Friday, December 21, 2012

I don't think I can do it...

Christmas that is.

At least Christmas the way we have always done it in the past.

With my parents, and sibs and their children on Christmas Day at my parents' house...

With my husbands family at our house all the next day...

It would kind of wreck the children's Christmas joy to have me curled up in a ball in the corner of the couch sobbing for the whole day...

Because I am not done crying yet.

In fact, I think I have not yet begun to cry...

The numbness that lasted about 10 days after Henry died is gone...

a raw aching hole remains and is keenly felt almost every moment of the day...

But especially when I see his pile of toys in the corner...

When my 3 year old Tessa asks at least 3 times a day to play house with me -

"You be the mommy, I be the big sister, and Henry be the baby who died."

I no longer go to therapy 4 times a week and see and talk with the women who were helping Henry and became such a huge support in my life...

I no longer "fit in" many of the Facebook groups I joined to discuss parenting a special needs child...

My whole life was mapped out for the next 18 years...

And now a HUGE chunk of that future has vanished.

I had a massive back crisis last Tuesday involving a bulging disc that landed me flat on the couch with severe pain and spasms the last 2 days... It is slowly getting a bit better with treatment and gentle therapy...

My brother in law said I should get a 20 pound weight to carry on my left hip to get my body back in balance...

And while he meant it a bit tongue-in-cheek, I do not doubt one bit that this is the problem...

My body is physically rebelling and reacting to the physical absence of the boy I carried around, who ate in my lap and who slept curled up on me or under my arm every single day for the last 14 months....

And my emotions are being "stuffed down" into my back and muscles because I feel I cannot cry in front of my children or anyone else and that it is time to get "back to work" and get all the accouterments of Christmas completed...

Heck I have not been able to go to my local grocery store because the last time I went was the morning before I took Henry into the hospital and I know I am going to look like a crazy woman walking around crying as I put items in my cart...

I just don't think I can "do" Christmas.

And I am not going to beat my "perfectionistic type-A" self up about that.

But what I think I CAN do is love my husband and children and family and thank God for sending his Son...

But quietly.

And maybe in solitude.

At least for this year.


  1. That's all you have to do, Carla. And you don't have to explain that to a single person! I know your joy is there, deep inside, but I think it's important you embrace the sorrow too. We haven't forgotten Henry and if you need a listening ear, you have mine. 901-355-7902:)

  2. Broken for you and thinking of you often. Xo

  3. Broken for you and thinking of you often. Xo

  4. Dear Carla please allow yourself a time to grieve and to express your feelings about the loss of your baby. Healing will come through the tears. I am keeping you and your family in my prayers. A big hug.

  5. Praying for all of you.

  6. We are think of you and praying for you and your family. I can't imagine what your going through. We are praying for peace that passes all understanding. This Christmas we are praying for a time of peace for you and your family. GOD BLESS YOU

  7. Oh Carla. I'm weeping with you. Why Why Why???????????

  8. Your baby boy died, Carla. I don't think you need to explain anything you do or don't do to anyone. Grieve how it feels right to you. There's no right or wrong. Unfortunately it's going to take a long time, it's a process, and one that I don't think a mama is ever fully void of. There will be plenty of Christmases ahead to do it the way you want, but for this year, just be still. With your family, with your memories, with your heart aches, with your bodily pains, with your grief and lay it all before our Jesus. So many prayers I lift all throughout each day for you. <3

  9. HUGS and tears.
    Henry was much loved by all.

  10. I think sometimes the liturgical seasons don't match ours. That's OK. You can only be where you are....Prayers for peace.

  11. I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope that you can find a support network to help you through the journey of grief. There are other parents who might be better able to understand all that you're going through when you're ready.

    Myths and Facts About Grief:

    MYTH: The pain will go away faster if you ignore it.

    Fact: Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it.

    MYTH: It’s important to be “be strong” in the face of loss.

    Fact: Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to loss. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak. You don’t need to “protect” your family or friends by putting on a brave front. Showing your true feelings can help them and you.

    MYTH: If you don’t cry, it means you aren’t sorry about the loss.

    Fact: Crying is a normal response to sadness, but it’s not the only one. Those who don’t cry may feel the pain just as deeply as others. They may simply have other ways of showing it.

    MYTH: Grief should last about a year.

    Fact: There is no right or wrong time frame for grieving. How long it takes can differ from person to person.

    Source: Center for Grief and Healing
    Sending prayers and love.

  12. Oh, sweetie. I ache for you. I am so sorry. Please, you take the time you need, and do it your way. Everyone understands and if they don't, then they will just have to learn. You have suffered a great tragedy that has turned your world upside down. Please know that your friends are praying for you, we have not forgotten, and Henry is praying for you, too… So much love coming your way, dear Carla.

  13. Praying for you. Please don't feel like you have to do anything anybody else's way, or explain yourself to them.

  14. Your family will understand that you still rejoice in Christmas even if you cannot do it with all the bells and whistles of former years. You are mourning a terrible loss. I'm sure everyone will understand if you can't be very festive. Do what feels right, but dont' try to hide how you feel.

  15. I still weep almost daily when i think of your pain Carla. when i think of Henry, I don't feel sad for him anymore but when i think of what you are going through, what you have left to go through, I feel pain. I can't imagine how it must be to wake up to another day without Henry. I am praying for you and all the families who have their children in this past month, especially on Christmas. May you have a special Christmas in your heart, even if it's not the same as before. :-(

  16. thinking of you. I cant imagine the pain you deal with daily. Im sorry you have to go down this lonely road. all my love.

