At a Loss... FreeWritin'.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Just got back from Tucson, AZ. A whirlwind 36-hour trip that happened so suddenly... Such a terrible reason... Such an awful last week or two, actually...
I went to Arizona because when I got the call that my sweet cousin Jami had lost her husband after fighting for weeks to get him well again, I just knew I had to be there. I had to try to show my pain and love and support in SOME way... though my small presence is nothing in the depths of her grief and overwhelming fear right now. Even so, I just.... needed to get there. Crying so hard I made myself sick... hurting so hard for this little family who never in a million years anticipated this future. Oh, Jami. Oh, Kason. I wish..... I wish.... I wish so many things.

I am at a loss. For a lot of things these days. I am at a loss to know how to help a person going through what Jami is going through. I ache to "fix" something, ANYTHING, to ease her pain. Which is, of course, impossible.

I am at a loss for words. For Jami. For her family. For people who ask me about it.

And... I am acutely feeling LOSS in general. It's been a terribly frightening, uncomfortable month altogether. I'm.... still reeling. I know I've been cryptic, and alluded to fear a lot recently... And also said I'd explain eventually. I guess this is as good a time as any. Last Thursday, I was eight weeks pregnant. Last Friday, I was not. Still a fresh wound, and discovered only two days after the terrible shock of Kam's death.

I have to say, though... if there ever is a GOOD time for something like losing an early pregnancy, this would be it-- losing something so small in the face of something so BIG-- it lends a deep, rich, poignant perspective. Truly, I am sad for myself. I am. But. What I have lost is NOTHING like what sweet Jami has lost. What her sweet son has lost. And in the face of my own small faith in eternity, I am forced to see and to understand PERSPECTIVE. That I have my burdens to bear, but in comparison to many people, those who are sick and those who are oppressed and those who are alone and those who are suffering-- in comparison to those, my burdens are but a small load. And I am truly blessed with the life I have.

Still, I am at a loss. Experiencing loss, trying to understand loss... I am at a loss. And I am so far off center. I am not myself these days, and I miss me. I guess... well, I AM me... still. I feel like me. I just don't feel like doing the mundane nonsense and routine I've been doing so much lately. I don't feel like the foggy half-living is doing it for me. I feel, these days, more like: skipping laundry AGAIN and playing with Noah. Taking time off of work and being kind to ME. Reading rich, deep, good books. Listening to quiet, insightful music. Praying. A lot. Walking outside. Hugging Joe for longer. Criticizing less. WASTING TIME ON FACEBOOK LESS. Working less.

Altogether not bad things.... All good things... And all in the name of healing my heart and my spirit. Trying to peel away the useless, the waste, the fog, and get to what really matters again. And yet, even with that sounding so marvelous and ideal, I must confess, I am not really totally succeeding there either... Because, for now still, at least, I am still kind of bummed. And some pockets of the day I just want to do NOTHING-- not the old patterns, not the new patterns... just NOTHING but get through that pocket, that mood. So.... I continue to be gentle with myself. Tell myself I can allow some healing a bit longer.

And... it's been such a strange circle of affirmation, despair, hope, loss, shut-down, connection, goals, understanding, discouragement, courage, and sorrow... all cycling over and over through me and around me with my own loss, with Jami's loss, with the unexpected gifts coming out of this time-- the friends and the notes and the laughter in strange places and the human contact-- the hugs and hands and love...Just strange. And terrible. And wonderful.

And I hope.... I hope it refines me into a better ME, eventually. I hope this is a time meant to help mold me, to change me, to remind me of TRUTH, and the beauty of the gospel. I hope I stay awake at least a little after these upsets. The awareness that life is precious, that people are with us only for a while... that we need to follow through on the promptings and impulses we feel... That we need to give and give and give some more, if we can... The awareness that I AM NOT IN CONTROL HERE.... and I need to have faith.

I'm.... tired. I should get to bed. (Yikes... just looked at the time. Oops.) I just needed to.... write a bit. End the weekend with some pondering. And... to release some of this deep, strange emotion.

