Monday, December 24, 2012


It is almost Christmas morning, and I am ready to go to bed.  After visits from and to family and friends, trips to see Santa, wrapping gifts for all, baking, etc..., I am tired, but not too tired to reflect back on what the last 4 weeks have been like on our home.

The house has been full... of laughter and singing.  The children are more aware this year, than last, of the joy and wonder of Christmas.  They are learning Christmas carols, developing favorite Christmas movies, and becoming increasingly more aware that it means presents. 

The house is full... of the patter of little feet and the cries of joy as they discover our Elf, Diamond's, resting place for the day.

The house is full... of little hands reaching for bright lights and soft ornaments, even trying to pull needles off the tree.

The house is full... of little voices asking when we can go see Boe and bring him flowers.

The mantle, is full... of stockings waiting to be filled with Santa's goodies.  We now have Brody's stocking, so it is complete.

In spite of this fullness, I cannot help but feel a nagging sense of emptiness.  Yes, the stocking all hang on our mantle; but, as all have been taken down, bulging with Santa's treats, one remains hanging, filled only with notes and a mommy's hopes and dreams that will never come true. 

Yes, the little hands reach for lights and ornaments on the tree, but mommy's eyes always float to the booties which will never hold precious little feet.  They hang front and center to remind us of his presence. 

Yes, the carols are being sung, but certain songs cannot be heard without mommy getting tears in her eyes, for they speak of angels and peace, and she wonders, is he an angel?  Is he at peace? 

Yes, they run through the house squealing with delight and excitement, but he will never join them.

Even though there is a void which can never be filled, I also feel so filled with his presence.  I know he is here with us, watching and enjoying from afar.  I know there is a part of him that lives in his surviving brothers and his younger brother, as well.  It is a gentle sweetness, an innocence that makes me squeeze them that much harder or hold them that much closer.  I am full of love for him that cannot and will not ever be edged out by his siblings.  I am full of memories of the days that I did have with him.  I am full of gratitude that he is mine, and I am full of grace knowing that God trusted me with one of his precious souls.

Merry Christmas, sweet Boe.  I love you and miss you so very much

Christmas 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Emotional Amputation

You see them out and about; living, laughing, going through life as if everything is fine, normal even.  Upon closer examination, however, you realize everything is not fine; it is not normal.  There is a piece of them missing.  I am speaking, of course, of an amputee.  Perhaps at some point in their life they were in an accident and received an irreparable crush injury, perhaps they contracted some sort of infection or had cancer.  In any case, it is clear that they are without one or more of their extremities.

They were not always fine.  They were angry and in pain, they might still be.  They had to fight to learn how to live without what is no longer there.  In some cases, they wear a prosthesis, but it is not the same.  It can never be the same.  The day their limb was removed from their body is the day their life changed forever.  It is not just a physical loss, but a loss of one's self, too.

Can't the same be said of the loss of a child?  What once was there is no longer.  The day our child died is the day our life, who we are was forever changed.  Now, we may seem fine, normal.  We live, we laugh, we do the same things as everyone else, but that piece of us is missing.

It has been reported that, years later, amputees say they can still feel their missing limb.  It hurts, it itches, it tingles.  I know that I can't speak for other Loss Mommas, but I know I can feel Boe.  I can feel him turning in my belly, I feel the weight of him in my arms, I feel the softness of his delicate skin.

It will never be easy.  Some days may be harder than others. I have lost something, and I shall never be the same.  I have had to learn to live with what is no longer here.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Doing Math

I do not like math, I never have.  In spite of the fact that I am incredibly linear and logical, geometry, algebra, etc..., it's all Greek to me.  I always had to work hard at math in school which only made me further dislike it.  I did not care why a+b+c=z or why the slope of a line could be determined by using the formula y=mx+b.  Who cares?  As long as I can figure what 40% off of those smokin' Christian Louboutins is, who cares what a quadratic equation is.  I'm just sayin'.

