Saturday, September 28, 2013


A mom whose blog I follow whose son was killed in a horrible car accident recently wrote this.

This is why I refuse to be a victim and why I am choosing to be a survivor.  I refuse to live my life that way...REFUSE!  That's no way to honor Colum.  I honor him by moving forward and by trying to live happily and I'm doing my best everyday.  I'm still sad, it will never go away.  But I'm honoring him.

These words spoke to me. They spoke to me through my grief and into my heart. She wrote it so well. Cause every smile and every 'okay' and every joyful moment with my children honours Eva.

It's hard to explain you know. Hard to explain to those who don't know, with clarity, exactly what I mean.   Because choosing to honour Eva doesn't negate the pain and tears and grief I have over losing my precious daughter.  Doesn't negate the huge hole in our family where Eva should be. Doesn't negate the goodnights I whisper in the darkness before I go to sleep.

I miss you little girl. I love you and I miss you and I honour you.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Why my kid?

And it still hits me in the guts some days. Why?

Why did MY kid die?

Nothing pretty for you today.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

A dream and a miracle.

a) Whenever I meet a new little girl I hesitate to ask the mom what her name is. When I do ask I always hold my breath, hoping against hope it is not Eva.

Today at the playground Little J was on a swing and a little dark haired girl was on the other swing. She was just a little younger than Little J. Her name was Eva. And there they were, the girls in my dreams swinging side by side. My dreams of sisters. One dark, one fair. 8 months apart. Swinging, swinging, swinging. My dream. 

b) A true miracle happened today. R and I have reconciled. Not just reconciled superficially but reconciled completely. R is the last person I thought it would be possible to reconcile with.

Praise the Lord. It is only through him that this was possible.

Praise the Lord for the letting go of anger.

Praise the Lord for his mercy and his gifts.

I know we should never compare our insides to other people's outsides but I am amazed. Truly amazed that this was possible. Amazed.

Friday, September 20, 2013

The tattoo...

Yesterday I turned 36. 36. I was 33 when Eva died. This is my third birthday without my precious daughter. And she should be three less than a month from now.

I have been thinking about getting a tattoo for Eva. I thought it was something that would maybe happen in 10 years or something...and whenever it happened it would be the right time.

But it happened yesterday. And I'm lovin it...My heart on my sleeve, so to speak.

My first birthday without Eva was 35 days after she died. I didn't even want anyone to acknowledge the day, let alone wish me a happy birthday. I didn't think I could EVER be happy again.

My second birthday was slightly better because it certainly could not be worse (barring losing another one of my precious children). We did a few things and it wasn't terrible. If you really care feel free to read about it here.

This birthday we were in Edmonton for doctor appointments. Nathan has an ear infection and Samuel went for his yearly check up with Dr.C.

We brought some phone cards and blankets to PICU and we stopped by Ronald McDonald House for coffee and cinnamon buns. They were delicious. I cherish RMH because there I am remembered as Eva's mom, for a short time. She is remembered by some and others have no knowledge of the precious girl that once almost crawled there. No lie,  I am often jealous of some of the miracles running around that place.

After that we went to Oddball Tattoo and Silver Dave tattooed a permanent reminder of my sweetest girl. I like having her right there. In my sight, all the time.

Wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Small Gifts on the 15th.

The 15th is a Sunday this month. 25 months. 25 months! I find it surreal. I wish it was unreal. I wish we were gearing up for a three year old birthday in a month. Ah, wishes. And the unreality of them.

I hesitated going to church on the 15th. The 15th is a minefield and so is church sometimes. You never know who is going to say something at church and I wasn't sure I could handle anything beyond a casual good morning on the 15th.

However we went. And the first song we sang was Come now is the time to worship. It felt like a small gift from God. I hear you in the small things he said I hear you in the big things too.

Small Gifts.

Come, now is the time to worship
Come, now is the time to give your heart
Come, just as you are, to worship
Come, just as you are, before your God

One day every tongue will confess
You are God
One day every knee will bow
Still the greatest treasure remains for those
Who gladly choose you now

Come, now is the time to worship
Come, now is the time to give your heart
Oh, come. Just as you are to worship
Come just as you are before your God

One day every tongue will confess
You are God
One day every knee will bow
Still the greatest treasure remains for those
Who gladly choose you now

One day every tongue will confess
You are God
One day every knee will bow
Still the greatest treasure remains for those
Who gladly choose you now

Come, now is the time to worship
Come, now is the time to give your heart
Come, just as you are to worship
Come, just as you are before your God

Oh, come.Oh, come.Oh, come
Worship the Lord.Oh, come

Small Gifts.  Thank you.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sweet Baby Peter.

