Saturday, June 15, 2013

It just doesn't feel right w/ her gone

Oh my oh my.  I will preface this with saying my emotions are very raw right now and I probably should not even write a word on here but I have to do something to be occupied.  If I organize one more stupid thing, I may explode.  Though Martha may be proud soon.  My closet, the hall closet, the make up drawer, dvd's (those may even get finished this evening), etc.  So, back to writing.

Today was the day.  Today was the day that broke our family into a million little pieces.  Broken hearts all over the place.  I have never seen this much grief in one place coming out in so many different ways.  I think it's important for others to know.  There will be no pictures in this post.  I think it's wrong to take pics of people grieving.  They need that time and a camera would not help anyone.  We knew just a few short days ago, this day was coming. How do you prepare for something that you know will be so tragic for your family?  how do you tell the kids?  How do you go about daily routine knowing one of yours must leave?  How?  How do you go from having 12 happy go lucky kids (not all the time, let's be honest) to 11?  How do you go from all swimming at the lake and eating graduation cake together to going and saying good bye?  How?  There is no easy answer for this.  You just do it.

Many may not think it is a good idea to write about this experience.  I do.  Others have gone through it.  Trust me, I've heard more stories these past few days than I care to.  Not b/c I don't want to hear about what happened to them, but it pains me to think about all the kids that it's happened to.  We loved this child with all our heart and soul.  She was our youngest.  The kids here are in such grief.  If you wanted to see all stages of grief, you could have come to this home yesterday.  The overwhelming hurt was unbearable.  Still is.  Little One literally was grief stricken and collapsed on the floor in agony.  That was very hard to watch.  I've been comforting as best I could.  I am lucky in the fact that we have wonderful friends.  They came to help me comfort the kids yesterday and today.  I realized early on, I would not be able to do this alone.  And that was just a fact.   One person can not grieve and at the same time help multiple children grieving as well.

Yesterday and today I had help from friends.  But I also saw a few things that hurt me.  Boys acting out.  Kids wailing and moaning w/ tears that could fill buckets.  Some crying went on for hours.  Collapsing on the floor.  Terror of someone leaving them too.  Sleeping in the other one's bed.  So many things I noticed.  Questions all the time of when is she coming back.  Little One looks SO sad riding in the van now.  They used to be next to each other and talk in their own language.  All these little things you don't think about until it happens.  Summer doesn't understand.  She still thinks she's coming back.  I've heard multiple times today "I miss her."  How is she?  Is she crying?  I hate not being able to answer them.  No one said this would be easy.  It is a loss for our family.  It doesn't matter how you rationalize it, it is a loss.  And children that have come from orphanages and have abandonment issues, it is even more tough.

We have gone through much these past two days.  I don't wish it on my worse enemy.  I don't.  On Saturday, some friends are coming over to help out.  The only requirement was Warren and I must leave the house.  So, Warren and I are going out for the first time in a long, long time.  We had received a gift certificate back in January and are now finally going to use it.  I know we'll be worried and concerned but I also know my kids are in very, very capable hands and have a fun filled evening planned. 

They say time heals all wounds.  With time, it will get better.  That I know.  But time can not take away or erase the memories we had.  Without a doubt, we had felt like a complete family finally.  We were all happy.  Everyone was adjusted.  It was just pleasant and finally felt right.  I wasn't interested in any more children.  I had my kids.  We were happy, we were complete.  We were done.  Now, it truly feels like someone is missing.  It is just weird how one missing makes a HUGE difference.  Now the things that drove me crazy with her here, I long for.  I used to wish they'd all go to bed in the girls' room and stop staying up giggling and playing together.  I used to wish they'd stop pushing those shopping carts all over the house together.  I used to wish they'd stop holding onto each others' hands in the strollers as we were walking them as it made it hard to push.  So many wishes.  Unfortunately, I got my wishes sadly.  The last two nights in this home have been the quietest EVER.  There is no more giggling to bed.  No more laughter.  It is literally gone.  I long for her shrill voice and getting the others ramped up where they'd join in at night.   The amount of things I miss is pages long.  I really miss seeing my three youngest together though.  The Cat in the Hat (Summer) and thing 1 and Thing 2.  Fit those 3 to a tee!  Really did. 

I sit here not knowing what to do.  Only feeling like I'm going through the motions day to day.  I was supposed to get to a 30 mile yard sale today w/ my cousin.  Got up.  Passed the girls room to the front door.  I just couldn't go.  There are triggers all around the house.  Reminders of days past.  Grief comes in spurts and waves.  Sometimes it hits you when you least expect it.  Again, I know it does get better.  I don't need the lecture right now.  I should be ecstatic that we are going out to dinner this evening.  Yet, I could care less.  It's not under the right circumstances.  But, maybe it will do us good to get out.  Don't know. 

All we can do is take solice in the fact that we sent her off with more love than a person could fathom.  We loved unconditionally and w/ wreckless abandon for a few months of her life.  It has left a deep hole in our hearts but hopefully made hers a little fuller in the process.  Love is hard.   I can't say what we've learned from this experience just yet.  I can say we would not trade the time we had with her for anything in the world.  We were given a great gift to know her.  In the future, she probably will not remember who we are.  However, we will never ever forget her for the rest of our lives. 


  1. Loss is hard to take. Praying for you

  2. So sorry Stephanie and family.

  3. A young mind, who has experienced trauma has the ability to remember very good things in their life. The details may get lost or blurred with some the bad. I remember more good from my younger life then I do the bad. I have naturally coped with the bad in my life by focusing on the good. She will remember maybe more then you will ever know. But you have planted the seeds of love and acceptance in her.

  4. I know how you all are feeling, we are a foster family and we had to say goodbye to 15 month old twins that we had since five days old a year ago this week! A lot of grief then hugs to you all! You will get through this

  5. Steph, you know my prayers are with you all. Nothing really to add just I am thinking of you and surrounding you with prayers of peace and acceptance and healing. Praying for the children to not feel more abandonment, knowing your love and love of Heavenly Father will surround you and keep you whole. Ginger

  6. As a fostermum who 4 years ago said goodbye to two boys aged 8yrs &11yrs that had been with us from newborn I understand it really hurts. It hurt watching the little girl who was with us & had never known a life without the boys fall apart. It made me so angry that someone else who thought they knew what was the best plan decided to tear our family apart. I hope that you all can help each other through this painful time. My thoughts & prayers will be with your family