Monday, November 2, 2009

The Days After

I had tried to think ahead about what the days after Johanna's passing and funeral would be like.  I knew there was no way to prepare myself, but I thought maybe I could brace myself for what was coming.

Friday through Monday were the easiest days so far.  Tuesday of last week wasn't very bad, because I was so tired.  I had to sleep and rest all day.  I want to be very honest for my sake, becuase I don't want to forget what this journey has been like.

Clayton came home to stay(he had been mostly staying at his grandparent's house) on Tuesday evening.  It was absolutely wonderful to have him home.  Soon enough I will be able to pick him up again.  Can't wait!! 

I remember waking up Wednseday morning feeling very empty.  I don't say that to mean that my husband, my family, my friends, or most importantly my Lord had abandoned me. That couldn't be farther from the truth.  Put simply, I felt like a part of me was missing.  And I guess, in a way, it was.  I had the privilege of having Johanna with me for 9+ months.  March through October.  We spent the spring, summer, and early fall together.  You get used to feeling those kicks and rolls.  And just like I missed them after Clayton was born, I missed them after Johanna was born.  I can say that for today, at least this hour, I don't feel empty.  It's a feeling that comes and goes.

It's amazing when you experience a loss, and I would venture to guess a loss of any kind, how your emotions play tricks on you.  The big things I can handle.  Walking through the baby section to buy Clayton diapers, not a problem.  Talking to a pregnant friend about how she's feeling, not a problem.  Losing a round of Phase 10(a really fun card game that Chad and I discovered recently), and I have a total meltdown.  Why?  I felt like a total failure in every aspect of my life.  I know not that's a totally ridiculous jump, but that's how I felt.

I have never had the opportunity/privilege to send a child back to the Lord.  Clayton was given back to God before He was born, but I get to keep him with me for a while.  I get to experience all the joys and heartbreaks of parenting with Clayton.  I had to give Johanna back before any of us really knew her.  I say that to say this.  I only weep for me, and I only grieve for me.  I miss my baby girl more than words can express, but I wouldn't bring her back to me for any price.  I know what she's doing today, and that makes me smile.  I wish Chad, Clayton, all of our friends and family, and myself were there with here.  But, I do not wish she was here with us. She's far better off with our Lord than she is with me.  Even though I still miss her terribly.

So now we're at 10+ days since Johanna was both born and went to live forever in Heaven.  How are we doing?  That's a loaded question and the answer depends on when you ask.  Right now, I'm a solid OK.  The Lord has been very gracious and merciful to me.  I am fortunate enough to experience wonderful peace.


christina said...

hi girlie. you write so well and i remember feeling oh so similar. I only share that with you now so that others that read this will know something else...we still need them! A year later for us and people have shared recently that our emails gave the impression we were doing SO WELL that we didn't need a phone call to check in or for them to ask how we were because i was already telling them. Maybe a back out excuse, maybe truth for them, but either way...we still need people to walk with us, to remember the special dates with us, and to not be afraid of tears if they "come out of nowhere." But also to know that our smiles are real, too. Because of the grace of our Lord. Not because we are hiding. We are finding and have found the beauty in the suffering and we aren't afraid to see both in the moment. I'm so proud of you! You better not get tired of hearing it! (you may find it's not a need for you to hear it because you have that need met! how wonderful! I hope to be a part of that fulfillment.)
loveu. think about you and pray for you EVERYDAY!

swell news said...

Hi there, you don't know me nor I you, but I happened upon your blog about a week ago and have read it everyday since. My heart is broken for you and your family. I cry every time I read here. I am also a christian, but I fear that I would not have the same strength as you if I were in your shoes. I truely admire your strengh and faith. Johanna is so lucky to be the daughter of such amazing parents!

Jamie Lynn said...

People ask me how I'm doing all the time, then they ask how you guys are doing. && I never know how to answer, you just taught me:)

Right now, I'm okay!

Love ya, & I know I'm young.. but I'm always here for ya.

Allison said...

You are such a strong woman, Nikki. You continue to inspire me each and every day with each and every post. I feel like a big jerk for my whiny post yesterday because I know that in all of this, I should be praying myself through this instead of allowing myself to wallow in negativity. Thank you for that reminder. Your life is a great example for me to strive towards... You truly are such a blessing to me during this time and I am so glad that the Lord gave me someone like you to serve as a gentle daily reminder to praise Him... even in this storm. Love you and thinking about you today!

Jennifer said...

Hello. I am a stranger in this life to you. I found your blog by what I thought an accident. Funny how God works like that. I have read all your post. Since I have been reading them I have found God stirring my soul to grow closer to him and to even start having some of the faith you have. I have cried the hardest I have in a long time over some of them. I have also felt God's spirit in them. You wrote in your latest that you had never had the privilage of sending a child back to God. I would still be so angry at him for taking one of my kids if I was in your shoes. He is working on that with me. You are such an inspiration to me. I am speechless when I am done with your post. I immediately start praying for the things God convicts me of after I am done. I am a stranger to you here, but one day I hope to meet you and give you a hug in Heaven. I also plan on shouting beside you when you see you little girl wrapped up in Jesus' arms!! Please don't stop blogging as it has helped me more than you will ever know. Thank you
Sister in Christ

SayRah said...

Your strength and grace amazes me. It just reminds me how His grace is sufficient, and his mercy endures.
Every day will be hard, but you've got the right mindset.
still praying for you guys!
((hugs & blessings))

Emma and Company said...

Your feelings are so well put. I am glad the Lord is giving you the comfort you feel. You have such strength, but I know you have your moments too where you feel so upset, but that is perfectly okay! We will be praying for you!! Always!

Rebecca said...

Even nearly 6 months later, there are still bad moments & bad days, but the good are starting to mostly outweigh them. Those first days, for me, were total madness. I'm sure you will be thankful for the way that you your documenting Johanna's story. Healing, both physically and emotionally, takes time.

Give yourself lots of grace Nikki.


Holly said...

I think those early days after burying Carleigh I was running off of shock and necessity but I am grateful for it b/c it got me through. God was with me and He was so close to my heart. I pray that He remains close to yours.