Saturday, January 23, 2010

My Heart Aches...

My heart aches tonight.  Tomorrow will be 6 long months since Amber went to Heaven.  Six months tonight when we took her to the ER.  How time flies by.  My husband and I miss her so much along with Jennifer our youngest daughter.  I always wondered how people went on after losing a child...now I know.  I get up each morning and take one day at a time.  Somedays are better than other days.  This has been a BAD week.  The tears have come so freely this week.  I thought once I made it through the holidays I would be okay.  Jennifer and I cried one night this past week about how we wished she could be here for the wedding in June.  She would have been so excited!  We cry all the time together but the tears were really flowing the other night.  She loved her "big sissy" so much and still does!
I feel so bad sometimes that maybe I missed something going on with her body other than the muscular dystrophy and it was my fault.  Maybe I should have gotten her to the ER sooner.  I have gone through feeling so guilty.  I was with her 24/7 and how could it happen so quickly?  I have come to terms that it was all God's planning and his timing and I knew that all along.  It's just the mother in me I guess - if maybe I had done this or that.
I was so upset this week.  I go to the cemetery everyday sometimes twice a day to check on her gravesite.  I had gone Thursday morning and everything was in place.  My husband and I then met Jennifer in Birmingham for wedding plans and we came home and went straight to the cemetery.  I jumped out of the car and her snowflake was missing, along with her shepherd's hook and her little snowmen on her headstone.   She loved snowmen.  My first instinct was someone must have stolen it and then I began to look around and things from other gravesites were missing.  I know the cemetery well by now and knew who had windchimes and birdhouses from shepherds hooks.  Then I knew the maintenance men had taken her things off her headstone.  You talking about one mad mother!  I immediately went to the dumpster and my husband and I found Amber's things - some broken : (  Not only has my heart been broken forever but the thought that the cemetery owner's could do such a thing just hurts even more!  I have cried and then been so mad the last few days.  Needless to say I was at the cemetery office first thing the next morning and expressed my feelings to the owner, he knew I was UPSET.  I said what was on my mind and I do feel better.  I told him we would personally see to our daughter's gravesite and it would be well maintained.  I still don't think he "got it".  I asked him if he had ever lost a child or someone he truly loved.  He really gave no response.  So sad that people live like he does...all for the money.


This is the way it looked.   Do you see anything wrong with this?  I arranged it for winter and I have things planned for Valentines and Easter.  I feel that is the only way I can do something for her.  I know she is in Heaven but this is her final resting place.  My husband and I own the plots on either side of hers where we will be one day.  We had sodded it ourselves and planted winter grass.  The owner's will do it if you ask but we wanted to do it ourselves... it is sacred ground to us. 
So just pray for me and my family... it has been so hard this week and I know there are so many other families grieving as well and my heart aches for them.
I have watched the tragedy unfold in Haiti and it breaks my heart as well.  So many people lost and dying from just a broken leg.   It is so sad.

Thanks for visiting and maybe I will be back to happier things next week.

God Bless,
Donna

25 comments:

Miriam said...

My heart goes out to you and your family, Donna. (((HUGS)))

Marla said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I know you are thankful for every day and for every moment you spent with your girl while she was here on this earth. I am a neonatal ICU nurse and I see mom's who grieve for never having had a day with their baby. Hang onto those memories dear. Hugs and prayers, Marla

Jeanette said...

Donna, I am very sad for you and your pain. It does seem that things like picking out the last outfit, ironing that outfit, or taking care of the cemetery makes us feel better. I say whatever works!

Shortly after my daughter died, relatives from Germany came to visit. They along with my mom wanted to do some work at the cememtery and I told them to go ahead. A few days later I walked up to the grave and almost fainted! Lets just say that German customs are very different from ours! Once my husband calmed me down, we had to call the caretaker to make certain they would let the stuff stay there for a few months to help my mother deal with the pain.

I cannot imagine what she would have experienced had they removed the things. I hope the office understood and will have more understanding, our cemetery gave us all the rules and explained the why. We bought several extra lots and put in a sitting area.

The only way they would let us do it was if we take care of it and we make certain it is. We have benches, flowers, a waterfall and it is just a lovely place to sit visit and reflect.

Linda said...

Donna,
I'm so sorry that you are having such a bad week...I will pray for you and your family. Take care and I hope to hear happy thoughts from you soon...I can't begin to know what you are going through...I do know one thing...prayers are answered.

Blessings,
Linda

Bernie said...

Oh Donna my eyes are filled with tears as I read your post. As a mother whose son has gone to heaven I want to tell you that you are over the rough times but sweetie you will have these times no matter how much time passes. You know Amber is in heaven but that doesn't mean you won't miss her and grieve for her. You are a wonderful mother sweetie and I pray you will find comfort tomorrow. I think every mother who loses a child somehow feels a bit guilty thinking she could of done more, I went through this but I will say that the guilt has passed as I realized I couldn't of done any more than what I did, this will enter your heart as well. It takes time sweetie, be gentle with yourself, much love to you and you are always in my heart and prayers...:-) Hugs

from our front porch... said...