Here is a very simple equation that any first or second grader could solve:  3 - 1 = 2

Alas, it does not.  At least not in my world.  I live in a world where this simplest of equations will never appear just as it seems: concrete, clear, irrefutable.  When I was teaching first grade, we would define subtraction as taking something away so that it is no longer there.  This is where I start to struggle.  You see, my -1, Boe, is HERE.  He is in Adler's little face everytime he smiles, he is on my children's minds when, out of nowhere, they say, "Boe is night night" or "Boe, away, yeah".  He is in our home depicted in artwork and family photos.  Most importantly, he is in our hearts every single second of every single day.

Though he may not be readily visible, though he may not be tangible, he is here.  He has not been taken away so that he is no longer here, he is simply here in a different way.  So, mathematicians, scientists, those who thrive on proof, evidence, and cold hard facts, for now we must agree to disagree.  I shall never again agree that 3 - 1 = 2.  To me, 3 - 1 is still 3, 1 is just somewhere else. He is everywhere and nowhere all at once.  He is my little boy, he is a brother, a son, the playmate and best friend who is missed always, thought of constantly and loved forever.  -1 is Boe.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How can I explain?

Yesterday, we took the kids to see Boe.  Brody had never been, and we decided it was high time that he meet his big brother.  All the "big" kids wanted to give Boe high fives and knuckles, which we gladly indulged.  After the novelty of that wore off, Adler and Cameron decided it would be fun to play hide and seek; Libby, on the other hand, had something else in mind.

Libby wanted to know all about Baby Boe.  Why was he here?  Since he was sleeping, could we wake him up?  Why can't he come home with us?  How is he in heaven and the "itch" at the same time?  Why did God want him?

Her curiosity and genuine interest were dear and so very heartbreaking all at once.  I intensely dislike the fact that this is the reality that has been thrust upon my surviving children.  I am a big girl, I can take this.  I can deal with it and make peace with it.  I can live my life as completely and joyfully as possible.  My children?  That is a different story.

They should not have to learn what words like cemetery, pass away, niche, pay our respects, and the like mean.  Not now, not until they are much much older.  They should not associate the purchase of flowers with a trip to visit their brother.  When they give their brother high fives and knuckles it should be as they cavort and play, not to some cold slab of marble in the silence of a mausoleum.  The only little blue box my daughter should ever have to hear about is one from Tiffany and Co., wherein lies some beautiful precious trinket, not the little blue box in which her brother's remains rest.

Unfortunately, this is the hand which we have been dealt.  How can I possibly explain all of this to them when it is something which I do not fully understand myself?

Friday, August 24, 2012

People will know he's there

Boe resides in a mausoleum niche with my Opa (grandfather).  He is surrounded by people who, for all intents and purposes, appear to have lived long full lives.  Small brass plates display the names and life spans of those who occupy them, informing passersby that someone who was loved rests here.  In that 4x4 square lies someone's mother, sister, wife, friend, etc...  No one knows that Boe is there.

He lies in the niche protected by his Opa, but no one who happens by knows that Albert W. Muller AND Boe Holland Kinowski share that space.  Over the last several months, this has been becoming increasingly more difficult for me to handle.  I want people who pass by to know that he is there.  I want them to know that life is not all about living a long full life and then passing peacefully in your sleep.  Sometimes, those who we love the most are taken from us unexpectedly, without warning; and it is heartbreaking.

Since Boe died, there have been a few times when people have done unexpectedly touching things. Acts that reaffirm that he exists, he is remembered and he is loved.  Recently, one of those things was done for us.  My stepmother, who has never had any children of her own, bought a new plaque for the niche.  The plaque will have my Opa's name on it and Boe's name on it.

I am so incredibly touched that she did this.  It means people will know about a little boy named Boe. They may not know about his life or his death, but they will know he "is".

Sunday, July 29, 2012

It's Not as Glamourous as You Think...

We all know that the summer nights have very little of interest to watch on TV.  For that reason, my husband and I often find ourselves watching repeats of things which we have already seen.  Old episodes of Law and Order: SVU. Two and a Half Men and the Big Bang Theory occupy our evenings after the children are asleep.  Lately, we have rediscovered Friends.

