Those of you who follow my blog and Facebook page may have noticed I haven’t written a blog post in a while. A few reasons why I haven’t…a baby. Sweet Graysie. Just when I think I can sit down and just write, baby cries, baby gets hungry even though she just ate 30 minutes prior, baby pooped, baby wants held. You get the point. I actually sat down two weeks ago and wrote a post I had almost finished, and Graysie woke up to eat and I thought my post saved as a draft, but unfortunately it didn’t. I was so disappointed. I spent an hour writing it, tears shed, just when I felt like I could let that subject get off my mind, I was wrong. That post will be for another day now. Another reason, I feel like I have so much I want to share and write about, but then I sit to write and I get writer’s block. I may hear something on TV, see a quote, hear a song, etc and it makes me think of something I want to write about, but then I’m like where do I start?
I posted on Facebook for my followers to help me out. I am one of those people who have thought when someone I know passes away, how will their family live, how are they going to live their life without their loved one, how do they move on? Here I am asking for help because I am now on that side. That side of loss and trying to figure out how to live again. I have been wanting to write about a variety of things in my life and I knew others had to wonder how people like myself continue to live.
Like I have said now numerous times in other posts, this journey through loss and our new life with Graysie I have tried to be open and honest. I feel like in a situation where one is grieving the worst thing we can do to ourselves is lie and try to hold things in, and hang on to every ounce of hope we can thinking we will bring our loved ones back, but we know deep down we can’t. For me though, deep inside I still feel like this is all a sick dream I’ll wake up from, my reality is Grayson isn’t here. I still get up most days and think to myself ‘okay is this real life’? Grayson’s still not here. The past few months have been emotionally difficult for me. I have cried so much, I won’t lie and say that I have been the nicest person. I have noticed myself getting easily flustered with my husband for no reason, I cry when I look at my daughter, sometimes it’s tears of happiness and joy and others tears of sadness. I’m starting to see features and expressions in Graysie that remind me of her big brother.
I have gathered a handful of questions from people I plan to answer over the next few weeks. This blog was created when Grayson was a baby for me to remember and share things for family and friends. I created it mainly for ME and for my kids to look back on when they are older so they can see things they did as kids. Never did I think I would ever be writing blog posts on losing one of my children. I will be adding in lots of posts on Graysie as well. I don’t want this to be just a place of sadness, because Graysie deserves just as much love and happiness too.
Over the next few weeks I will be answering these questions:
(Below these questions you will see this weeks question answered.)
- Did having your daughter take away any of the pain from losing your son? Or has she made it seem more manageable at all?
- How do you live? How do you love again? Was it hard to feel for another child? Did it change how you feel about another child- good or bad?
- If you could give parents who have not encountered a loss advice, what would it be?
- What is the best way to respond when someone you don’t really know begins speaking of the child they lost.
- A father’s perspective on how to deal, and how to have a marriage to endure a huge stress and loss. How do you and your partner live and not move on from loss, but how do you have a marriage again? Is that even possible?
- How much harder is it not knowing how he got sick?
- How do those of us grieving for you, continue to help you through the months and eventual years, what’s the best way to support you and yours in the long run?
- How did you and your husband make it through together?
- What helps you THE MOST? How do WE continue to help you heal? What’s the worst thing we could say to a parent in your situation?
- What advice or just facts would you give someone for the anticipation of losing a child?
- How do you plan to include Grayson in Graysie’s life while she grows? Does loosing Grayson make you overly cautious with Graysie and make it harder to not worry so much?
- I want to know how I can help. Spreading the word and telling people about Grayson.
- Has losing Grayson caused you to deeply cherish Graysie? Is it harder to admire your second baby when the love you lost cannot be replaced?
- Do you think you will have more children? Do you think you would have coped differently had you not been pregnant when you lost Grayson?
- Do you feel guilty when you have moments of happiness, where the pain is somehow tolerable? Do you ever wonder whether you’ll be able to be as good of a parent to your other child (and possibly future children) as you would have had you not lost Grayson? Is it hard to not be angry and bitter, or does the peace and hope, and faith that one day you’ll see him again just come in its own time?
