Our Little Warrior Owen
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Monday, October 12, 2015
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
An Open Letter to the Loved Ones of a Grieving MotherFranchesca Cox
Dear Loved One,
I know you mean well. I believe you. I 100% believe you have the best intentions for her. She isn’t the same person and that probably scares you. You think of her before her (and your) loss, and you might wonder why things aren’t going back to the way they were.
You try and fix her broken heart by telling her things that you would think would make it all better, or in the past make her smile.
Somehow your words of comfort aren’t doing the trick. She might even be pushing you away. I beg you – don’t take it personal.
She hardly knows what to do with her own bazillion emotions, much less yours. So she isn’t trying to hurt you, but she also might not have the best ways of expressing just how much she still needs you.
You miss her laughter.
You miss her jokes and conversation about trivial things.
You want to remember her child with her, but somehow – to you – it might seem like she’s taking it a little far.
I’m here to ask you to leave her alone. No, don’t walk out on her. That’s not what I am talking about. Quite the opposite.
Let her go a little crazy. (She’s not crazy, by the way.) She is grieving the death of her child. She is the only person in the entire history of the universe that feels the full impact of this loss.
Study the things that become suddenly important to her.
Online blogs, forums, support groups, angels, wings, feathers, butterflies, certain jewelry pieces, songs, colors, places. Don’t stop obsessing over why you fell in love with her in the first place.
She’s still in there. I promise.
She is doing her absolute best to mend her own heart but no one handed her the manual on how this was going to happen when the casket was lowered.
She’s winging it, just like you are. And you love her, so trust me when I say I’m on your side too.
She sheds a thousand tears a day, and you might be lucky to spot a few. She knows you’re quite tired of her sadness. She knows that you care, but she is also tired of seeing you exasperated when you realize you can’t fix her.
She hasn’t stopped crying. She just cries more when you’re not around.
So instead of trying to fix her sadness the next time, just listen. Nothing you can say or do or buy can make her pain any less painful.
She isn’t crying so that you will fix her, she’s crying because she can’t help it. It actually has nothing to do with you.
You might notice her go from sad to depressed to completely angry and back to sad in a day. I know it’s scary to watch someone we love become someone we hardly recognize anymore, but the things she need more than anything is your unconditional and demonstrative love and support. She needs to know she is safe, no matter where she lands.
And we aren’t forgetting about your pain too, because while she is breaking into a million pieces, you too, are bearing the pain and weight of this loss, and to top that off maybe even a little misplaced, self-induced guilt for not being able to make her feel better.
Admitting just how devastating this all has been for you too, can be a constructive way to reunite after loss. Consider opening up to her.
Above all else, support her. In her anger, in her sadness, in her depression, in her lonely spells, in her confusion, in her wandering, in her distance and in her closeness. There are few things that hinder healing more than judgment from loved ones.
She will make it through this to the other side.
She won’t always be bombarded by the most intense pain that new grief delivers on a regular basis, but she will never be quite the same.
And she needs you to be okay with that.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Monday, April 20, 2015
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Yes, yes, I know. It is not OFFICIALLY your birthday but we are a few hours from the clock striking midnight and I wanted to be the first one to wish you a happy 3rd birthday.
I sit here "trying" to work and can't take my mind off of you. We are trying to plan our "Owen Day" but it is proving more difficult this year since your sister and I came down with the flu. We are still going to try and stick to our original plan but since we are both pretty sick, not sure how it will turn out.
You should be here. You should be getting ready for preschool. We should be signing you up for your first year in YMS soccer. You should be potty trained. You should be talking up a storm and getting into trouble with your little sister and big brothers.
On this earth, I will never understand why you left us all too soon but I hope when I am reunited with you and God, I will know "his plan". You are enrolled in a study to learn more on SIDS and maybe that will one day point to why, what happened, why you stopped breathing.
I think I am finding this birthday to be harder than the 2nd. Maybe it is because I see your sister growing up and realize you are not. Maybe it is because the 3rd year has some big milestones. Maybe it is because it is further out and more and more people have forgotten and we don't have their support. Who knows. It's just hard. I hear that in grief it will ebb and flow. Well, this is one of those times I feel the pain so much.
Though, I still feel your light and your joy. You live on. You live on in each of us. You have taught me to be a better mother. I am SO much more patient with your sister than I ever was with you and your brothers. I am SO much more loving with your siblings than I was before. Before you died, I was always so concerned with how I would get everything done. Now I just sit, relax and enjoy each and every breathe we take together.
You have taught Liam and Connor to be compassionate and loving brothers. They are so gentle and protective with Reilly. They speak of you often and are proud of you. They love you more than you will ever know.
Owen, I would give anything to have you here tomorrow. To have you blow out your candles. Reilly has been building fake cakes with her legos and singing Happy Birthday to you. Your memory lives on in all of us in our hearts and in our souls. You are always with us. We will celebrate as a family tomorrow your beautiful birth.
Happy Birthday my sweet bear. You made us a party of five and you will always be our 5th family member.
Your one and only Mom
|Party of 5!|
|Never seen a cuter cuddler!|
|Your Dad holding you for the first time|
Monday, January 12, 2015
|Your siblings and your cousins over Christmas break. You should be in this picture. 6 Gerster cousins. Why why why God?|