This isn’t how it was supposed to be. 

It was a coincidence that I pulled a blue and orange popsicle out of the freezer this afternoon.  They’ve always been my favorite summertime snack, especially on hot days like these. My parent’s fridge is usually stocked with them and today was no different. With my no look grab, my heart skipped a beat. 

A little hello from Jensen to his mama. 

My grief has been complex these past few weeks.  Year two has… well it has been complete crap. I wake up every morning wondering when the nightmare is going to be over. It hits me, daily. He was here then he died and I can’t do anything to get him back. Those facts are excruciating to face, yet it is my constant reality.   Somehow I’m able to carry one with my day to day life though. Not without thinking of him, that has never wavered. 

It’s weird to say, but as your grief progresses you learn to live with being eternally sad on the inside. You find a rhythm of this post loss life. Yes, it hits you every morning that your child is gone, but, for me, I have found ways to incorporate him in the day to day. Just like I would if he was physically here. 

So why did it shock me to see the orange and blue pipsicles today? 

Anytime I get a sign from Jensen I stop and appreciate it. I say hello back and tell him I love him, always stay close. Then there’s some kind of rip from the present reality. I look around and see how different today would be if he was here. The picture up top… that’s not how it should be. 

I can easily picture my little boy, all lathered in sunblock in his little swim outfit looking up at me. Like, ‘mom, it’s hot and the pool is cool.’ Instead of me floating here writing this to you all, I’d be watching him float in whatever his raft would look like or he’d be napping inside. So many differences then getting my popsicle sign. 

This isn’t how it was supposed to be. It never will. As a loss parent, I’ll always see where Jensen would playing or walking with me. These signs, they’ll always let me know he’s close and I’m thankful for that, but these reality…. it will never be how it should. 

It’s not okay that it’s that way, but I’m doing my best.

Advertisements

Written in Chalk and My Heart. 

June’s Name Project went so perfectly. 

With over TWO-HUNDRED names, my parent’s sidewalk was completely full. There were countless people that stopped to read the names and ask about the baby names. Once they knew, they really took the time to read each name and appreciate them. A lot of them were shocked there were so many and knew the amount of names I had written down didn’t even touch the amount of babies lost. It was an honor to be able to share their names and spread awareness about pregnancy and infant loss. 

Adorned with the hashtag ‘stillbornstillloved,’ each baby name was written with love and intent. Honestly, I loved being able to do this. I felt close with Jensen and his friends. Being able to do this for them is just one small way they’re being seen and heard. I really believe people appreciated the awareness and maybe it’ll help them support someone they know who is grieving. 

I just wanted to thank everyone who submitted their child(ren)’s name. They will never, ever be forgotten. We’re giving them a voice and just by sharing their name, others know it’s okay to talk about them with us. 

Now, here’s some pictures of the names and sidewalk. I’ll be sending out individual name pictures tonight. They’re all flipped and ready to be sent to you. 

I hope you enjoy these pictures and I’ll keep you all updated on the next name project when it comes. 

Mother Hearts Project.

Next Sunday is Bereaved Mother’s Day… already.

April has completely flown by. It’s been one of the hardest months, but also filled with so much love and support. That’s not to say there hasn’t been any hard moments. It was full of them. Love always conquers though.

Back to Bereaved Mother’s Day. Here’s the quick history of the day. In 2010, CarlyMarie created a day for bereaved mothers to celebrate this specific motherhood. It’s created for moms who are mothering children in heaven and to connect to others. If you want to read more about it, click here. Anyways, each year there is a project moms can do and share on social media. Last year was show your mother heart, where you drew a heart on your palm and shared it. I was too much in a grief fog to participate, but I remember seeing all these beautiful hearts fluttered around Facebook and Instagram. A couple of weeks ago, she shared this years Mother Heart Project: We Carry Them In Our Hearts.

