Blame – Please Shhh 


Theo my Angel,

Today is a day like any other. You are on my mind endlessly. I was making lunch today as I wondered how I ever accomplish anything when my mind always seems to be on you. I feel like our life must be on autopilot. Even though it has been 253 days since you left our physical world it still feels new to have my mind 100% preoccupied. I have never thought about a person or a thing so much in my life.

I just put your brothers down for a nap. Jack is sleeping in the hammock and Patrick in the trailer. We are just finishing up another week at the lake. As they both were less than excited for a nap I wondered if I would have ever had successfully laid 3 boys down for a nap at the same time? Would we have had the peace and couple hour break to refill my own cup by reading or chatting with your Dad on the beach? I have these thoughts and they come with so many mixed emotions. I feel like it sounds like I am grateful to only have the two boys because it is easier and I do get breaks I am sure wouldn’t have gotten had you been here. It makes me feel like I am a terrible mother for enjoying some of the realities of your death. My brain knows this is crazy but my heart can’t help but want to punish me for enjoying these moments especially since I am so conscious of the fact I wouldn’t have this if you were still here. I know it goes without saying I would always choose you over any sleep, break, book, or chat.

I have slowly started to realize how much I do blame myself you aren’t here. I blame myself so many people feel such pain from your absence or witnessing our pain and how much everything in our life has changed. Intellectually I know I am not to blame but there is something that whispers, “without me there wouldn’t be a you, without you people’s hearts wouldn’t be so hurt”. Maybe it is easier to accept your loss if I can pinpoint blame, maybe it is natural to want to find fault, maybe one day these whispers will go away as they will no longer feel true and no longer be floating around.

I find it easy to be grateful for all the ways you have made me a better person and have given me a new lens in which I see the world but I struggle with being grateful for thing such as more sleep, extra free time, a less hectic schedule and even the more one on one time I have with your brothers. I love my time with them, just knowing I have it because you are gone is something I struggle appreciating.

I promise you I will find a way to silence the whispers, to allow myself to unload the weight of the blame, and accept what I know to be true; that this was all meant to happen and we all needed to experience this loss together.

Grief is funny, when you think you have things figured out changes within you take place, you see things that were always there but didn’t realize and with that you have a whole new set of realities to work through. Grief work is hard, it is ever changing and never ending.

I love you Theo, you are my beacon of hope, I see you everywhere, and am truly grateful for you, all of you.

Your greatest fan, your Mommy

Surviving the Tsunami of Grief


My love Theodore,

I am here, one with you in our hammock over looking Papineau Lake. The sun is shining, the wind is blowing a beautiful breeze and I am laying here with our crazy dog Jam beneath me while Patrick is sleeping and Jack is fishing with your Dad and Great Uncle Freeman.

You have been on my mind endlessly. I have spent much time in the last week thinking of how hard I crashed after riding a pretty long wave of peace. How depleted I felt, how the permanence of you being gone hit so hard and realizing how I will wake up in 20 years and have days like I just experienced.

I wrote you last from your resting place, I was the saddest I have been since you came into my world . My sadness stole my strength, my ability to function and complete simple tasks for three days. Filling my car with gas is an example of something I simply couldn’t do. My strength was replaced by endless tears, a tap was turned on and near impossible to turn off. You see grief is nothing more than a storm that comes and goes. Sometimes it is a beautiful rain shower and other times it is as crippling as a tsunami. I have now experienced the tsunami and the power it comes with.

I am so grateful to have felt it. To have lived it and to be reassured that the calm will always return and I will be okay. The calm did come, life went back to our new normal and your brothers have their Mom back and your Dad has his wife once again. We laugh, we love and we live. The tsunami temporarily steals that all from you. My heart aches for those who feel this on a more regular frequency.

So here I am with you, thinking and feeling so grateful for all you give me. Your gifts are ones I would give back in a heartbeat to have you in my arms if that was an option but it simply isn’t. So being open to see these gifts even if it is by having to look in the rearview mirror helps me to continue to grow and remain open for change. Having the tsunami hit allowed me to feel what many feel when struggling with life, sometimes you just can’t push the hard stuff aside, suck it up and get on with life. Sometimes life says enough! Enough is enough and you have to sit with it and feel it all. I appreciate the new perspective. I know it will be a matter of time before another hits but I am grateful for the variety of storms that come allowing me to feel such a wide range of emotions and gain a broader view which enables me to be much more empathetic. For now I am enjoying the wave of peace and holding you in my heart in the most loving way I can.

