Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

Lilypie Angel and Memorial tickers

29 Mar 2012

RIP Jude.

Jude passed away yesterday.
I'm sad to see him go, yet glad he is free now.

This morning I went to my favourite local garden centre to pick up a few plants that Jude is going to become: We will bury him under a bed of flowers, in time his body will nourish the soil and Jude will become a flower himself.

A lovely lady at the garden centre offered to help, she must have noticed my slightly lost gaze as I was trying to find a plant to represent my blue-green fish-friend. She asked what I was looking for, I told her briefly that Jude lived with us for over two years and I'd like to keep him in my garden as a memory. "Lovely idea," she said. "Yeah," I thought to myself...

The next thing that came out of her mouth startled me: "Are you going to get another one?"

Hmmm, I heard that one before, many times actually, from well-meaning but ill-informed people asking about us having another baby. You've got to be kidding me! This illusion of replacement is Universal! They don't just try to replace my baby to fix her death, they are trying to replace anything that dies. But you can't walk into the same river twice.

"No", I said, "I'm not."

Somehow the lady seemed surprised and puzzled by my answer.

Even in death Jude keeps giving me clues to point my mind in the right direction. Our culture lacks grief awareness at the most basic level, misguidedly attempts to fix what cannot be changed, then gets bored with the whole process and moves on to brighter thoughts.

To help the bereaved we need to start with the basics. We need to accept that death cannot be fixed, changed, or avoided. It commands our respect and attention. Death is not a loss, it's an irreversible change of state.

Thank you, Jude.

21 Mar 2012

Can fate be kind?

I sure hope so.

The sun came out today and my dear husband had a real smile on his face. It warmed my heart to see it. Still, I was shivering inside...

Then I saw an old friend, a ladybug that lived on our bedroom window this whole winter. I haven't seen her for a while, it was so cold. I'm so happy to know she is still alive and doing well! I bet she is waiting for spring to have her babies in our garden. Last year we had a whole family! That would be wonderful, that would be kind.
Resident Ladybug

I guess fate can be kind to me too. I hope so. Maybe it started today?

Love and Light,
Amelia's mom.

20 Mar 2012

On a lighter note

You can call me Your Majesty :)

Saw this picture of The Queen in her younger days and it was like looking at one of my own pictures! My DH says that at least now he knows what I'll look like when I'm older... Hmmm :)

Love and Light,
Queen Alena :)

The one I long for...

Of course I'm having a crappy day today. My body is shaking inside out, my mind is racing. Do I stay in all day and just let myself be while watching time pass? Or do I put on a "face," go out there and do something with my day. Either way it's going to be hard. Either way at the end of the day I will be one day closer to Sunday.

While I contemplate this, I think about the people that I gained and the people that I lost this past year. The connections that I made, the friendships that deepened, the ones that dwindled. So much has happened. So much I am grateful for. Yet, I long for one thing only. My daughter. My beautiful baby girl.

Love never dies.

19 Mar 2012

Thank you for the Snow.

My sweet Amelia,

Thank you for the snow. I know it's you. Who else would be making sure the cherry blossoms stay closed till April. They blossomed the day you where born last year. We are so scared of them this year. I saw a little tree starting to bloom yesterday and said something like "Bgaaaahhh." Not good. No cherry blossoms this week for us.

The snowflakes are getting bigger. It's Vancouver, it's March, and it's snowing!

You know snow always makes me smile.

Thank you my dear snow angel.


17 Mar 2012

Hey Jude.

Hey Jude, don't make it bad,
Take a sad song and make it better.
Remember to let her into your heart, 
Then you can start to make it better.

When we where pregnant with Amelia we brought home a new family member. His name is Jude and he is a blue fighter fish. He is at least two and a half years old now. We love him very much.

I named him Jude because I always loved the Beatles song Hey Jude. So fish became Jude. Every day at feeding time I sang the song to him, usually the first verse or two. So I've been singing this for some time...

Now Jude seems to be nearing the end of his journey with us and it's really hard. Especially now. Yet, somehow, I know why he came to us. Just listen to the words.

Thank you dear Jude. We love you. Please live.

Please not now.


13 Mar 2012

My ugly shoes.

I'm wearing a pair of shoes.
They are ugly shoes.
Uncomfortable shoes. I hate my shoes.

Each day I wear them, each day I wish I had another pair.
Some days my shoes hurt so bad 
I don't think I can take another step.
... Yet, I continue to wear them.

I get funny looks wearing these shoes,
they are looks of sympathy.
I can tell in others' eyes they are glad to be wearing their shoes, not mine.
They never talk about my shoes.

