3

I don’t play that song anymore…

The other day I was thinking about Ella, and the song Tears in Heaven came to mind. I remembered that is was about Eric Claptons son, but I couldn’t remember exactly what had happened and where the song came from. My curiosity led me to his wiki page, and I read the tragic story of a sweet little boy gone too soon. At the end of my reading I came across a quote from Clapton–and his explanation for not playing that song anymore. He said too much time had past and he didn’t feel he could convey the song in the same spirit in which he wrote it. He was devastated back then, and he wasn’t so much now. Loss of a child thirty years later…He also said he didn’t want to go back to that place.

I’ve thought about this a lot recently. The two songs I’ve written about Ella are now played far and few between. They bring me back to a very dark and sad place, a place that I don’t really have the luxury of living in now that I have another child to care for. The other night I got a request to play climbing clouds, and I actually turned it down, I said it was too sad and I didn’t want to go there. Its very strange to me that we can choose to “go there” when it comes to grief. The mind can lock things away and put walls up around certain memories and thoughts that are too painful to feel constantly. My grief for Ella is always there, but I do not always choose to dwell on it.

Recently I had a heart-to-heart with a very close family member, during which she told me that she was confused by my appearance of being ok, and this blog where I continually confess I am not. She didn’t understand how I could feel both. How I can function and smile, and be in so much pain underneath the surface. I am a complete paradox. If you have not experienced a life-shattering death…I can understand your confusion. To put things bluntly, sometimes I don’t want to think of my daughter and be sad. Sometimes I don’t want to think about what happened at all….but I do think about it all the time. I am resentful of my grief at times, while at the same time thankful for the opportunity to love. What I am struggling with is the definitions. I don’t want my daughter to always make me cry. I don’t want her name to illicit tears of sorrow and remorse. I don’t want to think about her helpless precious body….

I wish I had funny stories about her. I wish I could say “remember how she always used to do this…” I wish that there were other ways of feeling close to her. That is what I am struggling with currently. How do I love her and honor her and think about her and smile? I want to. There was a time that I would’ve slapped myself silly for thinking such a thing…but I am realizing that I don’t want Ellas life to just be something sad that happened in my past. How do I carry her on with me in life? Not only death…

Even when I smile, even when I laugh, even when I see pink tutus and hear a little girls voice speak momma–there is a current of unfulfilled desire. Sometimes I can handle it, other times I can’t. But she is always here with me in my heart. This is new territory for me…and it’s scary. It’s acceptance in a lot of ways. It’s faith. Faith that this is not the end of the story. I haven’t been ready for that faith or perspective until now. I am desperate for it. I will never understand why she is not here, but I am thankful that she wasn’t taken from me in a brutal way. Ellas gift to me has always been compassion…I know there are FAR worse ways to lose a child.

My words aren’t exactly coherent or graceful now, but I feel the need to begin to unpack some of these realizations, and fears. Not a lot of time has passed, not even two years since her death. But so much has changed. Our family has changed. Seasons have changed, and I have changed. Ever since her death I’ve not only mourned for her, but for myself. I mourn for the person I used to be. The woman who didn’t lay in bed every night playing out every scenario you can fathom of all the horrible things that could happen. I miss the old me so much. I miss my carefree spirit. I miss how oblivious I was. I miss not worrying. I miss being able to live in the moment. Mentally I haven’t occupied a single moment in the present…I’m bound to look behind and wonder why, and bound to look ahead in fear. I can’t go on like this, missing out on the joys of the simple things in life that make it worthwhile. I see this about me, but I don’t know how to change. I just know that I need to. Because time is flying….and I don’t want to look back and realize that I spent my whole life living in my past, and worrying about my future.

So I’m navigating. Learning to be grateful. Learning that love is always constant, but does not always surface in the same ways. I am realizing how very human I am, and how my need for a great big God is the all encompassing desire of my heart.

