15 November 2010

What Is, What Was, What Was Supposed To Be

In many ways, the grief feels a bit fresher these days than it did when the loss was newer. In those early days, there might have been a bit of shock, the newness and quickness of everything that happened acting as an anesthetic that protected me from the fuller weight of grief. But now I see babies, and my eyes sting with tears. I walk into his room, and I remember what -- in my mind -- was supposed to be.

He was supposed to be here.

And I mourn the loss of a million different little things.

This was his blanket the day he was sent off for emergency surgery, and we weren't sure he would ever come back.

This is the monkey he clung to so fiercely after his surgery.

These are the diapers we were supposed to use when he came home.

This is the chair I was supposed to rock him in.

These are the images of some of my favorite memories of him, and consequently the ones that make me cry the most.

I don't avoid these things. I look at these pictures and go into his room on purpose, confronting the evidence of the hope we had on his behalf. As long as there was life in him, we fought for it. As long as there was the smallest shred of hope, we clung to it. But in the end, it became clear that he was not meant to stay with us long. This is a difficult truth to contend with. I still fight it -- and I never win. In the end, I have to continue to learn to let go, both of him and of the desires that arose in our own hearts because of him.

My God, this world is a hard place to live sometimes.


Papillon Sky said...


MARY MADAR said...

I'm in tears, my heart breaks for you...he's always with you momma don't forget

Anonymous said...

I can't fathom what it must be like to fight that battle every single day, over and over again. I think of you and Ewan daily, and my heart breaks for both of you to have to spend this life apart.

I pray for you several times a day. It's the only thing I know how to do. The only thing I CAN do.

Anonymous said...

Mama Ewan, I wish for you to find the same peace on Earth that Ewan has found in heaven. love Christa

Anonymous said...

As I have never walked this path, my heart does not know the depths of your pain. But, I can sense it. I can read about it. And my heart then aches for you once again. Oh God, have Mercy, as it must be like a loss all over again, every time you encounter "What should be" but then reality kicks you in the stomach one more time.

Kirsten, please know that even though I live on the other side of the US, I stand beside you as a mother, a wife, a woman and a fellow heart mom and weep tears with you.

Shannon Egan

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine the pain you walk with, but your courage to face it head on makes me tear up with a smile. Joshua 1:9 is the scripture I think of when my mind and heart are focused in your direction. Be strong and courageous...

I pray for you often and weep when reading your heart felt messages.

I stand in awe of so much when reading your words.

christianne said...

The thought of your having to let go not only of him but also the desires that arose because of him ... it makes me sigh with sadness for you. :(

I remember when you and James picked me up from the airport and we drove toward your home that first day of my visit ... the feeling was so strong in me in that moment that Ewan belonged there in the car with us. He was supposed to be sitting right there next to me in the back seat ... but he wasn't. I really felt the loss of him then in an even more real way. This really isn't how it's supposed to be.

Katy said...

Oh my heart reaches out to you and your family! I can't even imagine or understand what you are going through or if there are any words that wil comfort! You are all in my prayers!

Nadine said...


Shay said...

so beautiful...praying and sending you many hugs and lots of love


Tea said...

Kirsten, I'm so sorry. So sorry for your pain and the loss of Ewan. Praying for you tonight as much as I know how. <3

Anonymous said...

Family of Ewan,

Today we bought a new car. It should have been a fun and exciting event but it wasn't. Instead, I kept getting caught up on what was "supposed to be". While I was pregnant, we looked at mini-vans that could handle 4 car seats when the reality is now we only need room for 2 car seats. It is so difficult to be satisfied/accepting of "what is" (my two very precious boys) when the "what was supposed to be" future (both my boys AND my girls) was so amazing and full of promise and expectations. We brought the new car home and I cried. I cried remembering the woman that I was when we went car shopping before, the woman who didn't know loss and sorrow, the woman who had plans and expectations for all her children, the woman who had four healthy babies in her belly.

Hugs to you.

With love, prayers and hope

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this.

The pictures of him, though some of them sad, are so beautiful that you can't help but smile at his precious face.

But the pictures of his room- the stuffed animal with no soft chubby fingers to grasp, the perfectly tidy stack of diapers, and an empty rocking chair, they just sting with the emptiness that you must feel. It makes my heart break for you. I hate that you're going through this.

I will continue to pray for you and your family.

Danielle said...

Such beautiful words and pictures Kirsten. The vast emptiness of it all...the nursery, the crib, the rocking chair... touches me and breaks my heart every time.

I too feel that the grief transforms and at times becomes more fresh and raw, rather than easing as time goes on.

Walking this road with you and continuing to send love and prayers to you, James and to beautiful, sweet Ewan.

Rebecca said...

I know I cannot know in full the depth of the pain you bear, but I walk with you as well as I can, and pray with groans that only the Holy Spirit can interpret. I think, a hundred times each day, with each passing, precious moment that some new pain, some new emptiness is burrowing itself into your heart. And, I pray that God is gently shepherding you from death unto life.

It is not supposed to be this way. These are not the prayers I am supposed to be praying.

terri said...

This is so much more painful to me now. I love you.

Anonymous said...

I understand your emptiness, I have lost two of my own babies. I understand the empty nursery and clothes...the questions of why, how grief seems to creep up on you out of nowhere and there is no comprehension of time and no comprehension of ever "getting over this", You will ALWAYS grieve your baby and time does not heal the wound a womans heart who has lost her precious baby. But God will sustain you as you walk through the emptiness, he will be walking holding you in his arms while you scream out and cry tears of the deepest sorrows your soul has ever felt. The one thing I know is that HE IS there with you. I am so sorry you have lost your son and I grieve with you daily. I am praying for you as you grieve and walk through the dark valley and I want you to know one day again there will be light, you'll always be changed you will never forget but you will laugh and live and there will be life. I love you. A.

Shannon said...

{{Hugs!!}} and prayers.

Leslie said...

Yes. It is. Thinking of you today.