May 30, 2010

Grief is my companion.  Sometimes Grief feels like my only companion.  It is a very windy lonely road that takes you on many twists and turns and on either side is the abyss.  At the same time, your balance is off and is much easier to fall into than continue on the path especially when you see no end to the darkness.  It is funny because although we continue in life and everyone is in the hustle and bustle around you, you aren’t there.  You are back in the NICU or back in the hospital room holding Joshua, whispering in his ear that you love him so that he knows more than coldness and pain.  I long for those days to return so that I can continue to show Joshua that I love him and that he wasn’t alone.  At the same time, I am glad that he isn’t because he was in so much pain.  Our prayers were answered for his healing, obviously not in the way we intended, but he is currently in no pain and with our Heavenly Father.  Who better to explain love and to take care of our most beloved son than THE Father.  This fact, although helps in the overall, does not take away the pain and loneliness that his death has caused in our lives.  We are forever marked with the stain of Joshua’s blood in our lives and this will never leave us.  I have never loved so deeply than in the moments that he slipped from Kelli’s arms into the arm of the One and I doubt that I will ever act as selflessly than in that moment.  It feels like my heart was ripped out of my chest and will never be returned.  However, Joshua’s short life has taught me to love those around us much more and to appreciate them, appreciate the gifts we do have.  But this does not repair the hole that is left.  Some people I suppose, just want us to “move on” or “toughen up” and this was the feeling that I got from a couple people especially after the memorial.  I said in my post that day that sometimes it is better to be quiet than to say anything at all and that is still true.  But there are times to say something to acknowledge Joshua.  He is our son and that will never change.  We hang around with this fact all the time and whether people acknowledge him or not, he is there in our hearts and minds.  He would have been 2 months old already.  The fact that I am getting a good night’s sleep right now hurts.  It hurts that we don’t get to see his personality come out in the little things he does.  It hurts with all the reminders around us that our baby should be with us.  It hurts that we are coming up to his due date, June 4, and this will always haunt us because our wedding anniversary is the 5th.  How do you celebrate something when grief and sorrow are lurking near you to steal away any joy that you might have?

This is such a weird experience to be going through.  I know people just don’t understand around you and a lot of people don’t want to (which I don’t blame them).  It is just sad that not many people are willing to walk along side of you because they are most likely afraid of the pain.  One thing I am so tired of in this life is comfortableness.  This single thing kills all life around you.  It takes away drive, emotion, passion, everything that makes us human beings.  I know that the last 2 years of our lives have been a complete rollercoaster.  We went from living in So Cal in a nice apartment to living with family because of the debt we incurred from my parents losing their business (and their home as a result), then to the Q with my cousins who generously took us in, then to my uncle and aunt house here. We have moved 3 times in the last 2 years and moved away from everything we ever knew.  We were stripped of everything we had.  Then came the news we were expecting Joshua.  What a shock to us!  I was very excited about it and knew that I had to get our feet on the ground (which I have failed at miserably since we still are not on our feet after 9 months of being here).  But the one blessing that we were given, we had to give back to the One who provides.  “He gives and He takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”  We know this fully and understand it fully now.  This wipes any type of comfortableness from our heads.  I wish I knew how to use it.

These past 2 weeks have been the roughest since he passed away.  A week from last friday I picked up his death certificate.  Then on the following monday, I got his autopsy report in the mail.  It is hard to read things in the report like, “The body was received clad in a white hat and diaper.  The body is cool to touch.”  This is about our son and it seems so fake.  It hurts so deeply to read this and actually know that this was your son.  There was several findings in the autopsy that definitely had on affect on his death.  Here is the list:

1.  Large Diaphragmatic Hernia on right side
2.  Trisomy 21
3.  Meconium Peritonitis
4.  Respiratory Disease
5.  Bilateral BronchoPneumonia
6.  Atrioventricular Canal Defect
7.  Pulmonary Hypertension
8.  Hepatomegaly (Enlarged Liver)

Joshua was very sick and I am glad we didn’t go down the road of surgery because he would never have survived recovery and even if he did, there would have been other hurdles to overcome.  We both knew the day before he died that he wasn’t strong enough to fight anymore.  His body was simply giving out.  There were other findings in the autopsy report that are more subtle and I am not sure what it means.  I have put in a call to the pathologist who performed the autopsy to find out what some of it actually means.  I think this is one of the steps I need to take in my grieving. I am an information guy and I want it all.

What will tomorrow hold for us?  What will 5 minutes hold for us?  Grief is funny like that.  It sneaks up on you and takes you out like a blindside hit in hockey.  One second you are skating down the ice, the next second you are being taken off the ice in the stretcher.  I guess I just wish someone would ride in the ambulance with me on the way to the hospital.

