21 February, 2010

conversations.

Raleigh (6):

Mom, sometimes when I see pictures of the baby, I feel like I can't breathe.

Then we snuggle until we find something to giggle about.

_______________________________________

Raleigh:

Mom, are you going to have more babies?

Me:

Raleigh, I don't know.
What do you think?

Raleigh:

No.

Me:

OK. Why not?

Raleigh:

You know. . . because.

Me:

Raleigh, are you afraid if we have another baby
it might die too?

Raleigh:

silence.

Big huge snuggly hugs for WAY longer than average,
while amazingly comforting things
(that I do not think up on my own-they come from heaven)
come pouring out of my mouth.

Until the conversation
ends in smiles and a happy,
confident, faithful son.

.. .with knowing eyes and a spirit that's far beyond his years.


_______________________________

Cardon (4):

Daddy, when our baby died, did he disappear?

I snuggle him as tightly as possible,
and kiss his sweet head.
________________________________

Lincoln (3):

Mom! It's good our baby died,
because now we get to go to the beach all the time!

I laugh, heartily, with a lump in my throat.

_________________________________

Lincoln (3):

Crawls into bed with me in the wee hours of the morning
(they all do this almost every night: NEVER did before)

Mommy, I am sad baby Gavin died.

I'm INCREDIBLY relieved to see him opening up.


________________________________

in bed late at night
when Richie appears to be sleeping.

Me:

Richie?

Richie:

hmmmm.

Me:

Remember how our baby died?

Richie:

Yeah.

(pause)

That sucked.

Me:

That sucked.

Then of course, we giggle.
Because sometimes that feels more therapeutic than tears.

___________________________

all in all,
I'm learning, with complete confidence,
that our ability to cope with this kind of sorrow. . .
is a directly connected to our level of reliance on God.

He absolutely DOES guide our paths.

one foot in front of the other.

one moment at a time.

Thank you for continuing to think of us.

we love you.

67 comments:

Ashley Madsen said...

So sweet.
Love and prayers to you and your sweet family

sevenalstons said...

Big hug and lots of prayers from upstate New York.

smf said...

More hugs and love coming right at you guys from Australia! Thanks for sharing your Journey Natalie!

Sarah xx

jess said...

Love and prayers to your beautiful family.

Lainey said...

I can't tell you enough how much your journey and your faith have moved and inspired me. As always, thanks so much for sharing and being so honest.

Love 'n Light said...

Natalie, this post is so touching!

I cannot possibly imagine what you and your family are going through but I can tell you that, your faith,(through what must be the toughest time in your life)is an inspiration to us all!

I love that you can giggle, you honour your baby's memory and show your faith in doing so.

To have such strong faith at a time a like this, that is a gift!!!

Keeping you in my prayers.
LL Nat

Lipscomb Family said...

I can totally understand your perspective on grief. Thursday is the one year that my dad passed away from pancreatic cancer and the day that he passed we were able to cry and laugh together. I am praying for you and your family through this first year of grief. It is a roller coaster for sure.

steph said...

I had to laugh about your bedtime conversation with your husband. That is EXACTLY what we do also. It always starts with 'hey remember when that happened' and always end with 'yeah, that sucked!'. Such sweet sharing with your kids. And I love that by just reading your blog I can put down 'my stuff' for awhile and go be with my kids for just a little longer. Thanks!

Laura said...

This post made me sad but hopeful and happy at the same time. Your family remains in my prayers, and will for the long haul. Your faith and your spirit continue to inspire and astound me.

God bless you all.

Kristine from Canada said...

My 3 boys were older than yours(teenagers) when we lost our baby girl, who would have thought it would have affected them so much but how they became boys who needed thier Mama through that journey a journey that is still ours :( 5 years later
Sending you strength and Hugs

Anonymous said...

Thank you for still sharing your story. It is a long road and your open feelings help us all to be grateful and to learn from someone like you that has such strong faith. Thank you!

{live.a.life.of.love} said...

thank you for being brave enough to continue to share your story. to share how God is carrying you & your family through the sorrow.

oneshotbeyond said...

You have a beautiful way of coping Natalie!

Allison said...

This is such an incredible insight to everyday life when dealing with loss- you guys are doing it as wonderful as possible. Prayers of comfort, faith, and peace continuing your way from our family to yours. Thank you for sharing. You have a special gift of sharing these types of things in simple but powerful words.

