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

Friday, June 29, 2012

101 Lessons Learned: 5th Anniversary since Amberlee's Death

1.       1.  The world goes on and wants you to forget.
2.       2,  You won’t forget and at moments you won’t move on.
3.       3.  I’ve learned what a TRUE friend is.
4.       4.  People don’t want me to speak about my dead daughter.
5.       5.  Amberlee is forever my daughter.
6.       6.  One’s minimal uncomfortability with hearing about my dead daughter is about 1,000,000,000th less painful    than me living with it- so I don’t mind sharing her.
7.      7.   The best people I know, know true compassion and show it with their hearts, empathy.
8.       8.  The very best people I know have also lost a child and see the world differently.  We call them MISSisters.
9.       9.  No matter how your child dies you feel guilt.
10.   10.  I believe in angels.
11.   11.  I’ve felt my daughter’s spirit, it’s sacred, and I don’t always share those memories.
12.   12.  People who lose a child often see a symbol associated with their child that frequents them and comforts them.
13.   13.  Our symbol is a rainbow.  The first year after Amberlee’s death we saw rainbows every time our family was together.
14.  14.   Losing a baby changes your life, just like the commercials say, having a baby changes your life.
15.   15.  I no longer fear death.
16.   16.  I no longer care what other people think, at least not all of the time, I am human after all.
17.   17.  There is an actual physical response to death that makes eating physically impossible.
18.   18.  No matter how much you cry- you won’t run out of tears.
19.   19.  I have a love/hate relationship with Cemeteries.
20.   20.  I don’t know what I want you to do.  I just want you to do it, and take away some of the pain.
21.   21.  Children’s Hospitals are filled with angels.  http://www.phoenixchildrens.com/
22.   22.  Rainbow Baby: a child born to a parent that has lost a child.
23.   23.  Rainbow babies have amazing spirits and hearts.
24.   24.  Children move forward from death faster than adults.
25.   25.  Music is the best healer of all.
26.   26.  Memories fade but I can still smell and feel Amberlee.
27.   27.  Contrary to my desires (after she died) the sun will rise again.
28.   28.  ***Losing a child is not a marriage death sentence.
29.   29.  Blessings happen after losing a child.  Those blessing more than make up for the pain one feels.
30.   30.  Video graphic recall of my child’s death plays back in perfect detail in my mind- this forces me to re-live those events.
31.  31.   I don’t want to recall those events; I try to stop them immediately.
33.  33.   Having another child does not and cannot replace my lost child.  NOR was that our intention.
34.   34.  I am not immune to losing another child and that fear is worsened now.
35.   35.  Flowers are beautiful.
36.   36.  Nature is an amazing gift.
37.   37.  Funeral directors, funeral florist, etc. have incredible knowledge and heart to do what they do.
38.   38.  Cemetery sales people are liken to the DEVIL especially if they work for “Dignity”. http://www.dignitymemorial.com/dm20/en_US/main/dm/index.page
39.  39.  ***Always CHECK EVERY CAR!!!!
40.   40.   MISS foundation is the most important tool to helping families live through grief.  DONATE TO THEM, please; and save a family’s life.  http://www.missfoundation.org/
41.   41.   You can bury your child with a teddy bear.
42.   42.  Many, Many, Many, people lose children to death.  Sincerely comfort them and help them through.  Comfort with your heart not your head.
43.   43.  I have heard/felt/ and even SEEN Jesus.
44.   44.  Family is more important than the rest of life.
45.   45.  The Mormon Temple’s are filled with angels.
46.   46.  Blogging heals a soul, and so does journaling, they are the same.
47.   47.  It’s not comforting when someone says, at least you have other children, and you need to care for them.  SERIOUSLY!?!?!?
48.   48.  Volunteering brings more joy especially when sacrifice is involved.
49.   49.  There are volunteer photographers all over the country that will create a special moment to remember your child if he/she is dying or dead.  They use both pictures and video.  You can also Donate to them.  http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/
50.  50.   You won’t initially want those pictures, but later they will be an irreplaceable treasure.
51.   51.  Nobody can comfort a bereaved parent more than another bereaved parent.
52.   52.  There is no word for a parent that loses a child.
53.   53.  One day you will want the sun to shine again.
54.   54.  For the first year a mother remembers the dates (birth & death) monthly, after that EVERY YEAR.
55.   55.  All of those “things” you had for your baby don’t magically disappear when he/she dies.
