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Monday, March 14, 2011

Time to let go

Even though I experience time between my down days, it doesn’t make them any easier to deal with. It doesn’t make the pain less, and it doesn’t make the hurt stop. But, I do experience a measure of peace in these times between and that is new and precious to me. Peace that I took for granted before Brayden left us.

This has been a down week. I guess I was due for one, although I was hoping I wouldn’t have to go through another one.

It’s different now. A year ago, I was torn apart on the inside and not much of a functioning human being. I can remember every detail of what that stage of grief felt like, and I’m grateful to not be there now.

Back then, the haunting questions were still with me. I would cry and silently ask why? Why couldn’t he be with us? Was it something I did? Why did this happen? I would cry and silently hate everything and everyone around me for what I was going through, for not understanding the depths of my pain, for not mourning as I did. I wanted to die with my son. I wanted my pain to end. I wanted to turn back the clock. I wanted him back.

Now when I feel the down days upon me, there are no questions or accusations or unending pain directed at everywhere and nowhere. I cry and the voices in my head are silent. I cry and it just hurts. I feel like there’s a big cavernous black hole of pain surrounding me. Surrounding me, but not consuming me…if that makes sense.

I’d be lying if I said having a rainbow baby didn’t make a difference. It did. My subsequent pregnancy after loss and the birth of our living, breathing son has helped heal me like nothing else ever could. I didn’t think it would be like that.

I hated every second of being pregnant with him, I was terrified beyond measure and stressed to the max. It was the longest pregnancy in history…at least, in my mind. I knew the worries wouldn’t end there – I saw far ahead. There was still SIDS, choking, car accidents, suffocation…you name it, in every day life I saw one more thing that could potentially take our precious baby away if he survived the pregnancy.

He’s here, and I still worry like crazy…but it’s one day at a time. That’s the only way I can breathe. One day at a time.

And as much as having him healed a great deal of my heart, there will always be a place that can’t ever be healed. I feel it every day, because it still hurts.

I never thought Brayden would be replaced. I never wanted him to be. I’m just surprised that what wasn’t meant to be can still hurt so badly.

Summer is coming fast, and I can’t ignore the fact that my precious lost son’s remains have yet to be dealt with. My husband has brought up a few conversations regarding where and when to spread his ashes. I always manage to turn the conversation pretty easily. I know I need to do something, but the thought of letting him go hurts more than I can express. I feel panicked, I can’t breathe and my mind screams NO! I can’t let him go. I just can’t. His ashes are all I have left. I’m afraid I’ll grieve all over again. In fact, I know I will. That’s what I feel when it’s brought up, like I’m losing him all over again. I can’t lose him again. I’m not ready.

But, like when we were at the hospital saying goodbye to our little man…life doesn’t give a crap if you’re ready. And it’s past time I said a true goodbye to Brayden. I know this. My heart just crushes at the thought of laying him to rest somewhere. I think it’s because I know as long as he’s here with me, I get to put off grieving again that much longer. And I’m not ready to let him go.

But, what mother is? How much time is enough time, really?

I don’t want to go through this again. But, it’s time. As a good friend of mine says, it’s time to put on my big girl panties. I owe it to my family. I survived losing him, I can survive saying goodbye.

I just don’t want to.


  1. First - CONGRATS on your rainbow baby!!! I'm embarrassed to say I missed that big change in your life.

    Second - about your current post about time to let go. It brought up a lot for me - we released some of Acacia's ashes last spring/summer (I forget when exactly) and that was so very hard for me. I wasn't quite expecting that. It was a special spot for us, a place we went hiking when I was pregnant with her, so I thought I'd feel good about letting her go there, but holding my daughter's ashes in my hands before releasing them into a stream... it overwhelmed me. We had planned to release the rest at another special place, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Now we haven't talked about doing this for a long time. For me, I think I need/want to hold on to some of her ashes. As you said, it's my last physical piece of her. So for me, I think we'll always keep some of her ashes.

    I think we all have to do what's right for us. So if releasing Brayden's ashes is part of your journey, then you need to do it. But I hear in this post a hesitancy to do so. If you're not ready - take your time getting there. That's my two cents, definitely based on my own experience and my "stuff".

    Much love and peace to you.

  2. Oh, dear friend.... This particular issue is not something we have had to endure, since we buried Gracie 4 days later. All of our goodbyes were taken care of, more or less, in one fell swoop. It there a possibility that you don't have to take this next step? I know that lots of families keep their loved ones' ashes without spreading them anywhere. Is that an option for you guys? Would you feel better to just keep Brayden with you?

  3. I imagine this to be so hard to even deal with. I buried my Carleigh so haven't had to deal w/ what to do w/ the ashes but I think I would have a hard time letting them go.

  4. I have kept the ashes of my two precious boys, Archer and Logan, and while I will not make a shrine, I know I will not let them go until I am ready. At this point I think I will keep them with me and until I go. We will have a service to honor them, but I personally, and everyone grieves and tries to move forward diferently, need them here with me. You just have to do what is right for you or at least what makes the pain somewhat bearable.