Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What should I say?

After my last blog post, I have had many people tell me they just don't know what to say.

Saying nothing is worse.  There are some people out there that would rather just continue moving on but I have found that most of us "loss" mommies, want our children mentioned, remembered.

I do not want to sit and have a hour long cry fest remembering everything.  My intention is not to make you feel awkward.  

Yes, you very well might say something and catch me off guard and make my eyes water.  I would rather cry and remember than sit there in silence wondering if I'm the only one who thinks about her.  I like to hear her name.   You might say something, and I'll just smile and continue our conversation.  You might say something, and I might counter with a small little, "I remember.." or some other little memory or quirk. 
We could be in the middle of a conversation about the weather and you could casually say, "I remember Megan."  Then go on about the weather.  Its something so little that will mean so much to me.  Maybe this gets easier as more time goes by but right now I just want to scream.  "Why won't you say her name?"  

"I wish Megan was here to enjoy this."  "I saw the cutest little girl today and she really reminded me of Megan."  "Do you remember that time Megan bit Emily because she was mad?"  "I've never heard a laugh quite like Megan's"   "Megan."  "I found these beautiful flowers and really thought they'd be perfect for Megan's grave."   "I donated to the SUDC in memory of Megan."  "I've always thought it was so funny that Megan had those pretty brown eyes when no one else does."  "Trixie was soo good with Megan."  "Remember how much Megan loved to sneak up the stairs?"  "I saw a beautiful rainbow today and it made me think of Megan."  "I saw the cutest little shoes today and it made me remember how much Megan hated anything on her feet."  " I remember." "I think about her all the time"

I'm not going to make you talk about her.  I'm not going to burst out bawling because you mention her name.  I won't even make you explain your sentence.  I just want to hear her name.  It comforts me.  She may be gone but she's not forgotten.  There is only a couple of people I can count on to mention her name to me randomly. 

She is not a taboo subject.  Do you have questions?  Ask them.   People are usually naturally curious about any subject pertaining a child and death.  Ask, learn, share and remember.   I am a open book.  I don't hide myself.

It is important to me.   Its all I have.
What do you mean I can't go up the stairs?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The worst thing you can do.

"One of the worst things that you can do to a bereaved parent is to stop using their child's name. Once they feel as if everyone else has forgotten about their child or expects them to "move on", an entire new wave of anguish takes over."

I borrowed this quote from a friend that knows my pain and misery. It is such a true and meaningful quote.  Our daughters actually died on the same day.  
I am always writing that I just want people to remember her.  Maybe I need to be more specific with people.  Don't just remember her, speak of her.  Say her name. Say it Out loud where others can hear it. 
It doesn't have be a long drawn out memory.  It could be a simple, "Megan would have liked that"  "Megan was such a sweet baby"  "Megan had such a cute quirky laugh".  Thats it.  Just one little sentence.  Then you can go on and talk about whatever you want.  I don't expect huge conversations, just a little bit of "hey, I remember."

We have all moved on.  It is inevitable, it was going to happen no matter how hard I try to hold onto the past.  She is the past, but it feels disrespectful for people to never say her name.   The only time she is ever mentioned, Is when I do it.  I often feel like If I'm going to be the only one to talk about her, then maybe no one wants to hear about her. Megan this, Megan that.  Once in awhile I'd like someone else besides Emily to bring her up.
Its easier to forget.
Its easier to keep that door shut, the feelings it might awaken.
Its harder to remember.  To remember her smile and her joy and the little stories and memories we all have of her.  
She is my daughter and she was here and she was alive and she was loved. 
So many times I will sit on the couch and just ache for someone to remember her.  To speak of her, when I sit on the couch I remember her crawling on the floor, cruising the furniture.  I can see her little face peeking around the corner.  Am I alone in this? 
Sometimes when I speak of her it feels like a dirty word.  A "she who must not be named" kind of feeling washes over me.  I mention her and in a blink of an eye the conversation has changed.  Safer topics.   Lets not mention the unmentionables. 
Its part of grief, its going to happen.  Its already happened.  It just gets lonely sometimes.  Went to the cemetery today to make sure she didn't  have  a bunch of dead crackly flowers and my heart was so happy to see someone had already been there.  Someone had already cared.
One time my sister in law texted me and asked about Megan's bottom.  Diaper rash.  Specifically Megan not my kids in general.  I saved that message on my phone.  It might not have been a great conversation but it mentioned her.  My advice about how I took care of her.  Seems silly but it meant so much to me. 
I'm going to have another baby and I can only imagine this gets worse.  New babies make everything better right?  Doesn't matter that I keep dreaming that while in the hospital I won't even hold the baby won't even look at it because its not her.  In my dream everyone hates me, "How dare she?"  I want this baby to be a boy because I don't want people to look at pictures of Emily and Megan and make assumptions.  At least with a boy, people might ask questions.
The dreaded "How many kids do you have?" question is such a crappy one.  At first I tried out the "1" because at the time it was just so much easier than having to explain everything.  I knew I couldn't talk about it without crying.  Then came the guilt.   I have 2 kids. 
So then my answer became, "I have a 6 year old and another who will forever be 18 months old."  Sometimes people asked questions, sometimes they don't.   I tried the "I have a 6 year old and 1 angel" but everyone just assumed I had a miscarriage and would tell me their miscarriage stories.  Its so hard to find the right answer, the balanced answer. 
Do you remember that time Megan did......
Is this pregnancy different than it was with Megan?......
Are you scared?.....

