Merry Christmas to my sweet little monkey! I miss you more than words could ever say. All I can say is that I was completely unprepared for the rush of emotions that came over me without warning. On numerous occasions I have come to this page trying to write to you and find the right words to express myself but have not been able to do it. My heart is just so broken and hurting right now. I hope that heaven is as great as they say it is and that you are all up there having a huge birthday party for Jesus! I never really knew or understood why Easter and Christmas were celebrated the way they were in the church but now I see it all so clearly. Your earthly birthday will always be special just as Jesus' is and so is the date you left us here and had a birthday in heaven and both days have just as much meaning behind them.
Written Christmas Eve:
I am sitting here in our quite house. Hugh and the boys are all at my mom's as they usually are on Christmas, I just couldn't do it and really just needed time to myself. We have had nothing but drama this year and I think all of it finally caught up to me. Today I felt as if I was hit by a brick wall and a garbage truck all at once both physically and emotionally. The year of hell just finally caught up to me at of course the most inopportune time. However, I had a lot of understanding and emotional epiphanies come my way through all of this that I would like to share for those who have never lost a child and struggle to understand and for those who have to know they are not alone.
As I sat in our van on the way to church I just started crying and then wondered why was it that this was so hard? I pondered that most of the night as I could not erase the horrible images from my mind of the day George left us. For whatever reason I kept flashing back to the day we were in the hospital and they handed his lifeless body to me. He was wrapped in this blue blanked made by a stranger with much love a long time before never knowing it would be the last thing as his mother I would ever wrap him in again. It then made me think of the day he was born and how very similar but different those emotions are. I just kept wondering was this really my life and has it really come to this? How do I live this life without him in it?
As a wife, mother, daughter, sister, etc I was always the one making things work and now just don't have it in me to do that anymore. Part of me feels some insane responsibility for others and their happiness. I often times bury my feelings in the things I do never really letting the pain in because it is too much to handle at one time. I often think that is why I feel a need to be alone. On some level I know I can just be myself and not have to play a part and can find comfort and peace without the many distractions of my day to day life. For several days following George's death I did this where I came home to sleep and the kids and Hugh stayed at my mom's. It is such a huge relief to not feel like I have to hold it together for someone or a particular reason, I can just be me and cry or sleep, or do whatever I need to do to get through it all. I don't like to be emotional around other people and finds to be very comforting.
Often times I find that I do not feel guilty when I am alone. So often I feel like a stranger in a room full of familiar faces. I hold it together long enough to survive what I need to and than know my limits and have to leave before the flood gates open and I loose it. The pain is so great and I just don't know how to carry it sometimes but keep trying to find a way to do it just for the rest of the family.
Came here Christmas Day to try and write unsuccessfully...couldn't even write Merry Christmas because it was so very far from that for me, I walked most of the day in a daze praying to just make it through without loosing my mind.
The day after Christmas:
I survived yet again but guess I really don't have much of a choice when it all happens. The holiday was definitely worse than I ever anticipated it to be. I held it together for the boys and everyone else even though every single fiber of my being kept returning to think how bad I felt that George was not here. Faith or no faith nothing can ever prepare you for this sort of thing. You try to hold back tears time and time again. I can't tell you how many times I had to do that and felt that any moment I was going to have to give in and just cry or leave. Finally I got Hugh to go home and once at home just started crying inconsolably. My heart just hurt so bad and words don't even do it justice.
My younger sister came to my house just as she had a year ago and we sat in his room and cried just like we did a year ago. This time it was for my baby not hers. Could it really be that he was alive a year ago and now in an instant was gone with no warning or any answers? How am I suppose to live the rest of my life with this pain and never know again what it is like to hold him or kiss him as I forget what he looked like, sounded like, or smelled like? I don't expect answers and I know the answer is to just have faith and to keep pushing forward but there are days where often times it seems so impossible and unfair. Why do we have to be tested like this? I don't get it. Together we both just cried knowing that there was no way to change any of it and that there is nothing that anyone can do or say to make it better.
The kids and Hugh all seemed to truly enjoy themselves this holiday, as much as possible. For that I am grateful. They all happened to be blessed enough to have gifts to open due to the kindness of others and were excited and things for them were as "normal" as possible. Every part of me didn't want to do things the way we used to however I couldn't take that from them. We still went to church(I cried the whole way there and stopped the tears several times during service), they all spent the night at my mom's(I had to go home but returned in the AM for gifts), I went home to finish cooking(held back tears several times), returned to my mom's where they all got to do the traditional family gift exchange(I talked to my friend from Germany who always calls on the holiday and who wanted to let me know she was thinking of me, had to leave the room several times to not cry, and finally needed to go home).
A good part of the past few days I thought of and prayed for all of the parents knowing my pain all to well. So many people walk this path with me every single day. They too ache and hurt beyond explanation and my heart just breaks for them all. I know their pain all to well and no one should ever have to know it. Please keep us all in your prayers. The next few weeks are going to be difficult. We will begin planning Gabrielle's baptism/George's memorial day on January 29th. We finally asked people to be her god parents and are quite happy with our choices and look forward to sharing God's love with her as she gets older. The day will come with its own set of emotions however I can't think of a better way to spend the day.
George's Guardian's of Grace Projects
Stocking project is now in full force collecting donations. We have a list of the items we can use. You can also choose to sponsor a stocking in memory or honor of someone else. We will include a paragraph or two in the cards we place in the stockings to let the recipient know about the person that means so much to you. Our paypal account is posted on this page and ready to take donations. Email us for a list of items needed or with any questions or information you would like included on a sponsored stocking/donation.
Video Tributes/Celebration of Life Footage
Here is a link to a video tribute that was made by Richard's dad in memory of George. Get out your tissues!
We Finally have footage from the service up and running:
It is in 4 sections running about 17 mins each. If you were unable to attend, you can now see what you missed. We were so blessed to have everyone there with us in person and in spirit!