Saturday, December 05, 2009

More from yesterday

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who left a comment on my last post. All of them are so helpful. I really wasn't sure how it would be taken. I could've kept it to myself, but I knew that if one person could draw something from it then I needed to post it. Thank you for all the nice things you said. You all are too kind and you make me blush.

I know some of you said you would've been offended receiving that email and perhaps I would've too if it wouldn't have came from the person that it did. It did take courage to write, not knowing how it would be received. While the person has not had the experience of losing a child, they are a person who has shown me they care a lot for me and they have also done a lot. I could've immediately been offended and written off everything that was said in the email but I needed to look beyond just the words.

It's easy for someone to sing your praises. It's not so easy to tell someone, especially a loved one, that they may not be in the place they should or could be. You risk a lot putting yourself out there. There are people who speak without thinking and end up saying insensitive things, while meaning well. There are people who speak and just don't care at all. This is a case of a person who thought through their words and meant well. I am grateful that someone cared enough for me to speak up, even if I don't agree with everything they say. I think of the analogy of a friend who will tell you that you look awful in an outfit when everyone else says that you look great. It takes a true friend to tell you the truth even when it hurts-they run the risk of offending you because they love you.

What prolly prompted the email was the stretch in time around 6 months after losing Carleigh where I was struggling a little. Seeing me doing so well after her loss and then start to struggle was prolly concerning for this person. If I hadn't walked this road with all of you and knew that this was a normal part of grief I'd prolly be concerned too.

I can assure you, I am just as positive and happy (well, most of the time anyway! lol) in real life as I am on my blog. Those who know me personally can attest to this. How the heck am I so positive? Beats me! lol No, really, it's prolly a sum of my own personality, my experiences, and God. Sometimes it surprises even me.

I agree with those of you who said our life experiences help make us who we are. They certainly do!! I do believe we can choose how they make us. You can take something bad and choose to let it have a bad effect or a good effect on your life (and it can take time to work through those bad things). Take my experience with Jordan. (I know some of you may not know about this area of my life but you will soon as an important date approaches.) It was something absolutely horrible and I will never forget the suffering I endured. I could have easily succumbed to the darkness that was pulling on me, but I sought help and climbed out of the pit I was falling in to. I grew so much from the whole experience once I began to heal. I reached out to others and shared my story and I saved a few lives in the process. I remember saying that if one person could find Jesus through my experience then it was worth it all and I still feel that way.

Something one of you said really struck me as true. "The pain is still there and it still hurts even when good things come from the pain." Even though I am happy, I still feel the pain of losing Carleigh. I still feel the pain of losing Jordan. I don't think that ever really goes away. You just kinda learn to live with it.

While I have resolved to be happy, I am certain there will be times that I won't want to be. There will be times when all I want to do is cry for my baby. I won't hold the tears back because sometimes you just need a good cry. It's like a release for the soul. And, yes, like one of you said, there can be joy in sorrow!

24 comments:

Molly's Grandma said...

Holly, What a journey you have been given. I can well remember the early days and months after Andy died when I kept saying "Why?" finally my grief counselor said while my questioning was normal, perhaps I was asking the wrong question. I may never know why (that's for God) maybe the question I needed to learn to ask was "What?" What am I to learn, What does God need from me? I confess that at first it only made me angry (and I had a lot of anger that surfaced from time to time)but I can honestly say that all these years later, I am at peace not knowing the Why and I am still learning the What. It's been more than 10 years since my son died and there's not a single day that goes by that he's not thought of and remembered. Some days there are tears, some laughter, some joy..... You are formed by this experience but it doen't completely define you. There will be times when Kyndra has an experience that you can't help but think "I miss Carleigh" or even when/if you and Anthony are blessed to have another child it will be a bittersweet moment. You have been chosen for this journey and even though it's the hardest most difficult horrible experience you may ever have, I think you are succeeding. It's a marathon not a sprint, take your time, be kind to yourself and know, really know that God is in control. It's not fair but you need to help pave the way for your family, they aren't on the same path although they can see the road you are walking. It's a path running parallel to them and it's all new. Until Carleigh, you may have all been walking the same "road of life" together, since Carleigh, you are now on an unfamiliar walk with Anthony and it's dark and scary. Trust me when I say that there will be glimpses of light along the way (and with light also comes darkness) You will never be the "Old Holly" but rather a Holly that has experienced first hand the harsh reality of this world, that children die. I think this Holly will have more compassion, more understanding and more time for others. This Holly will not hold back when another woman steps on this path, this Holly will offer a hug, a hand, a tissue, and this Holly will not hesitate to listen (when there are no words to comfort). This Holly will continue to believe that God holds the whole world in His hands. I love you Holly and while I would never choose this journey for any person, I am honored to have you walk this path alongside of me and the many other people who have loved a child and had to say goodbye too soon.

