Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Sea of Grief

Walking With You was created by Kelly of Sufficient Grace Ministries to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more. To join in on Walking With You please visit Kelly's blog.

This 6th week, we are we are sharing our first steps into the sea of grief.

My grief journey began the moment we found out Carleigh had anencephaly. Those first few days after the diagnosis were tough. We found out on a Monday and Thursday we were set to leave on our family trip to Hawaii. I took the remainder of the week off of work and my mom came down to stay with us until we left. I spent most of my time on the computer looking up things about anencephaly. I wanted to know more than what I knew about it. I read many stories of families carrying their children to term and I usually cried. I cried more during those days than I did the rest of my pregnancy or even now. Before we left for our trip I decided to temporarily forget all of our 'problems' and just enjoy our vacation. I did exactly that. We all had a wonderful time. Now I have such fond memories to look back on and know that Carleigh was with us the whole time.

When we got back from the trip I started planning for the future, but with a more positive outlook. I wanted to enjoy my pregnancy instead of being constantly sad and I think I did a pretty good job at accomplishing that. I had my share of difficult moments, but God got me through them.

I wasn't sad when Carleigh wasn't born alive. The days in the hospital were actually good. Leaving was the hard part. Handing Carleigh to the funeral director was the most difficult part of my journey. I really could've kept her with me forever! Her visitation and service went well and sometimes it felt odd to see other people crying more than me over my daughter.

These days I don't feel sad. Lately I have been feeling more emotional but not in a bad way. When the tears fill my eyes I am usually thinking fondly of my daughter and remembering those happy times we shared together. They are tears of joy. I really miss her and I long to see her again. I will patiently wait here on earth until my time is through and then I will have forever with her and Jesus. I do have times where I miss her so much it feels like my soul is hurting. And when I have those moments, God is there to comfort me.

Sometimes I feel out of place with my grief. I know that everyone grieves differently, but I don't feel I can relate to a lot of people. I can understand the grief of others only to an extent. I used to wonder if something was wrong with me. The one person that I know who gets me and my grief is Stephanee. Our grief is similar and it helps me to know I'm not alone. I'm so glad that God crossed our paths. I still haven't found the right words to describe what my grief is like and I don't think I ever will.

While my life has taken on a 'new' normal, it is not far off from what my life was like before Carleigh came to us. It's just that now I have her sweet memory to cherish and the blessing of calling her my daughter. I think of her every day. I miss her every day and wish she was here. I will continue to carry what has been with me all along. Hope.


The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces. Isaiah 25:8

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. Psalm 30:11-12


Just Breathe said...

Thank you for sharing Holly. We know that each persons journey with grief is different. I think God has blessed you and that is a wonderful thing.

Franchesca Cox said...

Well I must let you know that your grief journey encourages me. It has assured me that its ok the "ok" even after a huge loss. While I do have my bad days, I hold on to that hope that I'm just so glad you mentioned! I held onto that hope too from the moment we found out something could be wrong to the last few moments of her life, well even now. Thanks for sharing!

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Holly...I know that everyone grieves differently...but can I just say that watching you walk this path has been a blessing and inspiration (not because I'm glad you're walking it...but because of the way that you have chosen to walk.) What shines through so beautifully as you take this journey is...hope. The hope that comes from above. You are a beautiful example of relying on the Lord and His grace...and hoping in Him. And, you are an amazing mom to Carleigh...and a sweet friend to so many. Thank you, Holly for sharing your heart and your journey. I love that you have walked this path without regret...but with great hope. I know that you miss your girl and ache for her...but I also know that you rest in the promise we have that we will hold our babies once again. I'm so grateful to know you, sweet friend...

Love you,

Shelly said...

Thanks for sharing. I often feel like I don't grieve the correct way for our son. Even when people tell me that there's no right way to grieve, I still feel like it's not normal. Even though it's only been 2 months since we said goodbye to our son, I feel at peace with what happened. Maybe some people feel like I'm not being sad enough but I have to do what is right for me and you have to do what is right for you.

croleyc69 said...

Thanx so much for sharing that, everyone griefs in different ways. I myself don't like to keep things inside & I like to talk about it. God has blessed you with a special gift & I'm so glad. You are a amazing Mommy. Thanx for everything you do & the sweet comments you leave me. :)

Jennifer Ross said...

I like how you said that your eyes fill with tears when you think about your daughter with happy thoughts. That's beautiful.

Much Love,

Khanh said...

I know what you mean. I often don't feel sad about my daughter's passing. She's in a better place. My heart ache when I miss her and longed for her to be in my arms. Thank you for sharing

April said...

I think your personal form of grieving can be encourage for many who are consumed in their heart wrenching pain. Cherishing Carleigh's memories, carrying them with you and believing that she is safe and happy more importantly - eternally loved while you wait to see her again, is wonderful way to life your live.

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