Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What Do You Do?

Today I received a message from an acquaintance from college who recently gave birth to twins. One of her babies died and the other is still in the NICU. I sent her a message shortly after it happened and today she asked me this:
Hey Kimberly. Thank you for sharing your story with me. It's been really difficult for me to talk about, but I wanted to ask you how you got through or are still getting through this. I have a strong faith in God and that has definitely helped me. I'm thinking about going to see a counselor my church recommended me to see. My other daughter is still in the NICU so I'm having a hard time dealing with that and grieving for her twin at the same time. Hope you are doing well.

As I sat to reply the return message started out small and then it grew into a long winded book. I thought it would be a good post for the blog since I have not posted anything with substance lately. So, sit back and enjoy my thoughts...

So good to hear from you, you are on my heart daily to pray for - I know the journey is so difficult. To be honest I am still getting through everything. It has been almost 3 and 1/2 years and I still cry about losing Hudson. I have always been a Christian, but after losing Hudson I dived further and developed an even stronger relationship with God. It was the only thing that could help me to make sense of the tragedy I was experiencing. To help aide my grief I had to use Hudson's memory for good. I had to give him a purpose even in death. So I have used my story to tell others that have gone through this same/similar experience in hopes that it will strengthen their faith or relationship with God. Grieving in the public eye is hard to do, but showing others your faith and strength is what helps other people to see what an amazing God we have and can sometimes lead others to change their lives, to not take their lives for granted, and to love God more.
I surrounded myself with a support of ladies that have been through similar events and it feels good to read their stories and see that what I am feeling is normal throughout my grief. Writing is my outlet so I blogged a ton (some not posted because they were mean) to get my feelings out. I also blogged my feelings and emotions in order to help other people that were going through the same thing.
So, I guess my best advice is to find your grieving outlet. You have to find a way that works for you. Whether its counseling (which is something everyone should do), writing, photography, some sort of project - anything. Not to hide or cover up your grief, but to have a way to honor your daughter's memory. I hate the cliche "everything happens for a reason", but so many people would say it because face it, what do you say to someone who has just had their entire world shattered? But, I took that phrase and ran with it - I let Hudson's "reason" for dying be a "reason" for others to perhaps learn about eternal life through Jesus. To be honest it is what has kept me so strong.
I know it is absolutely the hardest thing to have one child die and to be excited about another child being alive. I had so many mixed emotions when Heidi was born (17 months after Hudson died) and still sometimes I find myself sad at not having them both here together. The sadness will always be there, the unintentional stings from others words, the what ifs...sometimes they are so overwhelming. When things are overwhelming I pray, and then focus on what I do have - and the future God has promised me to one day be united with my son.
All of this has taken me years to learn and I am still learning. It will not happen over night. There will be a step forward and there will be 2 steps back. It is frustrating. There are days when I am so jealous at other people and their children. I have been so ready to be out of the "child-birth years" because with each new announcement brings out the green-eyed monster (especially with little boys). Then I pray. I pray for my friends and their families. I pray for myself and for God to take away the feelings I have - and this cycle is my life.
I have learned that even the closest people in my life will leave Hudson out of the count, but it is not meant out of malice. Its just not a part of their daily life. I don't take it personally anymore, nor do I correct them. I just go on living my life the best way I can.
I hope this answer helped :) I know I got a little long winded....I will find you a few links to posts of mine or a few others that have been in similar situations. Please know that I am here anytime you need to chat.


Mamascham said...

These are great words of the reality and the truth. I am a Christian too. And I have to be honest when my son's death shattered my world only 3 months ago I felt so numb. I couldn't even feel God. Oh I had evidence He was there but I struggled with not feeling close to Him. Now as a few of the clouds have cleared I am seeking Him more than ever. I am thankful when I didn't even begin to have the strength to get close to God, He insisted on getting closer to me. Thank you got reminding me that my relationship with Christ can only grow deeper from here.

I am praying for your friend right now. And thanking Him for the encouragement you are offering her and others like me.

Hillary Berger said...

My heart hurts for your friend. My Mom experienced something very similar, she gave birth to twin girls when I was three. My sister Tiffany passed away hours after birth and my sister Ashley was in the NICU for 3 months. It is not something you ever get "over", but you live through. Now 28 years later my Mom still cries over the daughter she lost, and my sister grieves for her twin. I was able to honor Tiffany Joy when naming my daughter, which was pretty special for all of us. Praying for your friend!

Kimberly said...

It has been almost three years since my Lainey went to heaven. I understand that green monster you speak of. It hurts to see other families and wonder "what if she were still here. What would my family be like?" I miss her so much. I still cry most every day and the grief is just as heavy today as ever. I know God loves her too and as hard as it to believe I know he loves her more than humanly possible. She is with him and she is good. I believe her short life was just as purposeful as someone who lives 100 years. I live each day knowing I will be reunited with her someday and oh what a glorious day that will be. I cope with grief by reading and praying and spending quiet private time with God. I am closer to him today as a result of walking through the valley of death.. I trust His plan no matter how painful. As long as He walks with me, I know I can make it.

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

I think you shared from your heart and your words were so true. This is a life changing experience. There are no fixes. We do take one step at a time, one day at a time, sometimes early in grief, one breath at a time. I don't know if any of the Walking With You posts on my blog would be helpful to this mama, but here is a link to all the posts we have shared there:

Sometimes it helps to know we are not walking alone. So grateful you were able to reach out to this mama and share from your experience as Hudson's mom. Blessings to you...

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