I am missing you always Ella, and I am learning to celebrate your life in joy and seasons. I still miss you terribly. You are the tear and sigh behind every smile, but I want you to be the smile behind every tear and sigh…You are both my sweet darling daughter. I love you, and I am learning that I don’t need to prove that anymore…

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2

The times that mattered the most…

For all of my grief journey I have been carried by love. God has sent angels here on earth to comfort us (Jason and I) as we mourn the loss of our firstborn Ella. We have received this love and comfort like beggars starved for bread. It was and is essential to us, like the air that we breath. This love, understanding, and compassion has fueled our empty bodies and sown up our broken bones so we can go on living, and running our race. There have been countless times when I failed to realize, either blinded by my own grief, or blinded by my own neglect of who was truly there all along. Past blogs have been about the incredible hurt, rejection and disappointment I felt from the few who could not give me all that I asked for. Why did I focus on them? Why could I not see the MANY people who grieved with me, and listened to me, and helped me along? For whatever reason, my perspective has shifted and I feel morose for all the time I spent on being disappointed in the few people who could not understand my pain. My past perspective was most likely inevitable…but I  share this with you because maybe for you it doesn’t have to be. When you are disappointed and hurt by someones inability to love you in the way that you need, focus on the people who do get you, and Do love you. I failed to do this fully until now. It is a perspective that time has given me.

I have compiled a list of people, too many to count, and pictures of the times and instances that mattered the most to me. These actions, words, and gifts meant literally the WORLD to me. It would be a fallacy for me to walk on and never acknowledge the actions and love that YOU have all bestowed upon a broken couple. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for not fearing to feel your own heart break. Your compassion is courageous.

The Times That Mattered The Most

-when you sent me two ornaments, one of a mom holding a girl for Ella, and the other of a mom holding a boy for Beck
-when you sent me flowers every month in honor of Ella’s memory
-when you bought me a jar of 1,000 white buttons just like the song I wrote
-when you made a daisy flower crown in honor of your niece, and when you wear it on days you especially miss her
-when you randomly buy me white roses from the grocery store when you can tell I’m having a hard day
-when you told me about your miscarried sibling and how you long for the day to meet them
-when you text me ever so often and simply ask how I am doing, for real
-when you made my songs about suffering and loss so beautiful-you moved my soul
-when you call my mom and ask her how she is doing
-when you called me and left many messages of encouragement…you never spared me your own tears which are so precious to me
-when you continually listen to me pour out my heart and you never judge me
-when you told me you understand my sadness better now because of your healthy children
-when you left flowers at her grave
-when you cried over her grave
-when you wrote a beautifully vulnerable email to my husband sharing with him your life’s greatest loss
-when you made a dozen clouds and gave them to me…full of inspiration and love
-when you went out of your way to tell me on your wedding day that you missed her too, and when you placed a rose on your table just for her
-when you sent me flowers on her angelversary, and how you always tell me it’s ok to feel whatever I am feeling
-when you let me dump all of my ugly thoughts and feelings on you time and time again over the phone
-when you texted me after you had your little girl, and you had the sensitivity to ask me how I was doing
-when you showed me the bracelet you made and wore with Ella’s name on it
-when you helped heal my body and spirit with your guidance through yoga
-when you reached out to Jason and I and let us stay in your home, and blessed us with many gifts…a keurig and some amazing books about still birth to name a few
-when you told me I was brave
-when you shared with me your wisdom on life, grief and eternity
-when you took my story and made it into the most beautiful art
-when you put yourself in my shoes and envisioned exactly what I felt when I wrote my song kerosene
-when you sent me such a powerful and personal painting inspired by my song and by Ella
-when you, so many of you share your precious babies brief lives with me
-when you care about my grief amidst your own for your teenage daughter gone way too soon
-when you kept reaching out to a stranger via fb, then eventually meeting me and listening to my heartache
-when you always curl up on my lap when I am feeling completely devastated
-when you buy me little angels from the thrift store, they are Ella’s angels
-when you shared your poem of your own despair and questions regarding Ella’s death
-when you carry our sadness despite your own depression, mental illness, and homelessness
-when you made me a photo album of pictures of when I was pregnant with Ella
-when you send little gifts and tokens that remind you of Ella
-when you had custom made decorations with lyrics from climbing clouds on them
-when you two helped me make my memory wall with Ella’s clothes and blankets
-when you sent me a collection of bible verses about grief that I look at every day
-when you cried the tears that I couldn’t cry when I was in shock
-when you mention her name at every family gathering

-when you made a custom piece of art for Beck’ room and included a white rose for Ella

-when you choreographed a beautiful dance to climbing clouds in honor of my family and Ella

-when you made dozens of precious clouds for my album cover and let me keep them all-each one reminds me of her, you gave me a precious symbol I will treasure my whole life

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3

Anecdote

Sometimes after the passing of time, someone you love can sort of be turned into an anecdote. “Grandpa in heaven,” or “so and so always liked this,” or “I bet Ella is so happy in heaven.” The tenderness and quiet honor that people once observed seems to be a thing of the past. Now, when people talk about Ella…it’s just so matter of fact. I do not harbor any bitterness or resentment towards people, but I do not know how to react. I cannot feign the indifference that time has brought to others. I cannot feign the acceptance that others have chosen to embrace. I am still her mother, and I have not accepted her death.

