Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ugly Truth

It’s not that I want your child to die. I just want mine to live. But when I see your child, it really hurts. I feel jealous and bitter inside. And that doesn’t feel like me. And it doesn’t feel like Jack either, whose short life reminds us to:

Be Kind.
Pay Attention.
Think.
Play.
Never Give Up.
Share Others' Joy.


I think it is going to be hard to share others’ joy for a while, but I won't quit trying.

98 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh, Anna. Completely understandable. Much love.

Child of God said...

Hi Anna,
Your beautiful name has been popping into my mind the last few days. Just want to let you know that I have been praying for you and will continue to pray.

Blessings,
<><

Carol-Anne (Use the Good Dishes!) said...

What an honest thing to write....and who wouldn't feel exactly this way, in your position? It seems completely natural that this would be the feeling that would come to you. But of course, we're all meant to rise above entertaining these feelings for very long. Or at least to try to. And it's also not surprising that this is exactly what you're trying to do. You are an inspiration, whether you want to be or not!

Sophia1 said...

I think we would all feel that way. I honestly don't know how I would handle things if I were in your shoes but I know it wouldn't be with as with much grace and dignity as you have.

I've been reading your blog for a while and wish you peace. I think of you and your family often and pray for you all.

LauraBeth said...

Anna... Prayers continue for you, Tim, and Margaret. I don't have any great and eloquent words to share...just know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers. Sending you hugs and love from the other side of town.

NanaDiana said...

I understand. Whenever I see a little girl that is the age our Anna Bella would be I still get that terrible twinge..of WHY? God bless you- xo Diana

Kristina P. said...

I'm thinking of you always.

Stimey said...

I think this is such an understandable reaction to have. I know that I would feel the same way. You have so much grace in you, even if it feels to you that you don't. Love to you, Anna.

Lisa said...

Totally, utterly understandable.

Sending prayers to you, as always...

Jen said...

You are amazing. And your feelings are so understandable. I had a miscarriage a while ago, and within two weeks I learned of 16 friends expecting babies within a month of my due date. While I wanted to celebrate my friends' blessings, I couldn't help but cry over my loss and wonder why it was this way. It was such a hard, dark time for me. Yet I know it is so little compared to what you are going through right now. Ask "why," cry, share your grief so maybe the rest of us can carry at least a little of it for you. You are so loved. And just the fact that you want to try to share others' joy shows how loving and good you are.

Anonymous said...

God bless you Anna. I wish we could bring Jack back, God knows he loves you so much. But he is waiting for you with open arms.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry dear Anna.
Love
Sandie

Geri said...

Yes. Exactly. And I believe that is all one can do, keep on trying to share others joy without bitterness and jealousy, in time. It is too soon right now. I hope you are being very very gentle with yourself. I so appreciate your honestly sharing your feelings, not trying to "pretty" them up.

60 toes said...

Proud of you for not giving up. I can't imagine. You amaze me, thanks for your honesty. I pray for you often.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

A totally honest and understandable feeling because really, what happened to Jack and your family just is not fair!

Anonymous said...

So very understandable. When i couldn't get pregnant I didn't wish my baby making friends ill but it was often hard to share their joy. My cousin lost a baby shortly before our daughter arrived from Korea. My cousin just couldn't celebrate with us. I understood. We exchanged only emails until she could talk

Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El/e/Mrs. Seaman) said...

You make sense.

Chrisy said...

You're so honest. XXOO

Kim said...

Thank you for keeping it real. You are a gift. Prayers.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the normal feelings we have after a loss. I like that you don't sugar coat. You share raw emotions honestly. Thank you!!

Laura said...

Oh, Anna . . .
Real, honest, and completely understandable is not ugly. It's only natural for you to have those feelings. More times than I can count since September, my eyes have welled with tears as I've kissed my sleeping boy before heading to bed - thinking of you and being angry that you can't be doing the same.
You are forever in my thoughts and prayers.

Japolina said...

Hugs to you.

Patricia said...

I would feel exactly the same way - no doubt about it. And knowing that he is waiting for you in heaven - that just isn't it - you want him here, now, with you and with your family.....I understand, and that is exactly how I would feel.....God Bless you and your family....

L said...

You are amazing and wonderful and brave every day. Thank you for being so honest and real. I love you so much.

My captcha phrase is "puligear." This nakes me think of "pugilist" - and how often I want to punch someone or something. Sounds like I need to listen to Auntie, too ;).

So sorry and sad. And still shocked. Praying.

Cindy said...

Joy is in very short supply, but LOVE is overflowing for you, T & M.

ella said...

Oh Anna, of course. He should be here. Love you.