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

To fly again

 Awhile back I requested a Monarch Butterfly Release in Megan's name from http://tripletbutterflywings.blogspot.com/.  The blog owner is named Rachel and in October 2006 she suffered the loss of 3 of her children.  Triplets named  "Jaxon, Colin, Courtney".  Read her story here
She shares all about her journey and information in 'rasing' these butterfly's.  Here

Monarch butterfly's are very special to me because when Megan died, Monarchs surrounded her daddy at 2 different airports on his journey to get home from Iraq.  Since then I've learned how many different people view butterfly's, especially Monarchs.  Many people think butterfly's are the souls of the dead.  After the second airport and stepping outside and again having these butterfly's flock to him, my husband said he wondered what was going on, wondered if it was Megan saying good bye to him  the only way she could.

Thank you Rachel for what you did, thank you for the beautiful pictures.

I am trying to stay as positive as I can.  My heart is still so lost and broken without my little girl.  I miss her so much.   Its been over a year and I still cannot believe she is gone.  I cannot believe that I can't close my eyes and open them and see  her standing in front of me smiling.   That little smug grin of hers.  I cannot believe that I am still that mother, the one whose child died.  I cannot believe how much it still hurts, how looking at her pictures still takes my breath away.  I cannot believe  this happened to us,the unfairness of it all that daddy didn't get to see her for 8 months.  I can't believe how I can get out of bed every day, how I can still laugh and smile, how I can still feel joy.   I cannot belive how quickly the desperation of my sorrow can hit me like a ton of bricks and I can do nothing but cry.  I miss her. 

Megan is going to be a big sister.  I've been waiting to share the news because I've been so scared after having a missed miscarriage at 11 weeks in September and then another called a chemical pregnancy in December. 
 I am currently almost 17 weeks.  So far so good.  The few that know have asked me when I will make this facebook official, but I think that's still might be  a ways off.   I'm just more comfortable with just this right now.  Its such a struggle because after everyone knowing I was pregnant the first time and then losing that one, the support was amazing.  I kept the 2nd one completely a secret from most people and it hurt and i hated being alone in my pain.  In some ways I mourned the loss of fertilized egg much more than I ever did the 11 week fetus.  It was strange to experience such emotions, but I'm sure its because the first one was so close to Megan's death.  Completely different.  So many emotions run through my head. 
I miss you Megan Olivia, we all do so much.  I wish it was all so different.  I just want to close my eyes and see your face. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What is wrong with me?

I'm looking through old posts and of course seeing pictures and I just got angry.  I see my pretty little girls brown eyes staring up at me through the screen, I look up and I can almost imagine her standing in front of me and I'm angry.  Angry at her.  Angry at her for leaving me.  How could she? Why would she?  Why?
Like she had a choice in the matter, but the anger it  took me by surprise.  This specific picture is what did it.  
I'm not angry right now, but the tears are flowing freely.  I was so angry though, at her for those few minutes ...  Now I feel guilty for even thinking she did this,chose this, that she gave up on me. 
God I miss her so much.  I miss my little happy girl, her smiles and her laughs.  It isn't fucking fair.
Yes I cussed on my blog, get over it.  I'm pissed and I'm upset and I miss her.  I love her so much, it wasn't supposed to be like this.  Your children aren't supposed to die before you. 
I miss her, its been over a year and the pain inside is still so raw, so desperate.  I still feel so guilty for going on in life without her. 
What did I do wrong, what did I do that was so wrong?  Why was I the one that was chosen to go through such a tragedy?   Why me? Why her?  She was perfect.  I just want to hold her in my arms again.  There is no peace in this for me, it doesn't matter where my life takes me, I will always miss her, I will always cry for her, and I will always be pissed that her life here was so short. 
Emily should never have had to deal with such pain in her young life.  Why does everyone keep dying mom?  Why did Megan die?  Why did the babies in your tummy die? Why did great grandma die? Why am I the only one that lived? Why? Why?  I don't know.  I have no answers because Megan's death is a huge question mark.  There is no answer for her death and even if there was one, would it help? I'm not even sure.   Death is still death, its still permanent and I imagine I'd still be wracked with guilt if I knew what she died of because why the hell did I not catch it?   The guilt will never end.

