Broken Heartedness

April 18, 2010

I can’t believe that these events have taken place in our lives.  I can’t believe that we had to let Joshua go.  I can’t believe that we had a memorial service for him.  I especially can’t believe we buried him on friday.  It was a week ago that we said goodbye but it feels like 5 minutes and it feels like a lifetime ago.  People ask how we are but I can’t answer them because I don’t even know.  I feel so sensitive and people say some things that are innocent and I take them the wrong way.  We went to church today and one of the lines of one of the songs was, “He gives and takes away”.  I almost lost it.  I just can’t handle all this.

There are so many emotions that flood without warning.  I sometimes feel like screaming, sometimes like being alone, sometimes like having people around.  It is a minute by minute thing and I don’t know how to handle it.  It is amazing some of the things that people will say in trying to help.  Sometimes it helps, sometimes saying nothing is best.  We miss Joshua so much and everything reminds us like slaps in the face that he is gone.  Even simple things like seeing two little boys that are obviously brothers.  It is crazy.  My soul is in anguish.  Watching my wife hurt so deeply hurts me worse.  She is truly brokenhearted and it kills me to see her like this.  I don’t even know what to say.  I wish that I could take her pain away because seeing her like this is just absolute pain.  How do you get over something like this?  I mean, we lost our flesh and blood.  This isn’t like losing a job or losing a house or something like that.  Being together as a family is all that matters and this is something that will not happen again.  How do you move on?  I am afraid that I am going to have a nervous breakdown soon.  It is just so weird to go back to the way things were before we knew that Joshua was with us.  It is almost like if we do, we don’t love Joshua anymore.

I have so much on my heart and mind that resting is out of the question.  I get sleep but wake up tired and sad.  I hate the fact that we are getting sleep.  That isn’t supposed to happen with a newborn.  They are supposed to keep you up with crying and hunger and poopy diapers.  It just doesn’t feel right after all the doctor appointments and seeing all the ultrasounds and the delivery and NICU, that we don’t have him and can’t hold him.  We weren’t even able to hear him cry.  The only noise that was his was when he was born, he squeaked about 4 or 5 times.  From then on, he was silent.  We would see his face scrunch up and tears in his eyes but no crying.  This is not normal.  I longed to hear him cry, I now long to be sleepless because of his crying.  We will never have that.  It is these little things that we were introduced to with Matthew that we long for now and know that we cannot have.  Our arms feel empty and so does our hearts.

We also know that Joshua wasn’t going to be a “normal” baby.  He had lots of issues and his life was destined for constant pain.  From that perspective (head knowledge), Joshua’s death means no more pain.  He will not have to realize his life of pain and surgeries and suffering.  And for that I am grateful.  It is just so hard when your arms are empty.  I don’t understand why this all had to happen but here we are on the other side of it now.  It all went so quickly and it feels like someone went through my life with a bulldozer.  Here we are, left to pick up the pieces of a broken heart.  Where do we go from here?  Do we continue in the monotonous life that was before Joshua?  In some ways, I look forward to it.  But that means that we don’t have him and I would rather trade in a “comfortable” life to have Joshua grace us.

Sorry for all the rambling.  I don’t expect many to continue to read my blog.  Why would they?  Joshua is gone after all and this blog was created to share his story.  The story of his life is now over.  How do I continue to tell his story after he is gone?  I guess there are some things we have to figure out.  Thank you everyone for your prayers.  Please pray for our healing.  There are some very deep wounds and it is going to take a long time to heal.  Thanks for the support…


17 Responses to “Broken Heartedness”

  1. Jolene Vallejo said

    My heart aches for you and your family at this difficult time in your life. Your story has deeply touched my heart even though I have never been in your situation

