Monday, November 9, 2009

Cleansing tears

If you don't feel like crying today, don't read this post or watch the movie. There, I warned you.

Cleansings are a part of life. We all know that. Nature is full of cycles of cleansings; the ebb and flow of oceans tides, human body detoxing cycles, the changing seasons. It enhances health and growth and progress. In fact, life depends on this aspect of nature.

I'm seeing a spiritual relevance in this concept today. 9th November is always a painful day. It's the anniversary of the death of Heather, my Peach, my first born. Whether I consciously embrace it or not, my body and my spirit seem to recognize the day. When the weather starts to turn crisp and the leaves change color and fall to the ground, the memories start to return. When we clear up the smashed pumpkins and try to sneak candy into the trash can, and the sun starts to go to bed in the early afternoon, I notice a pang in my spirit. I'll find myself breaking down over some small issue, my fuse is short and temper easily roused. I'll wonder what is going on, and then I check the date. Oh. It's time for an emotional cleansing.

I miss Heather every day. Every. Single. Day. I long for her to be a part of our chaos. I always do. But most days, every day life prevails and my grieving journey goes on the back burner, and I jot something down on the mental to-do list. I have 4 kids on earth to be positive for, to look to the future with, to make plans with and to savor. No point in dwelling on what could have been. It would only anchor me when they need me to move forward.

But once a year, I give myself permission to focus on just her. To remember. To think. To pray. And to cry as much as my spirit needs me to cry. Because I have about a years worth of tears stored up. Bereaved mother tears. They are a powerful type. They are a healthy type. I need this day. I need the 9th of November every year. A day to dread. A day to face, to grieve, to cry and to release, to focus and to mourn. And to survive. I get past the day, every year. I survive it every year. I prove to myself that I still love her with an undying love, that I need her and miss her and those feelings will never fade. And I prove to myself that I'm strong. That I'm doing well, loving and raising my family even with a broken heart.

I don't want to forget where I've come from. I never ever want to forget those ten weeks that changed me forever. And I never want to forget the hope of Heaven that carried me through the hardest days.

Even if I wanted to forget, I don't think I could. Because memories just come at this time of year. They just come. Last night I lay in bed trying to sleep, and I remembered my last moments with Peach. The last time I saw her alive. The last time I nourished her from my body. She wouldn't sleep that night. I wasn't sure at the time if it was because she had a long nap in the morning (we both fell asleep on my bed and almost missed the bus later that day because of it). Or because she had had a long day out with me, at a baby group and then a weaning talk, buses and baby carriers and walking and conversation. Maybe she was overstimulated. With hindsight now I wonder if she was in pain, maybe she knew she was dying. I hate to think of that.

Her Daddy tried to comfort her and settle her to bed. But she cried. And cried. He brought her to me to nurse her. I was in bed, very tired. I snuggled her up next to me, and nursed her while I lay there. I had no idea it would be the last time. The last time I'd see life in her eyes. The last time I'd be able to lie down and hold her warm body. The last time I'd feed her. I know I rushed it. Because I was tired. I just wanted her to go to sleep. I enjoyed her snuggle, I always did. But I rushed it. I didn't savor it. Not like I should have.

I heard this song recently, and I like to go back in my mind over that last cuddle I had with her, and imagine myself singing it to her. It helps me heal. I wish I would have sang it. I wish I would have kept her beside me. I'm sure Rene has similar thoughts about his last moments with her, while he paced the floor with her in his arms, and she stopped crying. And her heavy eyelids closed, and she gave up the fight and surrendered to sleep. And moments later her spirit left. Had he known, had I known, those were our final minutes...I'm sure our spirits would have sang this song to her.

I made a video. I will watch and imagine I'm holding her, and nursing her on my bed, that last time. And I will sing to her with my heart and spirit. And I will cry. And cry. And cleanse my emotions, and release tension and express my love for her as I so deeply long to do.


Rene said...

Im so overwhelmed. I miss Heather so much.


lady mommy said...

A vision came to me of what happened in those moments Rene was holding her. She slept soundly in daddy's arms but then suddenly something woke her. She heard beautiful voices thats she remembered hearing before. She opened her eyes and the most beautiful man she'd ever seen was standing next to daddy. He held out his arms and she reached for him. As Jesus took her from Rene she smiled her beautiful smile and clapped at the angel's beautiful song which woke her. She went from the arms of one man whom she loved right into the arms of another. Beautiful video, I am so blessed to know your wonderful family and to have seen Peach grow in those few weeks which she graced the earth. God bless your memories of old as well as the ones to come.

2Shaye ♪♫ said...

Once I calmed down from this video, and paced my floors (with needy baby in arms) a bit, I finally came back to my computer and sat back down to comment on this post. And when I still couldn't think of anything brilliant to say, I decided to read the other comments, first. I read Rene's first and lost it all over again.

Walking from one end of my house to the other with heart-wrenching sobs, I finally resorted to boiling a pot of water and making myself a cup of tea...hoping that by soothing my stomach, I might actually calm my pained spirit.

Niecey, it's this obvious transparency that encourages me so very much. It's important to say that, first. There are so many teeny tiny moments that we all fail to treasure and that we rush through (particularly when we've had no sleep). I know we can't take the time to treasure them all, but there are a few precious lost moments I sure wish I could have back to re-live again and again...taking the time to savor. I take some comfort in knowing that who I am today is a reflection of my openly acknowledging those rushed moments. That, along with my commitment to not rushing too many more, keeps me going strong many days.

Heather is so beautiful. Just oh SO beautiful! And I know you must miss her terribly. I do so appreciate you sharing such intimacy with the world. I always return to your blog, eagerly awaiting such delightful honesty and love. And even in the saddest of moments, I'm never-ever disappointed.

Serina Cooper said...

I've been thinking about Peach all day .. and remembering with you that precious time. Thank you for sharing her again.

Betsy said...

Beautiful video (I especially love the photo of Heather yawning). Beautiful song. Beautiful Peach. I'm so sorry about all the heartache you and Rene have to experience.

Herb of Grace said...

...praying for you today...

Tracy said...


I can't imagine that it ever gets any easier, but I pray for you to have peace in your heart. I know you're a believer and know you'll see Peach again... what a blessing that is!

Laura said...

I don't think I've ever seen a video of her before. That was really precious. Makes me miss those days of Fall 2001 where the most important thing in our lives was cuddling our little babies. <3

Michelle M. said...

I put off reading this for a while because I knew I would break down, which I totally did. So I read it and watched the video and stepped away again. I hardly hold myself together during the video portions- she was so precious. Now I am back with tears in my eyes. I just feel so much for you all. I can't imagine that type of loss. I admire you so much for being able to pick up the pieces and for being such an amazing mother. I don't think I have that kind of courage. You are truly an incredibly person and mother.

May God give you peace as you grieve your beautiful daughter.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I pray for you and your family.