I cannot tell you how hard it is to function on such little sleep. There are moments I am exhausted but cannot sleep. Anxiety and my mind running away with me just make it so hard to wind down enough to find sleep. Tonight is one of those nights. The closer we get to George's death date the worse my anxiety gets and the simplest thing will start my heart racing. Last night my parents came in the house and I was sound asleep only to wake with such panic in my heart the minute I heard the door shut. Today I had several attacks...one Hugh was upstairs and I could hear his voice but not what he was saying and I started to panic...later that day Joshua knocked something over and I was sent on another attack trying to calm myself down. These attacks are just awful and you cannot prepare yourself nor talk yourself out of these things.
The attacks when George first died were different and although they were more frequent they were not to the core of who I am. These attacks I can feel coming on and I try to talk myself down from them but can't and don't say anything to anyone for fear that they just won't really understand. People will always say that they understand but they are wrong unless they have been down this road. How can I say that? I was in their shoes before and what I thought was completely wrong and things were so different then I could ever realize. Watching my friend walk this path there were moments when I thought she was crazy and I now feel horrible about it. My heart now breaks for those who do walk this path and thank God that those who don't, really don't have to know what it truly is like and that they can only empathize.
I think one of the hardest parts in all of this is watching it all unfold but having no control over any of it. In my mind I am a totally different person than I am on the outside. It is like the outer part has to protect the inner vulnerable parts. I've gotten good at playing the part but it is like watching someone else live my life. One part of me is stuck with my son and yet part of me moves on every single day even if I don't want to. I cannot bring him back and not only do I mourn his death, I mourn the death of the person I once was. It is so hard to sit back and know you have to be patient with yourself as you try to relearn to live life and yet not squander any moment of it. I see others around me hurting but I have nothing left of myself to give sometimes. There are days when all I can do is get out of bed and trudge through another day. I thank God for the day and his guidance to bring me to the place he wants me. It seems so selfish to not be able to get past yourself but it is also a blessing to realize this.
Lately, I have been realizing that God is teaching me how to laugh and smile again...not like before...but different and not a bad different. It is however hard to see how much my family has needed me and yet I have not been able to give to them like I was so used to. This trip to Florida on Monday with my friend is one I know is much needed. It feels so selfish to be going away by myself and I am having quite a bit of anxiety about it. I often don't wonder if this does not also add to my anxiety attacks since I have not left my children without me for more than a day or so. This is actually the first time I will leave Gabrielle and that is really causing me a lot of anxiety. We have met a lot of the milestones that I had hoped to but I once found some false sense of security in those types of things only to find out that was all they were, false.
Tonight I sat here thinking about children and the gift they truly are. You cannot learn this sort of love without having a child and you cannot face death without facing birth. Everything comes on its own balance and without taking the risk of one, you cannot reap the rewards of the others. If God had told me I would have George but only for a short time, I would have done it willingly although I would have been apprehensive and probably kept my distance from him. I often wonder why we didn't know ahead of time and I truly think it was because God wanted us to give him unconditional love with no fear of holding back. George got to know our souls, especially mine in a way like no one else had. I really think this is why it hurt so bad when he died...I had to get a lifetime of love crammed into 4.5 months and if given the choice I know I wouldn't change things as much as I say I would.
Without George dying I know Gabrielle would not be here. With everyone in my family always giving Hugh and I a hard time about additional children, I never would have even thought of it that soon if I had wanted to keep my sanity. Every single time I was pregnant I was happy but dreaded telling anyone since I knew the minute they knew all my happiness was gone out the window as I face judgement and ridicule. It was so hard to tell people about Gabrielle not because I feared their negative reactions but rather didn't want positive ones now just because my son was dead and it was ok by their standards. If it were up to me, I would probably never tell anyone until the baby is born so that I could have reveled in my joy without wondering if people were talking behind my back like they always did taking away the simple joy of being happy for myself and my husband and the wonderful blessing from God that I felt growing deep within.
In the end I have to trust in Gods plan for all of this, even the inability to sleep at times. Some of the times I find myself closest to him is during these waking hours that I will surely regret in the morning. I'll probably be thinking something different in the morning when I am dragging Josh out of bed kicking and screaming and Hugh goes off to work while I miss having him home. Our lives have changed so drastically in the past two years that it is barely unrecognizable other than the love the two of us have. His time that he was laid off ultimately lead to a lot of things but the things I will forever cherish are the moments that we all got to spend together and how he got to spend all that time with George. He would have not known George if he was working like he is now. His job loss was the best gift God could have ever given him. I pray to find sleep soon enough but until that time comes, I will sit here just praying for all of the moms across the world doing the same thing I am right now for I know I am not alone and that is unfortunate.
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!