  2. Diane Kolb said

    Yes, Joshua is gone and you are left here to deal with the hell that exists. I understand all too well what it feels like to lose someone. It’s all I could think of at first…if he were here how different my entire life would be. I am now at 3 yrs out, it is better than it was those first months but you never get on with life as it was. There will always be “he’d have loved this”, “if I could share this with him”. Everyone grieves in a different way and some would judge that I seemed too controlled, too passive. Little did they know the show I put on making it all seem like I was ok when I was truly far from ok. I wish I had been able to be as expressive as you have been in your writings. The times I felt I was going insane, the times the loss and longing were stronger than the will to live. I can tell you that I truly believed, at points, that he needed me more there than the rest of my family needed me here. It was hard, but eventually I found a way to start to turn it around. Your concept of finding ways to raise awareness, the fact that you have others who love and depend on you…these are good. K would be lost w/out you and I pray the two of you turn to one another vs judge one another as the days pass. You will need to be like a see-saw, when one is up and the other is down, finding a way to bring balance. His story will never be over though he has gone to a place w/out pain. His story lives through you, don’t forget that! Without your talking and telling many would forget as life moves on. You are forever Joshua’s voice, please don’t silence that voice. Without even knowing you, I love you and thank you so much for sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings with all of us. Please know we continue you hold you in prayer, even in the days (which came for me) where you will question why…why did God do this…why has God caused this…but know the answers will come in strange and sometimes unexpected ways. One day, you will hear for yourself directly from the one person who can tell you. For today, you breathe, you share and you struggle to function with even daily things that seem ridiculous given the big picture. But above all, take a minute to thank God for allowing you to have a family you love and who need you, for being the father you are to Joshua and giving him the voice he wasn’t yet given. Joshua needs you to continue and if the reason for being here was to bring out all the goodness you posses to help children and other families, then there is so much to be thankful for because your eyes have been opened to experiences you would never had known had Joshua not taught you. You have been given a gift through all of this, I hope you will see this one day in the not too distance future. I have your page bookmarked and check back daily, even though Joshua is gone. I doubt I am the only one. Don’t stop…XO

  3. God bless all your family here; we do know that Joshua is blessed beyond our imagination with his Heavenly Father. With your loving blogs, you are teaching those of us not immediately there what some of your heartaches are.

    Please know that your words help us to pray for you. I am praying that at least some of your pain can be transferred to us.

    My prayers continue.

    In His dear love,

  4. Beth Brown said

    Joshua’s story continues in the feelings that you have. It is important that you continue to share what you are going through. It is important that you are honest in those feelings. Think of all the parents that will loose a child someday. You have a voice, to explain to them how you feel, and those parents will learn from your voice. They will realize that their own feelings are similar, and therefor not wrong.

    Joshua lives on as well. There are pieces of him in Kelli, that will always be there. A recent study showed that the mother will permanently retain cells from each child she carries in her womb. Therefor, Joshua is always with her, forever.

    I have a video that I want you to see. Please go listen to it. Its one of my favorite songs, and it is so touching and fitting for your story. This mother lost her baby shortly after birth, and her husband is a professional Christian singer.

    I know that the video is exactly how you are feeling. I know that life is hard right now, and you probably feel numb in a lot of ways. It will get better with time, but it is going to be REALLY difficult living without Joshua. Just don’t ever think he isn’t with you. Because he is.

    I am here to help. I know you don’t know me, but your mother Mary, helped me and Kyle through our grief. We were blessed by a connection, and are here to provide support to each other.

    Please keep writing about Joshua, and your feelings. It blesses others, more than you know. And it will also bring blessings to you as you come to understand your life, with your loss.

    ❤ & Peace
    Beth Brown

  5. Brenda Spires said

    No words will ever take away the hurt that you feel right now. I can’t even imagine the hurt that you are feeling. But my heart goes out to your family. I believe that losing a child is the upmost difficult thing that a parent will go through. But Joshua will always be in your hearts. His memories will guide you through this very difficult time. I hope that you keep this blog updated. Writing about your feelings is great threapy. Such a great video that your cousin made. My thoughts and prayers are with you always. I hope to continue to hear from you.


  6. Alicia & Shelly said

    Not sure how much it helps but everything you have said are the same things Alicia has said almost word for word & much of what you have said as the spouse I have been feeling too as the Grandma trying to be her support. We too knew that our little one would never be “normal” (we have an inherted medical condition he was going to have to contend with in addition to the CDH) but didn’t care as long as we had the chance to give him a happy life. Now that he is gone we are left with picking up the pieces. As we are finding out, take it one day at a time for now and if that is too much, one hour or even one minute at a time until you can do more. Dawn wrote a really good post on the CDH forum called “Why Not My Cherub?…. A Letter To Grieving Parents” which I printed off & gave to Alicia. I think it may help you & Kelli too. See the “Meet Other Grieving Parents” section on the forum.