I have all 1o seasons on DVD, and this is a show which is near and dear to both of us; so many of our earliest relationship memories revolve around this show.  The episodes which are currently airing are depicting Phoebe's triplet pregnancy, and I'm finding it really hard to deal.
I'll admit, I laughed right along with the rest of America when Phoebe carried her brother's children and gave birth to them.  Her brother, Frank, announcing, "My sister's having my baby!!!!!", is still one of my favorite Friends moments of all time; however,  the episodes that follow are painfully difficult to watch.  

It seems that multiple births are so glamorized these days.  The triplet ogres in Shrek, there are triplet boys in Brave, John and Kate Plus 8, Table for 10, Quints By Surprise, we are all obsessed with multiples.  But for some of us, this is not an oddity, not something at which we should gawk and whisper as the family passes by.  For some of us, this is life, it is real, it is everyday, and we would not have it any other way... almost.

If I could change one thing about my life, it would be to have Boe here.  It would be to have my group of 3 intact, whole... complete.  From the moment we found out there were 3 of them, that's how we planned, that's what we envisioned for ourselves; 3 little princes with one princess to preside over them.

Alas, that is not what the Lord had in store for us, and we have honestly made our peace with that fact.  It does not change the fact that there is forever a piece missing and that to have that missing piece so frivolously thrown in our faces stings, just a bit.

To watch Phoebe joke about carrying a litter and eating for three, to see her hold all three of them at once and speak words of love and inspiration to all three is like a knife in my heart.  I no longer laugh when I see this; I turn the channel and try not to cry.  Instead of holding all three at once, I held one and cried for him, and I held the other two and told them about their other brother.  A brother with whom they spent so much time in such close proximity, but would never get to wrestle with or play.  A brother who gave up so much so that they may thrive.  A little boy who is so deeply cherished and missed, a little boy  who makes it impossible for me to laugh at the cavalier manner in which multiple pregnancies are displayed.  

It's not all laughs and silly Phoebe'isms, people.  It really happens, sometimes things go wrong, and it really sucks.  Sometimes people stop laughing, so why does everybody else still think it's so funny?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The House of the Lord

I'll admit it, since Boe died, I have had a very hard time with church.  I am way past the "How could God do this to me?" phase.  I am no longer angry or willing to take issue with Him; afterall, he takes care of my baby and loves and protects him as I never could.

I have a hard time with church because it is the last place that I saw Boe right in front of my eyes.  He was physically present in the vestibule of the church before his service and in the church with us during the ceremony.  I'll always remember what it was like to watch the little blue box that held his remains be carried to a car and driven off, forever out of my arms.  It happened on the steps of the church, and for that reason, it has been so hard for me to return.

When we do go to church, I often find myself standing in the circle right in the center of the vestibule, that is where his little box lay as we greeted friends and family before his service began.  As odd as this may seem, I truly feel him there, and it is the only place in the church where I feel at peace.

What is the answer?  Do I avoid church forever?  No. I still believe, wholeheartedly, in God and the miracle of his creations.  I want my children to be raised knowing that there is a being so much bigger and more powerful than we, someone to whom we can always turn in our darkest hour or greatest triumph.

Maybe there is hope.  Just recently, Brody was baptized.  We had to go to mass not only to have him anointed, but for his Christrening as well. For the first time in a longtime, I was able to stand in church and recall certain aspects of Boe's service while simulataneuosly rejoicing for Brody.  I was able to hear the "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star / Jesus Loves Me" medley without being reduced to tears.  I was able to sit right up front without being paralyzed by the fact that one of the last times I sat there was at Boe's service.

Isn't that how it's supposed to be though?  With God I mean.  Isn't He supposed to stand next to us in celebration and then carry us when our burdens are simply too much to bare?  Maybe that is why convening in His house is so important, regardless of the events through which we are currently passing.  Being in His home reminds us that we always have a place.  A place where we can go to shed feelings of sadness and give them over to Him; a place where we can go to turn our faces to the heavens in joy and celebration; a place where we can bridge the gap between the physical and spiritual plane to feel those we love the most around us.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Life as it is... Not how it was supposed to be

Bittersweet.  That is how I feel right now.  Yesterday, Brody turned 7 months old.  Last night he slept in the nursery with his sister and brothers for the first time.