Yesterday Nathan and I missed the birth of Holly's beautiful baby boy by 20 minutes. It went SO fast that the first birth I was invited to attend came without me. I was disappointed to miss it but was SO happy to be the first (other than mom and dad of course) to meet beautiful Peter Jeffrey.

When I was pregnant with Eva I did my doula training. I loved birth then and I love it now.  I had planned on starting taking on clients when Eva was between 18 and 24 months old. I was really looking forward to it. And then she died. And I couldn't LOOK at a baby, let alone a pregnant woman or a birth.

But Nathan, sweet little Nathan, he healed my heart towards pregnant people and babies and birth. All of a sudden, I was excited to see a birth. To see the love of a new mom towards her precious newborn. All of a sudden I wanted to be involved with birth more (and not just as an active participant).

I was so excited that Holly wanted me to be at Peter's birth. But things went fast. I got the call to come at noon (they were already at the hospital, Holly was at six, I had four kids to organize and I live out of town). I learned some lessons...I wish I had asked if she wanted me to come over when I talked to her in the morning. I wish I had phoned instead of texting her in the hours before noon. But lessons learned and I can't wait for the opportunity to assist another mom in the future.

 I was still so happy to be able to help Holly after the birth. Help with taking some photos. Help with being a support person for Holly to lean on as she walked to the shower. Find clothes, socks, soap for her. It was an honour and a privilege to see sweet little Peter as such a new wee one and to care for my friend in this way.  I wish I could have rubbed his mom's back and squeezed her hips but I feel like I wasn't there for a reason. And the birth went as it was meant to. And I'm okay with that. I feel like I'm being given the gift of slowly joining that world.

And this isn't something I'll be able to do regularly and often because, let's face it, Nathan is 5 months old (today, hooray) and I have another 4 older children to care for. But I hope I can gradually help more moms.

I was so glad I has my little Nathan because Holly is my awesome friend and I was able to be fully happy for her and for Peter. Fully happy with no twinges of jealousy. Fully happy. And I'm so glad lil Peter is here now. And I love him.

And as an aside, I love love love Peter's name. Peter is the name of Matthew's (Peter's dad) older brother who died when he was two days old.  This type of honour warms my heart in a way it would have never before Eva died. Because Samuel wants to name his first daughter Eva. And I often worry about what his wife will think if she really doesn't like the name. This warmed my heart because I can imagine very well how it would have brought tears of joy to Matthew's mother as she got the chance to call another little boy Peter and see him live past two days old. I know that I will never think Samuel's (possible) Eva is my Eva but I know it will warm my heart to have a living little Eva running around with some of my blood in her. Can't explain the joy I have in Peter's name!

Sweet baby Peter

Nathan and I helping Peter's dad with Peter's first bath. Nathan is the chillest baby ever if he's in a carrier and Peter was so relaxed in his bath. Those two are going to be friends. I know it.
 Too bad all those towels are in the way and we can't see Peter.
*I have Holly's permission to share this story and these photos here.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Getting old...

I'm starting to 'get' why old folks like their old hymns in church.

I walked down to the back pasture today to go get one of the horses for the farrier.

As I walked, I held Theodore's hand,  carried Nathan in an ergo while Samuel and Vincent rode bikes ahead of me...Little J opted to stay in the house reading books. I sang a song that had been so meaningful to me in my early walk with Jesus.

Come, just as you are to worship.
Come, just as you are before your God, Come.
One day every tongue will confess you are God.
One day every knee will bow.

Come, just as you are before your God, Come.

I loved this song then and I love it now. I love the imagery of everyone coming to Jesus. Coming just as we are. Coming in our work clothes. Coming in our Sunday best. Coming in our tattoos. Coming in our shorts. Coming in our pretty dresses. Coming with our dirty faces. Coming in the morning of rejoicing and coming while we struggle through the night. Coming in our poverty and coming in our riches. Coming just as we are. Covered in snot and tears. Coming with anger. Coming just as we are to Jesus.