As I lay here I envision how it would have been, me and you rocking ever so gently in the hammock, the breeze blowing and you sleeping peacefully in my chest. I love you, I will never stop imagining all what could have been. Sometimes it hurts to think of and sometimes I can dream peacefully and full of love. Today I feel the latter.

Loving you is easy.

Your biggest fan, your Mommy

Carrying the Weight from Loss is Exhausting 

img_5321

My littlest Theo,

I am here today with you, listening to the water lap up on the shore of the Bay of Quinte. My heart is so heavy, it is tired. I can’t stop wishing from every fibre of my being things were different. Missing you are words that are pale and seem to fall very short of how I feel.

We have lived 224 days without you. Life around me seems normal, the world is still turning, people still have love in their hearts, people still act out of hate, and the everyday routine seems to not have skipped a beat. Anyone looking from the outside would probably think it looks like our life too is back to normal and all is well. You could be our boys living in our home and think the exact same thing. Yet it is all a farce. We are tired, emotionally and physically. Walking around living everyday life carrying the weight of the loss of you is heavy and hard work. Behind every smile, laughter, trip to the grocery store, books read to your brothers, and the other 101 items on a list of simple tasks we all perform each day is your Mom who is doing this all with a 100lbs of grief on her back, and at times a paralyzing force around her that she has no choice but break through and put on a brave face, take on real life and do all that needs to be done.

Your Dad and I are exhausted. After a full day with your brothers, a full day at work for your Dad, then dinner, bath, books and bed we have very little time or energy to feel you. Like to really feel it, to talk about you, to move forward and to unload some of the weight.

We need a break, a break together. Time to focus on each other, to be at home, or not rush home, to cry together, to laugh together, to not cry, to sleep a full night, to fill our tanks without taking care of real life. Today until tomorrow morning we get a break, your brothers are happy as can be spending the night with your Poppa and Markin Williams. So here I sit, with you feeling all I have pushed aside because I had no time or because I was simply too tired to go there at times.

When you passed there was a sense of urgency to help us and we are forever grateful for every act of love but needing help isn’t over. This wasn’t a sprint, and it isn’t a marathon but this is our forever.  We aren’t just normal parents walking like zombies from the grind of having a 2 & 3 year old we are those zombies with an added load that holds a weight that is often too heavy to carry and we need rest. I pray that all of your friends in heaven have parents that are being loved and helped years after they were separated. Those who haven’t suffered a loss of a child will never understand that it isn’t just a emotional exhaustion but a physical one. Having time to refill physically allows time for the heart to also refill with peace. We all have tanks that hold love, peace, and physical energy. These tanks need to be refilled otherwise just like a car you will stall.

Theo, my sweetest little man I am sitting on top of where you were laid to rest, writing to you,and having the closest to a “Mommy Theo day” we will ever have. My heart weeps for you but I am so grateful to have this time with you nonetheless. Your Grandparents just gave us a really great gift.

The sun is shining, the wind is blowing a beautiful gentle breeze and the water sounds calming. Together we share this, as you are all three of those things. I feel you blow through, I feel your love shining down with the warmth of the sun and the sweet sound of the lapping water is as gentle as your love for me and all those who we share space with.

I miss you in immeasurable ways. Today, tomorrow and always. You are my son of all sons, the one I hold in my heart and to never be held in my arms again.

Your forever loving Mommy.

Happy Half Birthday 

Happy 1/2 Birthday Theodore,

Oh sweet boy of mine. As I type this exactly six months ago you entered the world and laid upon my chest. Your sweetest little heart was still beating and you looked ohh so incredibly perfect to me. Your Dad, myself and all those who were blessed to bare witness have been forever changed and I believe in the most beautiful ways.

You chose the perfect people for your first birthday party six long (or short depending on the moment) months ago. I feel that love the room was filled with and the moment you entered into the outside world that love grew tenfold.