To learn how awful my shoes are will make you uncomfortable.
To truly understand these shoes you must walk in them.
But once you put them on, you can never take them off.

I'm not the only one who wears these shoes. There are many pairs in this world.

Some women are like me and ache daily as they try and walk in them.
Some have learned how to walk in them so they don't hurt quite as much.
Some have worn the shoes so long that days will go by before they think about how much they hurt.

Nobody deserves to wear these shoes.
Yet, because of these shoes I am a stronger woman,
These shoes have given me the courage to face anything.
They have made me who I am.

Said truly by an unknown author, slightly edited by me.

10 Mar 2012

Sharing In The Pain.

Last night we ran into G. in our lobby. He was pale, grey actually, and sad, very sad. We knew something was wrong just by looking at him...  And as we had to deliver similar news after Amelia was born, he told us that his wife died of cancer six days ago.

Wife. Died. It was hard to believe the words we were hearing, but his eyes told us how final the meaning was. They lived their whole lives together, they have a teenage son, and none of his family is in the country. It is devastating and we know he's in for a hard journey...

Now that we know death really exists it seems to be everywhere. This year we also lost grandparents on both sides, our friends lost loved ones. So many people know grief. Yet our society doesn't talk about it much, it can be such a taboo subject. As if we don't talk about loss it won't come our way.
Unfortunately, all that is born must die.

Living in grief can be very lonely. The space where our loved one's physical presence was, is now a gaping hole of loss, emptiness. This is where compassion comes in. When we are brave enough to share in the grief of our neighbours, feel their pain, shed a tear with them, we gain love and understanding. We ever so slightly lighten their load, if only with a couple of tears.

Please, be mindful of the bereaved around you. Don't offer advice or answers. Do offer love and compassion. Fruit-baskets are nice too, flowers and meals. Don't ask how can you help. Just help.

The love we take is equal to the love we make <3

5 Mar 2012

Scared to sleep.

Since the end of February I've been scared to sleep. Every night I dread going to bed, every morning I wake up in cold sweat, glad the night is over.

It is March. We are approaching the one-year mark with lightning speed. The year was so long, the days of misery, the nights of nightmares. Now it's almost over. I wonder what will be on the other side of March 25, 2012? Will it get better? Is there some magic button that makes memories of Amelia easier and dreams of her happier? I doubt it.

Last few days I've been relieving many memories of Amelia's week with us. The seven days she was ON earth, from the Friday of her birth to the Friday of her funeral. While I always remembered the events of that week, my mind seems to have hidden the little details from me, to save my sanity I guess. It took almost a full year to grief-work through the onion layers that hid the horrors of THAT week.

The memory of how I allowed my midwifes to bathe Amelia, her one and only bath that I didn't do, because I just gave birth and after trying to gain energy from fruit juices was, well, doing a projectile vomit of said juice. I knew our time was limited and could not get up, so it was best for them to wash her and bring her back to me after all the juice was gone. Still, I never got to wash her myself. Ever. Never.

On the day of her funeral we had an hour to spend with our baby, just one hour. I held her little hand in mine the whole time. Somehow I never picked her up, never held her in my arms before saying goodbye to her little body forever. I was scared. As a new mom I wasn't ready to bury my baby. I was ready to cloth-diaper and breastfeed, attachment parent and love and cherish. I was not ready to bury her.

So tonight, at 3:22 am I don't want to go to sleep, I don't want another memory to come up, I don't want to accept and let go of yet another thing I DIDN'T do with Amelia.

But I do accept these two things. I do have a choice not to and if anyone dares to tell me otherwise, they can just pretend to be me for a year and then we'll talk. So I make a conscious effort to accept an let it be. Still, I will be waiting for the sun to rise tonight.

Little Girls that remind me of Amelia.

An interesting thing has been going on since I became Amelia's mother: almost every dark-haired little girl that I see in public gives me the same long stare that reaches into the core of my soul, as if she knows about Amelia.  It's like they can feel my longing and they instinctively acknowledge and witness my pain.  It fills my broken heart with healing gratitude, healing it with love and compassion.

I am forever grateful for these gifts.

2 Mar 2012

::::::::::Becoming::::::::::: DSM V and Ethical Relativism

::::::::::Becoming::::::::::: DSM V and Ethical Relativism

Highly recommend this blog, it's written by a fellow bereaved mother who is an inspiration to me. If you wonder how I made it through the last 11 months, Dr. Jo is the reason. Eternally grateful to her.