When you are hit with the shock of child loss, it can feel like you are floating in space without a tether.
I remember asking God over and over again: “Why did this happen? What am I supposed to do with this?”
I was wheeled out of the hospital empty-handed and had to leave my twins there. It was the biggest nightmare I could have ever imagined. I wanted a reason. I wanted to know, what was I supposed to do now? What was my purpose?
For weeks, I wandered around with no direction. Let’s be honest it was actually months. It took every bit of energy I had to brush my teeth, make a cup of coffee, or even shower. Small victories were the large ones. We came home to cards and flowers and a packet on grieving. We also came home with a folder for the funeral home that we would have to visit to make arrangements for our sons. I walked around in a cloud of sadness, anger, and resentment. I felt every emotion possible, but most of all, I felt hopeless.
Time went by. We brought our boys ashes home. Life was supposed to return to normal, but it didn’t. It has been three years, but life has never returned to “normal”.
This is what our “normal” looks like:
My husband and I argue more than ever before, but we are also closer.
We have been through the worst and are still together, yet our marriage is tested on a daily basis. We are still trying for our “rainbow” baby and we are still missing the babies we had to hand back. They should be turning 3 this week, but instead, we will spend their birthday at home with their ashes, telling them how much we love and miss them and hoping they can hear us.
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We still feel robbed.
I am still angry. I am still sad. I still have bouts of grief, tears that show up when I least expect them and some days brushing my teeth can feel like a huge commitment. I still tear up in Target passing the baby aisles. I still cringe when I see a mother screaming at her child. I avoid people pushing strollers and conversations involving children. We try to get through each day the best we can.
But we also have this:
A renewed sense of love in our marriage.
Even though our relationship has been tested and we have been through hell, we refuse to let it rip us apart.
A different perspective.
When tragedies occur, sometimes your perspective changes. I soak in each and every happy moment with my family and friends. I know the little things are the big things. Smiles on my nephews face as I push him on the swings, snuggle with my golden retriever, shopping with my mom…These little things are the big things in life and I know to never take a moment for granted.
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I see this strength that I have that I never noticed. I am more confident in my beliefs, my career, my life in general. I have been through the worst and feel like I am strong enough to handle anything.
When I think back to those first few weeks when I asked God “What am I supposed to do?”, I was really asking for clarity. I never got a direct answer from God, as often happens. Instead, I heard a reply in my own head that went something like this: “Help the others. Help the others that have this mountain to climb. Help them make it through and hold them up as they get beaten down by this horrible situation.” I like to think that message was indeed, from God.
And so, here I am. Doing my best to help the others. Doing my best to help you.
You are not alone.
Happy Third Birthday in Heaven, William and Harrison
August 1, 2015
Photo by: Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash
I am the Mama of identical twin boys William & Harrison, who reside in heaven with their great-grandparents. I live in Virginia with my husband Nicholas, and Golden Retriever puppy, Barley. You can follow me on my blog.