Ma.Ria said...

lovely way to display how you are getting through this...day by day :) our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Stirlingdesigns said...

The honesty of children! Its just so hard for kid under 5 to process this - but it sounds like you have a handle on it. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Lydia said...

I'm glad you're talking about it. That's the best way to handle it. It's been almost 2 years and my girls ask me the same questions and say the same things. It's not as painful now as it was then. The baby is never forgotten and may very well be all of our children's favorite sibling. You have to look for some way to laugh. And, btw, I love it when my mouth is fill with those comforting words that even I don't have the strength to think of, but my children need to hear. *hugs* You're hanging in there, and that's all we can do sometimes. Gordon B. Hinckley said, "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

Rae said...

Your faith is contagious, and so is your determination to make this life happy. Love this post; loving the strength of your kids.

merideth said...

wow amazing little boys you have. i am so glad that God gives you comfort.

Jenny Bracken said...

So glad they are opening up and telling you how they feel. Still sending prayers......

Damaris said...

so glad your boys have safe space to open up and so very thankful that you have the gospel in your life to guide them (and you and Richie and us)

Ams said...

The innocence of children just amazes me, especially in times of grief and sorrow.
Always thinking of you...

a mermaid said...

tears tears tears for you on this monday morning- but utter confidence in you too! such astrange feeling i have rarely, if ever, felt. the Lord trusts you so much. we all do too. thanks for letting us in.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how you can love someone you have never met! I totally love you and pray for you daily!

Asli Tur said...

for some reason I think I might think of you and your sweet family for the rest of my life - if not everyday, definitely every other day.
while I struggle to find my own self and resolve my own issues in this life, I will always be guided by your strength and your incredible belief in the system. oh, and your motherhood. cause some days I suck at it :)

best
Asli

Amanda said...

I've told so many people that my most common line after my son passed away was, "It just sucks!" So I'm with ya! Hope you're doing ok considering.

shelly said...

Oddly, these same kinds of conversations go floating around in my head, daily. I love you so much, Richie, Natalie, Raleigh, Cardon, and Lincoln!

shari berry bo-berry said...

natalie, i have learned so much from you...thank you for sharing your experiences with us... and i can just see your sweet boys being comforted by their strong mama and wonderful papa... don't give up!

Heather said...

This post was so touching. I'll continue to pray for your whole family!

Eliza said...

*sigh* {hugs}
you are an amazing family team :)

Neal & Wendy said...

I can't help but wonder what kind of girl you were before your loss. Were you amazingly faithful then?

I live in fear of my trials. I ask myself every single day if I am capable of relying on my faith, like you have. So I ask, have you always been this way?

I am so touched at what a good mommy you are. I'm so happy you keep yourself emotionally available for your other boys, when it seems it'd be so easy to curl up into your own thoughts, and neglect the world. I'm happy you're being able to be so...solid. You're a solid lady.

Camille said...

You amaze me with every post! I always think what I would do if "that were me". And, I can't think of even functioning, yet your insight reminds me that you HAVE to! You have other children and a husband that are dealing with the same tragedy at their own levels and I would guess they're depending on you for answers and comfort! What a good mom you are!
I know you will be compensated for this loss! My prayers are still with you and your sweet little family!

Summer's World said...

That DID suck.

PamE said...

I soooOOooo admire your openess to all your feelings and that of your families. Realizing this is therapy for you, but it is also a learning experience for everyone else...thank you for being who you are and showing those who are listening how it is possible to work toward healing with such a tragic, and personally sorrowful event.

Through faith and prayer and only HIS strength, you will persevere.

Know you are helping many people,,,, going through this now and those who will go through it.

Quinn said...

Amen! Sometimes the giggling is more therapuetic. God is good, thinking of you always

Bri!!! said...

I'm sitting here crying my eyes out. Such a sweet post.

Holly | Reed Photographic said...

Children are such an amazing blessing in the best of times, but also the worst. If allowed, they'll ensure no one ever has to suffer in silence.

kimsueellen said...

Love your little nuggets. Love that you and Richie are like Flavio and I...there is comfort in laughing through the tears.

Also...I had a dream about you last night...it was rad. xoxo

Natalie. said...

Kim,

Was I skinny? That's what I dream about. :)

Larry Reeves said...