Saturday, Adam slaved to assemble the crib, hang the curtains that will divide Brody from his siblings during sleeping time, and move the dresser to the walk in closet to make way for his crib.  The room is beautiful.  It is sweet and dear and houses the most precious beings in this world, but I still cried when I saw it.

I cried because, in another lifetime, the cribs were supposed to be arranged differently.  Each little crib was supposed to be placed under the A, B, or C which corresponded to Adler, Boe and Cameron.  Today, the "B" circle holds a framed quote and tiny little hand and footprints,  little mementos that provide precious proof that a boy named Boe Holland existed, his brothers, "A" and "C", end to end so they can conspire in the night.

Today, the third crib sits on its own wall, with another precious little "B", Brody", filling it.  That's what he does, he "fills".  He fills my heart with joy where there was sadness and despair.  He fills my arms with warmth and weight, where once there was such emptiness and longing.
He fills our home with giggles and squeals and smiles that Boe was never able to give.

In the midst of all these wonderful, fuzzy feelings, he also fills my heart with guilt and conflict. I feel guilty because it's almost as though I'm betraying Boe's memory by loving Brody so much, by smiling and laughing when I hold him in my arms; those smiles and laughs should have been for Boe.  I feel guilty because I do not ever want Brody to think that he was a replacement or not wanted.  I do not want him to feel that he was born out of some desperate attempt to fill a void which can never truly be filled.  He was born to be his own person with his own gifts and talents, and we love him because he is "Brody".

Certainly, seeing the nursery ready for Brody was bittersweet.  It conjured up memories and images of what was supposed to be, but it also painted a picture of life as it is.  A picture of a life, that through sadness and loss has become so very full, vibrant, and a true celebration of God's abundant love and grace.  It paints a picture of my life, a life that, for right now, I couldn't imagine living any other way.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I hold my breath...

Whenever someone I know shares with me that she is pregnant, I find myself holding my breath.  It goes without saying that I am thrilled for them and the impending arrival of their little baby, but I hold my breath.

I know too much.  I know that with the joy and excitement that come from a pregnancy and birth of a baby, there can also come great loss and sadness if a baby happens to die.  I know that there is no "safe" time during a pregnancy.  Babies can die at any time for any reason,and even when they are born living, there are no guarantees, and that sucks.

I know that babies can die during the 1st trimester, the 3rd trimester, or even during the birth process itself.  They can die for no apparent reason, leaving the heartbroken parents with no answers or explanations, or they can die because they had a serious birth defect or abnormality that is not compatible with life.

I know the shock and sadness of discovering that, at some point in the last 12 hours, your child's heart stopped beating.  I know what it means to hold a baby who will never move, never breathe, never open his eyes or snuggle close to his mommy and how it hurts like hell to see him one more time before he is taken away forever.

I know what it is to live everyday feeling "different" because a part of me is missing.  I know what it is to hear a song on the radio or come across an outfit he would have worn or see how he'd look as I watch his brothers and be reduced to tears because he is not here, and I miss him.

I know that having a baby is wonderful and miraculously joyous, but I also live what is on the other side of that coin everyday.  So, yes, when friends tell me they are pregnant, I am excited. But until that baby arrives, kicking and screaming,  I hold my breath.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A letter to Boe on his second birthday

Dear Boe,

Two years ago today, you changed our lives forever. Two years ago today, we lost so much. In an instant, we lost our son, our innocence, our hopes, dreams and aspirations. We lost "normal" and the Kirsten and Adam we used to be. In an instant, it seemed that we lost everything.

Yet, even in the midst of unbelievable shock and pain, we also gained a lot, too. We gained your brothers, Adler and Cameron, we gained the true meaning of sacrifice and heroism, we gained the knowledge that, in an instant, life can change and everything you thought you knew, everything you believed in, dreamed of and hoped for, is up for grabs; nothing is sacred, nothing is for certain, and nothing is guaranteed.

Our eyes were opened wider than we ever thought they could be to sights so simultaneously beautiful and wrought with pain, that we truly did not know whether we should laugh or cry, so we did both. We learned that, despite our best efforts, this thing called life is truly out of our hands. Someone else is in control, and we are merely along for the ride.