This is a play on ee cummings’ poem, ‘i carry your heart.’ Carly called out to mothers to take pictures or a short video of them placing their hand on their hearts. This picture could be taken anywhere, just a way to show where you carry your children. She’s choosing certain photographs and making a video that will be posted next Sunday.

Right after I read it, I knew I could join in on this. I was going to the beach and was going to take this amazing picture, but nothing felt right. This past week, I was dressed up and tried to take cute pictures while subbing and just around town. Still didn’t feel right. On Thursday night, with only hours to spare to turn in a submission, I was crying in Jensen’s room. I wouldn’t be able to do this.

Of course I called my mom to come over. I told her I was a failure. That I was letting Jensen down because I wasn’t able to take a picture and maybe it get put in the video. I told her I looked gross and I had been crying. Nothing was going the way I planned for this. Sound familiar?

Well, we took pictures all over the house. Deleted all of them. We were back right where we started, me feeling defeated on the futon in Jensen’s room. The very room I was supposed to feel exhausted, but happy to be mothering my sweet little boy. Before I knew it, we were capturing this moment.

Hands over my heart, look up, and I heard the iPhone make that picture sound. She smiled and said, this is the one and turned it towards me.

I hate this picture of me.

My eyes look so tired and you can tell I’ve been crying because my makeups a little smudged underneath. The shine from my face distracts me because I knew how many times I put my hands to me face. I see me being so exhausted and grieving and worrying about if I’m making Jensen proud or not.

Then I see the best part of the picture, his little hand over mine. Our hands holding both of our hearts so tightly. That’s what it’s all about.

I also the love in my eyes. I see Jensen’s cheeks and general face shape. His hands so very closely shaped like his mama. I see the bridge of his nose. There’s so much of me in him, besides that blond hair. This photograph is a grieving mom doing her best to mother her son who’s physically not here. It captures this crazy life that I hate and love, but it’s mine. I wouldn’t trade it for any one else’s.

Hopefully we’ll get to see my tired eyes on the video project Carly makes and if not, I’m proud I still did it for Jensen.


A little note for May.

I plan on writing or at least posting every single day. There will be some days I’ll be posting multiple times, especially in the first two weeks. I’ll be doing the May We All Heal Project, Still Mother’s The Mothering Project, and I’m apart of a group that will have writing prompts everyday for the first two weeks. A lot of things, but I think it’s much-needed where I am right now in my grief and healing journey.

As always, if you have any questions about any of the projects I’ve mentioned, please ask. On Jensen’s Facebook Page, I am doing a Mother’s Day name wreath. Feel free to request one and I will get it to you as quick as I can. Last little reminder, on my Etsy shop, Grey Woods Design, I am having a Mother’s Day sale. You get 15% off when you use the code: MothersDay. Hoping you all follow along this coming month and that they are gentle for of us.

Happy Birthday, (Grand)Dad! 

There are people who are meant for certain roles in their lives. Some are meant to be mothers and fathers. Some are meant to be teachers or firefighters. There’s an infinite number of roles a person can be. 

I was a lucky little girl. My dad did everything he possibly could to make our family’s life the best it could. He would work to get us whatever we wanted. There have been many weekends he took us on surprise trips, just to make memories. He let us bury him in the sand and ran around in his Superman towel to transform into the hero we all knew him to be. My dad made us smile whenever he could and that’s the best gift he could give a little girl. 

Although it seemed like he was destined to be a Dad, I would beg to differ. To me, he was destined to be the greatest grandpa ever. Which I know I shouldn’t say because my grandpa was pretty great. BUT I know deep down that the best grandpa title goes to my dad. 

I can’t tell you how excited he was for Jensen. How much he helped me during my pregnancy. He helped with his nursery and even put together the car seat and stroller. Thankfully because I would never have gotten it by myself. He joked how I should be painting Jensen’s room black and yellow instead of orange and blue. When I would come home from an ultrasound, he would look at every picture. Most times I’m not sure if he knew exactly what he was looking at, but he did anyways. 