The other night I felt the clouds of grief descend upon me, and the tears would not stop. I don’t know why it’s difficult for me to admit these feelings and tears to others and even to my husband. The words struggle to come out. The truth is–at times I am completely submerged in a sorrowful anguish. My heart breaks open anew continually, and all of my memories, regrets, questions and broken hope come spilling out. I feel lost again, when all I want is to feel found and safe..even for a moment.

I thought that after Beck came, I would feel infinitely more grateful to God. I thought that that gratitude would somehow propel me to a greater intimacy and closeness to Him. Beck is here, and although I am grateful–I still struggle with a faith that is to me, so fragile. Sometimes it even seems a facade. I don’t know why I am still ignorantly trying to “figure God out.” Trying at times to stuff him back into the box of my past understandings…how I long for that child like trust and naiveté. I am trying. Trying to do the things that I think I should, and the things I think God wants me to do. Read my bible, memorize and meditate on scripture. The truth is, I do not know what the truth is..and I don’t think thats good enough. I wrestle with God on lots of fronts, but I really desire peace. I wait vainly for a prompt or secret message that will suddenly make life and all it’s tragedies “click.” I know that Jesus is the answer…and that He was a man of suffering and sorrows. I know this. I like this Jesus. But I still don’t understand Him.

A relationship without trust must not have any love in it, and that scares me. I cannot reconcile my former faith and foundation, the death of my daughter, and the birth of my son. I don’t know why this is so challenging for me, but it is. I can pin-point the time of my doubts and the start of the extreme testing of my faith.

After Jason and I found out that Ella had no heartbeat, we were required to go to the hospital and get an ultrasound for a second opinion. We called my entire family, and had everyone praying. As we went into that room, the ultrasound tech searched, but found no heartbeat. My dear family…sisters, brother, mom, dad and brother-in-law all came in the room. My mom asked the tech to leave so they could pray over me and Ella. She left, and my family prayed the most fervent prayers I have ever heard in my life. They begged God, petitioned God, recited scriptures to God, rallied their faith, wept their tears and asked. Then the tech came back in and checked again….and still no heartbeat.

Before Ella died I had made the habit of reciting the Lords prayer everyday…”Our Father who art in heaven hollowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” I cannot pray this prayer right now. I am afraid of Gods will. I wish I was more godly, and a stronger person…but I am shook to the core, and my foundations are laid bare. All I can cling to is that God is doing a work in me, and that He will finish it. I cannot change my own heart, and this current excavation is incredibly ugly and broken to me.

6

Numb

Dear Ella,

I don’t know if I have the courage to be honest right now. In fact, I know I don’t. I am consciously blocking thoughts of you out of my mind…because I fear my worst fear happening all over again. Does this make me untrue?I feel so cheated, and ill-equipped to cope with the life I have been given. I don’t know when it happened, but at some point I hit, or thought I hit “pause” on my grief button. I entered a strange survival mode. Survival mode is a lot like living like a robot. I wake up each day and force a lonely emptiness on my mind, as I will my consciousness to a barren and wasted mind-scape of nothingness. The first thing I see everyday is your cloud hanging above my bed, then I see the dress you never wore, and the quilt that never kept you warm. I see, but the eyes of my heart are dead and unregistering as I begin to will the pain, acceptance and even reality away. I build my wall of resistance and I try to defy my grief by convincing myself it is better to feel nothing. Numb. I’ve become numb after growing so weary of feeling every little thing so intensely. The pain of feeling constantly judged, the pain of feeling like I’m never enough, the pain of my pain going unrecognized, validated or even spoken of. I have grown so tired of the pain of not having my should be almost one year old baby girl here with me. Death denies me my motherly right everyday, would you fault me for wanting to deny it back? My pain and tears have been replaced with numbness and fear. My mind oscillating between the two as I try so very hard to feign indifference. I don’t know how to function when my only frame of reference for being a mother is birthing and burying a dead baby.