Donna, YOU did everything right. You raised a beautiful, graceful soul. Know that. Know it, in your heart and in your head.
I think Amber's place is wonderful. The fact that you already have plans for upcoming holidays just touches my heart. If I ever come to Birmingham, I will make it to your home. So you can take me to visit Amber.
God Bless and many prayers being said for you and your family.
xo, misha

Red Geranium Cottage said...

Oh Donna you did nothing wrong. Do not be so hard on yourself. Your daughter knows you did everything right by her. She wants you all to be happy and go on with your life. As for that tombstone....OMGGGG I would have ripped that mans head off. I totally understand how you could feel and I have not lost a child. He should or they should have sent letters out to the families saying this was there plan way before doing it. My heart breaks for you. Please hang in there sweetie!!! I know this has go to be the worst thing a mother could go thru, losing a child.
Hugs!!!!
Sharon

Deb Price said...

Donna, I couldn't imagine losing one of my girls...I have 5,ranging from 30 to 10...losing one of them is unimaginable to me...I found your blog from a link of Susan's at Blackberrycreek...I, too, have a 28 yr. old girl named Jennifer...she is already married with 3 children! Anyway,my heart goes out to you and your family...I have never lost a child that I have had for more than a day...lost a child 15 yrs. ago, but God had other plans for him in Heaven...please know that you will never forget, but you will not hurt in time...
Hugs from Indiana...

erin said...

i am praying for you, my dear one.
erin

Rhondi said...

Dear Donna
I am so sorry you are having such a hard week. I can't imagine what you are going through but I know that God does and I will be praying for you.
Hugs, Rhondi

Just Breathe said...

I will keep you in my prayers. ((HUGS))

Lindsay said...

I pray so often for peace for you and Jennifer. I have no idea what your heart and mind has been through, but know you have prayers sent up....

Jen in NY said...

Donna, Amber's final resting place looks so lovely. My loss was a stillborn baby, and my husband and I picked out a sweet angel gravestone that is so comforting to see. We planted forget-me-nots there too. I can imagine your anger and hurt at what the maintenance men did...I hope everything is ok from now on.

I tend to blame myself for what happened too...I guess it's natural...there are good days and bad. Although my loss can't compare to yours, I can relate somewhat so if you ever want to talk just let me know. {{hugs}} Jen

debbie said...

DEAR DONNA,
HUGS...TEARS...HUGS...TEARS
I AM SO SORRY ABOUT ALL THE THINGS YOU HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH.
IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN GOOD FOR THE TWO OF US TO GO TOGETHER TO TALK TO THIS MAN......
EVERYTHING LOOKED SO PRETTY PRIOR TO BEING RUDELY DISMANTLED AND TRASHED. I AM SO VERY SORRY.
FRIDAY WAS BAD FOR ME...I WAS DOING JUST FINE AND ALL OF A SUDDEN I JUST BEGAN TO BOOHOO BECAUSE IT HAD BEEN 91 DAYS SINCE I HUGGED AMY. I WAS JUST ABOUT IN HYSTERIA, I HAD TO REALLY SLAP MYSELF INTO REALITY.....IT WAS WORSE THAN LOOSING HER ALL OVER AGAIN.
WE HAD A GOSPEL GROUP AT OUR CHURCH TONIGHT AND AFTERWARDS WE WERE JUST STANDING AROUND TALKING AND A PASTOR WHO SANG WITH THE GOSPEL GROUP JUST TOLD ME.....DO NOT LET ANYONE TELL YOU HOW LONG YOU CAN GRIEVE...GRIEF IS A PROCESS AND TO HAVE A CHILD PASS BEFORE THEIR PARENT IS A VERY BIG HOLE LEFT IN THOSE WHO ARE LEFT BEHIND. IT WAS A VERY GOOD SERVICE AND A VERY GOOD MESSAGE. OUR PASTOR'S 92 YEAR OLD FATHER FELL AND BROKE HIS HIP....HE IS BORED HERE, HE SAID HE DOESN'T KNOW WHY GOD WON'T TAKE HIM HOME AT 92 YEARS OLD AND LET SOME YOUNG PERSON LIVE.....BECAUSE GOD IS NOT THROUGH WITH HIM YET.
I STILL PRAY FOR YOU EVERY DAY.
HUGS AND LOVE
SIMPLY DEBBIE

helenabelle said...

Dear Donna,
I am so sorry for you pain and loss. My heart breaks for you and your family. Amber's grave site was decorated just beautifully. Do not be dismayed by the lack of respect shown at the cemetery, continue to decorate and take care of Amber's site. Lesson learned for the cemetery folks...there is not wrath like the wrath of a mother. Ya'll are in my prayers.

Gloria said...