When Jensen was born, he held him. Not once, not twice, but three times. He told me how perfect he was and that he looked like me. The loss of his first grandchild, ever, hit hard. On all of us, but I know for him for sure. He read all the pamphlets and let me know this was one thing he wouldn’t be able to fix. But no matter what, he’d be there for me.

And he was. 

I remember when we got Jensen bear in and he took a selfie with him. He held him and I knew he remembered that weight from the months before. My dad was there with me when we walked the remembrance walks. A proud grandpa remembering his grandson. He said his name with me at Jensen’s brick ceremony and laid the flower down at the Angel of Hope’s feet. During Christmas time, he lit candles in honor of Jensen, most of the time he was helping mom and I keep ours lit. On his grandson’s birthday, he did everything he could to keep it running. He brought over chairs and got the fire going. When we sent the balloons to heaven, Dad was right there making sure Jensen got them. 

This whole year my dad has honored his grandson in every way he could, so beautiful. 

Today we honor my dad on his birthday. I wish it was so different and that Jensen was with us too. In some ways I know he is, wishing the best grandpa the happiest of birthdays. 

So, Happy Birthday Dad! This day is all about you and how great of a person you are. To me you’re the best dad, but I know your best role is Jensen’s grandpa. 

We love you so much. 

A Bag of Dreams.

Since the end of last April, there has been an unopened bag addressed to me. In that moment my mom threw it to me, I knew I wouldn’t be able to rip it open and pull out its contents. That bag held my last happy buy. It was supposed to be opened right around the time Jensen was due. They were the last few clothes I thought he needed before he arrived. Every stitch filled with hope and excitement for the months to follow.

But, it was packed away so I wouldn’t be smacked in the face by the innocence I once had. It would throw me back to the day I purchased them, two days before Jensen was born. I was so excited on that day, I would have never thought everything would change in the way it did the very next day.

For almost ten months it sat on the shelf. Each time I saw it, I got closer to the bag. My mind knew what was in there, but my curiosity wanted to touch what I had last got him. It also hurt me to see it just sitting there, waiting in my parent’s basement. They didn’t deserve to be just ignored there when they were intended to be worn. So, I brought them home and to the closet I knew they would be housed.

Admittedly, I threw the bag in the closet and broke down. I was angry. My son would never wear these clothes and by this time, he would have outgrown them. I didn’t want to see them. Why go even through them and be taunted by their existence and Jensen’s absence?

The bag just sat there again.

I’ve never had the urge to go through his things, until today. When I got home, I walked into his room and just sat there. There was nothing out of the usual about today to make me feel this way. Screams were building in the back of my throat. Until something else became louder. I looked at the closet door and could almost hear the bag sitting there, calling out to me. Like a crazy woman, I answered the calls and ripped the bag right open. And the dreams of last April came tumbling out.

After I had went through each item (not all are pictured here), it hit me… these dreams should have been made a reality by now. Each should have been worn and dirty. They should be packed in a big ‘used Jensen clothes’ tote. I wanted them to smell like him and there to be a stain that housed a memory. The soles of the shoes need to be rough and dirty, not smooth and spotless. He should be the one laying on his rug looking up at me while we play. It shouldn’t be the image I have here. This pile of clothes, although beautiful, completely broke me.

I sat there with them, for longer than I care to admit.

Tears ran down my face as I folded them back and put them in their bag, forever unworn by the person that was intended to wear them. Not knowing what else to do with them, I put them back in the closet where they’ll continue sitting until I find what’s best for them. I shut the door, closing back up my hopes, dreams, and innocence. As I turned around I, once again, faced my reality. I faced his nursery, that doesn’t look like his nursery. Grief and exhaustion overwhelmed me as I walked into my living room. I wish I had the energy to keep being strong.

This reality sucks. 


This Tuesday feels different. It’s the first one I woke up and didn’t think about how many weeks it’s been since Jensen’s been born; I thought how close his birthday is getting.

Six. More. Weeks.