I see him there with arms open wide.

But I'm getting old. I know it because I haven't heard that song in church for quite awhile. When I first became a Christian (Sept 9th 2001) it was sung all the time. I bonded with that song and I've sung it many, many, many times. As I walked to the back pasture, in the gorgeous sunlight with the wind rustling in the trees and surrounded by my earthly children I sang it out loud to God. To my kids. To myself. And I felt joy, even as I cried a little.

Because, I can come to Jesus. I can come to him at anytime. I can come to him in my tears and in my anger. He wipes my tears and embraces me. He does not judge me for grieving my precious daughter for too long. He loves me and he embraces me 'just as I am'.

And I wish I heard it in church more often now. And I 'get' why old folks want to hear those hymns again. They bonded with those hymns like I bonded with this song.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Good Life

I'm living the good life. 

So much in my life is simply good. So much.

Eva's death is the One Terrible Thing that has happened in my life. But the magnitude of her loss is just so great it overshadows all the goodness in my life.

I keep writing this blog because when Eva first died I was at a loss to find a babyloss or childloss blog still active over two years old. I wondered what my grief would look like in one year, two years, three years.

I want to be a lifeline here to bereaved mamas searching and wondering if they will even keep living till tomorrow.

I know you don't want to. I didn't. I wished to die in those early days. Honestly, some days now I still do. But the pain is far, far less. The missing, wishing, wanting and loving. Oh, those are still there, and more. But the pain, well, it's far less gut wrenching.

Now I am dealing more with the fallout of that first year. I still care and wonder exactly what I did to A that was so terrible she completely stopped talking to me.

I still wish there could be true reconciliation with K in my church. Wish to know why she felt it so pressing to tell me how I was grieving wrong three months after Eva died.

I still wonder why R felt it necessary to take upon herself the duty of excluding Eva from our family calendar.

I would love to sit down and just have a frank discussion with all three of these women. Because, for the life of me I cannot understand their behaviour. I would like to know what they're thinking. To agree or disagree but just to know why they would act that way. I am learning, however, that no matter how much I want that, it will not happen. I would like to stop caring. But all that is a part of Eva and of her death is just so big. I just can't let it go like I may have been able to at other times in my life. I don't know why I care. Because A, K, and R are minuscule. They are NOTHING compared to losing Eva.

But they still breathe while Eva does not.

This post was not to be about those three that continue to haunt me. It was supposed to be about how really good my life is so let's get back to the agenda shall we?

I want to move forward a little with this blog. Talk more about Samuel, Vincent, Theodore, Little J, and Nathan. I've tried. But every time it seems like this is my space to parent Eva. My space to give her space in our family.

Eva has no spot at our table. She has no bed. No bedroom. No toys. She does have a shelf. She does have a room in my heart and soon a tattoo on my wrist. She also has this blog.

So, while I often feel like 'moving forward' to my simply good life sometimes. Eva draws me back. My love for her grows while my ability to parent her diminishes. It's been over two years since I held her. Over two years since I did anything for her, physically. How can we parent our dead children? Because, parent them we must. They are ours. They are our children, and love continues on.

But I want you all to know that life can be simply good again. Probably, one day, it even will be good again for you. Unfathomable I  know.

Try not to burn down relationships, as I have. However, sometimes burning down those relationships can leave room for beautiful, healthy new growth amidst the wreckage. Bizarre but true.

It's easy to say you don't care and those jerks are just not worth your time...but the truth is (for me anyway) that I do care. I care a lot. life is still good. And sometimes I can't believe how really good it is. How lucky I really am. Despite that huge loss that overshadows everything.

I am so lucky to have had a daughter named Eva. I am so lucky to have held her precious body alive. I am so lucky to have her smile to look forward to in Heaven. I am so lucky to have her three older brothers who remember her and love her. I am so lucky to have sweet Little J in our lives. I am so lucky to have chubby Nathan peering at me from his/Eva's highchair. I am so lucky to have Mike who works so hard. I am so lucky to have a functional relationship with my mom. I am so lucky to have had the true friends that really stuck by me through the darkest time in my life. I am so lucky to live where I do. I am so lucky to be living the good life. Yes I am. So lucky indeed.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Baby Shower

A few days ago I went to the first baby shower I have attended since Eva died. A baby shower for a baby girl, no less. I hardly knew anyone at the shower and most had no idea about Eva. I'm not quite sure what I was thinking when I decided to go. But I do love this baby girl, so that helps.