- I would like to know what words from others help, and which hurt.
- What would you say to someone to help them appreciate/not take for granted their child.
- On birthdays and holidays, is it best to recall memories and talk about them?
- Do you ever feel like you have lost your innocence and complete joy for life? Do you feel now that every happy moment is bittersweet?
Do you feel guilty when you have moments of happiness, where the pain is somehow tolerable? Do you ever wonder whether you’ll be able to be as good of a parent to Graysie (and possibly future children) as you would have had you not lost Grayson? Is it hard to not be angry and bitter, or does the peace and hope, and faith that one day you’ll see him again just come in its own time?
This is actually something that crosses my mind daily and has been on my mind since Grayson passed. That moment I found out Grayson was no longer here with us, my mind went totally blank, almost as if I didn’t have one thing left in my head to even think about. Like I couldn’t even believe what just happened. I often times wonder what I looked like in that moment from someone else’s perspective. I felt like I too died inside. I could barely walk, they had to bring a wheelchair up for me to sit in and be wheeled downstairs. I remember being pushed out and Brent walking beside me and I remember my eyes being wide open and huge, and breathing heavy and saying what the f*** just happened. I think I said that multiple times in a state of shock. I remember crying and screaming and then I think my body went into total shock to the point I couldn’t cry because I didn’t even know what happened. I remember getting in Sam Carney’s jeep and to be quite honest it was the most quiet ride back to my mom’s. Sam drove, Brent was in the backseat and I sat up front. I to this day can not tell you what I even thought about on that drive home or if I even thought about anything. That hour ride was the longest ride of my entire life. I returned home without my child. I don’t think Brent said one word that entire ride.
Once I had time to process things, I often thought ‘how will I ever be happy again’? I think there were a few times I forgot I was still pregnant and I had another child I was going to HAVE to be happy for and I would ask people around me if what I was feeling was normal. It’s such a weird feeling that is so hard to explain. I remember asking my mom at random times when things went through my head, if I was to feel that way or was it okay I felt that way. Was what I was thinking normal?
To simply answer the first part of the question, do I feel guilty when I have moments of happiness where the pain is somehow tolerable? YES. I won’t lie I feel guilty all the time. Everytime I smile or think of something fun that we did with Grayson or I say oh I want to do this with Graysie, I often times get a pit in my stomach and get super anxious. I feel when I smile or want to do something exciting I feel bad because I know Grayson won’t get to do that with us. When I see his pictures I want to be able to smile and remember the good memories with him, but when I do I feel guilt because he should be here smiling too. He should be playing with his toys and pestering his little sister. I say this often, but I am most sad for Grayson. I am sad because I don’t think he knew what was happening to him, he didn’t know what pain was, he didn’t know that that last time I kissed him on the forehead and said I love you bubby, would be the last time he would see me and hear my voice. He didn’t know, we didn’t know. I sometimes look at Graysie and think how the heck are we going to do this. As she grows how am I going to continue putting on a happy face for her? She will never know the pain her parents went through. We will one day be able to explain to her what happened, and we will always share her brother with her, but I question how I can be a good mother to her daily.
Everyday I wonder if I am doing enough for Graysie. As moms I think we all think that at some point. I gave Grayson everything I had inside of me and I have made a promise to myself that no matter how much I hurt inside I will never take away the happiness that Graysie and any future children deserve. They deserve just as much love and happiness from their parents as Grayson did. Grayson truly made me a better person and for that I am thankful because I know he would want me to give just as much love to Graysie. Grayson was so full of love at just two and I want Graysie to be the same. I know they say to never compare your children, but I hope I see so much of Grayson in Graysie. I want to tell her so much about him that just from the amount of love and joy we share of him, that she will look up to him and one day say that her brother is her idol, because he’s mine. When I grow up, I want to be like Grayson.