I miss her, I miss everything.  I miss Emily's innocence about death, I miss my own.  My mother died months before Megan was born so I have known grief before but losing a child... Losing a child is something you can't even describe.  
I sit on peoples couches talking about the weather or their day or whatever and I'm thinking," have they already forgotten her?  Do they think about her?, Why don't they ever talk about her"...
 She never leaves my mind.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Round 2

Today marks round two of the start of special days without Megan.  Sucks.  Happy Birthday to me, missing my girl.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What Did Megan Olivia M. die from?

Its a question that will forever be burned into my mind and many others.  What did she die from? Why did a healthy, happy, beautiful little girl die in her sleep?  Looking at the stats of your blog you can see what people search for to find your blog.  I have seen this question multiple times lately, what was it? 

You can't call it a disease, nothing was found.  SUDC, sudden unexplained death in childhood.  What is SUDC?

SUDC (Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood) is the sudden and unexpected death of a child over the age of twelve months, which remains unexplained after a thorough case investigation is conducted. Similar to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome), SUDC is a diagnosis of exclusion - given when all known and possible causes of death have been ruled out. [By definition, SIDS applies only to the death of babies younger than 12 months, while SUDC victims are past their first birthday whose deaths go unexplained even after an autopsy, a death scene investigation and medical history review.]

Its a band aid for parents.  I imagine it must be what you would call a natural death?  Nothing is natural about your child going to sleep one day and never waking up.  It isn't an answer but It's all I have.  Its all so many of us have, be it SIDS or SUDC. 

When you think of SIDS, you think of all the precautions you can take to protect your child from this 'thing'.  Fan in a room, baby on back, keep them away from smokers, NEVER CO SLEEP, don't do if you are obese etc etc.   I know in my grief journey, I have only met one person who had a co sleeping accident.  Meaning the child was rolled onto.   In my journey and its been a long road and many many people to many that I have met, almost all of us had our children die ALONE.   Alone, not co sleeping accidents.  I'm so tired of people assuming SIDS is co sleeping accidents.  Yes there are safe sleeping practices we should all follow but the fact is, SIDS and SUDC is not suffocation deaths.  Our children just die and they cannot find a reason as to why, that's why we get the diagnosis we get. 

Alone.  Why?  Why did something so simple, so natural as a nap take away my child forever?  

The majority of these deaths are children face down.  When you think of SIDS babies, children under a year old many people think... Oh well you had your child on their stomach, they couldn't move their head.
Yet, my child, a 18 month old who could walk, talk, jump, rip blankets off placed her head face down and died.  Older children move if something is bothering them, she could get up and walk. 
So how can I possibly think that just because you put a child on their stomach that is the reason they died of SIDS? Once they start growing and getting more mobile, you can't choose how they lie.  They choose.  It's their choice how they sleep.

My personal opinion is that its something inside of them that just doesn't work right.  Something in their brain and their hearts that misfires.  I'd like to hope that its not painful, that its just them nodding off.   It is something, it is not their environment, it is not how we take care of them. 

I'm jaded and all the awareness ads bother me.  Classifying co sleeping deaths as SIDS drives me nuts.  So many people do all the right things and yet their children still die.  Its not that it isn't some good information but I cannot stop thinking that my healthy 18 month old child died from this as well.  She wasn't some helpless child who couldn't move her head.  She could walk, she could talk, she could rip blankets off and she died.  It makes you rethink everything. 

There is nothing you can do but spread awareness.  Most people are shocked that this can still happen after the age of 1.   It isn't known about like SIDS because while its the same thing, they cannot spread awareness about it.   What can you do to prevent a child from over the age of 1 dying?  Nothing, you really think a fan will help?  You think we should strap them on their backs.  A toddler strapped to her bed so she cannot move off her back while they sleep, is that a good idea?   Its all hogwash and they know it, they know nothing and that is why no one hears about it.  

Your child, up to age 15 can die in their sleep.    Die unexpectedly and you will receive this diagnosis.  After that age I have not found what they call it.  People can die at any given moment , all you can do is live and love and cherish each moment.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I just don't want to write

Its been so long, and I am sorry.  I will be writing soon, just not yet.  
Life is ok for the moment.  Emily is home on spring break and happily annoying me with her singing to the ipod nobody uses anymore.  Its cute to see her dancing around and singing.   Great Grandma passed away a few days ago, and is now in heaven with Megan.

I've been thinking a lot about Megan, I just want to see her face, that gorgeous little smile and hear that adorable little laugh of hers.  I miss her so much.  The grief is always changing and sometimes I feel like I'm drowning in it.  I look around and nobody realizes how I still hurt, like it should just be over by now.   I know they don't really think that but I can't help but feeling it.  She's my child, she's a part of me and she can't be replaced.  I only had her for such a short time and its not fair at all.