Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Grief counseling, week 9

This is the picture that was up on the board at counseling for the last 9 weeks.
Jason highlighted this picture in the book he showed last night because it's one of his favorites of Em. She was ecstatic to be a big sister...

Well, last night was our final group counseling session. It was a schizophrenic combination of emotions for me. I walked in excited to see all the other parents that I have grown to love. I looked at the board where the faces of all our children and their names have been on display for 9 weeks and felt sadness and hope. Then, after we sat down and learned the evening agenda, the task of sharing a nugget from our child's memorial service, then walking up to the board to remove our child's picture, take a rose for remembrance and light a candle, I felt as nauseous and grieved as the first night we learned every one's stories. Grieved because each parent was taking down a picture of their child and nauseous because in the Spring, a new group of pictures will grace that board...

I love the other parents in that room. I loved what they shared of their children and am humbled by the transparency that took place in that room each week. Life is constant change. I know this. We all know too well that life does continue on, but for each of us we live a new normal. Whatever the heck that is...normal.

As Jason eloquently put it last night, "I feel like I'm in Junior High borrowing my friend's homework assignment and trying to pass it off as my own..." With the move last week, even though we kept our folders out, we totally spaced our homework assignment. Jason actually hadn't gone the Monday before Thanksgiving because he was in Kansas City for work and I skipped out a half hour early because I went to join him and see friends for a couple of days. I collected all the paperwork that week but we just never looked at it. We walked into group last night and there were lots of yummy treats to share. Yeah, that was on the assignment...And then, people had 'Show and Tell' tokens from their child's memorial service to share with everyone. The funny thing was when we were getting out of the car I glanced in the back seat and saw the photo album Jason had made for me for Mother's Day. I thought to myself, "I'm supposed to bring that in." I didn't. After we learned the agenda of the evening, Jason leaned over and said, "That photo album is like the video we made for Noah's service. Should I run out and get it?" He did. Jason shared how the book was like the video we made for Noah's service. I shared about the dove release and how we gave out music CD's with Noah's picture on them. Other parents brought their memorial service programs, pictures that were on display during their service, a Cinderella princess crown, a teddy bear 'in lieu of flowers', books, a plaster hand print and footprint.

Looking back on it 10 months later, 'preparing' for a memorial service for your child is nothing you expect to do when you say, 'Honey, let's have a baby!' It's surreal and nauseously business like but necessary. I know that in time, I will finally make a program for Noah's service that was held almost a year ago. Just because I didn't do it then doesn't mean it's too late...

Well, the REASON the photo book was in the back seat of the car was because it was my 'Show and Tell' last Saturday. You see, I had lunch with an old friend, someone I've known for over a year now, that I just met face to face. We still haven't determined the degrees of separation but this wonderful girl named Kelly Vasami (http://www.kellyvasami.com/), who was from PA or DE at the time, who now resides in NY, had contacted me the week of January 12th. She was so moved by Noah's life that she wanted fly out and be our final photographer to help us capture our last moments with Noah. At first I thought, "Wow! That's kind of far to come for a shoot!" But I could hear how much she had fallen for Noah in her voice so I didn't want to take that from her. She got to the airport that morning and they had just closed the gate. She told me that she cried and beat herself up about it for some time. I'm convinced all things work together for the good of those who love God...As I sat eating some of my favorite Mexican food across from this new 'old friend', I was grateful for the few hour lay over she had 10 months later, using the same ticket from January, because we were actually able to talk and hang out. That would not have happened in January, and I likely would not have remembered it...I know that is a selfish thought because she would have been blessed in meeting Noah, I have no doubt. For some reason, it all worked out as it did. I told her about our experience with the photographer who did do the shoot and as I think about that, God had her there for a reason, too. I remember her saying she usually 'holds it together for these things', so as she bawled, she apologized to us. She didn't 'know' what came over her. Anyway, as a result of the whole experience in January, Kelly signed up with 'Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep' out East. NEW YORK, you have a wonderful GIFT, a priceless resource if any of you are ever in need of such services!