    Joshua’s story is not over. His body may be still but his spirit will go on forever & he still has things to teach. I say this from experience. We have already seen 3 miracles we can only attribute to Jayden, there is no other explanation. I bet Joshua will do the same for your family, be ready for them & treasure them. Keep making others aware of the different conditions Joshua fought against. With awareness comes support that may eventually lead to prevention, cure & treatments. In this way he will also live on.

    Our continued prayers & admiration go out to you & Kelli.
    Alicia & Shelly (CDH Mom & Grandma to angel Jayden G.)

  7. Jonna said

    Still praying for you guys.

  8. Candice Hunt said

    Prayers EVERYDAY!!!! Yes, I still look @ your page…I also have it bookmarked!!! Joshua has touched me in a very special way! He is such a Handsome little ANGEL!!!! Prayers for strength and comfort!

    Keith’s mom

  9. Betsi said

    Hi Kelli and Jeff: I’m a friend of Melinda’s. Don’t know if you’d remember me from meeting once, quite awhile ago. In any case–I wanted to pass on the address of my friend Rachel’s blog which she created in the wake of losing her twin baby girls who each lived only a few short days. She is an amazing Christian woman who has gone through this heartbreak and is still going through it. I know she would be happy to offer her support and maybe you could gain some strength from what she’s written. She has clung to Christ all through her tears and although I have no idea what this must be like for any of you, I find her to be an inspiration.
    The blog is


    You’ll be in my prayers throughout the coming weeks and months.

  10. Mary Campbell said

    Please don’t stop sharing your feelings as this is a big part of Joshua’s story. And like many have said this is helpful for you and those reading this blog. It helps to know that the feelings you share are normal. It helps those who follow this blog to know how to pray and how to help you the best. It also teaches us how to help others in similar situations and it helps us to understand what they are going through. Joshua’s life may have only lasted 16 days out of the womb; but his impact will go on forever. He changed me forever which in turn will change others and so on. He lives on through those who have been affected by his life and story. I love you, Kelli, Matthew and Joshua; and I pray for you may times a day. Joshua’s life is not over. It has just changed from a life with us to an eternal life. Please continue to be Joshua’s voice! Love, Mom

  11. diane d said

    God bless you and your family. My prayers continue to be with you.

  12. Tracy Meats said

    Was thinking of your family today….praying for continued strength and comfort. (((HUGS)))

    Tracy, Ian’s mom

  13. Debie LeBlanc Trujillo said

    Jeff, Kelli and Matthew,
    My thoughts and prayers are being said for you and your family. I wish I could take some of your pain and suffering from all of you. May GOD bless all of you.
    All my LOVE,

    I only have known you for such a short time – but I feel closer to you via your blogging. I think you should continue this outlet for you and your friends and family.

    YOU HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE PRAYING FOR YOU, KELLI, MATTHEW AND JOSHUA and for some of us this is the only way we know how to help you.

    All my love,

  14. Bonnie said

    I was thinking of your family today and thought I’d let you know.

    from CHERUBS
    expecting Elijah due 7/12/10

  15. nicolle said

    Joshua will continue to impact you and everyone around you forever. The toughest days are ahead, thinking of you guys.

  16. diane said

    Continuing to lift you up in prayer. (((((BigHugs)))))

  17. Catherine said

    I am so, so sorry for your loss. I will continue to read your blog as we are in the same situation and you have managed to articulate so well much of what I feel – particularly about the importance of family being together and us not being able to have that.

    I lost my daughter after 2 days to left-sided CDH on Valentine’s Day of this year and I know, I know how hard it is to come on such a long journey. It is an unbelievably cruel condition that tortures you for the longest time. Will you be in the lucky 50%? And then, when you’re not, it seems unfathomable when you tried so hard.

    Some days I am happy and rejoice in my family, but it will never feel complete because one my children won’t be home with us. But we WILL get through this. Keep talking. With much love and prayers.

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