Recovering Church Lady said...

Sending hugs and understanding to you Hun! I am so sorry!

Suburban Correspondent said...

Totally get that, Anna. Totally. And how can you stand to see us take our own children's presence for granted? I can't imagine.

Kara said...

One more layer on the yuck of grieving. You're so right to ride it out but also to not be comfortable with those feelings. I will be praying more specifically for you. Your honesty is eye-opening. So appreciative of how you share.

mgh said...

I just can't imagine how or when this is going to get any easier. But trying to have faith. Really hoping for miracles. Love you.

New Mom said...

I think sharing others' joy goes hand in hand with sharing each others' sorrow and heartbreak. We share your sorrow, though not nearly feeling it in the same way; we lift your burdens to the Lord daily, praying for many blessings in your life.

Erin said...

So honest, Anna. And so totally understandable. God bless you. You are never far from my thoughts.
xo, Erin

Anonymous said...

Oh Anna..I wish I could take it all away from you. What you are feeling is real, and it is your honest feelings. Praying for you and your family.
Much Love
Joyce

Kirsten said...

You are amazing. I want so badly to take away some of the pain. Love to you.

IrishRN07 said...

Sending (virtual) hugs and (real) prayers.

Franny said...

It is not fair that some still have their children and others do not. We will not understand the injustice of this world until we die. And then God better do some explaining. Bless you for sharing. Thank you.

won said...

You're a better woman than I, Anna.

I've long since given up and resigned myself to simply existing.

Beth said...

Funny (or not), but I just saw that you "liked" Matt's engagement news, and I was trying to imagine how hard it must be for you to share in others' good news and joy. But you have an honest and open heart, and I hope sharing your sorrow eases it a little. Thinking of you every day.

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

I would say that this is all part of the grieving process, bitterness, jealousy and probably anger. Don't be hard on yourself, acknowledge it and let it move on. Praying for you, I know those are awful feelings!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for challenging us to be more...like Jack. You write like the Bible you love...full of truth and this is where you are. Praise God that, and I think I can safely say this since I know you, if you are confessing to us you are confessing to God too...keep doing so and our Lord will take away any bitter root. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 We know were we in your shoes, we'd feel the same. God is and will continue to use you for His glory. We are praying for you, sister, and your transparency helps us do so. Love you! Karen

Anonymous said...

I know how you feel Anna. When our first child died at 2-days old I was very jealous of every mother I saw with a baby. The difference is this is the first time I have ever openly admitted it - and he died 45 years ago. I did get over it, but I hid many of my feelings back then, but you have shown me it is only human to be angry.

Lynne Griffin said...

as several commented here, your post reminded me of how I felt after I miscarried. I couldn't share in others' joy, even though I wanted to. And then there was the guilt on top of that because I felt like I shouldn't feel that way in the first place.
Know you are loved and no one will deny you your feelings. This is going to be a long road, but you're certainly going about it in the most constructive and healthy way I've ever seen.
I so admire you.

Lisa said...

Understandable and i know i would feel the exact same. Love you and many hugs coming your way

Masala Chica said...

Anna, how could we not understand that from you? It's not that you want other children to die, its that the child who you expected to be beside you is not there anymore. Its not about being resentful, its about feeling that gap even more when a child does something that reminds you of Jack or you have to think about another milestone missed.

Anna, your grief is never petty. Your grief is never vengeful. Your grief is beautiful in that it is yours and it is to honor a beautiful souled boy. I pray for you every day and think of Jack often. Much love to you, always.

love,
kiran

Anonymous said...

Anna, I wish there was something I could do; this is such a s**tty, unfair hand dealt to your family. The pain, the anger, This too shall pass? With much love to each of you and hope for future. Xx

Shannon said...

What you are feeling is normal. Please try to not beat yourself up over it. Shortly after my son Ethan passed away, one of my very good friends had her baby. I called her and told her that I wasn't up to seeing her, and I was very honest...I told her I didn't feel her joy. Of course I apologized, but she truly understood and never held it against me. Within a few days, I was ready to go visit her and share her joy. Remember grief is very cyclical and unpredictable. With time, the grief will let up a bit. Keep writing as you feel able to do so. There is great therapeutic benefits when you write out your feelings. Hugs!

Marinka said...

xoxoxo

ALI said...

You are an amazing woman. Amazing. You are surviving what I cannot imagine. The thought that has caused me to lose my ability to breathe anytime the mere thought passes through my brain, since I learned I was pregnant in June 2006.

Being fertility challeneged, that was a miracle for me.

Even today, I fear for my only child.

