Sunday, February 13, 2011

One Week

One week ago Lily died.
It's been a long, floaty, numb week. I don't remember Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday--just snippets. Sitting in the mortuary, walking towards the Cemetery office. I was surprised to see the charge for the adjoining plot (My spot, now that Lily took my OLD spot) on my credit card statement--Zar claims I was there when it was run. A few sad sweet moments dressing Lily in white. Then I remember standing in a steamy hallway with two friends at the spa...but the rest of those three days is lost to me. I remember Thursday. Which is a gift. Thursday was special and edifying. People shake their heads and wonder aloud how you cope with your child's viewing--talking to people, speaking to a crowd. I can say I wondered the same thing before Charlotte passed away, but now I know it's a combination of the Lord's tender mercies and your body's reaction to taking an emotional hit. Part of you shuts down. Your brain focuses on what needs to be done and then forgets. I think on a subconscious level you start to deal with grief and exhaustion and memories, but you don't become aware for a few days. And you sleep a lot.
When you become aware is when you start to feel it. You hope you can fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow because that's when memories come, and it's painful. Songs just knock you over. Your flowers start dying. And then you go up to the cemetery and find someone has pulled all the roses and lilies from the casket spray left on her grave, and probably given them as a Valentines gift. And left the torn apart left over greenery laying in the dirt. On what is clearly a fresh and tiny grave. And it's ROUGH.
But there are such sweet moments. Your husband's coworker who invites you to Sunday breakfast turns out to be married to a friend from school you haven't seen in years. Your friends send texts and call just when you need them. People write outrageously nice things about you on their blog. Your daughters just want to be held. Another bouquet arrives.

I'm nowhere near perfect. If I'm strong it's because of the last 5 years. If I'm handling it well it's because I believe in heaven, and because I'm somewhat numb. And it was very hard watching Lily hurt. And I have A LOT of help and support.
But you should know I certainly don't feel "Amazing". You should know I tend to let my family live from a pile of semi-clean clothes on the laundry room floor. I go to my cushy job twice a week and get to decompress and talk to adults about not-kids. When I go to my moms I don't lift a finger to care for my kids. I let her change them, feed them, clean up the sprinkles they dump on the floor, and I sit on the couch. When my mother-in-law picks up my kids for the day, I always say "okay, I will be there at 1 after I put away the semi-clean laundry!" and then I don't come until 6. Every...single...time. If I go to yoga at 6 am it's because a major component of this particular class is laying on the floor. If there is something full of carbs and sugar in the area, I will seek it out and consume it. My kids watch A LOT of Mickey Mouse and Elmo. I have been known to spend money I do not have. Zar told me the other day I have been snoring. I let Ella have way too many fruit snacks, chocolate chips, and sips (chugs) of diet coke. Occasionally Ava wears last night's jammies all day...and then that night too. I make snarky remarks to my husband. A lot. My car is a dumpster on wheels 99% of the time, until Zar cleans it out. I don't take care of my possessions, namely cell phones, cameras, and other small electronics. I'm often cranky. Most of my home cooked meals are a variation on chicken, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup. And I haven't cooked for my family in weeks, thanks to all the wonderful REAL meals people have sent. And finally, a few weeks after Lily was born, there was this bad smell in the refrigerator, and I kept throwing stuff out but it just wouldn't go away, and then one day I noticed a puddle of milk on the floor. I opened the frig and a GLASS BOTTLE OF MILK had EXPLODED on the top shelf, soaking the entire inside with curdled, disgusting, smelly old milk. How long had that bottle been in the back of the frig? That had to be A LONG, LONG TIME. And you will notice I did not immediately blog about that. I find I put my best food forward when I blog. So I will tell you now that right away I canceled my plans to go buy something needless and took everything out of that frig, and sanitized and wiped and scrubbed the inside, and checked the dates on everything else and of course, plugged in the Scensty. And told Zar I had FOUND the SMELL, HOORAH! Impressive, right? Not really. Because sometimes circumstances force us to be strong, or brave or have great faith, or to clean out the frig. But you do what you gotta do. Am I right?

26 comments:

Amanda said...

Because you were able to post these things, you are strong. I think, or I see it anyways, as your way of offloading on those that are reading what you are saying. You get to get whatever you want off your chest, and don't have to say it tons of times. My thoughts are with you in this time of numbness. And if I lived closer to you, the semi-clean laundry would be washed, dried, and put away for you :)

Anonymous said...

I though that this post was great, we are all human, and I don’t imagine that there is anyone, especially a parent who hasn’t done all or some of those things. It’s nice to see that we are not the only ones. Again, I am sorry for your pain and loss. Lily may not have been here for a long time, but it is easy to tell that she is loved. In your words, both written and spoken, and your actions, you gave her the main thing that life can give. She has a wonderful family and you will forever have each other. I was touched by the words both of you said at the gravesite service and at Zar being the sole pallbearer. Know that we are here if you need anything and are grateful for your friendship.
Mac

Lacey said...

My house and car look like that, and I haven't been through what you have! Sounds like a mommy home to me. We concentrate more on our kids than how clean our house is. I'm so sorry someone destroyed the flowers. I wish lightening would just strike them down when they do that. I mean, could they be any more disrespectful?

Tifanie said...

