I am a Sweetheart to One and a Mommy to Four Loveable Babes, one of which is smiling down on us from Heaven. I am learning to dance in the rain. Come with me on my journey as I make the most out of Life's mud puddles.

Put on your rain boots. Great adventure lies ahead.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Never Say Never

I am learning so much on this journey. One thing I am being reminded of is to Never Say Never. I have said many times that I never want to ask why and I never want to be angry. Well, I am doing both today and - for now - that's okay.

In all it's rawness, this is where I am at:

I am angry that I am writing a Life History for my son whose Life barely began.

I am angry that I don't know what Bennett's favorite color is.

I am angry that Ashton is alone in our church's nursery again (we live in a more established area and our family is the only home-owning young family in our congregation).

I am angry that we were investigated - for TWO MONTHS - for Bennett's death.

I am angry that the county prosecutor "felt comfortable" not pressing charges against us. Seriously? Wow.

I am angry that the autopsy report reads like a recipe. This is my baby, folks. My baby.

I am angry that I have to tell my 3 year old multiple times a day that his brother is not coming back.

I am angry that I have to find my daughter in a fetal position behind the couch sobbing that she misses her brother so much it hurts.

I am angry that I never captured Bennett sweeping the floor on video or camera.

I am angry that I have to go through the stresses of selling a home when we are just trying to put one foot in front of another.

I am angry that Grief feels like a nonstop PMS train. This is SO not fun.

I am angry that I have a closetful of spring/summer clothes that will not be worn by Bennett.

I am angry that I won't be looking for matching boys Easter outfits.

I am angry that I never had a birthday party for Bennett.

I am angry that we are having to deal with behavioral issues with my children since Bennett's death.

I am angry that I don't have a family picture with the six of us.

I am angry that I have friends that have dropped off the face of the earth simply because they don't know what to say.

I am angry that I have probably been "one of those friends" in another's time of need.

I am angry that people keep trying to remind me that Families are Forever. I am aware of that promise and I am grateful for it. It's what keeps us going every moment of every day. But this. still. sucks. Period. Don't try and tell me it's okay.

I am angry that this hole in our family is something we will have to deal with for the rest of our lives.

And - most of all - I am angry at myself for feeling this way.

Lesson learned again, I guess. Never Say Never.


  1. I know it doesn't help, but I just wanted you to know that I am so sorry, that it is perfectly alright to be angry. That there is nothing in your writing that others have not or will not feel at some point in their lives. People don't know what to say or how to say it because they are so afraid of it happening to them. Anger is a release for each of us. It is not the anger itself that gets us into trouble, it is what we do with it. And I think that you are a pretty amazing person through all of this.

  2. You have read my heart and typed it out....not today...but I have had those feelings many times. Please know that you are entitled to every single angry emotion that you encounter. You are an amazing mom and wife. I just wanted you to know that you are an inspiration to so many. I pray that you will find some peace and comfort and that your sweet Bennett Boy will be with you today to help ease some of this pain today. Loves to you! Tiff Rich (Jack's mommy).

  3. We lost our son Gabriel 9 months ago and I can tell you that I understand almost all of those statments. We too have no answers for the loss of our son although we were not investigated. My heart breaks for you, it's hard enough not know yourself without the outside world wondering too and possible placing blame on you. I'm so sorry that you had to deal with this in your already very emotional time. I also understand the stresses of selling your home during this time. We had our home for sale and then when Gabe died we took it off the market because I just couldn't handle keeping it ready to show at the drop of a hat. We just a month ago put it back on the market and things seem to be going better. My husband works in Utah and is gone all week long and home on the weekends, we've been doing this since Sept. of 2009. I can totally relate and if you ever need someone to talk to that get's it please contact me.
    Sending you my love and prayers and yes it does really Suck no matter what we believe!!

  4. I don't know what to say, but I will always be here for you. I know the Lord can turn sorrow to joy and pain into learning. But first, we must pass through it. As Elder Holland said, "Christ knows better than all others that the trials of life can be very deep and we are not shallow people if we struggle with them." This will pass, you will write about sunshine again. But darkness comes before morning, and this is a pretty dark night--it is certainly acceptable to cry and scream into your pillow a little bit. I know God lives Amanda. I know He loves you. I know He does not judge you for your feelings and will patiently hold your hand as you feel them. I wish I could hold your hand too. Love you.

  5. i dont know what to say except i think you deserve to have all of those emotions, i love you.