And then there is you. You, who is not only surviving this most horrible experience - but preaching the Word. Spreading God's love. Sharing God's strength.

every.day.without pause

I cannot think of a finer way to honor Jack than sharing his Faith.

The most important thing I've learned from Jack, and I learned it as the result of his passing.

You are amazing. You are strong. And when you are not - your Faith. The Faith you instilled in Jack - carries you.

There is absolute Joy in that.

Lady Jennie said...

I know I know I know I know

:-(

Junie said...

Of course you feel that way-- because you love Jack so much and you want him back.

Nobody expects an open wound to be pretty, Anna.

Jen G. said...

Sweet Anna,
Because I know Jack is your rare bird, Emily Dickinson came to mind when I read your post:

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all...

And this (not Emily Dickinson):
A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words.

I praise God for the hope He has perched in your soul, and pray that you are able to hear as we--your friends--sing to you Jack's song. You've taught us the words. Be soothed and comforted and strengthened as we sing them back to you...

Anonymous said...

Maybe feeling those ugly feelings for a while is akin to buying and wearing something that doesn't quite suit you, but you want it anyway, for the way it makes you feel at the time. In the end, though, you realize that maybe it's ill-fitting or unflattering or just not "you"--and the garment ends up languishiing in your closet or drawer, not worn at all.

I think you are still in the trying-on stage with all of this. And that's okay.

love,
jbhat

Christy said...

Totally understandable Anna. And that you even want to is amazing, I think. Love you.

Anne Bradley said...

Been and will continue to pray for you and your family. Much love to you.

Heather @ A Little Hope in My Pocket said...

I feel the same way about pregnant women and newborns. My husband and I were thrilled to find out we were pregnant last January after struggling with infertility. However, I lost our son Isaac due to pre-term labor at 18 weeks. I don't want anyone to know this pain, but its hard to see all the happy pregnant people and new moms. All I want is my son here... just like you. Many, many prayers.

Leah C said...

I'm pretty sure I'd feel the same way if I were to lose my child. And I'm pretty sure I would not be able to handle my grief quite as gracefully. You show up here, dear Anna, time after time sharing your honesty, your grief & your loving words with all of us...giving us the gift of Jack. Thank you for this. Even the "ugly truth" needs to be shared if it helps you. And just so you know, I want your child to live too. How I wish I could make it so.
Hugs and prayers, as always.

The Empress said...

I wouldn't think you'd be human if you didn't feel jealousy.

We are human, and that is why we have GOD, to save us from ourselves.

Terri said...

Still praying for you, Tim, and Margaret.

michelle said...

Anna,
I can be there by nightfall. We can go to Alaska, California, Mexico, The Grand Canyon, wherever. We can charter a plane & soar close to the heavens. We can just drive. Or we can sit still at the end of the street. I'll bring junk food, sodas, chocolate, & mikes hard lemonade. We'll blast music, sit in silence, sing praises, shout curses, weep & laugh.
We'll remember Jack, together.
xoxo, michelle

Debby@Just Breathe said...

There is no other way for you to feel now other than what you expressed. It is unfair that you have to feel this way, Jack should be here with you. ((HUGS)) Also there is no time period. You will most likely feel this way your entire life only it will get easier to share others' joy but don't ever feel like you are being watched, like there is some timetable to follow.

Anonymous said...

You are getting out of bed in the morning and living your life. That in and of itself is simply amazing, an enormous feat each and every day. One day at a time. You do what you can one day at a time. You never know what each day will bring. Two weeks ago I had no idea who you or Jack even were. Now, there is not a day that goes by that I don't think of the both of you. Keep plugging along, amazing things will happen. You have lots of people rooting for you. Never forget that. Close your eyes and let yourself feel the Love~~It is bursting at the seams~~

anne said...

Dear Anna
I wanted to punch every pregnant woman I saw once upon a time. I didn't of course. Its raw, its honest, its where you are now and its OK to be there. With much love to help lift you up.

DeborahJoy said...

Thank you for being brave with this post.
Blessings to you all X

Vickie Ingle said...

Hello Anna,

This is my first time reading your blog. I am so sorry about your son. He sounds like he was an amazing child who had an amazing set of parents. Someone led me to your site who thought it might help me with my own grieving process. I too have recently lost my son. He was eleven years old and we lost him to cancer. He was alot like your Jake. He loved life and lived it to the fullest. We too were devastated beyond words. His name was Alex and he always had a younger sister named Molly. I am sure she is going through alot of the same emotions that Margaret is experiencing. Your blogs are so real to me. They made me feel as if I were writing some of them. I pray that you find comfort everyday because I know how hard this is. I know I am a stranger, but if you ever want to talk, I would welcome an email or conversation. Alex has a caringbridge site www.caringbridge.org/visit/alexingle. Thanks again for sharing your story and I will pray for your family.