I’ll have a one year old, who will forever be thirty-eight weeks and two days, in six weeks. Time is so unbelievably cruel in this way.

Happy forty-six weeks in heaven, Baby J. Gosh, I am so lucky that you’re my son. If I had a chance to do it all over again, I would always pick you. I’ll always wish and wish and wish some more to have you back with me. For now, I’ll keep fighting and saying your name. I miss you. I love you.

The Places We’ll Go.

“So be sure when you step, Step with care and great tact. And remember that life’s A Great Balancing Act. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and ¾ percent guaranteed) Kid, you’ll move mountains.”

Dr. Seuss 
Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

I don’t know what I want to say today. My mind is fuzzy and, quite honestly, I’m exhausted. Some Tuesdays make me feel like this. The past weekend, I haven’t felt like I have succeeded. My depression was telling me that I was worthless and no one could ever help me. That I was alone and feeling all of these emotions because I deserve it. I thought of Jensen and could only think how poorly he would be thinking of me. I wouldn’t be the role model I had always wanted to be for him. And there were moments this weekend that remind me of those first few days after getting back from the hospital. Ones where I didn’t feel good enough to keep fighting… to keep living.

It’s scary to feel like ‘A Great Balancing Act’ isn’t tipping in the right direction. Maybe I’ll be the unlucky percentage once again.

Then there are moments and decisions that bring the scale back with a great force. Ones that make you smile and feel so strong that you’ll actually move the biggest mountains. They’re the ones I feel I could hear Jensen cheering for me. I don’t have to watch my step carefully, I can blindly jump in these times and take the good feelings in. It’s when I actually feel like I’m doing my best for him and that these bright moments will always outshine the dark ones. Just like love overpowers grief.

Yesterday I had this moment. But instead of blindly jumping, I was intently focused on one little boy’s foot.

 

Jensen Footprint Tattoo.png

At forty-two weeks, Jensen would most definitely be experimenting with standing and trying his very best to stumble walk. I would encourage him to keep standing and have him practice walking with me by putting him on my feet. We would take big steps together. He would learn to walk and I would beam with pride. Before, when I looked down, I saw my naked feet and the empty floor. I don’t have him looking up at more or I can’t help him learn to walk. It was empty just like everything else feels. Now, and forever, he’ll be walking with me through life.

I will always take the steps that he was never able to.

Just as he would be getting to a point where he would start learning how to walk, I’m at a point in this grief journey that I’m starting to get better with my stumbling. I never expected it to be a straight and narrow journey. In fact, I thought it would just go downhill from the second he was born. How would there ever be a way I could smile when my child died? I’m not saying I’m full of smiles all the time. Heck, I was just at a spot on Friday where I thought my life didn’t matter. But I will tell you, if there is anything that gives me strength it’s Jensen and knowing that I’ll forever be his mom.

Now, with this new tattoo (which is my third for Jensen), I feel that with each of my decisions that the scale judges, I can literally see him making them with me. I can see those steps. He’ll be on the upward hills and the downward spirals. Through each, he’ll be there with every step, cheering me on. Yesterday and today, I find myself just staring at my feet and marveling his footprint. Of course it makes me laugh because he had my feet. I can see my little mini-me mimicking my every move. But it’s heartwarming to know this is just another way I can honor him. It’s another way I can bring just a little more of him into this world and leave his footprint everywhere I go.

Cue all the feet pictures in the future.


Happy forty-second week in heaven, Baby J. You are beyond loved and missed every second of the day. All I wish I could do is pluck you from heaven and hold you in my arms. I hope with the big decisions I’ve made today that you are cheering me on. My soul feels you close to me and now I can see it with each step I take. And oh, the places we’ll go. I miss you. I love you.

The Birth Plan.

This time last year, I told my OB-GYN my birth plan.