  6. Simply stated: The situation just sucks! I don't use that word very often, but it just is appropriate sometimes. Thank you for validating the "opposition" in all things. We have the glorious gospel in which we find peace, comfort and clarity amidst all of life's trials and troubles. I am thankful for that. I have relied on that. I believe in that with all my heart. However, there are all sorts of levels of grief.... and anger is definitely one of them. I completely validate what you are feeling right now. I struggled with not videoing Madilyn's birth. Why didn't I do that? Yes, we didn't know when she would be born, but I had 16 days in the hospital to prepare for what was to come. I still don't know if I've quite gotten over that....and it's o.k. Thank you for being honest through this process. It doesn't change the underlying beliefs that you hold dear. I know that for sure. But, this is not a fun process and it's alright to be upset. I will always be here for you, I hope you know that. I bore my testimony today about your experience. I had a "sweet moment" during conference in which I knew Heavenly Father had heard my prayer that you would receive some comfort in the messages. It actually came to me when the Mormon Tab Choir sang the primary children's theme song from last year...the song that was sung at Bennett's funeral by the girls. Out of all the music that could have been sung, I feel that one was just for you. What a sweet tender mercy I feel was sent from Heaven (& Bennett) for you. Hang in there, dear friend. This is HARD!! No doubt about it. I love your family dearly and will continue to pray for all things your "mother heart" needs at this time. LOVE YOU!! ~Heather

  7. I have never met you or talked to you. I found your blog through a friend and am continually inspired by your faith and optimism through the horror you have lived of losing your sweet son. You are obviously a good, faithful woman -PLEASE do not beat yourself up for being angry. It would not be normal to not be angry sometimes. A friend of mine who is a Marriage and Family Counselor came to visit me after my mom died and told me that any feeling I was feeling at that time was just fine. I had a right to all of them. It's what we need to do to get through loss and difficulties in a healthy way. You will be all right! And it's okay to be angry! I'm so sorry!

  8. Many many hugs!! I think others have said it better, but you have every right to feel any emotion that pops up, so go with it, let it out, and hope that it makes you feel better for that moment.

  9. Mandy, I sit here wanting to bawl for you. I'm so sorry for your pain and that this is not just something to "get through" because it is so permanent (for this life at least). Even though my losses don't even compare to the loss you have experienced I know that anger all too well. I beat myself up about it when it creeps in, yet I know the anger too shall pass. It is part of the process and my heart hurts for you. Also dealing with behavioral issues makes it much harder too.

    This is normal. Feel it. Feel it deeply, and then you can push it away until you have to feel it deeply again. It will be a roller coaster I'm sure and realize it's OK and the sun will peek through here and there and eventually stay for longer periods, then there will be a massive storm and then there will be flowers. I love you Mandy.

  10. Again, many many hugs to you and the family from us. I wish that we could make everything better. Love you all SO much. Our hearts are truly aching for all you are going through.

  11. After we got Lily's diagnosis, someone gave me a book on the 5 stages of grief. It was so right on and I have gone and am still going through all of the stages. The last stage of grief is acceptance and they say that you can't get to acceptance unless you go through all of the other stages, one of them being anger. So the good news is you are moving right along :)
    I love your honesty and thanks for sharing with us all of your raw emotions.

  12. Please, please, please remember that anger is ok. Anger is a God-given emotion. It's something He created in you and it's something that He expects you to feel. Even Jesus was angry. And if Jesus was angry, why can't we be angry?! Jesus was human and so are you. Let yourself feel angry, and don't be afraid to let God know you're angry. When you tell Him about your anger, He can begin to heal you. It's something He gives us so we can come to Him for healing that only He can provide.

    Be angry. Let the Lord heal it for you.

  13. My heart aches and breaks for you daily. I think about you always. I hope you are able to feel the Savior daily. Only he knows precisely how you feel. I really love the talk He Heals the Heavy Laden by Elder Oaks. My favorite part is “Commune with the Lord. … He is your best friend! He knows your pain because He has felt it for you already. He is ready to carry that burden. Trust Him enough to place it at His feet and allow Him to carry it for you. Then you can have your anguish replaced with His peace, in the very depths of your soul”.

    People may know bits and pieces of how you feel. But ONLY JESUS CHRIST KNOWS EXACTLY and PERFECTLY how you feel. He is the best source for peace and I hope that you can attach him to your side 24 hours a day and place some of your daily burdens at his feet. I pray for you and your whole family.

