Guest Post by Melissa Neu
I don’t know that I’ve ever been so exhausted. Sit and cry exhausted. Stomach hurting exhausted.
“I’m tired, I’m worn, my heart is heavy. From the work it takes, to keep on breathing…”
I’ve been seeing a counselor. I had put off making the appt I knew I needed because I didn’t want to relive the whole story. It’s too painful to talk about. But I told her. And I didn’t breathe the entire time. She told me to breathe. To just keep breathing.
“I’ve made mistakes, I’ve let me hope fail. My soul feels crushed, by the weight of this world…”
I got out of my emotionally charged session with a therapist who understood. I didn’t know this when I made the appointment with her, I didn’t know until mid session, she did understand. She is a mother who has lost 2 children. She was the first person I’d talked to who might possibly know the emptiness losing my twin boys left.
“I know I need, to lift my eyes up, but I’m too weak, life just won’t let up.”
Days later I was sitting, lost, unable to really process much, when I got the text from Jason that he had picked up the ashes of our babies.
“Let me see redemption win, let me know the struggle ends, that you can mend a heart that’s frail and torn.”
We left the hospital Christmas Day with 2 memory boxes. With our son’s footprints and handprints on ceramic. A keepsake. We have these 2 very tiny, knitted hats that they put on our babies. There are 2 handmade blankets that our boys laid on. There are pictures of both of them. This is what we were left with. We had to fill out birth certificates. In order to fill out their death certificates.
“I want to know a song can rise, from the ashes of a broken life. And all that’s dead inside can be reborn, cause I”m worn.”
Jason and I went to dinner. I was feeling good that I was dressed and getting out of the house. He told me to look in the rearview window at all the pollen. I turned around in my seat to look and it hit me out of nowhere that I would never see our boys in their carseats in the back of my car. I would never be driving down the street with 2 baby boys giggling or crying because they were going somewhere with me, their mom. It crushed me.
The next day I went to the store by myself, I drove for the first time. I was alone for the first time in public. It was terrifying. I was scared to death that someone was going to ask if I was pregnant. Or that I would run into someone who didn’t know I had delivered the babies and would ask me how I was doing. I was terrified but I was there. Doing good because I was moving on. I’m out. I’m in the store. Until I got in the car and wondered why my face was cold. I reached up and my face was soaking wet. I didn’t even feel the tears rolling down my face that had soaked my shirt. I’m still not sure how long they were falling.
Now it’s been almost 4 months since I lost my boys, 11 days apart. Seems like a lifetime ago.
My emotions are still in overdrive. My heart is still heavy. For me, for Jason, for our parents, our family. I forget to breathe sometimes and don’t realize until I let out the breathe I’ve been holding.
But I know that I will be ok. I’m grieving. And I’m not just grieving what we went through. I’m grieving what we will never have with Tucker and with Fletcher. We lost our babies but we also lost our 2 year olds. Our 10 year olds. Our teenagers…
I have hope. And I have faith. Both have wavered and both have angered me. But they are still there. I’m still angry and I’m still questioning God. But even when I tell myself I’m too angry to pray, I catch myself praying. When I’m too bitter to believe, I catch myself believing. And when I feel like I have lost my will to fight, I catch myself fighting.
Beauty will rise from my boys ashes. I know that if for no other reason, I will continue to push forward so they can know their mom wasn’t a quitter. She loved completely, she hurt deeply but she never gave up. My boys are the best thing I’ve ever done! They are the best of me.
I played the Tenth Avenue North song, “Worn,” on repeat over and over. I needed that reminder that though I’m empty now, I will one day know that my ashes of hurt and heartache helped ease the pain of someone else. Because I too now understand. But beauty will come. From my Tucker Harris and Fletcher Thomas. My boys were beautiful. They were perfect. And I couldn’t be more proud.