And I think to myself, Ella…I wish I could have heard you cry. But then I realize how selfish that is, and that your first breaths were not cries–in fact I’m sure you opened your mouth and either a song came out, or a laugh. Not here though. Why is it that the thing we do after we draw our first breaths is to cry? It seems sometimes that there is nothing more to life than that first cry. These walls and this “get through the day” mentality will all come tumbling down in a matter of time…with the birth of your brother. I see the tidal wave of hope and also of renewed despair and grief. A wave that will haunt me for all that we’ve lost again..but that will also soothe with new life. I hate living in this almost realized paradox of life and death. Soon the floodgates will open, and my heart will be open again to feel the intense love for another one of my children. I know I cannot keep it out, and I do not wish to–but for now it’s all damned up. I am broken. I am surviving. I have lost track of how many times I have spoken to the silence, and to your dad “I just want both of them.” I want to have my little Ella, and I want my little prince. I miss you Ella…and I know I am going to miss you in new ways that I didn’t think were possible when Beck is finally here. I am so scared to miss you more…but I want to. I am afraid I will not be able to stand what is coming…so for now I wait and watch fearfully and numbly…I know that this will all change as the new waves of joy and grief are coming. 

 

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4

Another Mother must bury her Son

 

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Today I am carrying someone else’s burden. Earlier this week my mom called to let me know that a former classmate and nephew of some dear friends of ours was dying in a hospital in Miami. Hearing the news really broke my heart, and I found myself unable to really focus on anything but praying for him and his family. I prayed fervently all day..that he would know he was loved by the God of the universe, and that angels would be sent to comfort him and his family. I prayed for healing. I prayed that his parents would not have to bury their son. I prayed as a mom who has lost a child. I’ve mentioned in other posts that my relationship with God has changed since Ella’s death tremendously. I no longer ask for selfish things that I want. I don’t ask God for protection, or blessings, or good health…I only ask Him the things that I truly believe in faith He will answer. I believe that God wants to hold Alex more than anything…that He wants to heal him from the inside out. I prayed for Alex to accept that love, regardless of his life or death. I know from experience that God doesn’t answer every prayer the way we want Him to or the way we expect–so I’ve changed the way I pray. I pray knowing that God is able, but for whatever reason He is not always willing. 

I believe that God did answer my prayer to cover Alex with love and warmth and light…even though he has died. His death has shook me again. In three weeks or less I will give birth to a baby boy–God willing, and Alex’s death has made me realize all over again that I do not have control. Alex was someone’s son, someones nephew, someones brother…he was carried with love in the womb, just as I am carrying my son. I can’t help but think about my son when I think about Alex. It breaks my heart knowing that I am powerless to save my son from disease, cancer, heartbreak, and even death itself. Finally, I am at the place where I can at least admit that Ella’s death spared her from knowing pain–and this does give me a little comfort sometimes. But today I am carrying his mothers burden –she had to watch her 26 year old baby die. I can’t imagine going through 26 years of things, of clothes he wore just last week, of sheets, and pictures, and memories. I hate that I cannot take away his mothers pain. I can only bear it, and all I can pray today is “Lord carry them.”

 

The picture above is of my sister Brooke at Ella’s first Birthday. We released lanterns and it was very special and symbolic of letting go all over again. I want to share a beautiful poem that she wrote about Ella, and her questions and grief…

 

Are you here with me?
Can you hear my voice….
There is so much noise
Am I one among many, or can you recognize me?
I see a blade of grass, it grew apart from the field

it is shaking in the constant might of the wind

But it has no bend in it, Can you see me standing here?
Surrounded by outstretched limbs and reaching branches, almost as fists shaking in the sky

Angry so angry
Do my words reach you? My whispers in my head, do they matter?

