Ups & Downs

We have been without our daughter Zoe for two weeks now.  It feels like just yesterday that I was sleeping close to her warm, breathing body.  Missing her is a longing that I never knew I could feel.  While painful and desperate, it comes with moments of peace.  To compare ones grief and loss of a child to another is impossible.  As much as you want to relate to another's experiences, you can't.    Each is individual and sacred.  

My days are spent waking up to my handsome husband and lively three year old.  Both bring smiles to my face and a lightness to my heavy heart.  Andrew works day and night to maintain his focus on school, comfort Londyn and I and grieve over Zoe.  I cling to Londyn and keep my time filled with moments spent with her, taking her to various activities and normal mom duties.  Some of the things that have helped me get through the day are walking/"trotting" a mile at the track when she's at school twice a week and reading before bed at night.  Both have helped clear my head and focus on me for a bit.  

I am often confused as to how I feel and how-TO feel.  My thoughts and feelings are constantly going UP and down, down and UP.  One moment I will have a "Can DO" attitude and the next thing I know, I'm in a rut... with a "This SUCKS" attitude.  I know I need to grieve and it will just take TIME, but I want to feel okay now.  Ever since Zoe entered my life, I have been given a daily dose of patience.  Although she is no longer on this earth, she continues to test my patience... I suppose that is a child's job after all.  This journey with Zoe has always been one day at a time... Zoe's time.  Now, I am on Kacie Time and I don't know what to do with that.  But I do know that the only person who does, is my Heavenly Father.  If I follow His lead, I will get there.  I WILL "find my happy" again... as my sister would say when Londyn is grumpy or sad.  

This week I observed a man with his children.  He continued to berate his young kids over and over again.  Don't get me wrong, discipline is key in parenting... but this was inappropriate and too far.  I could feel myself getting angry and near tears, just watching this father's behavior.  I just wanted to grab him and show him my broken heart.  The broken heart of a woman who would give anything to sit next to her child, just as he.  To have the opportunity to hug her and tell her I love her, rather than grab forcefully and use harsh scolding words.  Parenting is never easy, but I will never be able to put myself in his shoes and know why or what possessed him to be so hard on his babies.
When people tell me "I am so sorry for your loss" or "if there's anything I can do, just let me know"... I tell them thank you and to please just hold and love on their babies even more than they already do.  

Today was my first time visiting Zoe's grave since her funeral.  Andrew took Londyn last Thursday, but I hadn't gotten myself to go just yet.  I felt so uplifted after church, that I was eager and ready to go to the cemetery.  The last time I had been was before the grave had been closed and her casket was still exposed in the vault.  Seeing her small and temporary grave marker at the head of her freshly buried plot was unbearable at first.  I sat next to the dry soil, covered in flowers and broke down.  I couldn't stop thinking "I am sitting at my daughter's grave."  What do you do with that?  What do you do with that statement?  With that fact?  For some reason, it just hit me like a ton of bricks that THIS was her grave and I will forever visit my buried child until my time on this earth is through.  My daughter's grave... 

As I tucked Lulu into bed tonight, we went over her day as we usually do... 
Me: What did you do today?
Londyn: Went to church.  Zoe was there. 
Me: (Shocked) Where was she?
Londyn: She was by me when I got a water drink.
Me: What did she look like?
Londyn: She was smiling.
Me: (wondering if she was confusing being at church today with seeing Zoe at the funeral) Were her eyes open?
Londyn: Yeah, they were blinking. 
Me: (still skeptical) What were you wearing?
Londyn: My blue dress (the dress she wore to church today)
Me: What was Zoe wearing?
Londyn: Her white dress, mom. 
At that point, I was stunned.  Londyn then said, "Zoe was happy mom!"

I then called for Andrew to come upstairs.  When I asked Londyn to tell daddy what she had told me, she started getting confused and her story was different.  For a three year old, I am impressed that her short attention span even lasted that long on the same subject.  

Londyn was a tiny piece of heaven for me tonight.  I will never underestimate how thin the veil is for her strong little spirit.  Zoe will always be watching over us and especially looking out for her big sister.  Through our Relief Society lesson today, I learned that we have to continuously work to be worthy of revelation.  I think Zoe was comforting me through Londyn's sweet experience.  I now know without a doubt that I want and will strive to be worthy of more precious blessings from my angel baby.  


doodles by debbie said...

thank you kacie... i feel the Spirit so strongly as i read over your experiences and i am so humbled and grateful. you are always in my heart and prayers!

Cindy Gunderson said...

Thank you ... so very much!! I say this with tears running freely. I know our Father's arms are holding you and hubby and Londyn up and He is blessing you as you learn to live with the physical loss of your Zoe. Im so grateful for His "mysterious ways"... For those oh-so-brief and oh-so-seldom glimpses He sometimes allows into the nonphysical side of life that goes on around us everyday. Times like Londyn recounted to you at bedtime on Sunday. God is Good ... Always!
Thank you Kasey, for sharing with us. That was such a gift, even for me, a stranger!! (I have a 1 1/2yr old granddaughter Annabelle, who also only has 'half a heart, similiar to the same heart defect as Zoe only its on the right side)...
Thank you again and KNOW that you are all being prayed for!