Boe, today it has been 2 years since you died. Two years since we lost you physically, but gained an angel. It has been 2 years since we held you in our arms, but you have been held in our hearts and minds every moment since. It has been 2 years since you died and were born, 2 years since a part of us died and, in its place, a new more aware and open part was born. It has been 2 years, and I still miss you like hell, but I am able to remember you with a smile more frequently than with tears. It has been 2 years, and tonight I will light 2 candles, and rather than blow them out, they will remain lit, for to keep them lit is to keep a piece of you alive.

Happy birthday, Boe. I love you and miss you more than words can say.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Closing in...

It is approaching... The 2 year anniversary of Boe's death, and my boys' birthday. I have found myself thinking of "Two years ago today, I was..." a lot recently. I realized that I started doing this around the 1st of April. That is when my perinatologist decided to hospitalize me for observation while he was out of town. I was 29 weeks pregnant.

This week it is "Two years ago today was the last time I saw Boe's heartbeat". The last time I knew he was safe, alive; the last time I was "normal". I don't really play the "what if" game except in one instance, and it centers around this day, April 19th.

I had gone in for a Biophysical profile. Basically, they looked for heartbeats, breathing, movement, and possibly even hiccups from the boys. If they did all of these things, they "passed". On this day, it took the nurse a long time to locate Boe and get a steady reading on him. I really did not think too much of it because he was under Adler and Cameron and had always been a little tricky to find. When she did find him, he was fine. His heartbeat was normal, he was moving and practicing his breathing.

Now, looking back on that day, I wonder "what if"? What if she had been concerned that she had so much trouble getting a good read on him? What if he had failed even one point of his profile and she had called my doctor in for more careful observation? What if the boys had been delivered that day? Would Boe have survived? Would he have been OK?

Sunday is their birthday. It will be a joyous day, filled with laughter and fun. It will also be a bittersweet day filled with a hint of sadness. Sadness over the loss of what should have been, sadness over the knowledge that there is a piece of the puzzle that is missing, sadness over the candle left lit and not blown out. Sadness is closing in, and just as quickly as it comes, it will be wiped away by the joy that comes from being his mommy.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Life according to Michelle...

The Duggars recently aired the episode which chronicled the discovery of their daughter's death and her memorial service. Typically, I do not watch this show, but I heard this episode was airing, so I made it a point to watch. Even though I do not understand many of the family's lifestyle choices, several things about their ordeal really struck home.

First off, I was so impressed and touched by Michelle's serene approach to what had happened. She said so many things that really resonated with me. She spoke often of how much joy Jubilee had brought them during the 18 weeks she had been alive. I had never thought of this before, but even with all the risk and sacrifice associated with my pregnancy, I was SO HAPPY to be pregnant with triplets. I enjoyed thinking of the men they would one day become and trying to predict what each of their personalities would be. I enjoyed hoping and dreaming for them, and I was so excited and anxious to meet my little men. When Boe died, I was so consumed by the shock and sadness that accompanied his death that I forgot to remember how much joy he brought to me during the days he was living.

Michelle also spoke of how Jubilee got see the Lord first. I am no where near as religious or devout as the Duggars are, but I found such peace and comfort in this thought. If Boe never got to lay eyes on his mommy and daddy, at least the first thing he saw was someone who will always accept him, protect and love him. The last thing that really stood out to me was the kind of life she believes Jubilee will now have. She spoke of the fact that Jubilee will never have to cry or feel pain. She will never experience sadness, heartache or despair. Adam and I both feel that, had Boe lived, he would have been compromised in some way, to what extent we cannot predict.