Dear Donna: I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful daughter, Amber. I know about feeling guilty because my mother (who lived with my teenage son and I) passed away 4 years ago and I, too, like you, were with her 24/7 because I was out of work at the time she passed away. So when she died, I had a tremendous amount of guilt. She was 89, which was a ripe old age, but one still says and feels as you described: "I could maybe have done something more!!" BUT, we have to give ourselves a break because when the good Lord calls our loved ones, they have to go. No matter what we would have done, it was the time for our loved ones to return to heaven. If you ever want to email me, please do: gloria.vincent@yahoo.com My cousin also lost a child - her son, when he was only 16. She loves speaking to other parents who have lost a child, so if you'd like her email address to correspond with her, I would be happy to give it and I know she would be happy to hear from you, just let me know. Her son is gone 12 years already and although her pain has lessened somewhat, it is still there with her every day. (And she also decorates her child's gravesite for each holiday, as you do!) Take care and please write if you'd like.
Best regards,
Gloria

Gloria said...

Dearest Donna: Thank you for your comment on my blog AND for joining as a follower! You are such a wonderful person, to do that in your grief of Amber's sixth month anniversary. I appreciate your kindness more than you know. I am sure Amber is looking down from heaven and smiling at her mother's thoughtfulness. Please remember: write me if you ever feel like talking and let me know if you wish to have my cousin's email if you'd like to talk about Amber to another mom who knows what you are going through. My cousin is a wonderful person, you would love her.
Love,
Gloria

Brambleberry Cottage said...

Donna, my heart goes out to you. The loss of your daughter is still a very fresh, very deep wound. But God says in his Word that He, "heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds." (Psm 147:3)

There will come a day in your life, when God will say, "I will turn [Donna's] mourning into joy, and will comfort [her], and make [her] rejoice from [her]sorrow." (Jer. 31:13)

As I write this, I notice something about the Scripture reference for that last verse. Do you see it? The numbers reverse: 31 - 13. Your broken heart will mend in time. Your sorrow will turn to joy. It will take time, but it will happen...perhaps with the addition of a grandchild. :) God bless you! Liz

A Fire Fighter Wifey said...

I have no words of how to deal with the pain, no words on how to get through. I have not lost a child, and pray that I never do. But you are in my prayers, you and the rest of your family along with her friends. I have several friends who have lost children and my heart rips out each time I thnk about it. ... My heart breaks for you but more then the pain for you I have prayers for you....

Designs on 47th Street said...

Your post just broke my heart. I am also the mother of three daughters. I simply cannot imagine how parents get through the days when a child is taken away to heaven. I also believe your daughter is an angel in heaven. Ironically I have another friend who just had a big family gathering over the weekend. One of their three daughters died in a traffic accident ten years ago.

I will pray for you. Please don't blame yourself. I can tell you did everything possible for your daughter.

(((Hugs))) Donna

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

I think it's only natural that you should feel guilty. I've had guilty feelings myself since Vann died. Did I do enough to take care of him? DId I let him know how much I love him? Could I have prayed harder for his healing? But it isn't our fault that our loved ones died. And I thank God that they're in a wonderful place now where money and possessions don't matter and grief and pain don't exist. God bless you, Donna. Take comfort from knowing that God is with you, just as he is with Amber and all of you. And he loves you all so much.

Jan said...

Oh Donna, I'm so sorry that you've had such a difficult week. I certainly understand why that 6 month mark is so hard on you ... I did the same thing beginning with the first 24 hour period ... the first week, month and on and on and on. It's not easy I know and having the feelings you are having is only natural, but I imagine that Amber wouldn't want her beautiful Mom feeling guilty in any way shape or form. It was God's will ... He plain and simply wanted your Angel Home in Heaven with Him; and I know He will continue to comfort you and your family during your grief. I so wish I could meet with you in person to tell you that you are not alone and to tell you that you will survive ... I feel certain you will. Life will never be the same without Amber, but I do believe with all my heart that God has brighter days in store for you and your Husband and Jennifer. You will never fully recover, but you, in time, will be able to go forward :)

Amber's grave site is beautiful :) It looks like a very peaceful place. I'm so sorry that the Cemetery Owner's do not respect it any more than they do, but it will all be OK with you watching over it :)

You take care my dear and please know that you are in my prayers. Hugs to you!

kimmcl said...

Oh Donna I hardly know what to say. I've never lost anyone so close to me, except my dear Nana, who passed almost 3 years ago. But she was old and lived a long, happy life. Your Amber was so young and beautiful. I just don't understand. I came over here because I saw you won Susan's tassel giveaway, and after reading your post, I'm so glad you won - I think it was God's way of sending people over here to lift you up! xoxo, Kim

Angie said...

I came across your blog today while viewing Between Naps on the Porch. My husband lost his 10 year old son in an accident three years ago. We were not married at the time but had been dating for several years so he was a very important part of mine and my daughter's life. We miss him so much. My husband is an amazing man. Even though the pain is sometimes more than he can handle, he manages to go on with a smile on his face. I am amazed by his strength. I truly believe that anyone who is able to continue on with life after suffering such a terrible tragedy and smile when their hearts are breaking are truly heros! I will certainly pray tonight for you and your family.

Sweet Cottage Dreams said...

Donna, I know...I know....it hurts. I still cry every day. Go ahead and cry. It is normal to do so. Amber counts each tear you shed. She is with you - always. She is proud that you stick up for her and watch over where she is layed to rest. We go through the same thing as you do with the cemetary. Sometimes people just don't understand the sentimental ways that we do things at their grave.

sending a huge hug,
Becky