Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Well, as said yesterday, this is my life. Every day. In all things.

Even the grocery store.

And no, being pregnant again does not make it easier. Children are not replaceable. Being pregnant again makes me hopeful.

It's nowhere near easier.

So, even in this horrendous heat, I decided I needed to venture out to the commissary. I'm quite surprised by this, but I have had the insane desire to cook meals.

Not eat them, mind you, and GOD FORBID smell them....but to make them for John.

He's been working very, very hard.

So, I gathered my coupon book, printed out all my coupons, printed my menus and shopping list (Nanci, Maria--aren't you proud of me?), put on a breezy sundress and some strappy sandals and set out.

Still not feeling great, but sitting around doesn't help much either.

Today was a GREAT day to go shopping--commissary was dead and John wasn't with me, so I could take all the time I wanted--comparing prices, deciding what meal I will make, rifling through coupons, etc...

I was standing in front of the soups with my binder open and my menu/list out and I was about to decide what soups I was going to buy. (Campbell's Chunky, take $1 off two, you know.)

Throughout the aisles, I had seen a nicely dressed woman with a cute little girl roaming and had assumed that it was either her granddaughter (and she was a VERY young grandma) or her little girl but through an international adoption. Yes, I realize that's an assumption based on looks, but one I've lived with and also pondered while we were trying to adopt from Kyrgyzstan...and I always smile at the hope that they are a forever family somehow.

Anyway, as I was about to pick out soups, this lady stopped by my cart and saw my whole set up (in the front seat, of course, because I had no baby sitting there) and smiled at me.

"WOW!" she said. "I'm impressed! Do you have any children?"

(Now, I realize she's asking me this because truthfully, there's no way that if I had a child with me I could POSSIBLY have had that whole set up going and been taking all that time.)

YES!!! I'm expecting!!! Praise God!!

YES!!! Praise God!!! I had a miracle in November, but he's dead.

While both are true...what in the world was I supposed to say?

So, I said, "I'm expecting."

She then went on and said, " wonderful for you...I'm just so impressed with all of this (my coupons/menus/lists) and just imagining a family you are doing this for. I have a 17-year old and my little 4-year old here and would love to do this." (I'm pretty sure I was right that her little one was adopted and so flipping adorable!_

I smiled (crying inside thinking that I shouldn't have that time...shouldn't have that ability....SHOULD have a nearly 7 month-old babbling at me and her) and said, "Thank you...I'm trying to get it all together."

She asked how far along I was.

I told her, "Ten weeks."

She then sweetly and sincerely said, "Well, congratulations!! You are just beautiful! You glow! You just radiate happiness."

I radiate happiness?????

She was so, so kind...and so sweet...and heck, what pregnant woman doesn't want to hear that they are beautiful and radiate happiness (even if they aren't!)????

This one.

Because it cut my heart in two.

How can I be radiating happiness when my son died not even seven months ago? I'm happy about many things...this baby, my husband, my family and friends and amazing support and that God sees me through each day.

But to hear her speak of me (which again, was so kind), you'd think I didn't have a care in the world and that I was the me I was a year ago---excited about being a mommy, loving the domesticity I FINALLY got to rightfully own, blissfully ignorant....

I'm not that me.

And it hurts me to think that others see me that way.

I know that's crazy--who wants to be seen as a mourning, depressing, grief-stricken mother of a dead baby????

That's not the identity I want and several months ago, that's the identity I said I didn't want to define me.

So why does it hurt so much to know that that's not how a complete stranger saw me? That she saw me as happy and joyful and hopeful.

How FAIR is it that that HURTS me and makes me feel so far from Matthew?

I know, I's not fair.

Ouch. All I can say about today is OUCH. One living...promising. One dead...unspoken.



  1. I understand...there are SO many layers to this process. And, there are even layers to our physical appearance. People just have no idea. They think if you look good then all is well. NOT SO.

    I learned that today, as I sat with my cousin who was receiving chemo treatments. She looks fine on the outside....but the inside is hurting.

    HUGS and Love as you journey on...

  2. ouch is right. it's a catch 22 that i still haven't gotten used to.

    i absolutely HATE the question, "how many kids do you have?" the older i get, the more often i give them MY answer and then just -politely- let them figure out how to handle it. :) sometimes i even get an answer that opens a conversation that will lead to a bit of healing......


  3. There is often a part of me that screams "but you don't know the rest of my story!" inside. Ugh. I'm often afraid that people will think I'm nuts for saying I have two babies when I had two miscarriages. I need to get over that.

    That said, I think it's lovely and kind of the women to say such nice things. We all need to hear things like that from time to time, regardless of how it matches (or not) with what we're feeling inside. And maybe it won't always be so raw to hear it.

