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.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Your Perspective, Please . . .

Tonight I am missing Bennett so very, very much. In my aching, I decided to pull up his obituary. As I read through the words I wrote six months ago, sitting alongside his painfully empty crib, a fresh wave of anguish washed over me. I felt all those overwhelmingly raw sensations all over again.

Here's part of what I read:



On Saturday, January 22, 2011, a Loving Father in Heaven tenderly took home one of His own. Bennett, born May 31, 2009, brought more joy, light and love to the world in a mere 20 months than many experience in a lifetime. It was a privilege to call him our son.
Bennett spread love and laughter wherever he went whether it was smothering his mommy with kisses, falling asleep on his daddy's chest for a nap, calling out to his sisters, Emma and Gracelyn, for morning bath time or playing "cahs" with his best friend and brother, Ashton. He was eager to smile, anxious to love, quick to laugh and ready to forgive. We will smile whenever we remember his obsession with all-things handles and the way his little body shuffled around the kitchen trying to sweep the floor for mommy. He was a gift. Simply a gift.
We will forever cherish the scribbles left on our walls, the handprints placed on our windows and the etching he engraved on our hearts. He was here but a moment but will be ours forever. And with Bennett, forever won't be long enough . . .
We'll love you forever, We'll like you for always Forever and Always Our baby you'll be. No goodbyes, just see-you-laters . . .xoxoxoxo

In reading this, I am reminded why I haven't listened to his funeral recording in awhile. I am reminded why I haven't watched video of him. I am reminded why I don't go through his hope chest on a regular basis.

Because I cannot.

The pain and the loss are still too fresh. My heartache is right at the surface. It doesn't take much for me to melt into a puddle of tears. And things that bring back remembrances of that freshness remind me of the gaping hole in my heart and family. In a moment, I can be transported to a very painful time. A time that - even now - seems like a dream.

For those that have walked the path of Profound Grief, what has been your experience with Time? I know that it - paired with Divine Mercy - can heal if I allow it to do so. But does the passing of time distance you from the pain? Or do you just learn how to better cope with it? I am new on this path so there are still soooooo many questions I do not have the answers to.

So share, friends. Please share. This tired heart needs some perspective.

13 comments:

  1. I don't have any advice, and pray I will never have this type of advice to give. I just want you to know I am thinking of you, and am so sorry it is still so raw. Love you Mandy.

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  2. I am sorry. I do not know what it feels like to loose a child. But what I have learned from loosing my sister is that still 3 years later I see things and think we would've talked about that, she would've loved that, or I wish I could go be with her today. Sometimes I thinks Ok, Lord, I have done it. I have experienced her absence and now it is time to go back to the way things were. Sometimes the reality of the reality is tough, downright painful.

    This is what I believe is that I have learned to cope with her absense. I am learning still to accept that this moment we won't get to share now, but later we will have our days again. I think you start to accept that it is ok to move through the days and life without them physically on the earth.

    I am sorry...cherish the tears, the puddles you have for him, because they remind you of your love for him. I would rather feel so deeply, and love so completely than to miss out an even the painful emotions. You are brilliant and wonderfully raw. Thank you for reminding us to love a little longer each day, and for giving those of us who have lost a chance to be reminded of those tender days in our life.

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  3. So sorry hun. Just wanted to send love your way. We still pray for you and your family daily. I wish I could help shoulder your pain...I love you and hope comfort comes soon.

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  4. I'm just over a year from loosing my Gabie and he was 17 months a very similar situation to you. I've found that the heartache hasn't left still and I don't think it will. When we're on a family outing we miss him so much but even though my heart aches the major pain has lessened. When I think of him and I'm already sad or down then I fall apart. Sometimes it just hits me out of nowhere and I loose it but not as often as is was in the first 6 to 9 months. But all those things in the first year without him are definitely the most difficult times I've had. Sometimes while reading your blog or other blogs of moms I've met who've lost children are the cause of my heart aching. It reminds me of the times when i hurt for him so much. But it still seems easier and like I said before the pain in my chest and the sobbing on my pillow seem to hit me less often then they did.
    I'm so sorry we've met this way but I hope I have offered you some hope that although you'll never stop missing your sweet Bennett your pain will ease.
    Love Amy

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  5. Mandy, Losing a child is something that I have never had to deal with, and I am not even going to pretend to know what that would be like! I have lost a brother a couple of years ago, and so losing someone close to me was horrible. He died in his sleep, and was found by my mother... and like you, the police, investigations, autopsy, many questions from others, etc.... was what I watched my parents go through... The most dedicated, faithful, and giving people in the gospel were completely thrown to a place that I would never wish on my worst enemy. For many, months they were soooo sad, many times very angry, had so many questions, and even withdrew for a period, but TIME seemed to be the great bandaid that didn't take the sore away, just cushioned the wound and made it sting less. There are still times where the bandaid has to be removed and the sting makes its' presence known, but then a new bandaid is placed and relief is felt once again. I don't think one ever is freed from the sting, even with the best bandaids, but for our family, it seems that the bandaid doesn't have to be changed as often.... In kind of an odd way, I am grateful that the bandaid just provides a cushion and that every so often it must come off, because for me I am reminded just how fragile, precious, and important relationships, obedience, and constant diligence to living gospel standards are... I knew how important this was before, but because of the experience that I believe death only can bring, I seem to try a little harder!


