Brielle Is Turning One!

David and I are very excited to invite you all to Brielle’s first birthday! David and I will be spending the month leading up to her birthday remembering our favorite moments with Brielle and performing random acts of kindness in her honor. 

I would love to hear your favorite memories of Brielle and I would love for you all to join us in performing random acts of kindness in Brielle’s memory. I can’t think of a better way to honor her life and would love to hear about the things you all have done in her memory. 

I’ll be posting suggestions and ideas for the next month as we prepare for this huge milestone. The weeks leading up to Brielle’s birthday, and the day itself, will be very hard for us. David and I want to find the good and the blessings in her life, we want to celebrate her, just as we did while she was alive. I encourage you all to join us in finding the good as we prepare to celebrate Brielle’s first heavenly birthday. 

Quiet, Empty Rooms

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This is a post I wrote a few weeks ago.

I love being alone. The television is rarely on, the trees isolate the house from outside noise, and I prefer this. I prefer quiet. I spend hours in my head thinking, lost in my own mind, and I am happy this way.

I’ll walk through my house, passing empty room after empty room, and wonder what life would be with a house full of little feet and sticky hands.

Admittedly, I stress over the chaos. Grape jelly smeared on the chairs and doors. Dog hair, crayon murals, and fighting children flashing before my eyes.

And then I think about sloppy kisses, laughter, watching them grow and thrive. I look into empty rooms and I see a full house, filled with colorful bedding, waded up clothing, and toys scattered everywhere.

I think that would be nice. Chaotic, messy, and stressful, but nice.

I’ll think about Brielle, her long legs quickly crawling across the room, her babbling, her sloppy kisses. And I think, that would be nice. I’d give anything to wipe her sticky hands. To wake up in the middle of the night with her. I’d give anything for her noise, her chaos, her love.

I walk through my orderly, empty house, and realize just how lonely and empty life is without sticky fingers. And I feel alone. I feel empty.

David’s Father’s Day Weekend

David and I spent this past weekend with family and celebrating Brielle. Saturday afternoon we had a really nice visit with Bernice. We had a great conversation and she was incredibly clear, even giving David some much needed encouragement. It was great to see her doing so well.

We then went to David’s second cousins wedding. David’s dad was the youngest child and David is the youngest child, so David and his second cousin, Jimmy, are just six months apart. I love it and think it’s hilarious.

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Jimmy has been a great source of encouragement to David as we’ve dealt with the loss of Brielle. He’s a great guy who’s always there when you need him. I count myself lucky to have a friend like him and to be a part of his family. That being said, we were very excited to see him marry Tammy.

The wedding was beautiful, one of the prettiest weddings I’ve ever attended. It was outside, the weather was perfect, everyone that came loved Jimmy and Tammy, it was just wonderful. And I’m so glad we were able to attend. I love David’s family, they are incredibly kind and have been very accepting of me.

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We came home that night and took Brielle to church with us in the morning. David dressed her bear in her Star Wars dress, she was so cute! Dr. Cooper was on fire that morning and gave an incredible talk on David and Goliath. The talk is part of his valleys series, God guiding us through the valleys of life. David and I love attending Mt Paran, Dr. Cooper has a message that speaks directly to us, every single week, and we always feel the spirit of God there. I’ll talk more about this message later.

Sunday evening, for Father’s Day, we took Brielle back to Dave and Buster’s and recreated the photo booth picture. It felt so good to celebrate her again. It hurt to remember the pain of her absence, but it felt good to remember all the love and happiness we shared with her.

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I think that’s one of the hardest things about grief, figuring out how to move forward. David, who has worked past the numb stage of grief, unlike me, held my hand and said, “I didn’t know how to go on. She was our world and now there’s nothing left. But this feels good, I want to celebrate her, I want to do all the things with her that we didn’t have the time for, like fly a kite. I want to keep doing her bucket list.”

This kind of took me off guard, so I was a little shocked, but David was sure, this is how he wants to move forward. So I said okay. We’ll make a new bucket list. We took her back to D&B and then, not feeling like video games, we decided to see Finding Dory. Which is a great movie.

We left Brielle in the car and later regretted it. It’s hard knowing where to take her and where not to take her. It can be embarrassing at times, carrying around a dressed up teddy bear, no one knows it’s an urn bear. And sometimes we feel silly, but then, like this Sunday, we regret it.

We’ll do better in the future. We’re still figuring out our new normal. But, at least, this incredibly sad anniversary, ended up being a very good weekend.

Stronger Through Tragedy

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I expected Brielle’s diagnosis and death to damage our marriage. That outcome is certainly not unheard of.

Where I expected communication issues, there were none. When I expected the stress of grief to pull at us, it didn’t.

Our honesty and vulnerability with each other has brought us closer together. I see how much David loves and misses Brielle and it makes my heart overflow with love for him.

The ways he cared for me during the pregnancy and the ways he loved and embraced Brielle fill me with more love than I could have ever imagined. I am closer to him now than I have ever been.

And through this tragedy in our lives, I’ve found myself revisiting the hard times in our relationship. Thankful for how those experiences shaped and molded us into the people we needed to be for each other.

It’s funny how Brielle’s life continues to give. I thought the days of butterflies and starry eyed love were over, but instead it’s better.

I get that old flutter in my stomach when I look at him. I find him more handsome than I used to. Everything about him seems better, fresher. And in a way it feels like the beginning all over again.

But it’s so much better. We know each other. We’re comfortable with each other and we have an easy, carefree relationship. Becoming parents, losing a child, holding onto each other through grief, it’s made us whole in a way I can’t describe.

And now, more often than not, we find ourselves happily telling each other how much we love being married. And we remark on how much better life is now that we are married. It’s as if something just came together and we feel right. I’m just so thankful I get to do life with David.

Mother’s Day

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It’s kind of silly. Mother’s Day, I mean. It’s just another greeting card holiday. Not to say it’s not important, but it’s not something we should be reminded to remember. So it’s silly, right? It’s silly that it hurts. It’s silly, that I get through most days as a numb grieving mother, but Mother’s Day makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide from the world. There’s no logic to it, but of course, that’s silly too, because when has love or grief ever been logical?

I feel ridiculous most days. I’m not sure what I’m feeling. Not sure how to deal with everything that’s falling apart. Not ever sure of what the respectable and appropriate thing to do is. I live in a constant state of embarrassment and I have no idea why.

I have nothing to be embarrassed about, nothing to be ashamed of. But I feel so wrong. It shouldn’t matter. Mother’s Day shouldn’t matter. It’s just a day. Just another day. But I don’t like this. Everything feels wrong.

Just the thought of that day turns me into a mess. How am I going to make it through? Nothing is ever fair. Nothing ever goes as planned. Nothing is as it should be. And I am frustrated. I am bitter.

I resent Mother’s Day. I resent my loss and the cruelty of this day for bereaved mothers. I resent my own Mother for being the woman she is, a woman I’ll never allow back in my life. And I resent my situation. I want to know what it feels like to be loved by a Mother, but I also want to love my baby girl. I want to be the mother I never had, but Brielle is gone. And I am alone. Motherless and childless.

And so the twisted, bitter, broken pieces of me are disgusted with the picture perfect smiles of happy mother’s. And the grieving mother and daughter that I am, is happy for those that have children to love. That have mothers who love them.

I am shattered and I reflect my own love and hope, as well as my own brokenness. And I don’t know how to reconcile the two. I don’t know how to do this part of my life, how to get through this day or this season. I crave comfort, but how could I ever accept it? I don’t know how. I am disappointed in myself, and I should be stronger. I am better than this.