Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Audrey Caroline

This family have lost a little one and have written a book and have a website
I was given this website from B's sister and have only just had the chance to really read through what this family experienced.

A different journey but with the same heartbreaking loss of losing a child. A religious family who sought comfort from God, so a lot of what Caroline writes is based on her beliefs, however a lot of what she wrote related to how i felt also. I have copied and pasted some of her words:

Here is the little girl we have been loving for months...rejoice with us on this day. She is healed, and she has filled our lives with joy.

I cannot believe how much this hurts.

I don't know how to even get out of bed in the morning, or to answer phone calls, or explain to my children for the 100th time why baby Audrey will not sleep in the crib that we have had set up for months. I feel like I may not get through this pain in one piece. And all the while, I don't want to burden people, I don't want them to feel like they have to make it better because that is a losing battle. It won't be better.

It's easier to let people feel the strength than it is to be in pieces, begging for mercy.

It's easier to talk about the possibility of healing than it is to face the fact that she may not be healed.

This sweet baby girl, so much a part of our family, we want to respect her life in the most glorifying, beautiful way. We want to choose the best for her in any situation where we have a choice. We are all in love with do you plan to lose someone who has already become a part of you? As we near what may be the end of the journey, we weep for our loss and heaven's gain. I ordered a "resting gown" for Audrey the other day because I suddenly realized that we would have nothing to bury her in.

We had a really hard day on Tuesday. It started out by going to a funeral home and choosing a resting place for our little girl. No mother should ever have to walk around and stare at tombstones while her child hiccups and shifts within her. It was the most unnatural, horrible feeling I can think to describe. As we met with the director, we made our agenda clear.
She nodded the nod that means that she didn't really understand. She told me how difficult this must all be for me, and yes, I agreed that it was. For some reason, though, I was handling it better than I thought I would. I had dreaded this moment so much, and now that I was in it, it wasn't what I thought it would be.

I think she wondered how someone could be going through all of this and not be hysterical. It's not that I don't cry...I cry several times a day. Sometimes to the point where I can't breathe and I just feel like I am drowning. But not here. Not about this. She asked a few more emotional questions to lead me into the "deep place" where they must try and help people get to. As we flipped through catalogs, it started to make sense in my mind..somewhere between the gravestones and the "cadillac of caskets," I felt that voice rising up within me that doesn't settle back down until it is heard.

We are all just doing the best we can, minute-by minute, to love our sweet Audrey well. We talk to her all day long. Sometimes I just take a bath and tell her all about what swimming is like, or what it's like to be on the beach in the hot sun. I tell her about my favorite poets, my favorite memories of childhood, my love for God and for her daddy. The two of us have covered much ground in this sacred dance we call pregnancy. I feel bonded to her in a way I never did with my others, because I know this is all I have. And yet there is so much I can never give her.

I want her to know that I was funny. That I would have come at 3:00 in the morning if she got scared and needed a ride. That I would have loved to have had the sound of her children floating through my house as I got older. I wanted to try and fit a lifetime of love into a few short months, and as we approach the end of the road, it occurs to me that there isn't enough time to tell her everything.

I cry for you often. I miss the smell of your skin and your perfect little nose. My arms ache from emptiness. I tell your daddy all the time that I just want to hold you again. I cannot see to write these words because my eyes overflow with the tears of a mother who has been asked to give her daughter away. I knew I would love you when I met you. I knew you would become a part of me. What I didn't know was that instead of feeling like it was a brief encounter, I feel like the world stood still. He somehow gave us an entire lifetime of memories in such a short time. I didn't feel like I lost a baby, I felt like I said goodbye to someone I had always known, who had been my daughter for years and years. Even now, as I write, it seems impossible that you were only with us for 2 1/2 hours. Thank you Lord, for giving us all the time we could have asked for with her. The clock was insignificant... we knew her deeply, a lifetime's worth.

Today I am broken. I feel like I am in the midst of intense spiritual warfare. The Blogger people unfroze me yesterday, and I sat down to write after the kids were in bed. I stared at the screen for about an hour, just crying and trying to stretch my fingers across the letters to form something that would tell you what I am feeling. I finally closed my computer and went to sleep, only to toss and turn for most of the night. When I did sleep, it was filled with images of Audrey, but they always unfolded differently. In one, I was screaming at the sky while people all around me told me that I wasn't loud enough. They kept telling me that if I screamed at the top of my lungs, God would let me have her back. He would drop her from the sky. And so, in my dream, I stood with my arms outstretched to the heavens, believing. Then I remember crumpling up on the ground in tears, knowing that I wasn't enough. I couldn't do what I needed to do to save her. I woke up in the throes of helplessness, my bed soaked with sweat. In another dream, I was away from home and had a feeling that something was wrong with her. I called Todd to check in and he told me that she had died, and that we had both missed her memorial service. I would wake up every few minutes, sometimes grabbing at my stomach to see if she was still there, or if any of it was true. Of course, on every occasion, I eventually remembered.

I feel like I am constantly releasing her, reminding myself that it is really happening. She is gone.
What I have in that moment is the blanket that she was wrapped in for most of her life.
What I have are the pictures of her sweet face.
What I have is a beautiful necklace that a stranger sent to me with all of my daughters' initials on it.
What have is a scar, five inches long, which tells me that she lived here not so long ago.
What I do not have is my daughter. And that loss is deeper than anything I could put on paper. It is concrete, definitive, gaping. It is my new life.

There is much too much to fit here…I feel like I am walking around in a dream most of the time. The last 2 weeks have been some of the hardest I have ever experienced. I am still sifting the moments, the memories, and the loss. Trying to figure out where it all goes in my life, and how in the world I am supposed to watch my kids play at the park and not just blurt out, "I just lost my daughter" to all the other mommies. What is this new life I have been given? In time, I know it will begin to make sense. We will learn what to say when people ask how many children we have. We will learn to fall asleep on a dry pillow. We will remember how to love fully, without fear of losing the one thing we can't stand to lose. We will.

I Will Carry You

There were photographs I wanted to take
Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?

People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness
But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says...

I've shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
And I will praise the One Who's chosen Me
To carry you

I will permanently bear the mark of a woman who has lost her child. There are many of us walking the grocery store, at the neighborhood barbeque, at the movies. We walk without necessarily recognizing each other, side by side and a million miles apart. If you are one of these women, I want you to know that as I write these words, I am praying for you. I am mourning what you have lost in this life. I am praying that God will fill you as only He can, and that in time, you (and I) will be with our daughters and our sons again. Know that I hurt with you tonight.

This family showed such strength, determination and love that I really needed to include them in this blog to credit them for what they have survived and endured.

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