As a parent, you try your damnedest each and every day to shield your children from pain and sadness even if it means that you, yourself, hurt in their stead. If carrying this sadness, this awful, empty burden, is what it takes to guarantee that my little boy never cries; if his life needs to take place in the solace of another, more powerful, set of arms to save him from a life of discomfort, struggle and pain, then I will bear that burden. I may not do it willingly or always happily, but at least I can do it knowing that he is in the care of someone far greater and more capable than I, and I can do it with gratitude for the joy he brought me while he lived and the joy that keeping his memory close brings to each day.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


One would think that the loss of a child would send anyone in to a deep and dark depression out of which it seems nearly impossible to emerge. Sadly, this is probably the case for many men and women who have found themselves in just this predicament. It's not to say that I was not sad and very low in the days following Boe's death, I was; I just did not have the luxury of succumbing to the bone-crushing, mind-numbing despair that catapulted into my life.

I had 2 boys in the NICU and a beautiful little girl at home. They all needed me and, for my sanity, I needed them. So, surprisingly, in the midst of immense pain and tragedy, I was able to push forward and find bits of joy in each day. It was in Libby learning to speak and walk, it was in each little victory my 2 little survivors achieved. Now, nearly 2 years later, I find myself in a very different place, and it's not one which I care to visit for too long.

I feel it is safe to say that I am knock down, drag out depressed. I do not want to get up every morning, I only do because I know I have to. The desire to sleep, and consequently "escape", is at the top of my list daily.

I look forward to very little and dread almost everything. Big events have the tendency to practically paralyze me with anxiety. Before you shake your head or roll your eyes in disgust at how self-serving this is: I KNOW how lucky I am. I have 4 beautiful living children and 1 in heaven. I have a husband who is very supportive and works tirelessly for our family. I am amazed, and sometimes envious, at how willing and able he is to whisk some or all of the kiddos away so I can have a little quiet time.

In spite of all this, I hate myself. I look in the mirror and I see a tired, sad and worn out me. I see a woman who is defeated and down trodden. I see a woman who I do not wish to be, but do not know how to get rid of. I hate that waking up everyday has become a chore, a burden, for me. I hate that my sweet little children, no doubt, suffer the brunt of my ambivalence and anxiety. I hate that my husband comes home from working a long day and has to swoop in to take over because I am simply spent. They all deserve better from me, and Lord knows I desperately want to give it to them. I just don't know how.

I am taking steps to right this situation, and I pray it will not take long to see a positive change. I just wonder, why now? Why when I have just given birth to a perfectly healthy, full-term baby? Why when I have 3 other little ones who crave my love and affection? Why when it is more important than ever that my husband and I present a united front and land on the same page? Why not when Boe died and it was logical for me to be sad, and I only had Libby at home, and I knew that Adler and Cameron were being well cared for by the NICU nurses? Why not when Adam was off from work and I could have leaned on him more without being such a burden, why not when we could have moved through our grief and the process with a bit more unification, and time? Why not?

Because. Because, and it sucks. I am ready to start living my life again, I am ready to be me again, to laugh at jokes I once found funny instead of rolling my eyes at how lame they are, to wear clothes and shoes that once made me feel pretty instead of hiding them in the closet because they make me feel ugly and out of shape, to want to reach out to friends and family whom I really miss seeing and hearing from but don't because I am too tired to do so and too ashamed to be honest about what I am moving through, to honor my little boy Boe and my surviving children by being a happy fun mommy who sees reading a story to them as an adventure not a chore or an interruption, to be the wife who greets her husband with a warm smile instead of a tired drawn look that says, "I'm done" and a snap in her voice that says, "This sucks". Yes, I am ready to be the best possible me that I can be because EVERYONE dear to me deserves it and, quite simply, I'm tired of feeling this way.

Monday, February 6, 2012


"The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places." Ernest Hemingway

The world has broken me. It has broken me in many different places on different occassions. Sometimes I have seen it coming and have been able to catch the pieces, and sometimes it has been completely and totally unexpected, leaving me to search for the fragments scattered so widely and abruptly. I am not naive enough to believe that that world will never break me again, she is not that kind, and I am not that special.

Each time I have been broken I have been forever changed to a version of myself with more visible cracks and imperfections than before. Each fissure or break, while weakening me temporarily, in the end, only serves to strengthen me. It may take me time to put myself back together and to learn how to live "around" the damaged area, but having to adapt like this teaches me to be flexible, resilient, and perhaps, dare I say, a better version of what I was before.