Thanks for “listening” to me rant.  It just builds up and spills out in the form of this blog.  If you are actually reading this, please stop and pray for us.  My wife has been having bouts of crying that come out uncontrollably while I secretly have a knife in my chest.  I have never had an anxiety attack in my life until last week.  This is new territory for me and I don’t know the way.  I wish there was someone who would walk the road with me who will keep me from harm if that is even possible.

I know that God is there with us and His Word helps us that is for sure.  We are trying to give this to God and see what he would have us do.  I am lost right now and I have no idea what He has in store for me.  I feel like I am blindly going through life right now, not knowing where I am or what I am doing.  Thank you for all the comments on here and I am sorry I haven’t responded.  If you want to write me privately, here is my email: soupyz11 at gmail dot com.


11 Responses to “Grief”

  1. nicolle said

    grief is a road that can take a turn in any direction at any time. You and your wife are grieving differently and you just want to protect her, my husband did the same. He wasn’t allowing himself to grieve though. I too wish that there would have been someone to walk me down that nightmare. Has your wife gotten on CHERUBS as well? That helped me out tremendously, talking to people who understand what you have gone through. Here if you guy ever need or want to talk (((hugs)))

  2. loretta lamb said

    Praying for you both. I enjoyed talking with Kelli on the phone the other day. I totally get the word picture you wrote and can only say that the abyss won’t be as great as it seems now after a while. Unfortunately it will still get worse before it gets better and just cry it out as you need to. Take time for yourself to do this and allow time together as well for it including Matthew. I’m glad to hear of you finding a grief program to participate in. Keep going, keep ranting, keep crying and cling to God. It’ll still hurt and you’ll continue to have ups and downs but not so much later on.

  3. Mary Campbell said


    You couldn’t have said how I feel any better. You aren’t alone on this road of grief not knowing where God is taking you. I too am on this road. It feels so very lonely and I completely understand. I pray that God will provide that hope and a future that He promises us in Jeremiah 27:11. Right now it is so hard to see and it feels so dark. I want the light. I want the hope and I want a future; but it feels unattainable right now. I love you Jeff and I am here for you even if I am a mess. I give you all I have.


    Your Mom

  4. rosa said

    i’m so sorry for the loss. Kelly farley has a website named grieving dad. He himself lost twice. Still babies. You and your wife are in my prayer.

  5. Tracy Meats said

    Jeff and Kelli, my heart goes out to you both during this difficult and painful time. I can’t imagine the pain and emotions you feel, for I have not been in your shoes and the journey you are on. I want you to know that I am here listening…I want to hear about Joshua and your memories of him. He will forever live within you and Kelli and I am here to listen if you want to talk about Joshua. I have come across so many different families over the past 6 years and so many of these precious children leave footprints on my heart. Joshua is such a precious angel and I will remember how bravely he fought when all odds were against him, he continued to amaze all who followed his journey.

    Praying for you both, for peace, comfort and strength during this time. Hold onto one another and may you find strength in one another. I am here reading and listening and want you to know, I will always love to hear about Joshua, a perfect child of God.

    Thinking of you and praying for your family,
    Tracy, Ian’s mom from CHERUBS

  6. Jackie said

    I’m glad you’re still updating; we keep reading. When we had our house fire I started getting panic attacks too. Talking to a therapist helped tremendously.
    We love you all so much, and pray for you all the time. This whole situation breaks my heart. If James and I can ever do anything to help please let us know. We don’t know our place in this, but we want to help. We can watch Matthew so you can have some quiet time together, or we could go on a double date hopefully to a place where there are actually customers and this time no guy hacking up a lung in the corner. Anyway, we love you all so much, and we miss Joshua too. We will love that sweet little darling forever. Thank you for bringing him into the world so that we could all meet him and love him. It was so wonderful to meet him and hold his teeny hands. We are thankful for the time we got with him too. Thank you for Joshua.

  7. Berta said

    I can’t imagine what your family is going though. I watched my father die of cancer as a teenager and that was very hard. But I could never imagine the pain of loosening a child. I will continue to read your blog and remember what a little fighter Joshua was. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I will continue to pray for you and your family. GOD BLESS YOU AND GIVE YOU STRENGTH.

  8. I feel in reading your post that you are taking words right out of my mouth. Owen has been gone over a week now and it just hurts and hurts and hurts. I feel for you and your family and I wish there was something anyone could do to make any of this better, but you know as well as I that it’s not possible. The only thing I can offer is an ear to listen if you need to talk because I am right there with you.

    Whittney Tomczyk
    Mommy to Owen 5/24/10-5/30/10

  9. Kristy said

    Haven’t heard from you in awhile. Just wanted to drop by and say hello. We think about often and hope you are all doing okay.
    Love and hugs!

  10. Kristy said

    Just stopping by to check on you guys! Still sending you love and hugs!

    Brian and Kristy

  11. Diane Kolb said

    You are still in my thoughts and prayers. Please know you will be for years to come. While your little angel may be gone to heaven, you are here and not forgotten.

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