The last six months have been the most life changing months of my life. When you were born so was the new me. I have had to learn to live without you and get to know who the new me really is. I haven’t mastered either but there has been evolution. With every step forward my ability to turn around and see where I came from allows me to see where I am going. It is like coming out of a fog.

This morning I met your beautiful friend Isaac’s Mom at the lake to celebrate you both. You both chose a beautiful morning to be born and you chose a beautiful morning to celebrate your 1/2 birthday. I can see you both looking down on us with hearts full of love, pride and an amount of sadness. With every flower we tossed in the lake to represent each month you have been gone for I could feel you, I couldn’t help but think it is only time and in the grand scheme of things time is nothing and we will be together again one day. When that day arrives I know it will feel like we haven’t skipped a beat.

I hope you two have a wonderful day together as I know I will with Isaac’s Mom.

You both are missed deeply, truly and loved beyond measure.

I love you,

Your forever loving Mommy.

 

Finally Home . . . 1 year ago today. 🐘

Littlest Theo finally home
Couldn’t have been happier to take my baby home that morning.
Theo my forever baby,

One year ago today you came home. The only home you were ever going to know here with us. You were welcomed in to my womb with love and anticipation of the life we were going to finally live together. Your Dad and I talked about you all the time ever since you were created and then put on hold for about three years. We wondered who you were, were you a girl or a boy, would you survive the thaw, would you start to grow once transferred to my womb, and then how amazing our family would be once you were earth side with us . Never once did we think that after being transfer and developing into the most beautiful baby that would have been the only time we had with you.

Babies die, but not ours. It honestly wasn’t in our realm of possibilities. You get past a certain stage in pregnancy and you have this false sense of security. It never crossed our mind that a baby we created out of desperate love and longing for a family could beat all the odds of conception, grow and then be taken. It seems like a cruel joke. Not many people get to fall in love with their baby years before they are implanted into their body. It wasn’t just a potential baby it was you Theodore Rutherford Williams.

I look at the picture that your Dad took of me moments before you were transferred home. The innocents in my eyes is so beautiful. I was just so in love with you and so excited we were all finally going to be a family and taking you home was one of the best feelings in my life. I felt so at peace that day. I was so ignorant to what this journey was really all about. Your Dad and I prayed together that morning and our prayers were answered we just simply had no idea what they really were going to look like once answered.

Well, what a year we have had! How blessed am I that I had the opportunity to have you with us for your whole lifetime. I carried you every minute of your beautiful life. The life we shared was of pure unconditional love. It was simple and it was easy then. The second leg of this journey is what is so dang hard. Living my life so far away from you, loving you as any mom loves their child and never being able to feel that love back in the traditional ways. It steals my breath, and at times feels impossible to catch.

Sunday I am off to a lodge two hours outside of Winnipeg. For five days I am sharing space, hearts and stories with 25 other Moms who love their babies as fiercely as I love you and also who can no longer hold them in their arms. These Moms are from four different countries and all different backgrounds but we share something that binds us so closely, only we know what it is like to Mother a child you can’t hold, see, kiss, and watch experience life. Only a bereaved Mom knows how tender the love really is and how one’s heart can still beat after being so broken in ways that will never be mended.

I look forward to five days of just you and me Theo. You and me, healing, living, and feeling peace together. Life is so busy with regular life, two precious boys and a loving husband at home. This gives me time to just be present with you for a few days and to celebrate you as the son you are to me with women who truly get it. I have no idea what this week will look like, and frankly I am open to whatever comes.

Thank you for the most incredible year we have just had together. You changed me in ways I didn’t know needed to grow, we shared the most beautiful 8 months I have shared with anyone, I learned a new depth to love and the gifts have been abundant. My heart is heavy with pain, but it is filled with so much love for you and has enabled me to love others in a deeper more pure way. This is all because you lived. I need you to know that I would never have made a different choice. Even if I knew before you were transferred that you would die, I would still to choose those eight months and a broken heart. Living a life where you never existed to me is a life not worth living. Thank you for choosing me.

Your forever loving Mommy.

