Today I received a message from an acquaintance from college who recently gave birth to twins. One of her babies died and the other is still in the NICU. I sent her a message shortly after it happened and today she asked me this:
Hey Kimberly. Thank you for sharing your story with me. It’s been really difficult for me to talk about, but I wanted to ask you how you got through or are still getting through this. I have a strong faith in God and that has definitely helped me. I’m thinking about going to see a counselor my church recommended me to see. My other daughter is still in the NICU so I’m having a hard time dealing with that and grieving for her twin at the same time. Hope you are doing well.
As I sat to reply the return message started out small and then it grew into a long winded book. I thought it would be a good post for the blog since I have not posted anything with substance lately. So, sit back and enjoy my thoughts…
So good to hear from you, you are on my heart daily to pray for – I know the journey is so difficult. To be honest I am still getting through everything. It has been almost 3 and 1/2 years and I still cry about losing Hudson. I have always been a Christian, but after losing Hudson I dived further and developed an even stronger relationship with God. It was the only thing that could help me to make sense of the tragedy I was experiencing. To help aide my grief I had to use Hudson’s memory for good. I had to give him a purpose even in death. So I have used my story to tell others that have gone through this same/similar experience in hopes that it will strengthen their faith or relationship with God. Grieving in the public eye is hard to do, but showing others your faith and strength is what helps other people to see what an amazing God we have and can sometimes lead others to change their lives, to not take their lives for granted, and to love God more.
I surrounded myself with a support of ladies that have been through similar events and it feels good to read their stories and see that what I am feeling is normal throughout my grief. Writing is my outlet so I blogged a ton (some not posted because they were mean) to get my feelings out. I also blogged my feelings and emotions in order to help other people that were going through the same thing.
So, I guess my best advice is to find your grieving outlet. You have to find a way that works for you. Whether its counseling (which is something everyone should do), writing, photography, some sort of project – anything. Not to hide or cover up your grief, but to have a way to honor your daughter’s memory. I hate the cliche “everything happens for a reason”, but so many people would say it because face it, what do you say to someone who has just had their entire world shattered? But, I took that phrase and ran with it – I let Hudson’s “reason” for dying be a “reason” for others to perhaps learn about eternal life through Jesus. To be honest it is what has kept me so strong.
I know it is absolutely the hardest thing to have one child die and to be excited about another child being alive. I had so many mixed emotions when Heidi was born (17 months after Hudson died) and still sometimes I find myself sad at not having them both here together. The sadness will always be there, the unintentional stings from others words, the what ifs…sometimes they are so overwhelming. When things are overwhelming I pray, and then focus on what I do have – and the future God has promised me to one day be united with my son.
All of this has taken me years to learn and I am still learning. It will not happen over night. There will be a step forward and there will be 2 steps back. It is frustrating. There are days when I am so jealous at other people and their children. I have been so ready to be out of the “child-birth years” because with each new announcement brings out the green-eyed monster (especially with little boys). Then I pray. I pray for my friends and their families. I pray for myself and for God to take away the feelings I have – and this cycle is my life.
I have learned that even the closest people in my life will leave Hudson out of the count, but it is not meant out of malice. Its just not a part of their daily life. I don’t take it personally anymore, nor do I correct them. I just go on living my life the best way I can.
I hope this answer helped 🙂 I know I got a little long winded….I will find you a few links to posts of mine or a few others that have been in similar situations. Please know that I am here anytime you need to chat.