When a child dies, we don't ever forget. We learn to live with and around that experience, while learning and gaining faith from it. we never "move on" but hopefully we move up. I love you guys and I love your boys...such an awesome and inspiring family. Thanks for sharing, Natalie. And Richie...you're still one of my favorite people ever. Tears and laughter over here.

Hannah + Dale said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one. My 3 year old daughter NEVER slept in bed with us and now she snuggles in every night. It is a comfort.

Yes, God is our foundation and he doesn't change. WE must rest on all the knowledge we know of Him during these times.

Feeling your pain,

Fran said...

Natalie, I still think about and pray for ya'll daily. As always love and hugs from NC. Fran

They call me Mel said...

I have a lump in my throat reading your blog. You share so much of yourself and your family and I wish I could do the same myself. It's raw and it's real.
I cry for your loss but celebrate your family's victories.
Thank you for sharing and I'm sure you realize that there are many that think of you often. Moving on...maybe not so swiftly but moving forward is a must. You do this with grace.

Anonymous said...

Love and hugs to you and your family, Natalie! Thinking of you all each and every day...

Hil said...

so touching and beautifully put. my heart hurts for each and every one of you. prayers for you and your family always.

my husband and i have had similar conversations late at night.

it totally sucks.

Anonymous said...

So I have to tell you about my hali'a (3). My cousin died in November (same age as me and lived with my little family for a while) and hali'a talks about him every day still. Sometimes it is cute like - mom, when I die will they plant me like they palnted uncle Chad? Or sad things like- mom, do you remember when Chad lived with us because I don't. Today is the one I want to tell you though. She was drawing and all the sudden she looked up and said, mom, Jesus is so nice because he is going to come again soon and then we get to see uncle Chad again!
Xoxo Ginger

kristenkalani said...

Thank you for sharing your sorrow and story. I hope it helps you and your family heal.
PS: I found your blog through an old hs friend, Natalie Kingston

Brady and Rachel said...

Nat, you echo my favorite scripture through the way you live your life and share what you feel: Proverbs 3: 5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." Thank you for all that you share, and your honesty. Raleigh is one INCREDIBLE little man. I can't help but wish so much that somehow he didn't have to deal with as much loss as he has had to deal with at such a young age these past few years. But I know God knows Raleigh and what an amazing boy he is and what he can handle and that he was meant to be in your family. I have no doubt you know WAY more than I do, just how special and incredible your sweet boy is. You guys seem to have such a special bond and I know that is a blessing to you all. Thank you again for sharing all that you do. You are inspiring. Prayers still coming your way.each.day.

Megan and Keli'i said...

I write it every time, but you're amazing.

The Mom said...

Natalie: Did you see the USA Weekend insert in the Advertiser last Sunday? It had a whole page about reminding people to be re-vaccinated for Pertussis.

Still praying for you all.

Whitney Elizabeth said...

i love this.

liko said...

love these words. thank you for sharing.

Monica said...

I can't express in words how this did tug at my heart...wow! I have two little boys and it makes me cry of the thought of losing one another. They are just small, but I feel they are already close like your boys are. I bet you are SO proud of those AMAZING little boys. Seriously little boys are the best!!!!!!

I continue to pray for your sweet family...

Tracy said...

Here I am once again with a lump in my throat. Hugs and sweet thoughts for you and your family!

I just had to let you know about an article I just read in the USA Weekend Feb 19-21 edition (it comes in our Sunday paper). The article is titled "Protect your baby from whooping cough. Parents and caregivers: Get vaccinated yourself." by Liz Szabo. The article talks about how babies, especially those 8 weeks or younger because they have not yet had their vaccines, are vulnerable to this potentially deadly infection. It talks about why parents, caregivers, siblings, and grandparents should get the booster and how it wears off after about 10 years. The article isn't super long, but I immediately thought of you and how you would be grateful to see it in print. Hopefully this will prompt a few more parents and caregivers to get a booster vaccine!

ashley said...

Nat, you make me want to be a better person. Thats why I love you. :) Ha ha maybe we should get married.

Wilma said...

My 4 year old daughter was almost 3 when my mother died. She knew we were sad, but didn't feel it with us just yet.

Now (1.5 years later) she gets it. She misses Oma and wishes we could still visit her (4000 miles away). She has begun to worry about me dying too, and therefore does not want to grow up.