  17. Carla, I am so sorry... I think so many of us out here wonder how you do manage to go on through this pain that is almost unimaginable. And we are praying for you through this hard, hard season. You are a good Mama, a phenomenal, devoted Mama. But right now you just need to throw yourself onto Christ's mercy and the Blessed Mother's maternal love. It'll take as long as it takes. We are still praying for you, hon. And I still light Henry's'll be lit here through the Christmas season. (((hugs and tears))))

  18. Also, remember that there is also a sad, somber side to Christmas that our culture no longer recognizes....Our Blessed Mother will be by your side all the way through this. Lean on her.

  19. (((( HUGS)))) my friend! Just know that you are thought of and prayed over by our family each day. We will never forget Henry! He touched Jeff and the kids deeply in Kiev and we will never forget him. Love you all!

  20. You've been on my mind and we're praying for all of you. May God comfort you during this difficult time Carla.

  21. You don't have to do anything except the most basic care. Remember Jesus came to suffer with us and for us and that we may have eternal life. It's all tied to eternal life, which is what Henry is experiencing.

    Crying can be very healthy.

    I've cried through a Christmas Mass after a death of a loved one. I've cried through an Easter Mass after someone else died.

    May God send you safe people you can cry with. Even Jesus cried when his friend died. If you need to find a grief counselor for support then do it. If you need massage therapy for your aching body, then do it. If you need to cry in the shower then take a shower or two or three or four in one day and cry your heart out.

    I like to think of the peaceful night when the shepherds were keeping watch over their sheep on the First Noel. There wasn't all that jingle bell ring-a-ding-dingy holly jolly figgy pudding gaily wrapped present stuff. People were happy to see angels and star. A little boy was happy to beat his drum because that's all he had. The wise men probably got blisters of their feet as they traveled to see Baby Jesus. And they didn't get a brightly decorated tree and a four-course meal and sugar cookies when they arrived. And while these things of 21st C. American Christmas are wonderful, they can distract from the quiet peace of that Silent Night and sets us up for unmet expectations.

    Take care of yourself.

    May God send people to minister to you and your family.


  22. You remain in my thoughts and prayers on a daily basis. I'm just so sorry.

  23. Love and many, many prayers for you, dear Carla, and for your family. I cry with you.

  24. Love you Carla. Praying for you. ((hugs))

  25. Carla, I am a member of Saint Anthony's and I too, have lost a child, our son was 16 days old when he passed, he died in 2010. I miss him everyday, and have not even started to grieve for him, I cann't bring myself to think of him as gone, even though he is. I know he is in heaven, but I still need him here. I too am afraid to cry in front of the kids, they have enough grief of there own. Christmas is the worst, it is very hard to be happy when part of you is missing, I know the hole you are feeling, and there are no words that can take that hole away or fill it. Please feel free to email or call me if you need someone to talk to, another mom who is feeling your pain and knows exactly what you are going through. I know it has changed my life forever, and I am trying to adjust to the new "normal". Just as you will be too. Our email is, and my cell phone is 815-260-7135. We live in Frankfort, too. Take Care of yourself, God Bless- Monica Ruelle & family

  26. After our daughter was stillborn, I remember trying not to cry in front of my children - I would cry in the shower every morning and every evening and try to just get it all out on my own. Then my 5 year old caught me crying when I thought he was busy - he wrapped his arms around me and cried with me saying he missed his sister too and I shouldn't cry alone. His words made perfect sense; I would never leave him to cry alone in grief so why did I think I had to? Crying together allowed conversations to happen that needed to happen.

    Please do whatever you need to do this Christmas season and any holiday season after. Grief is not something you can schedule or plan for, it occurs when it occurs.

    You and your family are in my family's prayers. I hope you find peace.

  27. "Dear Jesus, please bring sweet Carla the strength and comfort she needs. Blessed Mother, we pray for your grace to help Carla her with this pain. Blessed John Paul II please pray for Carla, as you know the pain of losing those you loved. Beloved Henry, please send your prayers to comfort your dear Mama who misses you so."

  28. I'm so sorry for your loss. We have been thinking about and praying for your family. May God grant you peace and rest.

  29. Carla, you're observing Lent -- specifically the Passion -- very early this year. Christ is in you and you are in Christ, through baptism; I have to believe that somehow, you are participating in his Passion. Sweet Jesus, be with Carla her through this. Carla, thinking of you and praying for you this Christmas...wish we could take away the pain....

  30. Sending you and your family prayers and love, Carla. I'm so so sorry you are going through this. I think of you and Henry, and all of the other friends and family we have lost this year. <3

  31. Dear Carla and Family,

    I can understand your feelings all to well. Our daughter was stillborn in May and I thought I would be okay with everything. I was even a little excited until everything fell apart when I could not find the "perfect" babies first christmas ornament. After that I have been terribly sad and would perfer not to do things as that would some how make things better. There is no right way or wrong way with grief I am learning. You are not alone and my heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  32. Make sure you open the present that was left on your porch today!!!!

  33. Carla,
    When our baby died, my mom told me that every little thing I do for my husband and daughter was an act of faith. So, while it was too much for me to do what I normally do, I could get out of bed and do small things to show the Lord my faithfulness. For you, that might just mean opening your eyes in the morning.

    You know, you never have to stop grieving Henry. Your grief will change, but it will not be "over." And that is perfectly ok. I, for one, will always be open to hearing about him, about how much you miss him, about how much you are hurting, whether it's tomorrow or two years from now.

    May the infant Jesus be that 20 pound weight on your hip, and the balm for your heart. My prayers are with you.