Coming back.

I have been far from perfect over these last few years. I’ve been angry, bitter, and selfish. I have cursed God and life on Earth. I’ve struggled with mental distress again, and again. I’m human. I’m a mother missing one of her children. I’m a spouse that’s felt less than loved and appreciated. I’m a daughter who has failed to have the right words or wisdom when they were needed most. I’m an outsider who just never quite seems to fit in, no matter how hard I try.

Usually words come so easily to me, yet lately I’ve felt void of what to say. I feel as though I’ve been broken down and defeated. My heart is being pulled back, while the rest of me feels and sees so many reasons to smile. It’s as if the weight of the world sits on my shoulders at times. I’ve come to realize these last three years I haven’t been me. I’ve been mean, I’ve been ugly, depressed, and riddled with anxiety. Not anymore.

Starting today, I’m taking my life back. God speaks to us in the most random ways. We must simply listen. Today I felt the love of a boy who I haven’t seen or held in over two years. A ‘stranger’ from our second home away from home, reached out to me and reminded me that I am strong. She had no idea the impact her comment would have. I truly believe she found me under Gods will. I’ve been missing Tyler in a strange way lately and that was just what I needed to know he’s still around. I yearned to know he’s still thought of and loved. My answer came directly to me, with a notification and all.

I apologize to those I’ve wronged along the way. The people I’ve closed off and shut out. The friends I should have held in better contact with. I simply let the circumstances of life defeat me on a regular basis. This journey has taught me so much, it’s impossible to convey the depths of each emotion I go through day to day. I’m grateful for this life and for the wonderful blessings I’ve been awarded. I often worry that each day will be my last, so as I move forward, I plan to live as if it is. I want to soak in the sun, cherish the love that surrounds me, and give others hope. I want my daughter to know she is loved beyond measure and has changed my life in the best of ways.

As often as I’m told that “I’m strong”, I want to be able to feel it for myself. I want to stand up and acknowledge it. I want to give that strength to others when they’re feeling weak.

We all leave an imprint on this world, I hope mine is one of compassion. I never want to make another person feel less than exceptional. I want to help others find their way when they’re feeling lost or alone. I want to make a difference in the lives of others!

If you’ve ever felt broken down and defeated, know that I am here. I can listen, share, or give feedback. I’ve seen the depths of ‘ugly’ in this world through many forms and would love nothing more than to help you through your time of need.

Tyler, my son, is worth all of the stars in the sky. He has reminded me yet again, that this life is only temporary. What better way to spend my brief time here than by loving others. I’m following his lead, and his little push. I’m starting over as ME. The me I knew so long ago before the people and circumstances of this broken world brought me down. With God as my witness and T as my guide, I will not fail.

So, thank you. Thank you to those who have lifted me up, showed me unconditional love, and still speak his name. It’s an eye opener and so humbling to know Tyler is still working within you. Thank you to those who have pushed me down when what I needed was lifting up, to those who have walked away, and those who try to control my grief. Because of you, I found this strength and I’ve seen first hand exactly who I don’t want to become.

May new journeys, happiness, and self love be in my future!

A fragile heart.

Death. So final. So unexpected. So incredibly devastating.

Although death may not always seem unexpected, there’s never a way to truly prepare your heart for the ache that’s to come with the space left of a missing loved one.

I find myself struggling through oceans of grief at the most unexpected times. I yearn for the memories that I wasn’t able to make with my son. I would give the world to hold him in my arms just one more time and memorize every feature of his perfect little life. I would tell him with every breath left in me about how deeply my love runs for him.

It’s been months since I’ve written; and for reasons I can’t quite explain. I always knew my life would be different after having a child, just not in this way. Here I sit on the edge of such wonderful new changes in my life. We’re about to become parents for a second time, we just closed on our first home, deployment is coming to an end in the months ahead … and yet, I still face this monster “grief”. It morphs into guilt and tears, I have days it presents itself as strength and determination, quite frankly, the only thing that seems to be constant about it is the way it always seems to change.