If you get a minute, will you go visit Jami's blog? Will you tell her I sent you and that you are thinking of her? She needs... prayers. She needs... any strength that can be sent her way. I wish I lived right next door to her. I wish I could help. Somehow. Singing at the funeral is a minuscule gift to give, and I am left knowing it was not enough.

I am left with so many images from the weekend with them that haunt me... and yet, I am also left with awe at Jami's strength and faith in the face of a future that is nothing short of terrifying.

And with that, my heart hurting again, I'm going to go.... But I want to leave a few photographs of Jami's family, from last summer. From a happy time. Images I hope will be a comfort to Kason when he is older... When he tries to remember his dad's incredible smile.

Thanks for letting me freewrite a bit.... I'm off to bed.


A note: If you want to help, please send email donations for Jami and Kason (through PayPal) to Donate by clicking below.


  1. Oh Emily, I don't feel I should even attempt to put words with what I am feeling for you and Jami. No words sound right, for either of your losses. Both are big, life changing, and completely unfair.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you both. I am so sorry.

  2. Em--
    I've been thinking and praying of you and for you. I hope this helps the healing process for you.


  3. Emily--I spent last night crying and didn't think I had tears left until I came here! A little perspective on my little problems. This life is so much bigger than us sometimes. Thinking of you often--

  4. Hey sis- just your bro checking in, in case you or Joe need some extra support. Heck- I'll drink a pot of coffee and drive to STL after work if you need a babysitter (I won't tell Tamara- she'd worry that I'd fall THAT'S ever happened). I know you know we're here for you, loving you and missing you and wishing we/you were closer. But here's a reminder anyway.

    Love ya!

  5. :) Beth8:48 AM

    There is nothing like starting Monday morning off with coffee, few tears and a hefty dose of PERSPECTIVE.

    I am right there with you on the re-evaluation of the stuff that life is made of, though no earthquake brought me there like the losses you and Jami have suffered.

    I promise I will go give her a 'hug'. I hope you already know my heart is wrapped around you in a big one.

  6. Emily,
    I can't even begin to imagine what either your or Jami are going through but please know that you are both in my thoughts and prayers. And know that it is ok to grieve, don't push yourself to get back 'to normal'. It will come...again I am praying for both families

  7. While the perspective is nice--valuing life more, enjoying the little moments--my heart aches for your ache to get that perspective. Wishing you a joyful September as you put this painful August to bed.

  8. Emily -- you have such a way with words...I wish that you didn't have to use them to describe situations like these...

  9. I am so sorry for you and for Jami. My thoughts and prayers are with both of you.

  10. I'm sending much love to you Emily. A loss is great no matter what the time...and I hope you can find a place to grieve for yourself as much as for Jami.

    My thoughts go to Jami and her family. I will let her know of my love and support.

    Peace be with you.

  11. Awww Emily! Im so sorry for you and Jami. You guys put life and its little troubles into perspective big time! Call me if you need anything or just want to talk. Lets go play this week ok?! Prayers for you and Jami :)


  12. Emily, You are dear to my heart, and my heart is aching for you now. In times of need I find myself going back to this scripture. "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18 I hope His words can bring comfort to your soul.

    You, Jami, and your families are in my thoughts and prayers.

  13. I'm still here, thinking about you, wishing I could reach out and wrap you in comforting arms, knowing that you will emerge stronger because of this and wishing you didn't have to go through such pain to have to become stronger. I am here for you, whenever (if you need a 3:00 a.m. talk in the morning, I'm there, albeit a bit groggy :) Love you. I will tell Jami how much I ache for her, too and that I will keep her as close as I can from across the country. May the Lord bless you and keep you in the arms of His love.

  14. Wow Emily. This is so much to handle at once. I'm so sorry for both of your losses and I hope that you find some peace and comfort in little things each day.

  15. Today the clouds were so thick, you couldn't even sea the ocean. I know its there, but its so discouraging not to be able to see it when you usually can. Later on, the clouds will burn up, the sun will shine through, and it will be incredible to see the coast again. Your clouds will burn soon, your sunshine is trying to peak through, life will resume its incredible beauty soon after. Thoughts and prayers for you and your cousin and family.

