Sunday, February 22, 2009

25 Things About Me (Bereavement Version)

So, I keep seeing these Facebook "25 things about me" posts on Facebook, and I've been tagged a couple times, but I don't think I can participate, because all I can come up with belongs to the "Bereavement Version."

1. I am the mother of Caitlin Anne, who lives in heaven.
2. I am still not a member of the mommy's club, because others can't see the baby I parent.
3. I continue to struggle with the hope for parenting a living child.
4. I don't like it when people say "I know how you feel," when they didn't wait for me to finish my sentence to begin with.
5. The day after my daughter died, an acquaintance noticed my appearance and asked what was wrong. I told her and she replied, "I know how you feel, I'm dealing with our dog dying right now." True story.
6. I am still unable to walk by myself, because of my overwhelming fear that I may break down and melt into a puddle of grief and be rendered lifeless. I am afraid of the thoughts that will most surely flow through the meditative act of "one foot in front of the other" activity.
7. My DH loves me. I know he does, because he hugs me everyday, tells me he loves me everyday, makes me coffee, and looks at me---really looks at me and smiles at what he sees.
8. 11 is an important number for me, because it's the number of weeks Caitlin was alive. I have 11 pink silk flowers in my house and we released 11 pink and white balloons on the anniversary of her death.
9. I love babies. I'm not afraid of them, rather I'm drawn to them.
10. I don't love it when I hear pregnant moms happily complain about their discomfort int he later weeks of their pregnancy. I genuinely don't care about their complaints, but it triggers my own thought process of wishing and believing that if Caitlin had stayed safely inside for 7 more weeks as she was supposed to, she would still be here today.
11. I don't care that it makes people uncomfortable when I say, "Yes, I have a child. She lives in heaven." They asked a family question and I gave the truthful family answer. I'm not going to be silent about my child's life to avoid the moments of awkwardness they might feel.
12. I grieve everyday. I understand forever.
13. I'm not angry with God. I don't think He had anything to do with it.
14. When mothers say they would do anything to save their children. I believe them.
15. I sometimes enter "magic land" and think, "you know if people would just stop praying for winning a game and getting a A on a paper, bereaved mommy's prayers of BRING MY CHILD BACK TO LIFE, might get through to God."
16. Caitlin was a tiny beautiful child and she loved her songs and I loved singing to her. It was very hard to sing after she died.
17. I laugh louder than I did before Caitlin died. Not because I'm happier, but when I'm happy now that emotion is relation to the degree of sadness I feel now.
18. I have a white stand alone closet where all of Caitlin's toys, cloths, books, sympathy cards, photos, and memory box are kept. I call it Caitlin's closet.
19. My mother has a memory garden in her house for Caitlin.

20. My sister made a memory necklace with stones for Caitlin's mom and pink stones for Caitlin.

21. I want to learn to play the cello. When I do practice, I sit in the room where Caitlin's closet is and we keep the cello music in one of the closet drawers. I think Caitlin would like me to learn to play the cello, too.
22. We knew prenatally that Caitlin had Down Syndrome. I don't like to talk about it, because this diagnosis felt like a death sentence for what we wanted for our child, and then, tragically, it turned out to be so. She died because she was born prematurely (common for babies with DS), had a heart defect (common for babies with DS), and died from a perforated bowel (babies with DS are more likely to have developmental problems with the digestive tract).
23. Despite all my classical music training, I listen to country music. I love Martina McBride's lyric "love's the only house big enough for all the pain the world."
24. Caitlin's grave is a 10 minute drive from my house, and when I go there I feel traumatized by her death and elated by her life at the same time.
25. I'm tired.


  1. I can't BELIEVE that woman compared your loss to her losing her dog. That breaks my heart for you. I'm sorry.

  2. I learned so much about you from this non-Facebook version. Thank you. It's beautifully genuine.

  3. Thank you for sharing 25 things about yourself. I'm so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter and I wish you peace. I just watched the your video of her, it's so touching. She was and is so beautiful.

  4. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the bereavement version of 25 things about you. I think it is a beautiful tribute to your daughter. I am so very sorry for your loss.


  5. hey. Just stopped by for ICLW and was blown away by your post. Your writing is beautiful, candid, and breathtaking. The mother who you ARE (no matter what anybody says or thinks) is an astounding, protective, and loving one.

    I wont sit here and tell you, "I know how you feel." Because even though I lost a child when I was almost 6 months pregnant, its all different. Your story is unique and tragic and amazing all at the same time. I applaud you for being true to you and how YOU feel; not being afraid to express yourself.

    I absolutely love your post, and if its okay, I might stop by now and again to see what else is on your mind.

    You've got a beautiful soul and an even more beautiful baby girl in heaven. Enjoy life every day and all it has in store for you, because you know each day is ONE closer to the day you'll be with her again!

    God Bless You!


  6. "traumatized by death and elated by life"

    That is exactly how I feel all time, baffled by the unreconcilable reality of the two occuring simultaneously.

    I am so very glad you found my blog and I yours.

  7. Dropped by for ICLW.

    Thank you for sharing this list. It is both beautiful and heartwrenching. I can only hope that you find peace, but I still think it's so brave and amazing of you to "be a mother to a child in heaven."

  8. I am so sorry.

    I have absolutely no idea what you are going through.

    I thank you for being brave enough to share.

  9. Wow. Beautiful, tragic. I'm speechless. Caitlin is very blessed to have a om who loves her as much as I can see that you do.

  10. Many of these things resonate. Thanks for sharing them

    Being a big music fan, I am going to look up "love's the only house big enough for all the pain the world".

    What a beautiful song title.

  11. Ah, thank you, thank you, thank you for this 25 Things post. I have been tagged for a bunch of those, too, and I haven't responded. What can I say? Coming up with 25 Things that do not relate to Sage would seem so . . . dishonest and trivial.

  12. Thank you for sharing... that was so honest and raw. I'm incredibly sorry for your loss.


  13. Your blog is beautiful, and my heart breaks for you and is elated for the beautiful life you hold in your heart at the same time. This list really really hit me. I am in awe of you. I parent a living child and often think that if I had to deal with this, that I wouldn't have the strength. I would die. Literally.

    Lots of love, and she's beautiful.