I tell her she'll be sad when that happens, but everything will be okay.

I guess all kids grow and grieve and re-grieve as their understanding of life deepens.

Wishing you and yours much strength and comfort as your journeys continue.

cristina thornburg photography said...

I love this post. You are blessed to be a great Mommy. I'm sorry for the pain and thankful that God makes all things new and for the hope that we can have in Him. xoxo cristina

Cynthia W. said...

thank you for sharing.
a tear and a laugh do go along way.

amen to that :)

threeboogers said...

You are amazing! You are a pillar. I'm sure you know it, but want to tell you again. It can't hurt right??
Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your thoughts, your emotions and making me grab a tissue, yet, once more!
Prayers continuing for your strength and your sweet family.
They seem all so sweet!

napangel said...

Thank you so much for sharing these personal stories. I am so happy to see that your boys are talking about it. (And isn't amazing how giggles and laughter help release the pain?)

Olmos4 said...

You don't know me,but your story has touched me to the core! I went to school with Gavin. What a happy spirit he always was! I have a baby girl, born just the day after your Gavin. She was born with pneumonia and a heart murmur and spent her first 8 days in the NICU. Those where the hardest days I've ever had to endure. I cannot begin to imagine the trial you faced with not being able to bring your baby home! My heart aches for you but your testimony and strength inspire me! You are amazing and are obviously a light to all those who you come in contact with! Thank you for sharing your story and your testimony-you have inspired me to be better! I don't even know you, but I love you.
Amy (Nield) Olmos

A friend of mine recently lost a baby at 23 weeks. This was printed on her funeral program (obviously changed to fit your Gavin).

"I have a special spirit,"
I heard the Savior say.
He needs to come to earth now
But He doesn't need to stay.

He needs two loving parents
With a testimony strong
To give Him a small body
So He can move along.

This valiant little spirit
Proved Himself here up above,
But He needs two earthly parents
With unconditional love.

I've chosen you, my children,
To be partners in my plan
And when you send Him back to me
I hope you'll understand.

You'll have to make a sacrifice
That will cause you grief and pain,
To help this precious spirit
His salvation to attain.

I've felt the pain and sacrifice,
For I gave my life for you.
I atoned for all your worldly sins
That was also hard to do.

I know this is a lot to ask,
Of those as young as you,
But with this comes a miracle
To prove my love is true.

When your earthly life is finished
And you've grown through grief and pain,
Sweet Gavin and I will greet you
To begin your celestial reign.

Your family will be eternal
Here blessed within my sight,
Because you love each other
And you've tried to do what's right.
Anonymous

Pati @ A Crafty Escape said...

You are a wonderful mother... they are ALL so lucky to have you. Thank you for sharing your journey with us and please know that we are praying for you and your family.

Kristen said...

Please keep sharing. =o)

Kimberley Cheyne Photography said...

Hi Natalie, I just came across your blog...all the way from little New Zealand!
I am so deeply touched by your honest reflection and personal words. What an inspiration you are to sooo many people...please know you are impacting many lives through your life story. I am so sorry you are going through such a saddening time in your life, but so touched by your response to it all. I have just been to the funeral of a 3 month old boy, and both at that funeral and reading your blog now, I am so in awe of the faith and trust in God that becomes stronger through such tragedies. I love this post with the comments by your other gorgeous boys! What an amazing gift God gave you, even if only for 10 weeks...God is using this story to impact many lives.
On another note...incredible photography! You are amazingly talented and I love your work!
God bless you heaps and heaps,
Kimberley

Jessica said...

I love your sweet family that I don't know. Thoughts and prayers.

Misty said...

Hannah grieved more as an adult, she was 8 when Isaac died.

Ian was 6 when Isaac died. He told me he would pray every night for the baby to come home.

And Olivia... my little Olivia was 3. She used to ask me why Jesus killed Isaac. That was a tough one.

What a long year.......

Katie said...

On Natalie-My heart just breaks for you and Richie (and your little ones of course). I went to BYUH with you guys and just learned of your great loss. My baby was born just a few weeks after Gavin and I can't even fathum the pain and grief you must feel on an every day basis. I've been sitting here reading every post while my eyes continue to well up. You and Richie are amazing examples and so strong. Thank goodness for the gospel, thank goodness for your sweet, tender testimonies. Hang in there and keep writing about it. Your words are so inspiring.
-Katie