Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Yesterday and again this morning, the girls got on the bus and went off to school, Bryan kissed me goodbye and headed to work. Pretty typical actions for a family, I would say.

That scenario has happened for years in our home, just like it may in your own. Both girls have been going to school for a couple years now and my husband has worked our entire life together. But this time those predictable actions made my son's death feel all the more real to me. It hit me hard as the door closed behind my husband and I sat at the dining room table trying to busy my mind. More recently just before Bryan would leave our home in the mornings we would give "report" to each other and go down the list of IV meds that Wy needed next and what Bryan had already completed infusing during the morning rush of getting the girls off to school. Flush the Phenobarb when it's complete, infuse Lasix, Decadron, Valium....

But our routine has changed since Bryan has gone to work last. With that alone, reality had a hold of me and I knew it was about to beat me up brutally. And it did.

I must keep going, I know. But the thought of spending years and years here without my son takes my breath away.

How can this be? What happened? Where did we go wrong?

I love him and I miss him and I want to take care of him. But I can't. He doesn't need taken care of now. I know that should make me happy, that he is free of the body that never worked like it was supposed to and never allowed him the childhood that he so deserved to live. And that does give me a sense of comfort. But the feelings of missing him overpower that feeling of comfort sometimes, which inhibits my heart and my mind from being able to synch.

I worry about him. I worry he didn't want to go. I worry that we should have done more for him and with him. I worry that maybe what we believe is not what is true. I know these are not entirely rational thoughts. I was there the whole time and know all that we tried and thought of, everything that didn't work. I know his doctor would have done everything that he could to help him. But I miss him so much that these thoughts have been plaguing my brain that has been replaying everything as if it was stuck on repeat.

We prepared for Wyatt's death for two years. We knew he was going to die. I grieved for my child for years. I grieved for the smiley, loud, laughing child that was full of life who we once knew as our son. I grieved for the boy who wouldn't play baseball, run or walk again. I grieved for the child who knew a great amount of pain. I grieved for the experiences he would miss.

I grieved for my son who faded before our own eyes while there was nothing we could do to stop it. 

I cried. I got mad. I cried some more. But I grew to accept the new normals that we couldn't stop from coming. He was still here and, as we have done from the time he was born, we focused on what he, or we, could do and not what he couldn't. Which was enough to help us accept those "new normals" rather quickly. We had to just keep going...and we did.

I like to be prepared, I like to know what is coming, I like when things make sense. I'm the kind that feels she can handle most anything as long as she's prepared for it.

Knowledge is power....yeah, yeah, yeah.

It's been only 20 days living here while my son is now there. Do you know what I have learned in those 20 days that feels at least twice that? I know now there is nothing that can prepare you for this part. There is no book, or internet resource, or medical journal that could tell me what to expect this time. There is nothing that can tell me how I will learn to just keep going without him, like Wy and I always did together. This time I'm on my own.

This week has been hard. Yesterday morning, after pulling myself together, I left the house with our dog to go for a walk. We walked and kept walking until Pippy looked as if she was about to collapse. Today I got in my empty van and just kept driving. God and I had it out today during my long drive. He was of few words, but I had plenty to say as the tears just kept falling.

You can prepare for your child's death for years, but there is no preparation for the grief, the pain, the brokenness and the empty space in your life. This part, no matter how much you research, you learn, you prepare for...this part you can only feel. And it hurts, in a way that I can only describe as indescribable.
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  1. And it hurts, in a way that I can only describe as indescribable.


    And must I then, indeed, Pain, live with you
    all through my life? Sharing my fire, my bed,
    Sharing - oh, worst of all things! - the same head?
    And, when I feed myself, feeding you too?

    {Edna St. Vincent Millay}


    Yes. All yes.

    This is not in the books.

    What book could contain it?

    How well you know.




  2. I did not know what grief would be like before my son, Samuel went to heaven on September 10, 2012. I knew I would live without part of me and he would take a huge part of my heart with him... it has been physically exhausting, painfully empty and I became much more withdrawn and afraid to meet new people anticipating the wrong questions and looks. As mama's we have no other choice, but to keep on pushing ourselves and going. I have 2 daughters (big sisters to Samuel) just like your family and they remind me so much of your girls. We also have Micah, who is 5, who has also gone through many emotions that he doesn't even understand, from losing his brother. We homeschool, but last year was...well lets just say they did school work, but I was in a fog. Samuel and Wyatt are forever our hero's and have taught us all so much. Please know that you will feel exhausted, you will tear up at unexpected times and you will hopefully find much joy in the memories that you made together. I love to picture Samuel beside me watching the other kids and his giggle. It makes me smile, but also makes my heart feel pain. We will never, ever get "over" losing our child, but we will do our best to move forward.
    p.s. My husband and I subscribe to , they provide encouragement and support. Please let me know if you ever need to talk or just cry together. Sending much love and many prayers <3

  3. Oh, Ash! You have always been such a bright light and truly good individual and so very UNdeserving of this very unique pain. My heart breaks for you and your beautiful family. I do not personally know this pain, but I have seen it. I wish and pray that things get easier for you, and I am still here for you. Always. Many, innumerable hugs, love, prayers, and peace are sent in your and your family's direction. I hope you can feel them through all of this. I'm still here. Always.

  4. Oh, Ash! You have always been such a bright light and wonderful person and you are so UNdeserving of this very unique pain. My heart breaks for you. I hope you can feel the unending thoughts, prayers, love, and hugs being sent your way through this pain. I am and always will be here for you. I may not know this pain personally, but I have seen it, and I am and always will be here for you if you ever need an ear, a shoulder, a hug, or anything.

  5. Oh sweetheart you put it in words so well..took me right back to where I was 10 years ago. You are so right, there is NOTHING that can prepare you for the feelings of grief. And it is a well known fact that child loss grief is the WORST! What you are feeling and how you are reacting is exactly how it was for me. the way you describe your pain is what I have been told over and over again is normal, I know this is very "cliché" (sp?) but time does help heal. you will never get over this but you will get through it..don't let anyone tell you how to get through it do whatever YOU need to do. Allow yourself to grieve. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers

  6. Dearest Ashley... I.Have.No.Words..... My heart is broken for you and your family... Your words flow so easily from your broken heart, your pain is palpable.... I cry with you.... Michele

  7. Dearest Ashley... I.Have.No.Words..... My heart is broken for you and your family... Your words flow so easily from your broken heart, your pain is palpable.... I cry with you.... Michele

  8. Believe me, Wyatt is so missed by all. Anthony is heartbroken to have followed part of his journey with me. Grieving is perfectly normal and everyone handles it differently. My heart aches for your family. I cry often as I read your sincere thoughts and can only wish for comfort and peace to guide you through this.