Friday, October 31, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 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
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?".
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
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
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.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
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
I ran across an article that said this awhile ago...someone asked me to post it here so I am now posting it.
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
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.
Friday, October 3, 2008
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!