How has it possibly been 49 days? Oh how my heart aches when I think about 49 days without Tatum here with us. We are trying so hard to make her proud and do the things that we should be doing. It is just so hard. Our family never felt quite complete in my heart without Trevin, but it wasn't as apparent to the kids as it was to Lance and I. Now we are two people less in our family and it just feels horrible. When Tatum arrived in our family, even though it was overwhelming for me to take care of 6 kids, it felt right. Now I just always feel like we are not complete. When we count for something I always have to think about it. That sounds so dumb, but I think my brain is just not computing. I still can't believe that she is gone. It still seems a little surreal. I miss having a baby. I don't know how to feel now that is over forever. Sometimes I think that I want another baby, but I don't I just want Tatum. I want her, just the way she was. I want to take care of her and have her huge spirit here. I want to not cry every day. I want it to not hurt to breathe.
The other day when we were driving up to City Creek I was telling Halea that I really don't want to go anywhere that people don't know what happened. I don't want to meet new people. It is just too hard right now. We have had several new families move into our neighborhood and I just don't want to have to go through the process of explaining what has happened to our family. (not that our situation is the hardest thing to explain) It would just be easy to say that we have 5 kids, but we don't. We have 7 kids. While we were talking, Halea said that she was dreading going back to school. Tatum died the day after school got out, so a lot of people that she doesn't keep in contact with but are still friends won't know what has happened. She will also be meeting new people in each of her classes. She said she was not looking forward to the age old question "What did you do this summer?" Well, I played the piano at my baby sisters funeral, what did you do? Oh wow. I hadn't really thought about these situations for the kids. Darn it. Guess we will have to have a Family night on how to address these awkward situations.
I had my group meeting at the hospital last night. Once a month I hold a meeting that is for parents that have lost babies. Sounds fun, right? I think that over the years it has been a great thing for parents, myself included. We have had lots of people connect outside of the group and become quite good friends. I have also been able to get to know some of the parents that I meet, in such horrible circumstances, a little better and in a more personal way. I actually really enjoy it. Enjoy might not be the right word, but you know what I mean. I just like to see people progress beyond the tragedy. I like to see families continue to grow and add healthy babies to their families. It is very rewarding (not that I have anything to do with it) . Last night we talked about a few things that we talk about a lot, but last night they really struck a chord with me. Most people that experience a loss have to deal with feelings of anger. I have always said that when Trevin died I really did not feel anger. I was soooo sad that he was not going to grow up with the rest of our kids, I was sad that the picture of our family would never look the way it should. But I can honestly say I never felt angry towards God. Last night we got on the subject of anger and someone talked about the anger in a way that I felt like I really needed to interject. Someone said something to the effect that "God had done this to them". I said that the God I love and I know loves me did not do this to me. I feel like any anger that we might feel during this time is normal, but that it needs to be put in the right place and expressed in a healthy way. I know that these hard things in our life are all part of our plan for learning and progressing, not a punishment or a mistake or an oversight from our Heavenly Father. I hope that I did not offend anyone, because I truly get it. I just felt like we need to be careful.
The other topic that struck me was healing. One of the parents said that he really felt like time had really helped him and his wife heal their hearts. Then he started saying that he felt like over the years they were able to see purpose in their son's life and how it had changed them for the better. As we talked through these comments we decided that really finding purpose in our babies lives and the trial of losing them is how we begin to heal. The sooner we find this meaning, the sooner we can begin to heal. I have been very fortunate with both of our kids that I understood quickly that there was purpose in their lives, way beyond what I could ever comprehend. I know that this does not come easy for everyone. Another tender mercy from our Heavenly Father. Not that either of these understandings makes the hurt any less. That is the real bummer. I wish that knowing these things could magically make it OK. Obviously it does not. I am a mother who wants my daughter (and son) here with me. I see one year olds constantly and it breaks my heart to see what we are missing. I long every day for Tatum and probably will for the rest of my life. The knowledge that I have been blessed with makes it bearable. I am grateful for that grace.
In the past few days a couple of my friends have shared experiences that they have had with their kids and the impact that Tatum has had on them. I am so grateful for those stories. I am thankful for my sweet friends that have taken the time to help their kids understand and incorporate the lessons that Tatum taught into their daily lives. It keeps her memory and purpose alive. It makes my heart feel happy.
Can I just say thank goodness we have Hilary. I knew that she would be the light that we would need to get us through this time. She is your typical grumpy, bossy three year old. Her personality is so strong and she keeps us laughing every day. No matter how hard Lance has tried to cure her of her "sink" baths, she still just loves them. She loves to just be with us while she is taking a bath. Every once in awhile we can talk her into taking a regular bath, but most times it is in the kitchen sink. I have always done the kids baths in the kitchen sink when they were little, but once they could sit up we would have them move to the big bath with their older sibling. Since Hilary has been alone it has just been more convenient to have her down here so I can do whatever I need to while also giving her a bath. Multi tasking at its best.