I’m afraid they are meaningless words that float through empty space, and then sink to the soles of my feet
If I had an anchor I would trade my sails in for it any day
Will this wind ever die down? If only my troubled heart could reach you, and rest

Just rest in whatever dose of healing you would lavish on it
All the happy words and easy phrases, shallow unbelieved praises, spoken from uncompassionate faces

Apathetic to any tragic life changes, eager to judge my response to MY personal anguish
There is this ache that burns like an ember resting on your skin

Tearing through layer by layer, melting flesh to reach your bone

And as it restfully burrows in your whole body ignites within as a raging flame, spreading head to toe, heart to head to mouth

What I speak comes as black smoke left from ashes smoldering in a pit
Never will my eyes see a beautiful thing and truly recognize it, or an ugly imperfection without surprise or expectation
You give and take away, but for some reason it feels as though you have stolen from me

From us
I imagine If I extend my hands I could release this frailty of belief and trust and that it would shoot from my hands into your being

And I would know that you know how little I have to hang on to and you would send out your life rafts to rescue this drowning soul

1

The Sound of Silence

I’ve been meaning to write for awhile now, but my continued fear of others and myself has kept me silent for too long again. This sharing never gets any easier for me. Fear of hurting people and fear of being misunderstood can keep people in a lonely silence. I want to share a journal entry I wrote a few days ago on Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving I wasn’t feeling particularly thankful…After examining myself, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t sad, or depressed…but that I was standing back at angers door. I had to remind myself again, that its ok to be angry. Anger is an acceptable emotion when your child, your hope, your daughter has died. 

Jason and I feel so keenly aware of our empty home, especially lately. We were so ready for a life change with Ella, and we had planned and prepared for the next stage of life. Laying on the couch tonight, Jason commented that he feels cheated…cheated out of being a father in the way he expected. Cheated out of all this time without our daughter. If I’m honest I feel I was cheated too. The silence of her birth and death has only grown and gotten louder for us, not quieter. As we see other babies grow, our longing for the hole that only Ella can fill deepens. The empty room, quiet hallways, hassle free life, date nights, clean rooms, good sleep, and clean floors only remind us of all that we have lost. Even as we anxiously await the birth of her brother, I cry and mourn for the relationship they will never have here on earth. We hear the silence at all times, and we are keenly aware of it’s presence. Sometimes I wonder if others hear it too.

 

I know I should be grateful, but I don’t feel very thankful

Thinking about my little girl, she should be here now

Two Thanksgivings past without her

She has made me so lonely

She was born in silence, and the silence has remained

It is deafening

Do people realize or hear the silence of our home?

Oh it aches, we try to distract ourselves and make some noise

But we will never hear her song

I’m angry again, I didn’t realize it until now

I’d almost mistaken my lack of tears for apathy

Attributed my silence for time gone by

But all the while I’m boiling underneath again

I’m so angry, and the anger doesn’t go away–often comes out and is misplaced

I’m angry she’s not here

I’m angry at the silence I feel we are forced to live with 

The emptiness of our hearts and home is evident to us

The sound of our silence is the only sound we hear

 

 

 

5

“I wish it’d been easier, instead of any longer”–Patty Griffin

Well it’s been exactly a month since Ella’s first birthday. It’s taken me roughly 30 days to muster up some more courage, and take inventory on this heart and mind of mine. Initially I wanted my next post to be about Ella’s birthday, and all of the things we did to honor her. But I’m not sure I want to share that yet…it was special, and sacred..and not everything needs to be catalogued and recorded on the web. Some things can just exist in the hard drive of our hearts, and be encoded in the wire frames of our souls. I’m not a very disciplined person. I have many thoughts in a day, song ideas, and poems that I never write down. I think them, and for some odd reason that is enough for me. The aftermath of this “thinking only process” for an artist is usually catastrophic–and induces a chaos of thought that must be spilled out one idea, poem, lyric, and word at a time. I am ready to draw out the blood again in this wound. I am coming here to express the infection, the pain, the pressure…medically and metaphorically I am ready to relieve the pressure. It has built up again. 