    I feel like I can picture you in your sundress happily comparing soup prices. And that's a lovely picture. :)

  4. Oh yes, I can absolutely feel your tears hiding away inside. You said it perfectly... ouch. That is such a hard question and one we will always be faced with. I love that you went to the store with coupons and compared prices. I can totally picture it in my head :)

  5. Lori, I completely understand. I almost feel like I want to walk around with a shirt that says, "My daughter died 3 months ago." But, then again, I don't want to be seen as a sad, depressing person. But, I feel like everyone should know what happened to me! And in those moments where I'm not dreadfully heartbroken, I feel guilty. Like, 'what would Lily think if she could see me smiling. Would she feel hurt and abandoned and unloved?' So many emotions come with this rollercoaster ride that I never knew I was in for.

  6. Reading this, I was struck by the impression that your spirit is so broken and hurt, but your body is beautiful and hopeful.

    I hope you enjoy cooking for John.

  7. (((Lori))), I feel your confusion and pain. A complement that should make one smile...brings the two-edged sword through our hearts.

    I've come to learn that I've become a master of disguise. I have mastered the polite public smile...and of course no one would ever assume looking at Evan that his twin brother Zac died. No one would assume that Evan IS a TWIN.
    And others think I'm just a proud, completely happy mommy. And in all things Evan...yes, that's true. But in that same breathe...I fall to pieces because I miss my Zac with everything in me. I want him there BESIDE his brother. I want him to be known too!! And it doesn't happen.

    From time to time the opportunity arrises where I get to talk about Zac, but I often get "at least you have your one son with you now!"

    Evan is not an "at least". Evan is his own person. And there is NO "at least" that can ever take away my pain.

    My heart is with you. I know that sweet Minnie IS giving you renewed hope and joy...but Matthew will never be replaced or forgotten. And that pain will always be carried in your heart.

    Hugs sweet friend!

    Heather (heathershope - HP)

  8. Last week in the Gro. store I ran into a former coworker from years ago. She asked if Lucie Rose was my youngest (she was sitting in the seat). I said no, my youngest passed away four months ago. She said Oh, nice to see you again. Take care, and walked(ran) away. I understand the need to tell but the resistance also. It makes people uncomfortable so they do not want to hear it. It makes me sad.

  9. It really does hurt. Every time I am asked how many I have I don't know what to say. Sometimes I say 3 sometimes I say 4. It hurts so much and I honestly can't say it is going to get easier because I do not know if it will. You are so strong and you handled it so well. I look up to you so much!!!


  10. I can't imagine what you must be feeling like--holding both grief and hope at the same time. I'm so sorry about the loss of your son.


  11. Painful indeed, no matter how you looked--painful. I'm sorry that this is your story Lori. It must be tremendously difficult feeling both sides of emotions. I can offer no comforting words and I wish I could. Just know I'm reading, praying and following every minute of it along with you. Many prayers along this painful, amazing, beautifully sad journey my friend.

  12. I agree with Jeanne...your inside still feels a mess. Your outward appearance cannot help but glow with the little life inside you. You will appear radiant to those around you. I love to see your smiling face but will remember your insides aren't smiling.


  13. It's funny that I just read this post when today I heard a song on the radio and thought, I'm going to PRAY this SONG for Lori. It's called Shackles by Mary Mary.

    In the corners of mind
    I just can't seem to find a reason to believe
    That I can break free
    Cause you see I have been down for so long
    Feel like the hope is gone
    But as I lift my hands, I understand
    That I should praise you through my circumstance

    Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
    I just wanna praise you
    I just wanna praise you
    You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
    And I'm gonna praise you
    I'm gonna praise you

    Everything that could go wrong
    All went wrong at one time
    So much pressure fell on me
    I thought I was gon lose my mind
    But I know you wanna see
    If I will hold on through these trials
    But I need you to lift this load
    Cause I can't take it anymore

    Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
    I just wanna praise you
    I just wanna praise you
    You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
    And I'm gonna praise you
    I'm gonna praise you

    Been through the fire and the rain
    Bound in every kind of way
    But God has broken every chain
    So let me go right now.

    Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
    I just wanna praise you
    I just wanna praise you
    You broke the chains now I can lift my hands
    And I'm gonna praise you
    I'm gonna praise you

    I know there is NO WAY I have a clue. But God shares ways with me that I can pray for you. Today was one of those days. Know that I am praying.

  14. It just isn't fair is it? We don't want to be defined by the fact that we are grieving mothers, but at the same time we want so badly for it to be obvious! We don't want other people's pity, but at the same time their kindness would be so appreciated!! Everything hurts! I hate signing mine and my husbands name to things feels like I am leaving her I simply sign The Last Names. I hate the quesiton if I have children...yes, 3, but none here! Ouch..none of it is far! I am so sorry you are hurting!!