RachelSD said...

Thanks for continuing to share the lessons and the grief. They are equally important.

Jillian said...

I think that is totally normal. My prayers are with you and your family.

for a different kind of girl said...

So very, very understandable. Sending you love, Anna...

Salvimom said...

Its not ugly Anna, its the truth and its your f*&%ing right! I would feel the same if not more. Everyone on here has said over and over kind things that I have thought of and would like to repeat, but truth is, you already know your strength. And it is from the Lord, and its always been in you, even before this stupid tragic thing. Love, all I can do is send loving, caring thoughts, virtual hugs, and empathy from one mommy to another. I don't know you yet I love you. God Bless You.

Ury from Seattle, WA

mia said...

completely understandable... you are in my thoughts so often everyday... much love to you to night.
mia

Claire said...

So totally and completely understandable! Be gentle with yourself and every feeling that comes around. Praying for you and thinking of you all the time!

Melanie said...

So real. So true. Very understandable.

I look at my child and wish yours could live too. I didn't know Jack, of course, but I really wish that he was here.

Love that you won't quit trying to share others joy but we understand those moments - no matter how often or few - when you can't. We get it.

A huge, big hug for you. I mean really HUGE. :-)

DeeBee said...

Yep. That's how grief feels. Well put. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

God Bless You!

Anonymous said...

Amen, Anna. Be brave and keep trying. Jack is a wonderful role model for you and the rest of us! Praying for you, pulling for you and hoping that bitterness subsides. You are love; you are grace; you are beautiful. Keep holding on.

agent99 said...

I think the only way to move through these (utterly understandable) feelings is to admit you feel them, and then they are no longer so powerful. Once again, your honesty and bravery are inspiring. Please keep sharing.

Geri said...

@Vickie Ingle-I am so so sorry for the loss of your son.

Princess Kate said...

I cried when I read this post. I just want to hug you and make you whole again. God how I wish I could do that for you. Remember to be kind and thoughful to yourself and the sharing other people's joy will come in time.

Big Momma said...

I hear what you're saying. I feel the same way. My son is sick with a very rare and serious cardiac condition and I look at other people with their healthy kids and don't want this for them or their kids.... I just want my son to not have to go through this. I want to scream at them "my son will die and will struggle everyday to live fully and as normally as possible until he does.. value the blessing you have". But then reading your story I also get that I need to listen to my own rantings... I have him right now and that is a blessing I have to cherish. Thank you for your honesty and bravery. Thank you for helping me regain perspective.

Melissa said...

Wow..I cannot get over how much the first few lines of this post hit home with me. It is EXACTLY how I feel at this moment in time. After losing my twin girls over the summer I am stuggling to be around friends and family that have kids and it's so hard to explain my emotions. You are an inspiration to me...

Jules said...

Never feel bad for not sharing in others joy. As people will say, life goes on, but that does not mean the pain is not there, or that you don't miss Jack every moment of every day still. Cherrish the memories you will always have and just take it day to day. The 'sharing others joy' will come later.

That gentleman's lady said...

Understand this.


Big Hugs.

Anonymous said...

Thinking about you and praying for your family continuously. Jack has brought so many people closer to God and you have made me a better mom.

DawnGes said...

Thank you, Anna, for your honest words. If we are honest, all of us live with much beauty inside. If we are honest, all of us also live with thoughts that are icky and ugly.

Reflecting your own truth and discomfort with these real, raw thoughts allows us all to acknowledge that our truth is beauty.

Love you.

Michelle said...

Dear Anna,
I just wanted to let you know that you are constantly in my prayers. When Annika died three years ago, I went to see a chick flick with girlfriends. It was a comedy. I wondered what I was doing there and if I would ever really be able to enjoy anything fully ever again. It is a long, hard, painful journey. I pray for you when I see blue ribbons, when I am stabbed by my own pain (like when I found a Christmas present I had hidden for her), when I hear or see something that reminds me of you all, when I can't sleep in the middle of the night. I am so thankful that God has you close in His hands, that He has special moments for you. As I said, I just wanted to let you know I have been lifting you, Tim and Margaret up in prayer and will continue.
Love to you,
Michelle Arnold

Leslie said...

I had to run errands today during work and I saw a boy and I thought about this exact thing. How horrid it would be to see him. How I would want to scream at the mom to appreciate him and if she didn't I'd want to destroy her for not doing so. I had a million thoughts like this. How angry other parents would make me... And then I came back to the office and read this post. Of course this is how you feel. I was just thinking that this must be how you feel.

