Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas time again...

My favorite season again. This year, it is harder. The fog has lifted, and my feelings are sharper, more intense. This year, I have the unexpected pleasure of having extended time off work as I transition from one career to a new career. I feel you with me some days as I muddle through the holiday season. Other days, I do not feel you or sense you. My decorations are beautiful, and my heart should be full, but it feels hollow again this year. I have vowed to send out Christmas cards next year, and try to push myself back into the joy of the season I love so much. Everyone says, "it gets better", and I hope they are right. Merry Christmas my sweet boy.

Sunday, December 11, 2016


This year, Mark and I attended a candle lighting ceremony in your honor. All over the world, since 1997, at 7pm local time, the Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting is designed to unite families and friends around the world to honor the memory of their lost children. We remembered you tonight Joshua. I was doing fine, and looking forward to attending until we walked in, and I saw all of the other people who have a dead child. It seemed like a horrible thing to "celebrate", although that is not the spirit of the event. I started to cry as I gave your name, date of birth and date of death so they could print your name for your luminary. It is just so unspeakable to say the words, "Date of Death" for a 22-year old! As I walked forward to the front of the church to place your luminary, I felt like screaming out to the crowd how wrong and unnatural this was. I envisioned myself running back up the aisle and leaving with a loud slam of the doors. But instead, I walked quietly to my seat and sat with Mark while we waited for the ceremony to begin. They said your name. We lit our candles for you, and your dad and mom Kim did the same in Michigan at 7pm their time. We will do this for you every year, and I do not expect it to get much easier. I love you Joshua.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Birthday...

Today, you would be 24 years old. It is your champagne birthday; 24 on the 24th. Hard to believe. How old are you today? Are you still 22 forever? I just do not know how to calculate it now.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A new beginning?

Your sister gave birth tonight. You have a nephew. You are an uncle. You would have loved this so much. He is precious. He is light. He is life. He is new.

You are missing so much, and so are we……

Sunday, July 10, 2016

One Year

How odd it is to know a full calendar year has passed, and we are unable to see you, speak to you or touch you. So much has changed. Samantha got a new puppy. Chelsea is having a baby. I am graduating from nurse practitioner school. Jacob no longer has a brother. Time is moving forward, but it moves almost at a snails pace when we think of the time without you. It's so strange to see our lives move ahead, and new things happen, but you are not here to share them.

Sometimes, I have to look at the pictures of your face from after your death to make myself believe it is real. You are missed in this world Joshua.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

A lifetime.

A lifetime ago; he was still growing inside me, 9 months gestation, with a few days to go. I could feel him kick, twist and turn, as he ran out of space. It gave me joy.

A lifetime ago; he was still a little 9-month old baby. I could watch him smile, change and laugh, as  he grew. It gave me joy.

A lifetime ago; he was alive and as happy as I've seen him in a long time. I could hear him sing, watch him with his friends and see him play music, as he became his own person. It gave me joy.

Nine months; feels like a lifetime ago. But it's not long at all. It's funny how a pregnancy seems to go on forever, and infancy flies by, except for the nights when you wish they would sleep through. Now nine months after his death, it feels like yesterday, and it also feels like it was a lifetime ago. Grief has it's own clock.

I cry.
I ache.
I wish.
I hope.
I think.
I grieve.
I dream.
I wonder.
I struggle.

I live.
I move forward.
Time waits for no one.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Winter into spring.

My Season of Grief – Winter moves into Spring…flowers are on the trees.

Winter was my mood; my grief.
Frozen in time, dormant, but not dead.
Early darkness slipping into night.
A blanket of snow that smothers the life and light.
I found comfort in not having to turn to the sun, showing my face to its warmth.

The spring came upon me unexpectedly.
Warm winds blowing.
Flowers beginning to bloom as life marches forward.
I am not ready, but Spring will not wait.

I am not ready. I am not ready to step into the light of day.
The warm sun on my face.
The change of seasons that closes the dark winter around me.
The winter that brought me comfort.

Is it possible to move from my frozen place?
Am I ready to have my life move forward?
I am not healed. I will never be healed.
But, my heart honors my grief by stepping back into the light.
Moving forward into the sun; growing again.

I am not ready. Yet I feel my heart thawing in the warmth of Spring.

The sky is still overcast. But there are flowers on the trees.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

7 months.

Seven months "Without You". Who would ever know the irony of this photograph Joshua made a few years ago.

18,576,000 seconds
309,600 minutes
5160 hours

Without you.

Even though I am profoundly sad, this picture makes me laugh and smile as his remarkable personality shines through.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Six Months.

Today marks six months since he left us. I can hardly believe it, and it is still very difficult to wrap my head around his death. I miss him more than I could have ever imagined, and the pain is still very raw. More raw that I thought it would still be. I remember those bleak first few days that are now a blur, and almost feel I was more numb then, and feel more pain now. It is hard to imagine that he is really gone for the rest of my life. The rest of my life! I am so grateful to all of my friends and family who have been an amazing support for these past few months; without each of you, I do not know how I could have managed through this nightmare.

On Christmas Day, I was sleeping after work, and all of the sudden, I was woken from a deep sleep, absolutely certain a hummingbird was in my bedroom. I heard it's wings, I sat up in bed and felt and heard it fly right in front of my face. I immediately got up, turned on the lights and started looking for a little lost bird in my bedroom. Mark heard the sounds coming from the bedroom, and came in to check on me. I told him there was a hummingbird stuck in the bedroom, and I was frantic to find it, crying and really upset. He calmed me down, we looked for the bird, and he gently explained to me there was no way a hummingbird was in our bedroom in December. He said, "Joshua probably came to you in a dream, and you woke up in the middle of it. He was just saying Merry Christmas". I went back to sleep with the most peaceful feeling I've had in a while.

I still long to see him, feel him and hear him. I dream about him quite often still; sometimes the dreams are good and sometimes they are very upsetting. I guess it's all part of processing and finding that new normal I keep telling myself is developing.

Still, I want him to show himself to me. I wish for it almost every moment of every day.