AKD said...

Your strength is beautiful, Holly. HUGS.

Anonymous said...

Holly, I knew that there would be moments in your life where you would break down , this is a natural thing. As I loook at you in this process of life , I understand how God woroks through people and puts us through things in our lives to help others. And certainly you and Anthony and Kyndra and Carleigh and Jordon has help others through your life journey. It always amazes me that a small miracle can have such an impact on others lives. When I look at Emekka I wonder about Carleigh and I start to cry. But it is okay to do that .I know that she is okay now with God and family in heaven. I wish the very best for you and your family. When you were little, you was such a joy to me as to Katrina too. And I love you both like you was my own. Your pain, joy and sense of life matters to me and I truly can say that through this it has made me thankful for the small things in life. And to continue my quest in helping others. To bring joy to others whether it's a hand, a conversation and just a warm hello or a hug. To bring a smile on ones face is the blessed way to feel loved. I to was one who was worried about you but I know in my heart and faith that you will be able take one day at a time and get through this slowly and in your time. You are an amazing woman of God. Your parents raised you well and you can tell you were muched loved by many. For it shows how you treat others, and that your love for others shine through. I am proud of you and know that your are a wonderful,loving wife and mother. Take care and God Bless you and those around you that a piece of your life has touch and will be touched. Many blessings to you.
Love You, Aunt NAncy

Kristy said...

Lots of *hugs*

Tina said...

The person who wrote the e-mail obviously deeply cares for you. Your acceptance of what he wrote and your positive reaction shows what a wonderful person you truly are. Thank you for sharing this with us Holly! xx

lost--for--words said...

I did read your entire entry yesterday and I wanted to comment when I had more than a minute to do so... I think you have been doing an amazing job of not only grieving your daughter's loss, but also honoring her life in a beautiful way. You have been able to see the true gift that she was, a gift that not only brought your family utter sadness in her loss, but HAPPINESS in the precious addition that she will forever be to your family. You have an amazing outlook.... And I have looked up to you since before I even knew the fate of my own daughter. Of course we can't be happy all the time given our circumstances, but I just want you to know that there have been many times that I've been at the bottom of the pit of despair, and I've looked to you and your attutide to brings things back into perspective. One thing I've learned about this grief is that it comes in waves... Some days I think I'm getting ahead and working through it, and then suddenly there is a period of time that takes me back to the debilitating pain and sense of loss that makes me question how I can live my life forever with this weight on my chest.
((hugs))

Bree said...

Just another testament to your awesome-ness. :) Remember, you still have every right to have your sad moments, days, weeks, ect...

Jennifer Ross said...

I missed your last post, but read it so that I knew what you were writing about. It truly can be so painful, but you still are able to find happiness in your life. The loss becomes that of an open wound and you continue to nurture that wound so that it doesn't hurt so bad. It never heals, but it gets easier to "live" with. If that makes any sense? I know that you already know what I'm talking about;)

Jenny

Kelli with Love said...

I love your posts, Holly. You always have such a good way of looking at things and wording what you mean. I wish I were as eloquent.

Mom Putnam said...

Even though this is Carleighs web I want to say a HUGE "Thank you" to Beth for the wonderful post you wrote. As usual you had me in uncontrollable tears and it all started with the sentence of the marathon and it flowed from there. You just know what to say and you have helped me so much, more than you will know. I lean on you for the comfort when i break and I am glad you are willing to be there for me. You are right when you said it comes in waves, and there are times it is hard for me to know what to do or when to do it. I feel sometimes that my life has changed too,the journey of the grandparent is so rewarding but it has it's black days tooadn i feel like I am in a pit sometimes and cant get out. I am thankful that the pit is small . Thank you for being there for me not just as a cousin but as a dear friend. Holly, my dear daughter, I have said it before and say it again, you are MY life and cant imagine it without you nor do I want to. I love you more than I can ever say and know that I am here for you whenever you need to talk, cry, or just hug. Sometimes I need that too and there is noone around. You are my prcious daughter and hope the Lord watches over you all the days of your life and helps you each and every one of them.