  15. I have been reading your blogs enjoying them from day one and continue however, I think Lori, you are really being selfish. You should let Matthew rest in peace and NOT take away the joy from this new bundle. I hear you comparing Matthew with this baby in your video and thats not good.I really believe that you are praying its a girl ONLY because you already had a boy and will be scared thinking that you are taking away from your 1st born son. Be THANKFUL GOD gave you this chance again so soon and stop telling us all how you are so upset when someone tells you how nice you look... I really believe you enjoy feel depressed and want the attention *poor Lori*. Life goes on and you are also hurting John. When I look in his face the hurt is there and he handles it in a different manner unlike you it seems like its all about you. One day John will break and then you will realize. From a stranger to another I have been there and believe me, I speak from the bottom of my heart when it comes to hurting. I have been in your shoes and know the feeling not only hurting yourself but your love ones. My life has gone on and there is not one day when I think of my beautiful daughter not being here with me. I share a special place in my heart always and forever however, I also have a special place for my other beautiful children and husband. Stand tall with your head up high and remember Matthew would have always wanted his mommy to be strong.

  16. Dear Anonymous,
    Everyone compares children and untrasounds. "Look how much alike they are!" "Look at their similar features!" Etc. She's not comapring them because her son is dead and she isn't so abundantly thankful for THIS baby! SHE and HER husband went through a lot to have both of these children ... she knows what a blessing it is. I promise she isn't wanting your approval of her fears and struggles right now, and doesn't want your pity either. She wants to just remember that her SON, her first born, was real and lived and is always a part of her life. I wanna be rude and tell you to back off and get a grip because you obviously have never been in the same place, as you state ... if you had you would know, with a empathetic and loving heart, that she is in so deep. She deeply misses her son and deeply cherishes her new baby. Grow up. I don't think her husband is hurting because of her hope to always treasure the thoughts and memories of Matthew. Or for mourning him either. They both want to remember their son. THEY both are walking this journey ... not you. Keep such hurtful things to yourself. Yeesh. I'm Done.

  17. I think it comes down to we just want people to know what is missing and it hurts when they don't see that.

  18. Lori, I am SO angry for you right now. I can't stand when people hide behind an anonymous title and say hurtful things. I think you are a beautiful soul who is hurting beyond belief. You are dealing with the loss of your beloved son while trying so hard to cherish your new miracle. I personally can't even fathom the depth of those feelings so I am not going to judge or cast stones! I think you are doing a brilliant job! I am so sorry for the coward who chose to judge you...please do not allow them bring you any more has handed you enough! Sending you much love dear friend!

  19. I'm with Tessa and Brit on this one. What a contrast. One person (Lori) who is willing to bare their soul in the open for all to see, and another who is not willing to even leave their name, hiding behind anonymity. Lori, I still think your writing is therapeutic and is an instrument the Lord will continue to use for healing. I'm just glad Job in the OT didn't have a blog. I can't imagine what anonymous responders might have done with that!

  20. Dear anonymous I feel nothing but pity for you, and I will pray for you. It appears that you have not fully dealt with the lost of your own child and perhaps weren’t given the opportunity to grieve your child properly with as much love and support as Lori has. My heart breaks for you because you are still hurting deeply and you have allowed your hurt to manifest it’s self into jalousie and bitterness instead of lovr and encouragement. I am truly sorry that you weren’t given the support that you so desperately need and still need. Only Jesus can heal your type of wound if you let him, and even though you hid be hind the anonymous name you are still so very transparent to me and to God and I will pray for you.



  21. It's a hard thing to try and figure out how to explain how many children you have when you've lost one (or more) of them. The outside can never reveal the inside. Almost 3 years later, I still can't figure out how to tell people how many kids I have - I usually base it on how much time I expect to share with them. For example, the people I work with I tell 4 and will explain that I had twins who died. I also spend a lot of time talking about March of Dimes so it helps to talk about it. If it's just a passing stranger or somebody I don't anticipate spending much time with, I just say 2 and move on, knowing that my 2 little angels understand.

  22. I agree with most of the individuals who have commented to this post. Lori you are doing a fantastic job. I am working on my rainbow and from your blog I am gaining an understanding of some of the conflicting feelings that you have from time to time. Pastor Marks comment touched me... Especially the part about Job and if he had kept a blog. That is so powerful. Job lost everyhing and in spite of what others around him said he continued to give God all the glory and praise. It is a blessing to continue to praise God in spite of our circumstances. We can take a lesson out of that Old Testament Book of Job. I know I have my moments but I am extremely greatful fo All God has entrusted me with, and through the pain I can see the same in you Lori.