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dropping petals in march March 18, 2014

Posted by guinever in grief, healing, life, loss, moving on.
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i walk upon this barren land; it’s cold
the season that has no color
the ground and trees are dark and gray and brown

scattered around me are the stones
etched with names and dates and poems
symbols, the markers of death, of no more life

buried here are the children
who never lived outside the womb
who were born and breathed, but died
and some like mine who lived longer, but not so long at all

this place beckons me every march
nine years ago death came and grabbed her
and took her breath away
it took my breath too, but left me living

buried far away from here and not too long ago
are the bones of her grandmother
she would walk this place with me
with love and tears, but she never will again

and now this march i grieve
for both my mother and my daughter
but I know that they’re together

i bring flowers to this grave
that are dead and nine years old
white roses dried and kept
the same ones that had been draped on a little casket

they’ve been sitting on my dresser
dropping petals into their vase
gathering dust, lots of dust
i’ve held onto them,  cherishing them

but I scatter them now, releasing the dust
these petals, the color of earth
some will blow away
some will cling to ground or stone

the crumpled petals unleash the tears
i try to let go of this burden
will I be lighter?

soon this landscape will come alive with spring,
the colors will chase the brown away
daffodils and forsythia and tulips
cherry trees will drip with pink blossoms

i’ll come back to see the spring
and smell the sweetness
and drive these tears away
and think of those i’ll  see again


genuine care or mere curiosity October 14, 2010

Posted by guinever in family, grief, healing, life, loss.

What follows is something I wrote in April of 2008 and am just now getting around to publishing it.

As life continues to march on after the death of my daughter, I encounter people who didn’t know Abby. When strangers ask me about it, I merely tell them she died in an accident. If pressed for more information, I say what type of accident. I don’t really give any details if I don’t know the person well.

I especially enjoy talking about my daughter’s life–both her short time on earth as well as the eternity that she has started in heaven without me. I don’t mind talking about my daughter’s death. When asked how Abby died, I quickly process the request and the person making it. I need to trust the person if I’m going to tell my story. If he/she has a genuine interest in me and my well-being, I proceed. The reaction is usually one of total compassion that includes tears, a hug, prayer, and perhaps disbelief. I welcome a listening ear from someone who cares.

But if I don’t know the person very well or if I think the request comes from mere curiosity rather than a genuine care for me and my family, then I won’t tell my story. I’m vulnerable and don’t want to get hurt. I told my story to the wrong person last week.

I mean, I tried to tell my story. When I told her I don’t mind talking about it, she asked me if Abby had been sick. (this is a common question and I don’t mind it at all), but when I told her that she died in an accident, she said that her interest lies in illness and death caused by vaccines. I should have stopped talking right there.

But I didn’t. I continued my story. When I told her a couple details, she said,

No wonder why it’s so hard for you.

I include this picture from the funeral as an illustration as to why “it’s so hard for me.” My daughter’s body was in a casket. It doesn’t matter how she got there. Just that she’s there. Still there.

And why did this person think “it” was so hard for me?

Because I asked a few people to pray for me as the third anniversary of her death approached? It was the season that was more difficult than others and I asked for prayer. Usually people tell me how well I’m doing. I’m living life and getting out and mothering my children all the while living with great loss.


how to be insensitive to someone who has lost a loved one

So I continued my story. I’m not exactly sure why I continued. I guess I was as insensitive to her needs as she was to mine, meaning I should have picked up on the fact that she wasn’t interested in listening to how my child died since it wasn’t the kind of death that she likes to hear about.

Maybe if I kept talking, she would be interested in MY story that she asked to hear?? I don’t know. The third time she said this, I said, “Well, I can’t help you with that because that’s not how she died.”

don’t want to leave this house May 11, 2009

Posted by guinever in grief, healing, life, loss.
1 comment so far

We’re moving. Our growing family, although diminished needs a little more room. We hinted of it before March 22. But now that leaving is closer to becoming a reality, its hard. I think its harder to leave this house now than it would’ve been before Abby’s death. I feel like we’re abandoning her a bit.

Some might think we’re running away from this house because our daughter died here.

