Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I Did It! I Felt it.

I did it! I made it through one of the most challenging years for a new mom, the first year of their child's life. I have also made it through one of the most painful years of my life. The first year after my child's death....... Not sure how. At times I questioned whether I could but here I stand - well sit. I am here.

"It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children." - The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I have lived the second part of the above quote many times over this year and I got up every single morning. I got up. There were days when I went right back to bed as soon as I could but I got up, showed up and gave as much as I had. I did it.

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow." — Mary Anne Radmacher

Another quote I have lived this year. There have been mornings, there have been days where I felt as though that was my only saving grace. This day will end. I will have some type of sleep and the sun will rise again tomorrow. Please, God, help me get to that sunrise tomorrow.

See, tomorrow is September 15th. At 8:18a on September 15, 2010 my son, Eli Michael, left this earth in my arms and somehow, by the grace of God, and a little bit of courage, I have made it to September 15, 2011 with his brother, my sweet Nolan, right here with me.

That's the "I Did It!" part of the post. Now on to "I Felt It!"

Part of my philosophy of life is that it doesn't end, not really. Time in our bodies end but our souls, the energy of who we are, is endless and timeless. Our souls are pure energy that shift, transform and change but do not disappear for it is impossible for energy to disappear. These statements have rung true for me, in some form or another, since I was a child.
I loved the movie "Powder". Below I have posted the end of the movie and it shows what I believe to be some form of truth to when we leave our human bodies.

Powder - click to watch

Now most of us probably will not leave this life running with lightning
I have always believed that when we love someone one and they die we carry a part of them with us
they become a part of everything else again. Their energy/soul does not die or fade away or disappear. It expands.

"Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die." - I do not know who wrote this. It is not mine.
Wonderful and poetic and somewhere I have always believed it to be true.

September 15, 2010 and my 11 day old son dies in my arms after I tell the doctors to stop resuscitation. Those images from "Powder" and words like that poem were some of the furthest things from my being. My entire moment was filled with knowing that my son was stopping breathing and his heart was slowing until it stopped and there was nothing for me to do but be with him. The depth of shock of that moment was beyond anything I had ever known. There was no room for poetry in that instant of human anguish. Not for me. Not then.

Fast forward, now to September 13, 2011. I had been spending many nights crying myself to sleep knowing the 15th was coming and that would mean.... Well, I didn't know what that meant but I knew it hurt. It was taking me back to some of the overwhelm and grief I had experienced shortly after Eli's death. On the 13th, I worked a long day teaching online that morning, seeing clients during the day and teaching at school that night. When I left I was exhausted. I walked out of the school doors and saw that it was POURING rain, sheets of rain. The sound was scrumptious. The smell was heavenly. I walked to my car and was soaked by the time I got into it. The rain felt clean and cold on my skin. I actually turned on the heat in my car. I got home. Kissed a sleeping Nolan. Said goodnight to my mom. Changed into my pajamas and stepped out on the patio. I breathed in a lung full of fresh rain washed air and I felt it. I felt it! I felt him. My sweet little boy Eli. I breathed him in. He was there, in the clear night air. He was the clear night air. I knew it. I felt it. He was with me, surrounding me, in my breath and my blood. I felt him and I knew that I had finally, at least for a moment had gotten to experience the gift of what I knew to be true. He had never left...... I felt him alive and real. And I was blessed.

And so, I will wait for another experience like that to happen again, and another one and another one. Until they form a line without separation so that it is simply how I live, knowing that my darling little boy who left physical form way too soon for his momma is alive and real, right now. I am not there yet but I now know that I will be. If I can live that way just for a moment I can live that way for the rest of this life. And so it is. I am grateful.


  1. Blessings to you for coming this far. Many may not have persevered as well.

    The poem is by Mary Elizabeth Frye, written in 1932.