joy and sadness.

Alden was staring out the window the other day and I just started crying. It was snowing,  the heater was running, her little curls were cascading down the back of her jammies and I just lost it.

I am the Mother who looks at her children and cries both out of sadness and joy. 

I didn’t ask to be this Mother. I would NEVER ask to be this Mother; I don’t think anyone would ask to go through what we have. I feel guilt every day when I look at my beautiful girls. I don’t feel it as strong when I look at Landon because he came before Kenley died… yet I remember how I felt toward him after she died. This is an incredibly difficult thing to admit but there was a time after Kenley died that I couldn’t hug him. I remember scream crying to Shane outside one day about 6 months after she died that I couldn’t hug Landon because I feel his heart beating against my chest and I never got to feel Kenley’s. I know he tried to understand the words coming out of my mouth, but we were both still in our early grief over her death and I think he thought I was insane.

I remember after Alden came that there was a time where I felt NOTHING toward her. I didn’t know if I would ever be able to open my heart again to her. Obviously now I realize that just because she arrived didn’t mean that I would love Kenley any less. And, the same thing goes for Rowan. These girls have brought so much love to my heart and they never for once took away from my love for Kenley. But, unfortunately the grief will always coexist with the joy. The sadness with the happiness.  The good days with the bad days.

It’s nearly December. Today is 11/29; in one month Kenley should be turning 3.

When I say it in my head it seems impossible. This is not my life. I do not have a dead Daughter. This is all just some huge dream that I need to wake up from, but it’s not. It is real. It is my life, and I do in fact have a Daughter who is dead. It doesn’t make her any less my Daughter, but it is crazy how it changes my every day life. She needs and deserves to be parented, yet it is incredibly difficult to do that with 3 living children who literally consume EVERY.WAKING.SECOND. of my life.

December is your month, K. You are so loved and so missed. I cannot even fathom that you should be almost 3. Stopping to consider the little person you would be cuts my heart like a knife and I cannot do it. I know the things that I’m missing out on, and it hurts me so much. I wish you were here with every fiber of my being, and I hope you know that.

I don’t know how many different ways I can express how much I miss and love you…

You are mine and I am yours. I love you.


Capture your grief.

October was Pregnancy and Infant loss awareness month, and as such the loss community on IG participates in something called “capture your grief”. You follow prompts and take photos of things each day explaining what the photo is and how it pertains to the prompt. The first year after Kenley died I participated in it, and it felt good; it was healing to just pour my grief out there and know that it wasn’t falling on deaf ears. This community understood EXACTLY what I was feeling, unfortunately. The second year, I honestly can’t remember if I participated in it. I might have? Maybe I did a few days here and there, but I don’t think that I really hit it hard.

It’s not that I didn’t want to participate, it’s just that my grief changed. I didn’t need to spill it out. It had settled into my bones, and started to become a part of my day to day life. I could tell that it was changing, and then on her 2nd birthday I was able to make it through the day without the extreme sadness that I experienced on her first birthday. The second birthday was different; we donated more, we didn’t have a party. Shane and I took the items up to the hospital for donation, and we stopped and had a nice dinner just us. We tipped the waitress $50 and wrote a note explaining why we did it.

This year, is all kinds of different again. My emotions seem to be creeping up again just like in every “Fall”. The timeline of my pregnancy becomes prominent in my mind during these days. The holidays become too familiar, the smells, the weather changing, everyone else being happy and me wanting to die…it hits hard. The waves of grief seem to come still, they aren’t as intense during the “regular” months, but currently the grief is hitting in different ways. I feel sad. I feel alone. I feel lost, and hopeless and overwhelmed at every turn. I don’t want to wake up in the mornings because I know that my day is going to be exactly the same as it was the day before, not that that is a bad thing necessarily but she STILL won’t be here.

It’s very hard to live each day, watching my children younger than she should be. It’s very weird because it makes me sound ungrateful but I’m not; I’m confused and in a fog and always will be. How can she be almost 3? Alden isn’t even 2, and I often feel that she is growing too fast. I miss a child that I will never have the chance to know. I miss the things that she will never get to do. Every time Alden meets a milestone, I am happy and sad. When Rowan meets milestones, the same emotions happen to me again.

Life is so unfair. I think that if you were to search my blog for that phrase you may find it  approximately 25,000 times. Life is unfair. 25,001.

I have accepted what my life is. My life is a whole bunch of things thrown into a bucket and mixed up. There are MANY good things in my life, and then there is just the one big constant sad. But, it’s not just one sad thing…that one sad thing has created many awful things in my life. It has made me lose friendships, shaped my relationships with people. It has made me feel things that I never expected to feel toward things that I have always loved.

I have accepted the fact that I will never hold Kenley again in this lifetime, but I will always be pissed that this is how my life has turned out. But, I mean that with the most thankful heart.

Life is all kinds of fucked up.