There was no way I was going to be induced. From thirty-seven to forty weeks, the ridges on the brains get deeps. Plus, I just wanted Jensen to come out when he wanted to. He was supposed to be safe inside my belly. I didn’t want an epidural, I felt like I need to be this strong woman and give birth naturally. His cord was not to be cut right away. In my birth research, I read when you delayed cord cutting the blood in the placenta would make its way back to the baby. They really needed that blood and I’m sure I could have given you the scientific reasonings while I was still pregnant. He was to be placed on me right after he was born. I wanted that skin to skin contact and him to know I was his mama. Those are crucial bonding moments I did not want to miss you on. Plus I wanted the first thing he heard to be me whispering, ‘you are so loved,’ in his ear. His eyes were not to be wiped with that goop stuff. There was nothing going to damage them and I didn’t want his eyesight to be even more blurry than it would have been. There was only to be a certain amount of people in the room when he was born and afterwards. I didn’t want to be bombarded and wanted Jensen to spend his first days of life relaxed. There was a few more on the list, but these were the really important ones.

He actually hadn’t been prepared for me to tell him all of this, but I needed to make sure he knew what I expected. I can remember the first thing I told him was the only thing I was scared of was bleeding out and dying… because then I wouldn’t see Jensen grow up. There was never even a little part of me that thought anything would go wrong with Jensen, just that I would mess up.

After I told him all of this, he laughed at me and said these things sometimes don’t go as planned…

Well, my birth plan didn’t go as I planned.

I’ve talked about flashbacks before, a lot actually. Mostly about the time between I found out he didn’t have a heartbeat until I went home from the hospital. In all, that time frame is about twenty-nine hours. Oh my gosh, that’s horrible. In just a little over a day, I had found out my child died, gave birth, was released from the hospital, and back home. Like it was just a routine day at the hospital.

To say my birth plan didn’t go as planned is an understatement. There’s only two things that went ‘as planned.’ One, I asked for the epidural too late. I only got the little test tube of it. Before she could put the whole dose in me, I was already pushing. So, I still felt everything and it didn’t even hurt. Maybe it did? But the pain of knowing my child was dead hurt a lot worse. The other thing? There were only three other people (besides me, the nurses, and my doctor) in the room with me for when he was born. Two of them left for chunks of time. Then I only had three other visitors. Three of those people I’ll never talk to again. One of them didn’t even speak to me at my son’s funeral.

Heck and here’s another kicker, the one thing I was so scared of didn’t happen. Man oh man, am I glad I didn’t hemorrhage and die so I couldn’t see Jensen grow up. How was that the only thing I was afraid of? Was I really that selfish of a person to only worry about myself dying?

The birth plan doesn’t matter. Worrying about all those little things mean nothing. How mad would I have been if he would have lived and not one of those things was done just as I wanted? And for what? Temporary blindness? Extra blood? Instant bonding? Feeling like a ‘strong’ woman?

Looking at it that way makes me want to cry, laugh, and scream at myself. God, my birth plan should have just been get him here alive. That’s it. It doesn’t seem like such a difficult plan. Women give birth to living, healthy babies every second of the day. They have their birth plans and they get followed perfectly and their baby is fine. Why I couldn’t have I been her? Can someone please just wake me up from this horrible nightmare and put Jensen in my arms.

I don’t want to be brave or strong anymore. I want to be the girl who had her screaming baby placed on her chest. I want to have made sure everyone followed what I needed to be done. I want to live the life I should have had. I don’t want to know this world that I have been so forcefully shoved in.

But these things don’t go as planned.


Wishes for Baby - You Are So Loved.png

As I tried to calm myself down after writing this post, I came across this picture. During Jensen’s baby shower I had my guests write ‘Advice for Mom’ and ‘Wishes for Baby.’ I took a picture of this one and the last line made me stop.

You are so loved.

Although, I didn’t get that part of my birth plan, I know Jensen knew how loved he was. He was surrounded by love for everyday in his thirty-eight weeks and two days. His life was beautiful and happy. It’s the one gift I was able to give him.

Forty Weeks.