It was a strange shower, to say the least. From questions as to how many children I had to which I answered 'altogether, six' (and there was no follow-up so I guess whoever asked me that thinks I have six) to comments about a screaming baby there sounding like she was dying. Eva died so silently, I would have done anything that day to hear her scream like that child did. The silence of death is deafening. My dark sunglasses came in handy again that day.

I never had a shower for Eva but she did receive many gifts, as the first girl after three boys. As the gifts and clothes were passed around it felt like a little piece of my heart chipped off with each exclamation of how cute everything was. I had so many cute clothes for Eva. Clothes she never wore. I hope this little baby girl lives to grow into all the stuff she received that day.  But there is always the green eyed monster in me who jealously wishes wishes wishes that Eva would have lived to wear all the clothes she never did. I touched nothing at the shower. I ate snack food. I chatted meaninglessly with random people. I held it together, but I was crumbling within.

Thank God I had Nathan with me who I was able to cuddle and hold close when the missing of Eva got so intense. Thank you God for Nathan.

It continues to astound me how I can converse with people. How I can ask about their children. How I can listen to their replies. How I can function daily and that no one can see my broken heart. It screams within me but is silent to the world. And I know this. I don't let it loose to the world anymore. I don't sit sobbing on random park benches. And when my broken heart is acknowledged then sometimes I am embarrassed and hurry the conversation on or sometimes I cry and hate myself for giving strangers that power over me. And yet I crave her name be mentioned. I crave people to acknowledge her. I crave that others miss her too.

This life, sometimes it just feels like a joke. A cruel joke.

**Tracy I know you read my blog. I just want to thank you here for commenting about how you thought Nathan looked more like Eva than the other kids that day in the insurance office. I didn't really know what to say then, but it meant a lot to me. That you were not embarrassed to say her name. And, especially, that you brought her up first. Thanks.

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Simple Child

I keep going back to this over and over again. I'm posting it here because I feel like the artist has captured the physical expression of the grief we have for our children who have died more accurately than any photograph ever could.
Miss you so much Eva. More than words can say. My heart is rendered afresh.


I've been struggling a lot lately.

Struggling so much that I don't even know where to start anymore...

Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in it all...

Struggling with the passive-agressive ignoranceof A, who used to be my friend.

Struggling with being excluded by A in our small homeschool peer-group.

Struggling with feeling like I'm back in grade six and not invited to the party.

Struggling with my emotions.

Struggling with feeling like I should be feeling better.

Struggling with holding it all in cause, after all, it's been two years since Eva died.

Struggling with the fallout of holding it all in and then it all comes gushing out inappropriately.

Struggling with just plain missing Eva so much.

Struggling with wishful thinking as her third birthday approaches.

Struggling with looking pretty good on the outside while completely falling apart on the inside.

Struggling with the fact that this will never go away. She will never be not dead on this earth.

Struggling with all the years that lay ahead of me without her.

Struggling with the fact that in order to see her again I will have to say good bye, for a time, to my children living here.

Struggling with life and how much it sucks so often.

Struggling with other three year olds and how much I wish mine could be almost three too.

Struggling with being misunderstood.

Struggling with how to respond.

Struggling with staying away from A and yet wanting to resolve what's going on.

Struggling with my I really want to resolve this or do I just want to prove a point now?

Struggling with wondering if it's even worth it...why salvage relational garbage anyway?

Struggling with my marriage as we grieve our precious daughter in different ways.

And through it all struggling with my sadness and anger always, and learning to lean on the Lord through my struggles. He is the only ROCK in uncertain times.

Still, struggling.  There is no free pass.

Monday, September 2, 2013


On Sunday, Theodore and Little J were gifted some new-to-them princess dress up clothes. Now I have two little princesses running around. How fun.

Eva, my darling, would you have been a princess too?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

To love life again?

To love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.

― Ellen Bass

For me, maybe one day?

Not yet.

How about you?