56.   56.  You get six weeks off work for the birth of your child but only 10 days for the death of your child.  Please vote to change this.  http://www.fmlainsights.com/legislation/fmla-bereavement-act-would-provide-leave-upon-death-of-a-child/
57.  57.   The grief returns fiercely and forces tears at the slightest trigger.
58.  58.  A rainbow baby heals some of the open wounds.
59.  59.  SMILE: especially in pictures.  They are your memories.
60.  60.   LOVE: with all you have.
61.  61.  CARE: for everyone.
62.  62.  CRY: if you feel it when it comes, you will be much better off later.
63.  63.If your friend is in bed crying and you climb in and cry with her, that does not make you a lesbian, it is a deep expression of love that she will remember forever.
64.  64.   Rainbows are miracles.
65.  65.  You have to appreciate your family, you never know when/what can happen to them.
66.  66.  The things the world tells you are important, simply are NOT.
67.  67.   Money doesn’t solve everything, or anything really, all it does is pay bills.
68.  68.  ***NEVER JUDGE:  you don’t know their story.
69.  69.   News is filled with lies & deceit.  Don’t base your decisions on media/news.
70.  70.  Patience and persuasion are more effective than yelling and screaming.
71.  71.   Be aware of what your family is doing.  Stay close to keep them safe.
72.  72.  You have two sets of friends; those that understand, and those that do not.  And that is o.k..
73.  73.  Fathers feel just as much pain as mothers after losing a child.
74.  74.  Grandparents and family hurt too.
75.  75.  Friends can also suffer from your child’s loss.
76.  76.  School teachers are angels; they love your children and are a resource to help when your child dies.
77.  77.  Parents still celebrate birthdays when their child dies.
78.  78.  Parents also observe an angelversary, or the anniversary of the day their child died.
79.  79.  ***NEVER leave a child alone in a car, FOR ANY REASON, EVER.
80.  80.  Grief causes extreme fatigue.  You can actually sleep for days or even weeks.
81.  81.  Mother’s Day & Father’s Day are especially challenging when your child has died.
82.   82.  Milestones are remembered and are difficult moments to pass, when your child would have been: walking, crawling, starting school, graduating, or getting married.
83.   83.  There is joy in everything, even loss, find the blessings that come after death.
84.   84.  There is a Conference every 2 years for people that lose children and for their caregivers (i.e.: nurses, doctors, therapist, or professionals).  I highly recommend it.  http://missfoundation.org/conference/
85.   85.   What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…stand a little taller (OK stop singing now)
86.   86.  Immediately after your child is dead, and before the funeral, you can still hold her and love her.  Actually doing this helps in the grief process.
87.   87.   Dressing the body of a person that has passed is filled with love and compassion that are immeasurable.
88.   88.  You learn to appreciate noise, once there is silence.
89.    89.    A death certificate takes months to receive and once received brings on a whole new set of emotions.
90.    90.   A person that loses a child must find an outlet to release their grief i.e.: art, music, exercise.  That outlet helps with the process.
91.    91.    Talking about a deceased child also helps with grief.
92.    92.  Therapy is a good thing.
93.    93.   It doesn’t matter what you do together with your family after losing your child, what matters if being together.
94.    94.  There are angel statues scattered all over the world that were created by Richard Paul Evans.  They were created to honor deceased children and their families.  http://www.richardpaulevans.com/angel-statues
95.    95.    A picture really does tell a story.  It’s literally worth a thousand words.
96.    96.   ***TAKE MORE PICTURES!!!
97.    97.    A special stuffed animal can help a child that is grieving over having lost a sibling.
98.    98.    Children play with angels and refer to them as their best friends.
99.    99.   The first week after someone loses a child, everyone is there and involved.  BE THERE for them to support them after the first week and for the years to come.
100 100.   Families are forever!
101 101.   Life is a gift.


Amy Quinn said...

I love it Beth <3 and love you! XO

Corissa Peck said...

Beth! Thank you for sharing this. We in this house love you and your family soooo much. I hope today you all can feel how greatful we are to be your friends.

Mary Loftus Campbell said...

This was beautiful and oh so true Beth. I love that you share so much about Amberlee and the process of grief you all are going through. It helps Amberlee continue to live on in your memories and love and it helps others to understand what you and your family are going through. Beautifully written by a beautiful woman.

With much love,

Mary Campbell