Today I was asked to describe the last forty weeks in a couple of words. After only a second of thinking I could only say one thing, I’ve survived. Admittedly, I laughed after saying this. It seemed a little dramatic, even for me. I hurt every single day. Tears come and go, most of the time I don’t even notice they’re there. I scream in pain, questioning everything. And yet, I see the continuance to live. There’s been growth and relationships gained. I’ve laughed out loud in spite of everything. But, there really is no other way to describe what it’s like to lose a child. When I got home, I was curious to see how they defined this word that’s meaning seems so simple. There was two that jumped out at me.

sur·vive:

  1. continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship
  2. remain alive after the death of (a particular person)

See, as a definition it seems so simple. Almost like we’ve always had an idea what this word means, but you don’t truly know it until you’ve been in survival mode. There have been times in this forty weeks where I have just simply existed, even when I tried the exact opposite. Grief, anxiety, and depression are hardships I live with everyday, on top of feeling Jensen’s absence. Yet, I remain and I have to continue on. So surviving really is the right word to describe all of this.

On top of it being Tuesday, the number forty has really been speaking to me. If we’re just talking about pregnancy, forty weeks is the week to get to. It’s the due date we all know. Jensen’s was April 17. Today there’s more to this number and my grief. Although I try to stay away from talking about faith and religion, I think it’s necessary for me today.

As always this is not to make anyone uncomfortable, just how I make the connection and sense of things.

In the Bible, the number forty is pretty significant. On the top of my head, I can think of at least ten times forty is mentioned. Each time it is, it’s always a period of testing. Just one example is Moses. I mean his life was split up into three forties full of trials and testing, I’m also watching the Prince of Egypt, so it’s all coming back to me. Anyways, the past forty weeks for me, have been full of those tests and trials. I mean I didn’t lead the Israelites from Egypt, but I’ve led myself this far. Every day there seems to be a new challenge for me. I test myself and question my purpose. As a collective, I never thought I’d make it to forty weeks in the beginning. It’s strange for me to think another child could have grown in this amount of time.

I test my motherhood each day. There are trials and errors of how to work on my grief. Honestly, everything since Jensen has been born has been a test. I’m still getting to know Danielle after Jensen. It’s hard living with a self you know nothing about. Anxiety. Heck, anxiety is always testing me and making me trust myself again. Even other people, unknowingly, test me. Maybe that’s more on myself and testing how I react now. Even Jensen has been testing me, in good ways. Testing me to see if I see his signs. Fun fact, my Netflix has randomly been turning on and changing to cartoons. Wonder who would want to watch that? He’s also led me to certain books, this time Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs. Who, in fact, named on of the characters in the books Robbie Jensen. So, Jensen ultimately rewards me after every test, but still.

Alright, so I’m guessing you’re wondering where I’m going with all of this. If you’d talk to me in person, I would be talking for hours. Anyways, through trials and testing, we see progress. Not necessarily results right now, maybe I’ll see some at the forty-year mark. Even though I describe this time as survival, there has been so much progress. I’m not healed completely, but I’m healing. There are parts of me I never knew before, but I do now. I don’t like the pain I feel, but I see what I’ve learned from it. Saying that, I don’t see Jensen’s death as a learning experience, but the way I’ve lived or survived or whatever this is, has taught me so much about me.

I’ve said this over and over, I NEVER THOUGHT I’D MAKE IT TO THIS POINT. When I was preparing for New Years Eve, I thought my heart would stop at midnight. I didn’t think it could take that hit. But I’m here. Jensen’s love for me has driven every step and it’s made me want to do better for him. Maybe that’s cliché, but I’ve survived these forty weeks of trials because of love. Because his light is so bright, that it leads me to the next test. His love has given me a deeper sense of faith and it’s shown me that I have to trust in this unknowing, to me, life plan.

