Thursday, February 4, 2010

Much Loved....

This has been a hard, hard week. I have missed Matthew more than I feel like I ever have. Mini-breakdowns happen for no reason, at random times, and with increasing frequency. I am afraid of what the coming weeks and months hold as I am really just at the mercy of my heart and my tears. It is a very unsettling feeling.

Just when I feel as if time passing may finally be helping, I literally stop breathing simply because I look at one of his pictures and I am overcome with sorrow. I just want to sob and sob some more.

This week has also been wonderful though...I have been blessed to call a group of women my dear friends for nearly 13 years! We all met when we were all newly married, and most of our husbands were in flight school in Pensacola. Hence, we call ourselves the Pensacola Girls. Yes, we know....very original. We spent the first few months-years of our marriages and lives as young wives together--in church, leisure and neighborhoods even! We have tried to get together every year since we all (but our home-base Jenny!) moved on to our various duty stations, usually at Labor Day. Sometimes the reunions are less populated than others, based on where people are and who can and cannot travel, but we are never far from hearts in joy and in sorrow.

These women have seen us through thick and thin and have been down the roads of our family-building with us. When Matthew died, these women rallied around me and lifted me constantly. I felt it, and knew it. Mandy flew out at a moment's notice to represent all at the funeral, and I can never express what it meant to have her there. When I saw her, I literally fell into her sobbing...I really didn't want to let her go and I just wanted to bury myself in her dark coat and have it all be a bad dream.

They all expressed interest in getting together...but really, knowing how close these women are to my heart was enough to make me very apprehensive. These are women who have known my heart's desire as theirs for me. These are women who love me so much that my grief truly is theirs. These are women who I could not imagine talking to without breaking down over the devastation of it all. More...what do I have to talk about but the same sad story??? While I can now share the experience of pregnancy with some of them, my experience then ends in tragedy. I have nothing new to share but the same disbelief, shock and horror of it all. I have nothing new to say but that I am heartbroken, don't understand and don't know how I can spend the rest of my life aching like this. I have no motivation to do much of anything, nor do I have control over my emotions and my engagement.

Really, as I feel in most situations in my life right now, I worried about them all going to the trouble of getting together because I just don't have much to give.

I just don't.

BUT....these are also women with whom I laugh and share so much joy. We came from all over; Pensacola, Jacksonville, Wichita, New Hampshire and cry over our broken hearts and to soothe them with just being together. I am deeply humbled and honored that they dropped their very busy and full lives to just be with me. I am touched deeper than anyone can ever know nor I can ever convey.

True to my new motto of "If It Can, It Will," we all met in Virginia Beach during what is being called "The Worst Winter Storm Of the Century," and that has made things interesting, to say the least. As I type, I am looking at a clock that will buzz its alarm in 4 hours so that I can get Jenny to the airport here and then get Salley up to Dulles by 10 in anticipation of her making it out before the world ends.

I couldn't go to sleep without letting the world (well, those who read, that is!) know what God does to help heal broken hearts. He sends His comfort in the form of five amazing women I love dearly.

I am much loved.

Matthew, your Aunties Salley, Jenny, Lisa, Tina and Mandy agree: You were one beautiful little boy and their hearts are broken with mine because you are not here with me. You as well are much loved.

The Pensacola Girls


  1. I am praying for all of you girls this morning as you travel. I know this week had many difficult moments for you and I am so sad that you are having to endure this horrific heartbreak. I don't know when or if this will ever get easier, and I wish I could take it away from you for a little while. I was so grateful for the opportunity to hug your neck and see your beautiful memories of your precious son. I will forever miss Matthew! On the flip side, it warmed my heart to see a crack of sunshine during our Doppleganger moments with all that laughter. I was grateful to see you smile and laugh even during this most difficult time!! I love you girl and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Please never hesitate to email or call if you need anything!!!

  2. Sounds like you have an amazing group of girlfriends. I think God does speak and comfort through great friends!

  3. How special and wonderful that you have a group of such amazing friends. I am so sorry that your pain continues to be so raw and overwhelming. But I am so glad that you have the comfort of so many who love you dearly. I hope that next week is a better week.


  4. I am so glad you were able to be loved on by your girls (one of which I know is awesome! :)
    Unfortunately, those minibreakdown moments will continue...but know that they will begin to space out, time does help them. I still have them now, 8 yrs later. Just not often. Let them come, it will help you heal. I promise. ((hugs))

  5. Lori,

    So sorry that your heart aches so deeply. Grief is awful and there is no script to follow, which makes it even more difficult. We muttle through it, one day at a time and do the best that we can in the moment. We cry, sob and meltdown, but we embrace the grief, as that brings healing. Embrace it when you can...and when you can't it's aright to walk away.

    How wonderful that you have such support in 5 wonderful women. I remember my Brother and SIL living in Pensacola while he was doing his Naval flight training and they too developed these beautiful friendships. You all are a close knit community and I've seen first hand the love and compassion that follows each move, deployment and homecoming...its so touching. I'm so happy you have such a wonderful support system of women who "know you, love you, laugh with you and grieve with you" Stand on their shoulders sweet friend and they will carry you when you can't carry yourself.

    Praying for you and thinking of you always. Many HUGS xo

  6. Sorry that the pain is still so raw inside of you. It was good to see you smiling in the picture. I sometimes think that friends are angels disguised as people because they are always there for you through the good and bad times.

  7. Beautiful post by a beautiful woman. God is planning great things for you in the future.

  8. I think it's wonderful that you have this close group of friends who give you so much support and comfort! But...

    This past week, you were with great friends and emotions were running high. You said yourself that you wanted them to be having a good time and worried about that. You were also away from home, without some parts of your support network. And maybe you were cycling through one of those rougher patches. It's not all that surprising that you've had a hard, hard week missing Matthew.

    An LD guru has said that when you finally get to "acceptance" and you think everything is going along in the new life you've got, an event can happen that shoots you right back into the cycle again, which can be more anxiety-producing and overwhelming since you thought that you were done with all that.

    I believe that you won't always be at this level of intensity -- it's not human nature to be able to sustain it. Nor is it human nature to ever be able to put the loss of your child behind you. I believe you'll find your balance. But you need to give yourself permission to tip.

    That's my 2¢, which along with a dollar will get you a cup of coffee at McDonald's.

  9. I am so glad you were able to get away with your friends. It's amazing what good that can do for the heart.


  10. Lori, I am glad you have such an amazing group of friends!!! It sounds like they have been a wonderful support for you. I am sorry you are having an extra hard time with this grief this week. Thinking of you and praying for your heart. xx

  11. Aren't you all gorgeous? I hope you had a wonderful time with each other.

  12. Lori, this is a beautiful post. Thank you for writing it. I am just going to link to it from my blog. This week ministered to more than just you. While it was a hard, hard week, it was also wonderful beyond words to be together.