Posts tagged ‘capture your grief 2012’

Your Family Portrait

I’m obviously pretty behind on this Capture Your Grief project. I’ve decided to give myself a little grace (a rarity) and not get too caught up in the “how it’s supposed to be” of the whole thing (even more rare). I’m going to finish the project even if it takes me into November and beyond. It keeps me writing and it’s been a really positive and healing experience (which is the whole point) so I’d like to continue.

Today is family portrait day. Awhile back I made a triptych with Jeremy, the boys’ urns, and our lovely kitties. I make photo collages of my beautiful family occasionally to make me feel better and maybe to normalize it a bit? Sometimes pictures of our boys too- not just urns. Anyway, this photo is the combination of the one from awhile ago with me added in because, you know, I’m part of the family too!

I feel incredibly lucky to have Jeremy and Gilbert and Calliope in my life everyday, and to be Rudyard’s, Desmond’s, and Oscar’s mom. A beautiful family indeed. xo

 

Capture Your Grief Day 18, Your Family Portrait

 

Anniversary/Birthday/Due Dates

I skipped yesterday- it was Release. Jer helped me come up with a couple of ideas but both were things I’d already shared pics for on this blog, in the past or even during this project. I guess I went a little photo happy sharing a bunch of pics instead of just one. He said I over share without planning out my days, haha. So true. Got me. And guess what? I’m doing it again today! Promise I looked ahead though and these pics won’t work for the other days anyhow. But honestly, if I had to pic something for release it would be a picture of this blog- maybe me typing away. Writing through grief has been so helpful and healing.

 

I’ve talked a little about our boys’ birthday- 1 year was June 4th, 2012- but I never shared pictures and I took plenty of them throughout the day so I’ll share them today.

 

First we lit a candle for each of them at the exact time they were born. Rudyard was born at 6:28 AM, Desmond was born at 7:03 AM, Oscar was born at 8:40 AM.

 

We readied bundles of sunflowers in groups of 3 to go out to all of the people who met our boys in their short lives- Dr. Chao, Sharon the hospital chaplain, Pastor Jerry and Pat Giles, Ken McKenzie from McKenzie Mortuary, and a big bunch of 9 to the nurses in the high risk OB unit at the hospital. That last one was a toughy to deliver. I guess I didn’t realize how hard that would be to go back onto that floor. My feet went to lead and I absolutely could not move but a few feet past the entry door. I pretty much just broke down and wept. Thankfully Sharon was with us and could explain to the nurses why we were there because Jer was having a hard time too of course. I’m glad we thanked them but I’m hoping to never be back there.

 

This next picture I did already show the other day as part of a triptych, but I love it so you’re getting it again! After our flower deliveries and lunch Jer and I tossed 3 sunflowers into the ocean. Jer read If. It was as good and right as something like that can be.

In the evening we lit the boys’ birthday candles and each had a slice of their birthday cake- yellow cake with chocolate frosting and sprinkles. The perfect kid cake. xo

Capture Your Grief Day 17, Anniversary/Birthday/Due Dates

Community

I could say a lot about my IRL (in real life) communities- church, friends, family, coworkers, clients. So many in our lives have offered support and love every step of the way from expecting triplets to mourning Rudyard, Desmond, and Oscar. It’s been absolutely amazing and humbling. These are the communities I expected or at least hoped would offer support. The community I didn’t expect it from, certainly not to the level I’ve received it, is Twitter.

Capture Your Grief, Day 14, Community

The support I’ve received over the last 16 months from this community has been life changing. It’s given me a place to connect with other women who have been through deep loss- be that the loss of a baby, infertility, hope, marriage. Women who struggle honestly and love big. It’s a pretty phenomenal group. I’ve even met up with several of my tweeps in real life and each time I am struck that the connection and friendship hold up. The care is genuine and the friendship is true.

I’m so enormously thankful for this community. I’ve met some true soul sisters I suspect will be in my life online and IRL for the long haul, and I couldn’t be happier about it.

Signs

I look a lot for signs from our boys- evidence they’re checking in, wanting to be in our lives as much as we want to be in theirs. Proof that they’re okay. As I’ve said before seeing things in threes helps a little. I like seeing it anyhow. Feels like a connection.

I haven’t had many moments over the last months where I felt I was truly being visited by them or that they were intentionally breaking through the veil to say hello. The only one I feel sure about happened 3 months from the day they died, September 4th, 2011. Our friend Jon was visiting from North Carolina to be with us in our time of deep sadness. Such a kindness. We went to Laguna Beach to spend some time and take some gorgeous photos just before sunset. I was walking along the rocky beach and 3 seagulls landed right near me. As they walked around they kept their eyes on me, checking in with each other, then back to me. I felt so positive in that moment our boys were saying hello, checking in on their mama. I felt very loved that they cared enough to come to me and offer the comfort of their presence, if only for a few minutes. It was a perfect moment; brief like their lives. We seem to only get these little snippets, my boys and me. Some day though, we’ll have it all.

 

Capture Your Grief Day 13, Signs

Scents

Capture Your Grief Day 12, Scents

Kiss My Face’s Citrus Lavender lotion is the scent of my pregnancy. I remember carefully choosing it in Whole Foods, reading the label, making sure it was organic and had only essential oils, nothing chemically. I tried so hard to make sure everything that touched my skin was as natural as possible to ensure a healthy environment for the babes. I also needed a scent that didn’t make me want to throw up, which was very limiting.

A couple of months ago I put this on again, not thinking about the last time being when I was pregnant. Instantly I was brought back. I saw myself rubbing it on my stomach, huge and stretched taut. Lavender and limes and talking to the fellas.

I haven’t used it since.

Supportive Friends/Family

Capture Your Grief Day 11, Supportive Friends/Family

 

There are too many people to name, too much love to comprehend. If you’ve ever sent a card or letter we still have it. Every piece of mail- including those little cards attached to flower arrangements- is kept and treasured. Not to mention every email too; it’s all priceless. Your words of support and encouragement are what got us through the darkest hours and continue to light our way. You didn’t just love us, you loved our boys. That means more than anything. Thank you.

Symbol

I guess a fairly obvious symbol I relate to our boys is the number 3, and anything in threes really. I seem to notice things in threes all the time and it brings me a little relief when I do. Relief and I guess a certain yearning too. I miss them. I miss my three.

Sunflowers are another symbol I associate with our boys. I’ve mentioned on here before that I keep 3 sunflowers, each in their own small vase (the same vases used at their memorial service), on our table at all times. Each week I clean the vases, pouring the little blue gems from the bottom of the vases into a mesh strainer to swish them around with a drop of soap. Preparing the vases and sunflowers has become an act of meditation for me. Almost every time I bring the flowers home it’s with my groceries for the week. I’m usually tired and busy trying to get all the groceries put away and when I’m done all I want to do is sit down for a bit but there are flowers that need my attention. It often feels like a chore at this point, but as soon as I pick up those vases and begin to clean them the world fades away and my mind is on Rud, Des, and Oz. By the time I’m swishing the hard plastic gems life has slowed to that moment. My mind is present. I remind myself what a gift it is to have that moment, to care for my boys’ memory in a tangible way.

Here are this week’s sunflowers, with a couple of extra in the center for Jer and me. xo

Capture Your Grief Day 10, Symbol