Every night that I work at the restaurant, I serve families and I am SO often prompted to quickly go to the back and pray for you. It just doesn't make sense and it's so unfair. And I'm so sorry.

I'm amazed that you're trying to even think of being joyful for anyone else.

I am always praying for the Lord to give you understanding and take the pain away.

Anonymous said...

I recently watched a movie called Rabbit Hole, with Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. As the film draws to a close, Becca and Howie quietly discuss their plans. For the day? The weekend? Life?

"So what are we gonna do?"

"About what?"

"I don't know, pick something."

"Well...we could go to Village Toys tomorrow and pick up Candyland for Emily. That's probably something she'd like."

"Okay, Candyland. That's a start. Then what?"

"Then we wrap it."

"Uh-huh."

"And then on Sunday we go to the cookout, and we give her the gift, and we talk to Rick and Debbie, and to make them feel comfortable we ask the kids a bunch of questions about what they've been up to, and we'll pretend that we're really interested. And then we'll wait for Rick and/or Debbie to bring up Danny while the kids are playing in the rec-room. And maybe that'll go on for a little while. And after that we'll come home."

.
..
...


"And then what?"

"I don't know. Something though. We'll figure it out."

"Will we?"

"I think so. I think we will."

I couldn't stop thinking about you and your family. I'm not typically a movie crier but for those 91 minutes, I just wept and wept and wept.

alice lane said...

Dear Anna, your courage and strength leaves me so humble, i cant even begin how to inagine how you manage to get up each day let alone still smile for the sake of your husband and daughter when inside you must be breaking.There's that saying which probbaly doesnt help but i hope it gives you courage' it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all'. every day must seem like eternity without your beautiful son. with love and constant thoughts and prayers from across the pond,Alice Lane,old friend of Mrs Rooney x

Headless Mom said...

Anna, DO NOT beat yourself up about this. Honestly, this is to be expected. Of course it hurts. To tell you the truth? If you didn't feel this way, at least part of the time, I would seriously wonder if you were actually human. I'm no grief counselor but I think that this is part of the process for someone that has lost a child. Especially and exceptional boy like Jack. Hang in there and I hope you feel our prayers-Always. xo

Susan said...

It's funny. You feel exactly as I know I would.
And reading your posts every day (or as often as you post) makes me appreciate my own children. Makes me feel as though my little insignificant problems (no sleep) are just that.
I can't stop thinking of you. Of Jack.

Heidi said...

I don't do those comments that are all 'I want to hug you'..nothing wrong with them...I just don't do them and not for any real reason. Anyway. I want to hug you and in my mind I am. I'm hugging you hard and probably too long. I hope that isn't creepy.
I love you, Anna.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anna,

As far as I understand, this feeling is completely normal. I'm so sorry you have to experience this. All of this.

Wishing you the best, knowing that, short of getting Jack back, nothing will do. So sorry...

Orangies Attic said...

I can't imagine anyone would expect you to share their joy anytime soon... you do and feel what you need to and don't worry even a little bit about what other people think. I know as women that is hard, and seems selfish and out of character, but it's what you have to do to survive and come out on the other side...

LizLow said...

Yeah,

I have real feelings, too. When I hear other people are pregnant, it's not that I don't want them to be, but I want to be. Not the same. But kinda.

Keep plugging, Anna. Keep plugging. My thoughts are with you, Tim and Margaret as always.

mia said...

i know this is not what you signed up for but in reading these comments you are a voice for so many... you are teaching others how to grieve...i keep praying for you all and hoping that you are able to have some happy moments. Hang in there friend... you will make it!!!

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

Sending love. Lots of love.

Rebecca said...

Yes, completely understandable. I cry so hard when I read your posts. You are amazing Anna, and your Jack is one lucky boy to have had you as a mom. We would all feel that way. Even though you are grieving, you still glow with joy. I'm amazed at how this is possible. But it is.

janzi said...

What a heartfelt blog and so sad and yet positive too.. you are starting to feel again after the dreadful deep despair of losing your lovely boy.. God I don't know how I would have coped losing one of mine, but you are coping in little bits day by day... hat off to you, however hard it is you are managing to do it and keep your family close and your husband too.. my thoughts are with you and a huge hug coming your way to let you know that we are all thinking of you despite not knowing you... have a peaceful weekend.

PeachPrenni said...

I can't imagine feeling any other way if I lost my child. As always, I appreciate your truth! Thank you for the great reminders of how Jack lived. Sooo wish I had known that kid!
Annie P.