What I do know today, at week forty, is that although I’m extremely uncomfortable with grief and not knowing where my life is going, I somehow feel I’m on the right track. I don’t feel pressure to move on from anything or to get to anywhere quickly. I’m not ready for another relationship or to even think of having another child. There’s nothing wrong with trying to figure out who I am again and what mothering Jensen is going to look like in this next forty weeks and beyond. I don’t think this is the end of my trials and testing. It’s going to be lifelong for me and maybe at forty months I can look back on this post to see how far I’ve come. No matter what, the love I have for my son will continue flowing through me through every step of my life.

Willow Tree Figurine.png


Jensen Grey, you are so loved. I hope the past forty weeks in heaven have been peaceful for you. Today wasn’t so bright here on earth, but I bet heaven is warm and bright where ever you dwell. I wish you were here, so my tests would be learning all about you. In some ways they are now and I know you’re helping me along the way. I miss you. I love you.

Don’t Put a Timeline on My Grief.

I cannot believe it’s the first Tuesday of the new year. This day of the week always brings a different set of emotions than others. Today, I just want to scream out one sentence.

Don’t put a timeline on my grief.

In the past thirty-nine weeks, I’ve lost my son, gave birth, moved in a new house, and gotten out of a relationship. Those are three, big life changes in nine short months. I have learned how to live with the biggest hole in my heart. There’s literally been days I’ve had to crawl in the shower to get the tear stains off my cheeks. I’ve experienced every single emotion, sometimes all in one second. The weeks have both dragged on and went entirely too fast. I’m exhausted and sick. Most days I get so frustrated with myself that all I can do is sleep. Depression and anxiety are in constant battle with each other, every second with grief being their puppet master. There’s time I just want to rip my skin off so I can have some type of emotional break.

Yes, I still cry. Every day tears run down my face. That’s because every, single day I’m missing out on something Jensen would be doing. When I am vulnerable in front of you, it’s not a cry for attention. It’s letting you know I need you here with me and I’m comfortable with you seeing me at my weakest. This isn’t the time to kick me while I’m down. It’s when you’re supposed to lift me up. Tell me some way Jensen has positively effected your life and if he honestly hasn’t, just say his name. Remind me why I’ve come this far because it really isn’t for me. It’s for the little boy who can’t take these steps in life.

Jensen's Name in Stones (Gina).png

Thank you Gina, Everett’s mom, for this beautiful picture and reminding me to keep going on the worst days.

Just because the year changed to 2017 at the stroke of midnight on New Years Eve doesn’t mean my 2016 was magically erased. I am still at battle with all those things. The year change is nothing but a switch of a few numbers and the official passing of times. There wasn’t a person who came to my home and told my body to forget everything that’s happened. Or say, well it’s the new year and enough time has passed for you to be healed. It’s such a ridiculous notion.

Don’t put a timeline on my grief.

Nine months is such a relatively short amount of time in the span of life. And you know what? If I’m still crying every day at age ninety, I have every right. My innocent child died. It is the saddest tragedy that anyone could through. It doesn’t help when people make you feel bad for how you’re grieving. There shouldn’t be a set time where you’re just supposed to act like nothing ever happened. I’m sorry, but if you feel that way I’m not the person that should be involved in your life. There is no reason I should be apologetic for my grief. I will remember Jensen for as long as I live. In the time he’s been gone, I’ve said his name multiple times a day. This doesn’t mean I’m stuck in society’s timeline of grief, it means I love my son and that’s the way I show it. There will never a day where I’m embarrassed of him or will stop loving him. It sounds like a ridiculous to say, but when is a person is pushed to move on they’ll snap back.

I’ve lived more in the past thirty-nine weeks than a lot of people. You can say I’m damaged, but I’d tell you I’m healing. Grief has no timeline. There’s no set steps that a person has to go through. By limiting a person to the five steps in a certain amount of time only makes them feel like they’re not grieving right. I and so many other people are uncomfortable with how life has treated them. Of course I want to be happy. I should be happy with Jensen who’s testing his limits and giving me a ornery little smile. But I can’t bring him back to have that. There’s so much love in me for him that it pours out and sometimes my brain doesn’t know how to process it. It wants to give it all to him, but he’s not physically here. That is so hard on my motherly instincts.