  16. Emily, I am so sorry. At times I think of what it would be like or what I would do if something happened to my husband or a child (even those unborn). The grief would be overwhelming. I am so very sorry for your and your cousin's loss. God bless.

  17. Em, you will be in my prayers.
    God put you on my heart the other day (I posted on your FB page) before I knew any of this.....but He did...that is pretty amazing to me. I will lift you up my friend!

  18. Oh Emily! I am so sorry. I know that words don't do justice to what you, or Jami are going through.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  19. Anonymous6:59 PM

    So, so sorry to hear of your cousin's tragic loss, as well as your own, Emily. Continue to let yourself mourn and grieve and heal. Your tender heart is so evident in your writing. Blessings to you and Joe. Linda

  20. Em, I'm so sorry for your loss. I'm over here in tears for your's and Jami's pain. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Lots of love to you.

  21. Stephanie R11:02 PM

    I followed you to your blog from BC (your son and my son were in the same birth club). I'm usually a lurker and always enjoy your insight and beautiful pictures. I am very sorry for your cousin's family loss. I'm sorry for your loss too as someone who recently had a miscarriage. Picking up the pieces is just so hard but necessary for the living. Prayers to you and your family.

  22. Im sorry for all your losses. I m/c last July just 4 days after finding out I was expecting. But its odd how life works itself out, a year to the day my daughter Violet was born.

  23. Emily - simply, you have my heart. I wish I could just hop on a plane and take you for a long walk and then draw you an amazing bubble bath. Then I would tuck you into bed with Joe and Noah, turn on the Sound of Music, and serenade you with my best out-of-tune rendition of "My Favorite Things" at the top of my lungs.

  24. Oh Emily- I just found your blog off of Aunt Vicki's.

    I am so very sorry. Sorry for your cousin's loss, so sorry for your miscarriage. All flesh really is in God's hands, but that doesn't make it easy. Let yourself go through the emotions and have what time you need to treasure the long hugs and playing with Noah. I know at my mom's funeral and Cory's girlfriend's funeral, I was just filled with this sense of "Have no regrets, it does end one day."

    I have gone through a lot of fear since becoming a mother of losing my children prematurely- I think daily it haunted me. Then I heard that quote (yes, from "Kung Fu Panda"- oh rich source of wisdom,right?!) "Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift- that's why we call it the present" I have that printed above my kitchen now and try to remember whatever tomorrow has, the richness of today and to enjoy it while the day is long.

    Don't worry about the dishes, etc. for a while... As Christ said to Martha "only one this needful and Mary hath chosen that better part" There will be time for it again later.

    Love you and so sorry.

  25. If I were there I would be giving you a gentle hug and telling you that I love you.

    I thought that you sounded a little off on Sunday. I'm sorry I didn't try to cheer you up or anything.

    I wish I could just drop classes for the week and just come over and talk with you because we never really get to do that.

    Just know that I am thinking of you and praying for you.

  26. I just want you to know that I LOVE YOU so very much!!!!!!! XOXOXO

  27. Lindsey12:40 PM

    I am so sorry for your losses. Be easy on yourself as you grieve and heal.

  28. Emily, I am so sorry for your loss. One thing that I have learned is that yes, there is always someone in the world who has it worse than you do. There are people trapped in civil wars and babies born and abandoned who have AIDS, but that does not change the fact that hard things are hard. It does not change the fact that losing a baby or a person you love or even just having a stressful day is hard and personal and real. Allow yourself to just do nothing for awhile if you need to. There is always another day to catch up on work and people can wait for there pictures a little longer. And as for the laundry, I'd be happy to fold it for you! Take care of yourself and allow yourself to feel the pain that is yours, because losing a baby must be heartbreaking, and if you don't take the time to heal and to take care of yourself then you won't be able to be the happy, bubbly Emily that Joe, Noah, and YOU all deserve. Let me know how I can help. I understand loss and I understand serious depression more than you might expect. I would love to support you in any way, even if that just means babysitting or bringing you dinner so that you can edit photos or play with Noah or just sit on the couch for the time that it would have taken you to prepare it. I mean it. Call me.


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