  14. Please don't be angry at yourself. I am angry for you. I would be angry too, if this was my list.

    Please know that you are being prayed for, that you and your family might feel comfort.

  15. I hate it too....and I hate being angry and mad sometimes...but honestly I am still trying to grasp that I won't have my baby back...and I want him back....and that makes me mad.....that this is really happening to me. I love you and I don't even know you. But again...thank you...because your thoughts and words help me.
    xoxo sara

  16. Anger, hello there, friend. A travel buddy you must, no doubt, meet along this journey. Give anger a hug and let it in because it is all part of the ride. Don't fight it or it will find another, less healthy way out.

    And the worst and best thing about life is that feelings aren't permanent.

  17. Mandy, I am so, so sorry. You have experienced something so horrible and I can't even imagine what it must be like to lose one of your children. I am a bit ashamed that I am frustrated over such little things today when you are having to experience this. You have every right to be angry, to grieve, to be sad and heartbroken and devastated. Just remember that there are so many of us thinking about and praying for you and your family.

  18. I am so sorry you (and your family) are in such horrific pain and hurting so greatly.

  19. I am so glad you can be honest with your feelings and everything that has happened to your family & honest with all that read your blog. I am just amazed at what a wonderful person you are- I still pray for you all the time & am glad when you have good days.

  20. You are real. You are human... of course you are angry. You can even be angry at God. He can take it. I still get angry with myself for being angry when I see baby girls that remind me of mine, who I last saw 5 years ago. All of it is real- the smiles, the tears, the hugs, and the anger. It really sucks, too. Try to be gentle with yourself. I am so sorry for your loss.

  21. For what it's worth, A-manda, I'm here. Not really saying that much (not that I said that much to begin with, when it came to interacting with you in our post-Jerusalem days), but I read all your posts and am following your journey day by day. I imagine there are many people like me--interested, wanting to help, but not having the first idea how, when I'm in Maine. (Unless your fam wants to come to Maine to visit, in which case I make an excellent concierge and tour guide.) Anyway--I don't have much to offer to you, except I think you should be angry, and I think bottling that up and pretending it didn't exist would be unhealthy.

    But then again, my opinion counts for little in this arena, so I'll just leave by saying my thoughts are with you.

  22. I don't blame you for those feels. I would have them too! And I have them for you...so sorry you have to go through this. You are still my hero!

  23. Mandy, It's ok to be angry. I know I've had my moments of anger too. You're not alone.

    About a two weeks ago I was able to spend some time with my mom and I showed her your blog. She was deeply touched as I am. We talked a little about how your family has always been there for my family. We've had some difficult situations and your parents and siblings have always been so kind and loving towards us. So, THANK YOU!!!!

    Living so far away I'm not sure what I can do for you (not that I have a lot to offer), but I do think about you and pray for you and your loved ones often!

    You are loved!!!

  24. Thank you for posting this. I felt like I was the only one that felt that way. I mean, EVERY SINGLE THING you got angry about. Especially the friends one. It gets lonely, which magnifies the anger even more. All I know is, I try to remember that tomorrow, I will feel better. It's just today, or this afternoon. You don't need to feel guilty for feeling this way. They are valid feelings, and I'm so sorry you have to feel this way. Sucks that it's part of this process. It just stinks. Nothing else.

    I really appreciate you keeping this blog. It has helped me so much, dealing with my stillborn. Makes me feel validated in all of my feelings.

    Hugs and loves to you!

  25. Hard to know what to say, but we are still here thinking of and praying for you and we love you! Anger is part of the grief. I am glad you do not let it consume you, but I hope you don't feel too down on yourself for it!
    Love you--Jenny B.

  26. I love you Amanda. I am sorry for every single item you listed. I am sorry for all the pain. My heart does not stop weeping over all of this. I am proud of you for facing your anger and expressing your feelings and still choosing your inspirational hope and honest trust in God. I doubt my own ability to be as strong as you. I only pray I can learn from you to be as faithful and as true. You are remarkable and the more real you are the more I admire you! I weep, even sob for you! I love you! I pray for you daily! Please teach me how to be the kind of friend you deserve. Bless you dear friend! Bless you and your family with all your horrendous ache.

  27. Oh Mandy, you have every right to feel the way you do. Let's do something shall we? Let's pack up and move to Eden or Huntsville and be neighbors! I so wish I lived closer to you. Much love from cold and windy Idaho.


Thank you for being a part of my journey. I appreciate your supportive and healing comments. Here's to a Promise of Sunshine!