Doesn't change a single thing about how I view you! I love you for all of you and love that you have no guile, EVER!! And if I had the opportunity to hug you everyday I would. Thank you for your post today because when I have been in circumstances of just surviving which seems to be everyday that you described my very house. I know we are dealt what we are from a very loving Heavenly Father who had this as part of our plan. I know he is always available and I know I will have help every step of the way if i just let Him. You have shown me this time and time again. You radiate His Love and His Plan!!

Susan said...

It's all just a part of being amazing! I will now refer to this post for the requirements.

Devon said...

Hi Erin. I am here from Tara's blog, and I want to say that your girls are so beautiful. And I know your Lily and Charlotte are flying with the butterflies.

We will light a candle for Lily tonight.

Emily B. said...

I understand what you're saying about not feeling AMAZING. I kind of hate it when people say that to me. Amazing isn't the right word. Strong is. Strength is the result of getting up day after day and shouldering a heavy burden, until you somehow (with God's help) develop the muscles to carry it without struggling so much. We all need people who love us and who can be strong for US. I'm grateful for the people in my life who make ME feel like I can have some moments of weakness for myself. That let me take a break from being so dang strong all the time. Because you'll always do what ya gotta do, but sometimes it is oh so good to not do it alone.

Jen I said...

Yeah, I just take it to mean you know your priorities. I can stress about a clean house and then realize at the end of the day that I never even sat down with my kids to enjoy time with them. You just do exactly what needs to be focused on at the time, and in the big scheme of things does all that other stuff really matter anyway? When people freak out that my kids don't have shoes on when we're out somewhere I think they need bigger things to worry about in life. Anyway, I'm pretty sure you'll never look back at Lily's time here and wish your house had been more clean.

April said...

Oh I'm so glad we don't have to go through the hard times alone... Your story has linked so many of our hearts together in such sweet and tender ways... wishing I could make it easier...please know how much I care.

Anonymous said...

We have never met nor are we ever likely to meet. But your blog has touched my heart and soul in a way no other has. The way you say what is in your heart, your honesty, your love and "human"ness are so evident. I am so sorry your must bear this trial again. Your beauty and grace show in everything you write. God bless you and your family. Your children are sooo lucky to have you for their mother.

Becky said...

I love you Erin. I feel so lucky to have 'bumped' into you so many years ago.

Anonymous said...

Bless you. Bless you.

Anonymous said...

I came to your blog after reading Lily's obit. You are an amazing woman and mother to have gone through what you have gone through. I know that your little ones are smiling down on you. As for your house and car-isn't that what a house and car with kids look like? AT least mine does; glad to know I am not alone. We are raising kids not cleaning houses. The grass under our swings is dying and I remind myself all the time "We are raising kids not grass."

The Snell Family said...

It is amazing how the chores just don't seem to matter, the loving and sunggling of our babies is top dog! I am happy you found the stink and found some joy in the triumph of cleaning out the fridge.
Your girls will always remember the love, not the 'clean'.
If you need more food, I will be there. I am planning on a bread bake one of these days, and I will bring you some with homemade raspberry jam.

Love you sister!
Juls

Melica and Aaron said...

I have been silently following your blog. I am also an Angel mom. I just checked your blog and found out that Lily passed away. I am so sorry that you have had to endure this trial twice. I can't imagine doing that. My heart is breaking for you right now and tears are streaming down my face. Your strength and faith are such an example to me. I know from experience that you are surrounded by angels at this time and I pray that they will stay with you for as long as you need them. My prayers are with you and your family.

Love, Melica (Hailey's mom)

thack said...

Erin, you really are amazing. I can't tell you how much I look up to you. And I want to punch the flower-thief in the face!

Amanda said...

Erin,

I know you don't know me... but I think you are AMAZING, and a true inspiration to everyone around you! You are awesome! I love your blog already, and your family is just beautiful!

Carleton & Robyn said...

Thank you for that post. I learn so much from you. I love your humor, how down-to-earth you are, and your heart.

Kelly @ Sufficient Grace Ministries said...

You are so right...and so honest and so beautiful...

This post was starkly beautiful and real...and truly cut me to the core.

Lifting your family in prayer....

Alicia said...

Thinking about you and sending prayers.
Alicia ;)

Katie B said...

I was directed to your blog from a friend and have been spending the last few days reading through the past years. You and your family have truly touched my soul. I wish you lightness and so much tender love right now. My heart is with you.

brooke said...

you don't know me from adam.

i acutally came across your blog from the newspaper. your little lilly caught my eye.

none of us are perfect. i think your doing a might fine job. sounds like the important things are in order and that's what matters above all else.

your story is beyond moving. and while i don't have any words of wisdom, i will keep you and your family in my prayers.

bless you.

Bugg's mama said...

Loves to you & your family, Erin.

Love, Bree

We have Angel Wings said...

Erin ~ I'm pretty sure I left a comment on this post (or I think I did) but it's not here.. so I'm going to just tell you that you're amazing in my eyes and you have the courage and the strength that I don't think I could ever have.

I love you and none of this changes that. ♥

Kate Park said...

I love you. Thanks for sharing so much.

Cassi said...

but you see....all of that adds up to amazing :). Hang in there. Know people (even angel mommy strangers) are thinking and praying for you.
Love,
Cassi