up the car, and headed out still extremely dizzy, hoping breathing deeper would help me to drive more carefully. It helped that Riesse all of a sudden wanted to talk in cute little infant speak, and she lightened the mood a bit.


When I got home I slowly pulled each item out one by one. I didn't notice that the 2 most difficult pieces would be last, but I was happy that it turned out that way. Then they were out of the bag, quite literally. First was her outfit. I forgot what it looked like. It is quite adorable, pink with little white polka dots and a tiny bit of lace on the sleeves, it is comforting to have it back. Second was her carseat. I loved the carseat, with 6 children we have been through a lot, and this was always my favorite. It doesn't seem to make the babies sweat the way others do, and the handle is more comfortable. It is nice to have it back too. Her outfit and her carseat. Of course they smelled bad after a year in storage, so I cleaned them. What gets me though is that they seem to comfort me, yet they scare me at the same time.


I feel like I am doing okay, but I feel the anxiety creeping up on me. Shortly after I finished cleaning the first load in the washer, I looked around for Camille and thought I might have fogotten her, but I did not, I know it was just the anxiety of what I was doing. Remembering the events of the day Amberlee got hurt. Camille was safely on the toilet, haha.


I really want to move on. I want these stages to be over, everytime I turn my back I feel like I am in yet another stage that brings a flood of emotions that are impossible to control. I really miss her.


My Mother In Law was with me today, and she said that it does not get easier with time. I feel it is important to share with you what I think about this.


She is right, it does not get easier with time. However, the bad moments, sadness, grief, pain, the flooding of emotions that drag me down and threaten to overcome me...those happen less and less. They don't get easier, just fewer and farther between, and that is what makes life bearable.


The song on my blog, "Held" by Natalie Grant has a line it in that includes the phrase, "We're asking, why this happened, to those of us who have Died to Live." I think this phrase has so much meaning. This phrase sums up how we feel nearly perfectly, and Kyle agrees with me on this. We feel like we died to live, and continue to live. I want the dying to stop, the numb parts of me to rejuvenate. I want to mourn my loss, and know that one day I will be with her again, but I want it to allow me to be myself again. That is what I am praying for at least.


If you haven't listened to the song please do, and please know that it expresses how we feel, maybe even in a way that is incomprehensible to people who have not experienced the same loss as we have. It shares our anger, as well as our hope, and it gives us the faith we need in God's Plan.


I love you all.Beth


PS To listen to the song, go to the very bottom of the blog, and find the song. Double click or maybe single click on it and it will start. If you have trouble e-mail me and I will help you, if you are as desperate to hear it as I am to have you hear it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


All right...I am now asking your opinion because I opened an envelope today and started bawling. This doesn't happen very often...but today it most certainly hit me like a ton of bricks.

Phoenix Children's Hospital is having a "We Remember Them" Memorial Service for all of the children that passed away at the hospital during 2007. They want us to send in a picture, and do a scrapbook page for Amberlee...as well as attend. The ceremony is supposed to promote peace and comfort.

So I am not sure...my thoughts are scattered here. I am afraid that seeing all those parents that lost children might be overwhelming...and most of them will be crying...I just don't know if this is the best thing. Maybe it will help to know that we are not alone. The hospital has done many things to ease our loss, and I am sure that this will be nothing short of amazing...I am afraid to go though. It might be healing...it might be an experience I shouldn't go without. What do you think?

Please comment and let me know what you think, and if you are courageous enough, why you think it.

Thanks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Difficult to Swallow

So...interestingly...today Riesse is the same age as Amberlee was when she was injured...therefore Tomorrow...Riesse will become older than Amberlee had the chance to become. This morning...I gave Riesse a bath...and she kicked and splashed me significantly...Amberlee did this same thing to Kyle the morning of her last healthy day...I think this is the last challenge...but it is more difficult for me to swallow than even the anniversary of when Amberlee died. I feel like I am re-living the timing...with a different baby. I don't know how to explain it. Just Pray...Please, and if you can...call or hang out. I am trying to be busy to make sure I don't dwell...I keep saying...please help me through this one more thing...and there seems to be more...I am truly hoping this is it.

I love you all... Beth

Saturday, July 5, 2008

4th of July, My Favorite...


Yesterday was fun...I even got into a pool with my kids. Independance Day has always been my favorite holiday (and it actually feels like my favorite again)...Riesse absolutely loves the fireworks!!! She really is my baby...because there is nothing better for me than good fireworks. As I was holding her and watching her eyes grow big with every burst of color I became a little teary eyed. I missed 4th of July Fireworks with Amberlee by a little less than a week. Watching the Fireworks with my Family last night was an answer to a prayer. We are actually grasping life again...and enjoying each other and the holidays again. This is the way I choose to move forward...starting with my favorite holiday, counting my blessings one by one. I am excited to Dive in.

Monday, June 30, 2008

June 29th, 2008...One Year Later






Yesterday was simply perfect!


I spent part of Saturday making ribbons for friends and people at church to wear to remember Amberlee. The ribbons were purple, as was everything from this day. I believe I have mentioned this before...but purple is the color that is used as a symbol for the protection of children in and around vehicles. It was also Amberlee's best color!


Well it was a miracle =), but we made it to Church early. I passed out ribbons to everyone that I could. I was really worried about being at Church, because it starts at 9:00 am and Sacrament runs to 10:15am. Amberlee passed away @ 9:41 am, so I was concerned I would break down in the middle of Sacrament. My worries never came to fruition. I am extremely grateful for everybody's willingness to wear these ribbons. I looked around church, and almost everybody was wearing one, and it was such a comfort...because I realized everyone supports us still even one year later. Their faith gave me strength through Sacrament...and 9:41 am peacefully came and went, and I was ok. I got to spend 3 hours looking at these beautiful yet simple ribbons, and remembering her spirit and life...with Joy, instead of pain. Thank you!


At about 6pm, after a nice nap, our friends/family began to show up at our house. They even showed up on time. We talked a bit, and some gave us letters for Amberlee. We then watched 2 videos that friends created for her memory. Afterward...and almost at sunset we drove to the cemetary. We were a little concerned because the wind was blowing so hard, and we planned on using candles.


side note: the Native American's believe that when the wind is blowing, spirits are around you, on Amberlee's Birthday, the day Kyle went to the Grand Jury, and on this day...the wind blew and blew and blew.


When we got to the cemetary we stood in a circle around her grave. Many friends shared thoughts about the last year, and about her loss. Kyle and I made some remarks as well. Then we lit candles in her memory and sang a few songs, "I am a child of God", "We love to see the Temple", and "Families can be together Forever". After singing we got ready to say a prayer just as the sun set in the west with an amazing spray of orange, purple, and pink blended into a majestic sky. The moment was simply perfect.


Right before the prayer though...and all of a sudden...the sprinklers turned on and began to spray us all...this was very comical...and let me tell you it just added to this perfect day. The kids played in the water...as the adults talked, and when it got so dark we could barely see we drove home. Some friends visited, but overall, the day really seemed low key, and simple. The peace that surrounds me even now is a comfort I am learning to appreciate and hopeing for everyday.


I will include some more pictures...but these are some of my favorites. I hope you enjoy them as well.