Anyway, I showed her the photo book, left it in the car, and it came through for us, the Junior High slackers who didn't do their homework assignments!

Tomorrow I'll share about two beautiful gifts we received from other parents...

9 comments:

  1. Adrienne, you are so sweet. It was such a gift getting to meet you. I had questioned the timing when it happened, why I didn't get out to Denver 10 months ago to meet you and Noah. But I have come to realize (mostly because of you!) that things happen when they are supposed to happen, and you can't force it. Because of this knowlege, I have lived with that attitude lately and the most beautiful and wonderful things have come my way. Put your faith in God to steer you where you should be. He knows a heck of a lot better than we do!

    Thanks again Adrienne. You rock! :)

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  2. Kristin Z1:10 PM

    Adrienne,

    How nice! I read Kelly's blog earlier today about you. I have her to thank for introducing me to you and Noah last year.

    Your blogs always touch me, but this one made me teary-eyed. It is so like you not to focus on your grief alone, but to think of the other families who will have to attend grief counseling after you. I am thinking of you especially this time of year because this is when I learned of your family. I read your entire blog last December as Christmas carols played in the background and I wiped tears from the keyboard. You have been an inspiration ever since.

    I have actually only met Kelly once myself (we were roommates at the hospital where we gave birth to our boys) but I feel fortunate to have found your blog through her. You both rock! :)

    Kristin Z, Delaware

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  3. Adrienne,
    I wanted to clarify the degrees of seperation....by God's grace apparently However, I am the one who can answer the mystery.
    Kelly and I met eachother when we were young. We kept in touch by God's grace throughout the years. MANY years later I attended Bethel College and Met Sam and Amanda Cook. They are dear Friends of mine. Amanda had me praying for Noah and your family. I then posted your family on our blogsite: the4tallents.blogspot.com and that's when Kelly saw your website,,,,and so the story continues.
    I feel blessed that you two were connected and love following you two to see how you've been connected. kelly is a dear friend and I don't even know you Adrienne but again, by some weird blog thing and thru Amanda Cook I feel like I do!~
    Blessings to you and your family!
    Jill Tallents, Woodbury MN

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  4. I just spent the whole evening reading about your baby's story and crying my eyes out. All I can say is: 'Come, Lord Jesus, quickly Come!' I'll get to meet your beautiful boy, oh so gorgeous, and so healthy and so full of the life He has given him... My little brother in Christ, waiting for us all.
    Grace and Peace,
    Jessica in Italy

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  5. adrienne, i'm curious now that the grief counseling is over...what is the next step? according to these counselors and such- are you on your own now, or is there continued support.

    do you feel like this was a valuable and helpful process for you and jay?

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  6. I pray that these past nine weeks brought some comfort and that it has opened some doors for you and Jason to explore while continuing to cope with the loss of Noah, especially as Christmas and January approach.
    Love,
    Tara

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  7. Anonymous6:57 PM

    Adrienne,

    While I love to leave comments on your blog... The only words I can begin to form tonight is... I love who God made you!

    Lisa Sauer

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  8. I still always read your blog, Adrienne, but haven't commented in a while. I've been in the hospital with my little babe this week (she was very sick with RSV) and being there made me think of you. Very much. And pray for you. I'm so glad you got to go to grief counseling, but sorry you "already" had to say goodybe to regular meetings with the friends you made there.

    And how crazy about having the photo book in your car! Wonderful! I'm not sure if I mentioned this to you when I saw you last winter at the coffee shop in Minnesota with Steph, but I, too, met Kelly through your blog. She and I are truly friends now...I have experienced her kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness firsthand myself, as you have. How wonderful that the two of you met! I must say I'm a little jealous:) I need to meet her next:)

    Also thinking of you as you live in transition for a time. The loft looks fun!

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  9. Hi Adrienne,

    I was watching your video on youtube, and that brought me here. I am sorry for you loss, and it is a tough thing to go through.

    I am sorry to ask this question, and you don't need to answer..why was he so sick? what happened? If you'd like to email me, do so at lacarroll@rogers.com

    God Bless you,
    Lisa

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