Isn't that the point? Isn't that what software designers, for example, do? They take an operating system like Windows 1.o and figure out what its kinks are, where is it weak, what can be better? After a while, they make their tweaks and changes, some minor and some drastic, but the hope is that Version 2.o will be better.

There is no doubt that Boe's death has changed me forever and that I am forever changing. My prayer is that as I try to repair the me that was left broken and battered by the death of my child, I'll evolve into someone better, more improved, aware, alive and stronger than before.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Carrying him...

When Boe died, my faith was shaken to the core. I felt so very betrayed and confused. How could God, who is supposed to love me unconditionally, do this to me? How could he bless me with 3 little lives to nurture and then inexplicably, for no reason, take one of them from me? Why did this happen? What did I do to deserve this?

Over the last 21 months I have done a lot of "work". I have read, I have researched, I have found other women who have lost children, I have "support grouped", I have walked in my Baby Boe's name, I have visited my boy at the cemetery and placed flowers at his grave, I have grieved in silence and out loud. As I have done all of these things, my relationship with God has shifted. There have been times when I have been perfectly at peace with his decision to take Boe, and there have been days when I have seethed with anger and resentment to the point that to be around me has, no doubt, been very unpleasant and toxic.

I can honestly say that, as I write this, I am in a place of peace these days. I miss Boe everyday, and I do not believe that will ever change, nor do I want it to. I know there will be times when I can speak of him and smile and times that just hearing his name will reduce me to tears, and I am OK with that.

I am blessed with all the children that I have, living and dead. Each of them have touched my heart and shaped who I am as a woman in ways that I cannot explain. This is kind of how I see it; I am honored that God chose me to carry one of his heavenly angels. I am so grateful he gave me the 229 days with Boe that I had. If he had given Boe his wings any sooner, Adler and Cameron may not have survived, and that is just too dark and painful a thought to bear.

So, thank you, God. Thank you for letting me carry one of your precious little guardians. Thank you for letting me carry him just long enough to be able to keep his earthly brothers here. Many people only dream of angels, but I held one in my arms. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sudden Impact

Last week's episode of Grey's Anatomy followed the fall out of a horrific car wreck in which 2 of Seattle Grace's doctors had been involved. Obviously, the mention of a sudden impact was literal, but the story also stressed the need to recognize those sudden impacts which are figurative as well.

To close the episode, the narrator, Meredith, says that sudden impacts happen when we least expect them. We are warned that there is no way to prepare or brace for them. When they occur, our life is changed in an instant and we are never the same.

My sudden impact occurred on April 22, 2010. Many victims of sudden impacts do not remember the moments leading up to the crash or the actual crash itself. It is too traumatic, their minds block out what is too horrific to handle to protect their psyche. I am not so fortunate.

I remember everything about that moment. I remember joking with the ultrasound technician about the fact that I was "still" pregnant (I was 32 weeks and 5 days, my doctor wanted me to make it to 34 weeks) just before I hopped up on the table for her to perform the sonogram. I remember watching her face change as she turned to me and my husband and said with disbelief, "I am so sorry, but Baby B's heart has stopped beating." I remember it felt as if the air had been sucked out of the room as she excused herself to retrieve the doctor, leaving Adam and me to try and process what she had just told us.

Impacts often leave debris and wreckage in their wake. Those who survive them or arrive to assist must wade through all this to try and make sense of what happened and assist those in need. The impact that I experienced has certainly left its share of debris and wreckage. I know, without a doubt, that there is (and always will be) a piece of me in that exam room. The Kirsten that I used to be resides there, and I shall never be "That Girl" again.

Over the last 21 months I have laughed, cried, screamed, raged, begged, pleaded, reasoned, etc... all in the name of trying to piece together the events that unfolded on that day. I know that no amount of this will bring my Boe back, he is gone. I do, however, feel that each time I laugh or cry, scream or rage in Boe's name, I take a little step closer to "That Girl".

Like Meredith said, after a sudden impact we are never the same. My hope is that maybe, just maybe, I can continue to sift through the wreckage to find my way back to someone pretty damn close to "That Girl" I left behind. She was pretty cool and I miss her. I want her back.