I’ve had a lot of thoughts as the seasons have begun to change again. I wake up, look out my window…and think about how much I hate change. I hate that my grief is changing. I hate that it is inconsistent, and unpredictable. Change evokes a scene in my mind, where I am riding in the back of a flatbed truck, driving away from Ella. I strain to keep my eyes on her, and slowly she becomes indiscernible. The landscape begins to change, and I can only see a speck of where she stood. Do I even see her anymore? This process is hard to articulate for me. Fear of coming across “healed” or “better” frightens me to the core. Not that those aren’t good things to be, but I simply do not wish to be those things. I do not wish to forget. I do not wish my memories to fade. I do not wish for time to keep spinning on. My mind and heart are resentful of time. For a person to die as a baby, is for them to remain in that pure, unaltered innocent state for all of time. But babies are supposed to grow, and a year and a month are supposed to produce tangible, physical change. The paradox of time passing, but Ella staying the same to me–a hope, a dream, an un-song song is wearing me completely thin as of late. My grief like the seasons is changing, and even I am incapable of controlling it. That is what is so frustrating to me. I want to be able to control my own grief, and have it manifest in ways that I see fit, or ways that I want to feel. Acceptance is part of grief, and I feel it go down with a bitter burn with every swallow of a new day. Acceptance is hell for me right now. I can’t deny what has happened, I cannot change it, and I cannot go back. It’s a very bitter, lonely, quiet place to sit. Acceptance comes without tears lately, and this burns the most. Yearning to weep for myself, and for the lovely little girl I will never get to hold here–but I must accept, and the tears do not flow as they once did. I know I will cry again for her, I can even cry now–as I am expressing a great many fears, and sorrows…but I wish to ache for her at all times. I do in some regards, but like I said..it is changing. Unless you have walked through this journey of loss and grief, my statements may not make a lot of sense. The griever knows that time and change are a bittersweet friend that at one moment we embrace, and the next we wish to divorce. I am incredibly uncomfortable in this state of change, with nothing left but acceptance. 

 

Onto another thought, another wound. In the past few weeks I have thought to myself many times “Why did things happen in the way that they did?” Not the fact that Ella died, but the fact that she died right after my first niece was born healthy and alive? Why did both babies have to be born roughly within a week of each other? Why did they have to both be girls? I feel like things like that are in God’s control, so why did He not intervene? This month has been particularly hard to come to terms with because I now also have a newborn nephew from the same in-laws. After we got news of his birth, a wave of incredibly anxiety and certainty that this baby that I am carrying now will also die overwhelmed me. Honestly, I did not expect that. I did not even consider the fact that at this time last year, they had their baby and then a week later my baby died. One year later, they have another baby..and of course my psyche is replaying everything over again. I wish I could’ve seen that freight train coming, but I didn’t. If I had, I maybe would’ve been kinder on myself..like I am learning to be. The circumstances are unbelievable. They have a girl, we have a girl. They have a boy, we are pregnant with a boy. The question of why our circumstances have to be so mirrored is one that really perplexes me. They represent everything I so desperately want, but still do not have yet. I still feel like a loser. I still feel empty-handed. I still go to sleep with an empty nursery. I still must wait for what seems like an eternity–to have what my heart so desires. I know that some people probably assume that a new baby will somehow replace the one that died, this is not true. I still wrestle with anxiety, and pain everyday, and I have for every day of this pregnancy. Pregnancy has been hard on me. I have not endured knowing or clinging to a guarantee of a happy ending. No one on this earth or even in Heaven can promise me that at the end of it all, on December 25th I will bring home a healthy and alive son. Of course I hope, as much as I can–but I do not expect. I feel resentful at times when I feel that others expect and want me to abandon all caution, I feel it really discounts what I’ve been through. The need I feel to be understood, and known is great. I want my family to understand that while I feel happy for them, and I am so thankful at the healthy birth of their son, my nephew, and their grandson–the burden is heavier for me. I am unable to hold him, or see him, or to celebrate in the way that they want me to because of my fear, my loss, and my reality. I am unable to hold another infant, until I hold my own. The pain, and fear of losing another child is extremely great…and I feel my heart could not bear to witness another joyous completion until I am satisfied with my own. It is simply too much for me. If you are having a hard time understanding, just imagine that every breath you take you hold it in, for as long as you can–you are suffocating with expectation, hope, and fear. You cannot breath, and have not been able to take a breath for a very long time. When I can breath, I will maybe be able to give you what you want…or maybe I never will. The take home thought is, it’s not personal. I never want anyone in my family to make my grief into a weapon, or take it personally. It’s ok to not understand, but it’s not ok to make me feel guilty, ashamed, or isolated because I cannot respond in the way you want me to. As I continue to struggle with the many factors of the past year that made my grief and loss of Ella that much more difficult and painful to bear I dwell on the truth that God is a sovereign God. But why did He not make things easier for me? There is a song that I have been listening to on repeat that speaks right to my heart on a million levels, by Patty Griffin. The line that sums up my thoughts on the agonizing question in my mind is “I wish it’d been easier, instead of any longer.”