Henninger Family said...

It took so much strength from both of you in this whole situation. I have been on the letter writing side of this story and it's hard - collaberating your thoughts and finding the right way to say the "harsh reality" without ruining the friendship/relationship you already have. I wish that the person would have been as receptive as you are with the letter.

I still think you are an amazing person. I did not know you before Carleigh or Jordan, but I think you have been postive and uplifting to so many of us out there griefing. Of course we can't be happy and carefree all of the time. That would not be natural. That is where those posts come from - the ones where we pour out our grieving hearts.

Thinking of you!

Just Breathe said...

Holly, this is a powerful post.
Thank you for sharing yourself and your feelings with us. God Bless.

pixie2183 said...

Holly-

Every post that I read from you, makes me feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel. My loss is still so fresh in my mind, but every time I read an update from you it makes me want to put my life on track and not be in the dark corner of a room. You inspire me to find the person I was before loosing my daughter and of course tweak that person a bit to be me, but me who now has an angel watching over her. I know in my heart my daughter would not want me to live a life of sorrow, she wouldn't want that for her sisters nor her daddy. I want to thank you for your blog I'm so glad I found it. My prayers and thoughts are always with you.

Missing Kasey said...

You are so positive! It does take everything and then some to write what that person wrote, obviously he cares deeply for you and we need those people in our lives! Thank you for sharing.
Nicolle

Andrea said...

Just read your last post and it was so moving, thank you for sharing :)

The email you received reiterates to me that those who love us feel as if they have lost us and long for the "old version" of us back. However, unless you walk this path you have no understanding of the pain that follows...pain that you do learn to live with, but never forget. We have to tell those who love us that we are living in our "new normal" and are "revised versions of our old selves.

I think you are doing amazingly well and stand in awe of your grace.

Love and Hugs xoxo

Kate said...

Well, good grief, what can I say since my Mom said it all?! :) Love you Holls!

croleyc69 said...

I know that I have said it many times before but I enjoy your posts and how very strong you are. I know I didn't know you before only online but Carleigh's story has helped me through some of my grief w/my losses. I just wanta thank-you for sharing Carleigh and yourself with others. I know that life is hard but God is good and he will carry and see us through anything.
{{HUGS}}
Caroline

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

Holly, you are doing so well!!! Your faith in God is strong and you are shining for Him. Grief is an important process that we have to go through and it's ok to let ourselves feel sorrow.

You are doing so good.

Franchesca Cox said...

Holly, I just want to let you know I am encouraged and moved by your outlook. I have said it before, but it makes all the difference. The thought that you have provoked has been with me most of today and last night. Actually the Lord has been dealing with me with just being content. Let me just say, it is a battle. Thank you for your transparency and open heart. I know that it will be better one day, and I can already see traces of healing in my life as I remember those shocking moments of disbelief that kept me from just losing it. Our God is so good to just keep working on us.

xoxo

Akul's mama said...

We have to live, so we have to smile and bring some joy into our lives. But you are right, the pain is lurking right there snd comes out at strange times in strange places.

Heather said...

You are an amazing woman, and I am learning so much from you. There is nothing wrong with choosing to be sad some days - God gave us all of our emotions, even the "sad" and "angry" ones, and I believe He fully expects us to use them. I also refuse to think of them as negative emotions. It is what we do with those emotions that matters.

Betty said...

I think you are doing an awesome job handling your grief...MUCH better than I EVER think I would. I look up to you because of how you have your situation. Do I think you're perfect and that you dont have down days, or weeks, or months....No. You arent Jesus. You're Holly. A human. God doesnt think poorly of you for how you are handling this...I think He would be very pleased with you and how you are dealing. I know I am proud of you and we have never met.

I dont know how to put all that is in my mind in words...but I think you get the point. You are fine. You have dealt better than anyone else I know would have.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Well said, dear friend...

It sounds like you have things in very good perspective.

Love to you...

Nickel Pickle said...

I am sure the person was coming from a place of love and concern, but I still think you have done an amazing job of being positive and encouraging to others at a time when you should be the one getting the encouragement.
I know you and Carleigh have touched many lives for the better!
I just don't want you to think its not OK to be sad at times. ((hugs))

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