There are many days back in the fall I stepped outside and screamed at the top of my lungs asking God why. Why did he do this to me. Of all the families in the world, why mine. Why did he take away my child. Why are families blessed with 4, 5, 6 children I had one here on Earth and pregnant with another and you take my child and leave me empty handed for months until the birth of my second child. Why did you take my first child? What did I do to deserve this? I won’t lie, I do have many days where I am angry. I raise my voice and say things I wish I would have never said after the fact. Then I feel guilt and cry. I cry because I know if Grayson was here I wouldn’t have said the things I did.
I am human. I make mistakes, I say mean things, I feel guilt, I feel angry, I feel happy, I laugh, I cry. I feel broken hearted. I feel disappointment.
This next part I say honestly. It’s things I have thought about and I know as a parent going through child loss, I’m not the only parent to ever think these things. In my heart I know Grayson is in Heaven. I have faith I will see him one day. Brent and I would often talk about Heaven and what it will be like to see Grayson again. There are times after Grayson passed I questioned if Heaven was real or if my child was just buried in the ground. I questioned if I would see him again. I have always believed in God, but when this happened to me I questioned what was real and what was in my head. It’s almost like I had to tell myself “Yes, Kayla, Heaven is real and Grayson is there waiting for you.” I’ve had to stop and think that because that’s what I want to believe. Then I would have parts of me that thought different. That Grayson is just buried in the ground and that’s that. It’s a hard pill to swallow. I will always remember the day Brent and I talked. We talked about the day we’d see Grayson again. Brent would always say, “I wonder what Heaven is like. We won’t know until the day we die and enter those doors of Heaven.” He said he has a picture in his mind of what it looks like, but the one thing that stuck with me was this,
“We don’t know until we get to Heaven if Grayson will be a grown boy waiting for us and when I enter the Heavens he will come up and give his ole dad a hug and show me around. Or will he still be a little two year old boy waiting in the arms of Jesus for his mom to get there and finish parenting him through his life or maybe the Angels are playing with him and watching over him until his mom can get there and be there for him again and you will start off right were you left.”
-This was hard to type, and I cry everytime I think of Brent saying this to me.
I hope that when I see Grayson again I see him as he was. As the sweet ornery two year old and we can start off right where we left off. I do hold onto the love I have for Grayson and I do have faith that I will be a better parent for Graysie than I was. I feel like I was a pretty damn good parent to Grayson, but I now know to never take life for granted and that in itself has made me a better parent.
I tell myself daily, I have the right to be mad and angry because I lost my child, but I also have to be strong and show happiness when I feel it for my little girl. It’s a very mind over matter situation.
Everyday is a rollercoaster of emotions, but I will continue to have Faith that God gave me Grayson for a reason. He made me a mom and I will never take being a mom for granted.
4 thoughts on “Guiding Others Through Child Loss-Part 1: Happiness and Guilt”
This was honest and beautifully written. I cry along with you as I read about a child I will never meet. A child that blessed so many in his time. I struggle every day with my two biological children and especially the three we adopted from the foster system. They have autism as well as other things going on and I often wonder if I am doing right by them. I think to myself will I ever love them as much as my biological children and that is where the daily guilt comes in. Then I read your posts and know I can be better with them and appreciate what the have went thru and that I get to be the parent that sees them grow. Thank you so much for sharing your story of love and loss.
P.s. Would love to see some pictures of Gracie as well❤️
Kayla. This pain is real. It will subside but it will allow you to heal as well. My hope for you; to feel a deep joy for the New little person now in your life as she will need most of your energy right now. It is ok to remember your beautiful Grayson but I’m concerned for your long term health of your own body should you post too deeply of where this takes you. We have a very strong shell, we humans. Don’t allow your spirit to deflate too often. I so much want to know what you’re thinking and feeling so I know you’ll be ok but another side of me says, Let her heal and carry on as she is part of a family and a family unit needs Mom as happy and healthy as possible. My thoughts are with you daily, a smile, that Joy will start each day. God bless you and your family. ❤️
Thank you so much Kayla. I have battled with similar questions since Tamar died. Keep writing xxx Debbie
Thank you for sharing your journey. My prayers are with you – with us all. I am also on this journey. My husband and I lost our only child, our wonderful son. He left us with a beautiful wife we adore, and a grandson we cherish. But everything is different.