    Thank you for your example of obedience, diligence, faithfulness, and allowing us to watch as you guide your sweet family through this teaching us all how to be better and try harder!

    You are in our prayers and always in our thoughts. I hope you are enjoying your new area and that your adorable children are adjusting to new surroundings. You are wonderful!

    Melissa

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  6. I want to put out there I feel sorrow and ache for you and your family. I cry with you in your posts and wish I had appropriate counsel or comfort to offer like we are counseled in Mosiah 18:9. I don't claim to understand the ache, pain, or hurt for Bennett's death. The verses in 1 Nephi 9:5-6 has impressed me over the past few days. It has given me perspective that I don't understand what God has in store for me or my family but there is a wise purpose.

    The Lord hath commanded me to make these plates (or experience this pain, hurt, and loss) for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not. But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words.

    I don't know if that offers any peace or comfort. The first year will hurt a lot. And the next. But God will with time heal the wound and make it a strength. A powerful strength which he knew that you, your family and Bennett could shine through and empower others when it is your time to comfort them.

    I hope that peace may come through your tears at this time and words of comfort from others. And hopefully words of comfort from the Holy Ghost also will come.

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  7. Dear Mandy,

    I cannot even begin to imagine your pain and anguish and although we have never even met, I wish I could do or say something to lessen your grief - if even for a moment. I do know that grief treats us all differently. It's like a chronic disease that is manageable over time, but will never be cured. When grief is still very raw, like yours, you just try to get through each hour, each day. Time does make grief manageable, but it doesn't take it completely away. From time to time, it will hit you like a ton of bricks, usually when you least expect it. As time goes on, those moments of intense and overwhelming grief will lessen and not last as long. And you'll learn how to best handle those moments. But they'll never go away completely. Very slowly - sometimes by taking one step forward and two steps back - you will learn to adapt to your new reality. I know that none of this is helpful when your heart feels as if it's going to break into a million pieces - over and over again. I pray that you will feel the love and comfort of our Heavenly Father each and every day.

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  8. I was thinking about you so much today. My heart just aches for you. I will continue to pray for you and your dear family.

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  9. President Thomas S. Monson:

    "I testify to you that our promised blessings are beyond measure. Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts..."

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  10. I cannot imagine losing a child. I did watch my parents go through it and still watch them. Truly amazing strength that has through the years strengthened me and my testimony. I have no idea about their private moments of anguish, but I do know that for us they were and still are a united front, sure in their knowledge of forever families and that all these things are but for a small moment. My heart breaks for you and your sweet little family, but I know that you are providing strength for your children and a united front for them to see and their testimonies will be strengthened. As you know we just passed the 14th year of losing Kristen, still hurts, still brings questions and tears, but yes, the raw pain does heal with time. find comfort in knowing that your little Bennett is one of those Angels that was just to perfect for this world and is now in a place that he can do the will of his Father and prepare the way for your family to be together forever. He is always with you. Not in the way that we prefer, but I don't think the veil is as thick as we sometimes feel it is. Hugs to you sweet lady. Know that you have many praying for you, including your sweet little angel!

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  11. Do what feels comfortable...don't try to rush. It was 6 months before I could look at pictures...and at times, if I see a new picture I hadn't seen in a while, it can still send me reeling.

    After 19 months, I still can't watch videos. I don't know if I'll ever listen to the funeral recording. Some of these things I think that I am keeping for my other children, and their children.

    Again, there is no timeframe. Do what feels comfortable and natural.

    At the same time, keep moving forward...you guys are doing so great. Talking about Bennett will help immensely (as you no doubt have found out by now). I find that talking about Rebecca and Rachel, and remembering them for who they were, and expressing what they mean to me helps me feel better more than any amount of pictures, movies, and recordings can do, the multimedia is very nice for remembering them exacltly as they were in a single moment, but our children are so very much more than that.

    Thinking of you guys, and hoping that you have better days ahead!

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  12. Reading this post brings to mind when I started looking at photos and videos of our sweet 15 month old. He died almost 3 years ago - next month. My tears start up when I focus on the loss. So instead, I think of him and try my best to live and learn. I have now accepted that he's not coming back. While that hurts, it also helps. And I dream of the resurrection and am grateful for this major gift from God.

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