If you can imagine just one whole day knowing your child is not alive and will never come back, you would understand. You wouldn’t want to put a timeline on my grief. Crying every day wouldn’t be weird. Still grieving at nine months wouldn’t be a huge deal. This life, although very uncomfortable, would make a little sense to you.

So please, don’t put a timeline on my grief.

Goodbye, 2016.

Well in all my efforts to stop this day from coming, its here. The last day of 2016. Jensen’s year has come to an end and I’m being thrown into a new year. I don’t think it’s completely hit me yet, but when the clock hits midnight I’ll be numb.

As I said in my last post, it’s terrifying to leave the year without Jensen. There’s so much unknown in the future and I don’t know how much more hurt I can take. I read and hear this next year will be a better one and good things are coming. With each of their words I just want to scream out, they don’t know that for sure. The same things were being said to me last year, right smack dab in the middle of my pregnancy. This past year was supposed to hold all those things and even more, but we all know it didn’t turn out the way anyone thought it would. And yet, it doesn’t make this such a horrible year.

Just yesterday, someone told me this next year would hold better things for me. Almost immediately I thought, 2016 holds so many good things. There’s no part of me that wants to ‘try for a better year.’ No other year in this history of the world will ever have had Jensen physically in it. I know everyone sees the tears and loss I’ve had. It’s strong and it’s very uncomfortable. I get it. But there has been so much love, strength, and support I never have had before. Jensen has impacted so many people in the past (almost) nine months. He’s made me smile everyday and most of the times through tears. Maybe that means I’m comfortable in my grief, but I would beg to differ.

Honestly, I can’t say that 2016 was this perfect year. My son died. That is so life changing. His dad left, which has brought good and bad to my life. There are times where all I could do was lay in bed. I’ve cried enough tears to fill an ocean. Friends have left and people sometimes look at me in the craziest of ways. A pain I never knew existed was introduced to me. This year was my ground zero and I have to leave it without Jensen. Those are the bad things that’s went on. Looking back on those brings me to tears, so maybe I could fill two oceans instead of one.

Yet, through this pain, I’m still holding on to it. But why am I?

Mostly, it’s my fear that Jensen will be forgotten. It’s knowing that his first birthday will come and he won’t be there to smash his cake. I’ll be a mama to a one year old that’s not here anymore. Will anyone know what April fifth is when it comes but me? Then there’s outside pressures of people wanting to put a timeline on my grief. I’m so afraid that I’ll get to his birthday and everyone will be so impatient with it. They won’t understand why I’m still so sad. I’m terrified that I’m going to be more alone in this. Somehow? Deep down I know some of these are just really out there, but this is grief. This is what it does to one’s mind.

In all reality, I don’t want anyone to forget Jensen. I want people to tell me “Happy Birthday to Jensen” on his birthday. I want to smash his cake for him. I don’t want people to be impatient with me. I know a lot of people don’t understand this complex grief, but I want them to be okay with it. I want patience. I want people to say his name to me. I don’t want them to be afraid. I want them to know these tears aren’t toxic, they’re sometimes the only way I can show my love for him. I want people to see me as the mom I am. I want people to know that I won’t let them forget Jensen. I want them to know I’m terrified of the future, but I’m trying my very best.

screen-shot-2016-12-31-at-1-59-14-pm

A part of me wants to say, “let me take on 2017.” Let me show the world even more of Jensen and try to do greater things in his honor. Another huge part is saying, stay here forever. There’s a lot of things I wasn’t ready for this year and I grew stronger through them. Maybe that’s what the stroke do for me. Make me an even stronger mom to Jensen and give an even louder voice.


For all of you grieving this New Years Eve, know you are not alone. I am here for you and feel the pain and fear of going into the next year without a loved one. Yet, they’re always with you and you will you carry them in your heart forever. For where there is love, their memory cannot truly die.