Monday, October 08, 2007

Grief counseling, week 2

Jason's show and tell
Jason's show and tell
Noah was made up of every wonderful trait his father has...compassion, humility, generosity, selflessness, kindness, gentleness, self-control, patience, love, pure and simple love.
Well, the facilitator reminded us tonight that this class needs to be a priority. She encouraged us not to make any major changes that would entail missing the class like, for instance she said, traveling, moving, getting a new job, etc. Oops, we'll be doing the first two, but we are committed to this class and should only miss one night...

After counseling tonight Jason and I went to our favorite Thai restaurant for a bite. Yes, the thought of food is nauseating after sitting for an hour and a half of crying and talking about grief, but honestly, I'm not going to lie, on Monday's until December 3rd, I will be taking part in emotional eating. Heck, the facilitator provides chocolate. I wouldn't want to offend her...

Anyway, at dinner I asked Jason if he were to blog about counseling tonight what would he write? He said simply that he is a mess. I asked if it was all because of Noah or all the faces of the other parents and kids represented in the room. He said that it's both, but mostly how deeply he misses Noah. He said that he knows the counseling is good and necessary but that each week so far there has been such a deep sadness in his heart. He said it is good for him to talk about it, though, and appreciates the setting.

So, tonight's homework assignment was to bring a picture to leave on the board and then an object that reminds us of our child. I brought 'Sushi', a blankie my friend Kim sent along for Noah on August 8th, 2006. I brought it to share because 'Sushi' was Noah's trademark blanket. I'm grateful I had mind enough in January not to have him cremated in it, along with his other 3 blankets. I also brought Noah's little Bible that Em picked out with his hand and foot print in it that we read to him every day. I used to love jumping in his crib and reading it into his sweet ear while I rubbed the tip of my nose on his cheek. We got through the Psalms, Proverbs, the story of Noah in Genesis, and the New Testament before he died. My 7 month old had heard more truth in his little life than a lot of grown ups. Jason passed around his silver bracelet he had made that he wears every day. He had it made shortly after Noah died by an artist on etsy. It says, "Nothing Missing, Nothing Broken" "Noah Steven Graves Crowned in Peace".

It is such an important thing, remembering. Regardless of the difficulty of the circumstances surrounding a person's death, remembering is important because no matter the time and distance between the day of their death and the very moment in which you are present, that person was real, that person loved you and was loved by you, and that person remains real, though in a completely different place. Each parent tonight had a treasure to hold dear, in order to remember, though their child is no longer able to be held by them. If you or someone you know is grieving, please don't put time limits or expectations on that person or yourself. The reality is, grieving people will always have profound loss on this earth. We will never get over it. In your grief, just because someone is physically gone does not mean you aren't allowed to remember them. Don't let anyone tell you how to grieve and what amount of time is appropriate. There was one woman tonight whose family got rid of all her daughter's belongings while she was beside herself with grief and her husband told her she has to just get over it. What the heck!? Lemme at him!

Here is something hopeful the Lord showed me the other day...each day that I am further from Noah's death I am closer to seeing him again. Maranatha!

Sushi's debut
October 8th, one year ago
Sushi and Noah get some fresh air


The picture Jason took tonight
The picture I took
Holding hands over Sushi






17 comments:

  1. May the Lord belss you and keep you in his arms Adrienne.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I have read your blog since shortly after you lost your sweet Noah. I have no words beyond crying out to Abba. Anything else sounds too trite. Prayers and thoughts for you, your husband, and your beautiful daughter.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awww... sweet precious baby. I never met him or you guys but he is precious to me... and so are you.

    You're in my thoughts and prayers!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Powerful post today! I'm crying for sweet baby Noah all over again.

    I LOVE the picture Jason took. He is just a beautiful boy.

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is the best looking baby ever! That hairline is excruciating it's so perfect. Every time I see pics of Noah - esp. those younger baby baby pics when kids are so prone to looking odd and red and wrinkled - he was divine!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You have me crying again. This post was exactly what I needed to read today. My friend just had her fourth miscarriage on Saturday and she was almost six months along. The baby was born at 1 lb. 3 oz. and lived for about 2 hours. She has no living children so the heartbreak must be unbearable. I don't know what to say to her, but reading your blog helps me understand her grief better. I am so thankful we have God to get us through this life on earth.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the things you are gleaning from your time in grief counseling. I have never been to counseling, and sometimes I wonder what I missed out on or if I am in the right 'phase' in my life. An acquaintance of mine and my mother's told her that I need it because she reads my blog and sees that I am "just living through the ghost of my daughter" and it's time I get help. Your words here encourage me that it's okay for me to remember and to reflect. Our children were and ARE a still part of our hearts and lives. I am glad I never have to surrendar my loved one fully. I too take comfort in knowing that each day I am one day closer to seeing her again! I hope that I will continue to honor her memory. Much the way you honor Noah's. Love to you and Jason and Em. Each and everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous11:24 AM

    Wow... the tears just keep coming. Once again, your honesty is moving and appreciated. My heart truley aches for you both. There's much I would like to say but I will leave it at this simple statement: Because of you, I am a more patient, more accepting and all around better parent.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us!

    -Annalisa

    ReplyDelete
  9. Everything you wrote about grieving is so true. No one can tell you how it gets easier or what to expect since it's a personal thing.... Powerful words that hit home for many. Thanks again for sharing your journey with so many!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Adrienne I have been reading your blog since around January. I come to visit about once every two weeks. Thank you so much for sharing your life and your love for God. Noah is beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Molly9:43 PM

    Hey - Matt and I are going to be in Denver next week and would love to see you guys. Can you email me? mollyolsen1@hotmail.com

    Love you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. i can't look at those pictures without tears....

    i think that this is so precious that you share this journey with us. how many times have we wondered 'how do they get through this?' when we hear of a loss of a child. hearing the daily struggle, the daily questioning, the daily joy and daily sorrow...it somehow gives us more of a glimpse into the heart of a mother & father struggling to breathe after a loss.

    i thank you again and again for your honesty. and jason too. you have no reason to share this all with us (unless it's theraputic), but it makes noah so alive to us all. his physical presence is gone and his spirit is with jesus...but he is still changing hearts for the Lord.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It has been several months since I've checked in here. I continue to pray that our LORD will be your comfort and strength and bring beauty out of your ashes!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Adrienne,

    Today I attended a day-long workshop on the use of journaling in therapy - on my wife's birthday - she died 18 months ago.
    What you share with us on your blog helps all of us who read it, but it helps you, too. Thank you for sharing faithfully, and thank you for being faithful to God and to His word in what you share.

    Gratefully,

    Milt

    ReplyDelete
  15. I pray God's blessings on you all. Deeply moving blog. The grief will always be there, but it gets easier after time passes.

    I wrote a poem about "Going Home" on my caregivers blog. If you have a moment, check it out. I pray it blesses you helps you move forward.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Anonymous10:49 PM

    I physically ache for you and Jason tonight. There's a knot in my stomach and a cold sweat on my skin. I know you rejoice in Noah's new life, and so do I. But right this second, mom to mom, I just want to feel sad for you. I hope that's OK. I miss him and I never met him! I can't fathom how badly you want to hold him again.

    You are so very brave to look that unimaginable grief in the eye. I pray that you feel God's arms around you and Noah's breath on your cheek.

    ReplyDelete