But we’re not. Because of Abby, we want to stay. She’s everywhere. She was conceived in the blue room that is now the boys’ room. I labored in the tub with her. I brought her home to this house. She rolled on the wooden floor and then moved on her belly and pulled herself along, ever a struggle until she was up on all fours. She took baths in the kitchen sink. She crawled and walked and ran and laughed and smiled and sang inside these walls. And then one day she escaped these walls and walked outside and soared to heaven.

And now all we have of her are the pictures on the walls and the pictures in the albums and her memories. And a box in the attic filled with her things. In this house. This home. The memories of her are in every room. Every corner. This house.

In the first few days after death, I sat on the couch nursing Mary, facing the doorway to the kitchen. I ached because I waited and waited for Abby to come prancing through that doorway like she always did. I just wanted it all to be a horrible nightmare, something to wake up from with a start. To slow my beating heart. But it’s not a dream and she’s never walking through that doorway ever again.

She sat on the kitchen counter as I prepared meals and she emptied the plastic containers onto the floor. And she played with the containers in the spice rack. And she was by my side every day as I readied for the day. She opened and closed, opened and closed my makeup drawer in the mornings.

But it’s just a house. Walls and walls and floors and a roof.

We need to let it go. A possession. A home. Someone else can come and live where our daughter lived and died.

We can buy a different house and we can make it our new home.

And next spring we can visit this old house and see the daffodils blooming by our front porch that were given in her memory by so many of our neighbors. And I can take pictures of the dogwood tree, blossoming golden in Abby’s memory. And I can turn the corner and see the driveway where her life started slipping away. And I can imagine the blood pooling on the blacktop. And I can see the steps where I held her lifeless in my arms. And I can remember where she laughed and ran and sang and played. Happiness and joy. So much happiness and joy.

Seven years ago in July we closed on this house and it became ours.

And seven years this house has been our home. We don’t want to go. But we must.

Clay has turned to loose and rich soil under Todd’s constant supervision where lettuce and cucumbers and beans and tomatoes now thrive every summer, even this summer in the drought. Todd painted this plaster covered drywall seven years ago. Perfect satin finish now stained with fingerprints and smudges of boys. And there are knicks on every doorway.

I just discovered this on my computer while looking for something else. I don’t even remember writing it and it remains unfinished. I wrote this four years ago.  We never did move from this house. We spent the summer searching and decided that the best house for us was the one we already had.

losing a child; four years later April 7, 2009

Posted by guinever in christianity, death, grief, healing.

It’s Tuesday of Holy week. Four years ago, Abby died the Tuesday between Palm Sunday and Easter.

Quite frankly, today has been like any other normal day… cooking breakfast, checking math pages, watching a Moody Science film, making lunch (today it was baked chicken drumsticks, beans and homemade bread with cookies for dessert,) walking through a 5 paragraph essay with my 4th grader, letting the kids have cheerios for dinner so I don’t have to make something, answering e-mails, doing stickers with the toddler,  listening to Latin prayers,  shuffling the little ones off to bed. Discovering another grieving blog. I could go on and on.

That’s today. But the last couple months, there have been more tears than normal. This is because February started my “season of grief.” Overall, I’m doing ok. The tears may come but they haven’t translated into lengthy bouts of depression or walking around feeling numb, having to put one foot in front of the other, forcing myself to get out of bed in the morning.  Life is better and easier than that.

So all this to say, time has lessened the pain…a little. It’s not gone, will never be, but I’m healthier.  I’m walking in God’s love, sustained by His grace.

I want to dig through the attic March 22, 2008

Posted by guinever in healing, life, loss.

meabby2.jpgMy sister read my blog tonight and here is her response. When I saw this picture of Abby and Liz, I thought wow, look how my sister has grown up and changed in the last three years. Now she is without braces and has a fabulous haircut.
(nothing wrong with long, straight hair)

And as I look at Abby, wow, wasn’t she just a cutie? I don’t remember this picture. I don’t have it in my collection. I want every single picture that everyone ever took of her because that is all I have left. And I have a box or two in the attic with her things in it. I look at this sweet little outfit and I had forgotten it until now. Not that I obsess about the clothes she wore, but seeing it here in the picture, I remember it, and I want to touch it. I want to go up in the attic right now and dig through boxes until I find it.  But you know what, I’m not going to. That will be for another day.

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