Gang of Four 

img_4475

My littlest baby Theo,

Summer is in full swing. This weekend the sun was shining strong, your brothers were spending the days running in a sprinkler, playing soccer, and being super silly and free spirited boys. Your Dad competed in a charity dance competition on Friday night and won first place. I know you were right there beside him during the whole performance. Would you have been a good dancer? Your brothers love to dance and anytime the music is turned on they are grooving! Your Uncle Terry was here all weekend. He would have loved you dearly. We spent some time watching super bike races this afternoon. All four boys loved them, I am sure you too would have been crazy for the speed and power.

I felt your absence every minute of this incredible weekend. It seems so unfair for us to be together making so many memories and you are left to watch from a distance. Do you feel like it is unfair? Do you watch us with a heavy heart wishing as hard as I do it was so different? Do you want to be rolling on the grass with your brothers? Do you want to be a part of the love attacks your brothers get into? Do you feel their love even though it is at a distance?

You sure picked a great Dad. I have been thinking how right you were to pick him. His love for you runs deep. You are forever on his mind. I watch him with Jack and Patrick and think of all the ways you four would have fit perfectly together. The adventures you would have taken with him and the memories you would have made. I wonder how similar you would have been to him. Would you have love the tourism industry? Would have had the love for The Bay of Quinte Region? Would you have volunteered your time in similar ways? Would you have valued simple days with the family? Would have played the piano? Would you have shared his faith in God? Would you have been as thoughtful and as caring as he is? Would you one day be a Dad just like him? When it comes to Dads it doesn’t get better than him. I am so sorry you both can’t share it all.

This experience of losing you comes with so many layers. My heart breaks for me, as your Mom who desperately wants you back in my life. My heart breaks for Jack and Patrick, as they forever lost a brother who they would have adored and would have shared a life so close and so filled with love. My heart breaks for your Dad who lost you, his third son. It was meant to be a gang of four sharing all father and son experiences. My heart breaks for all of your Grandparents who also feel your absence and feel sadness for their children who are heavy with grief. The layers are thick, they are heavy and they are real. These layers are there because you are loved by so many and so very deeply.

I love you, I miss you, I feel you.

Your forever loving Mommy

Anger Simply Doesn’t Serve Me.

img_4367-1

Theodore,

Today, I am choosing to see the gifts. I am choosing to love you, honour you but not be swallowed up in grief. There are times when this is easy. Today it isn’t easy but that is where I want to be so it is where I will sit, you deserve it and so do I.

I am not angry. I am not angry at you, at God or at anyone else. I have read so many blogs about how grieving parents feel or telling others how to act with a person who is on the journey of losing a child. Most of them don’t feel true to me, even though it is for many. I am not angry at the Mom who pops out babies like it is no big deal, I am not angry at the genuine person who unintentionally says something to me that cuts deep, I am not angry at stranger who has no clue what our path looks like and makes assumptions that sting, or at the person who wants to point out all that I am blessed with instead of acknowledging our loss as a profoundly painful loss, and I am certainly not angry at those who love us yet have no clue how to support us or have figured maybe we are over it or will be shortly (ps we won’t be, like ever). You see Theodore, our journey and my journey of becoming a Mom tells me that most people are good, most people put love first, and being angry doesn’t serve any one. We have no clue what others’ paths look like, we too can make assumptions but what would that serve? We all have challenges, I am happy for the Mom who never struggled with making a family, she probably deserved that break because in life her heart will have to tend to other challenges.

Not being angry is one of the many gifts you gave me. My heart longs for you in unimaginable ways. My heart doesn’t want to allow anger to take up space where love and compassion belong.

Today, I am going to be that person who points out all the blessings even if it is annoying to myself. I have learned a new depth to love, deepened compassion for others, empathy for people’s situation I don’t understand, a desire to be a better version of me, to choose love even when it is hard and especially to those who are acting in unloveable ways, to find gratitude for all the simple blessings, to celebrate everything big and small, to see that in tragedy there are beautiful moments, memories and gifts that should be seen and appreciated, and acknowledging the gratitude for all that we have been given in these circumstances doesn’t mean I am happy this all happened. I am incredibly grateful for God as I know he weeps with me when my heart is overflowing with grief, I am never alone in my loneliest moments as he always walks beside me in this journey.

Theodore, your lessons, and your gifts are abundant and I am grateful for it all. I love you. I miss you like I have never missed anyone before, but today I am celebrating you even though it doesn’t feel easy.

Your forever loving and grateful Mommy.