August 9th used to hold no real value for me – it was just another day that would eventually lead into the next. Now I sit and wonder on this ‘insignificant day’ what Tyler would be doing. What mile stone he would be hitting aside from turning another month older. Would he be talking, walking, and becoming his own little man? It’s a constant reminder of what I no longer have, what could have been, and what I feel as though should have been.

I’m excited about the fact that our daughter will know him. She’ll be raised around his photographs, his things, and always hear the stories we hold in our hearts that we were lucky enough to experience during his short time on this Earth. Deep down inside me, I know that she’ll have the best guardian angel always on her side to help her through all of life’s battles. So why am I so sad?

I have these awful moments where I feel so distant from Tyler. It’s as if no matter how hard I try I keep being pushed farther and farther away from his memory. My other loss mommas say it’s normal, yet it feels so unnatural in every way. It’s on days like today that my heart seems to break all over again. The days I yearn to feel him in some way, the days I visit him at the cemetery and am left only looking at a patch of grass instead of into his deep blue eyes, the days I question all over again why this had to happen to us, to HIM.

I fight for CHD awareness in all the ways I know how. However, some days I feel like I’m a nuisance to those around me, and on others I feel like I just simply don’t do enough. There are times when I feel drawn to becoming a mentor for other mommas walking the path we took roughly 18 months ago, to help them get through the ‘hard part’ that never quite seems to end. The truth of the matter is I’m scared. I’m afraid I won’t help but will continue living in this nightmare day in and day out for the remainder of my time here. I’m afraid that by allowing my sad days to consume me I won’t be the mom Abby will need me to be, the wife Billy wants, and the person who is even remotely capable of helping others.

I thought the person I became after losing Tyler was this strong woman capable of accomplishing anything. Lately, I just feel worn down and tired. I want my boy back, I want to show him his little sister when they lay her in my arms, I want to hold my little family so close and never let go. I want so many things that I’ll never have.

19 months ago a little heart came into this word, one that was oh so fragile. It changed so much and left a huge impact on those who knew of it. Tyler’s heart. Tyler’s Will. Tyler’s Love. Those are all things I pray that one day my own fragile heart is able to find again. I want to shine for my little man and be the momma he wants and needs of me – not only for him, but for his baby sister and our family. Please be patient with me in the coming months as there will be times I just simply don’t know what to say, or I may not know how to act. I’m nervous, I’m scared, I’m excited, I’m anxious, and I’m worried all wrapped into one.

I’m keeping my heart and my mind focused on what our bubba would have wanted, and giving it my all to pull through each day with a smile, for him. Until we meet again my little love. We’re always missing you. XO.

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Sun Light.

Yesterday was one for the books. A tidal wave of grief, guilt and sadness washed over me as soon as the morning light came through my window. A year ago today Tyler had begun his journey into this world. Such a tiny little miracle that would forever change the way we look at this life.

I’ve recently learned that hiding myself away and cramming my emotions in, is probably about the worst way to honor my fallen child. I’m slowly learning to pick myself up and push forward with grace. I cannot fathom a life so miserable that I’m unable to enjoy it for him. My heart truly does ache with each breath I take from Tyler’s absence. However, I pray that one day God gives me the strength  to shout his name to world and not fear the tears that fall afterwards. I know that in time tears of happiness will come, and I’ll welcome them with open arms.

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I’m taking a big step and seeking help from a counselor tomorrow. I’m in hopes that using my writing as an outlet as well as talking to another individual face to face will aid in the healing process. I find myself searching for the light of the day now or a simple  smile from a stranger as they pass by me – the little things. This world can be so cruel and unforgiving, but if we look deep enough there’s always something worth smiling for, no matter how much pain we’re currently facing. A new season of life begins after such a loss, one that feels impossible. Have faith – you can do it, I can do it, WE can do it!

It takes a strong person to find hope when life seems so dark, but you were chosen to face this struggle for a reason. God gave you a gift, a gift so precious that only the few of us that have experienced it can know its real reward. We as grief parents know what true love and deep loss feel like all bundled into one.

Mommy is always missing you, Tyler Matthew. You entered into this world a little fighter and blessed us with a lifetime of memories during your short time here. Now its our turn to fight for you, my little love. Rest easy knowing mommy and daddy are spreading your legacy all over this world and will hold you again one day in the not so distant future.