Monday, December 8, 2008

Is This Really Happening?

Tonight I can't sleep. As I laid in bed, tears streaming down my face, my body seemed so numb. Numb to the idea that this is all really me! Sometimes as I replay the events of the past 5 months over and over in my head, I have a hard time believing that they really happened. The shocking news that our son's heart had stopped beating, a birth, a death, a funeral, unbearable heartbreak, shattered dreams, unfulfilled visions, an empty nursery, a constant aching soul...all of this is mine.
I try so hard to keep the numbness from consuming me. It makes me feel forgotten, robbed, and left behind. It clouds my vision and takes hold of my heart.
I never wanted to accept that even though I've always tried my hardest to do what's right, that life would still be incredibly hard sometimes. I always knew there would be stumbling blocks and rolling hills to cross, but I never imagined the steep cliffs I would fall down and have to climb back up. I never heard a talk in church that explained that my family might look different from every one else, come in different timing than most, or come only to be taken away. I never had a young women lesson that impressed upon me the need to prepare for future heartaches, or a Sunday school lesson that helped me feel that infertility is real and that it doesn't mean somethings wrong with me.
I did hear a lot about preparing to be a homemaker and the importance of trying to be a stay at home mom. I heard over and over again about my divine destiny and nature as a women to be a mother. I always perceived that this role, this gift would be mine...mine to acquire with ease.
So, it's been my "mind game" over the past few months to sort all of this out in my head...and I guess I'm still working it out. I realize that the lessons probably did teach me those things, I just didn't "hear" them. I just wish, that someone would have sat me down and said "Ya know Natalie, even though you may do all in your power to do what's asked of you, life will be very hard! Even though you want to be a mom more than anything in the world, you might not get that when or how you have dreamed." But then again, maybe I'm glad they didn't...I don't know.
My heart and my mind wrestle between what I feel and what I know. It truly is a double edged sword right now. One edge is so sharp and painful. On this edge I question and doubt, fear and tremble, weep and feel paralyzed. This edge is Mortal agony and disbelief.
In contrast, the other edge is full of new insights and light. The things it's taught are beautiful. It's patient and full of perspective. It's eternal joy and unwavering love.
I guess tonight I'm praying that one day the mortal edge of the sword won't be so sharp. Tonight I am trying to grasp that this is happening and that although it was never part of the plan I had pictured for myself, it is part of His plan for me. I am loving that I am a mother...a mother to an angel. And although it's not what I've always pictured, it's more than I've ever deserved.


The Hammonds said...

Do not ever forget what you said at the end... YOU ARE A MOTHER. I know that this time has to be hard, all the "first" that you were planning to do for this time. However you are doing many first for Branson and I am sure he gets to glimps at them from the arms of Jesus. Just think of Jesus holding him looking down at you and Rob the way Rob was showing Peyton the tree the other night to sooth him. You will rock your baby boy one day and you will rock other babies as well. One thing I have learned in times of having the double sided sword is that the sharp side is what teachs us the lessons to make the path we choose worth while and sweet in the end. YOu are a wonderful mommy Nat. YOu are doing a amazing job at keeping Bransons memory alive here and one day you will get to be with Branson and do the other mommy things.

Michelle said...

I am so, so sorry, Natalie! There are times where it just hurts. Bad.
I have had moments where I feel like my spirit is screaming.
Let it out for a while. Cry and wail. But then rock yourself and tell yourself all the true things that you know that comfort you.
Sometimes the pain is just unbearable.
A surprising thing that brings comfort to me in those excruciating times is to read books that normally might be depressing. I'm thinking specifically of "Man's Search for Meaning" and "Fire of the Covenant." Stories about people who experienced similar loss under worse circumstances.
Prayers headed your way, even right now,

Anderson Family said...

Nat, I am so amazed at your strength even through the hard times! I am so touched by each of your entries, you make me want to be more like you, like the savior! Branson is so lucky to have a mother like you! We can't wait to have you and Rob home with us for Christmas! We love you, think of you, and pray for you often! love Kim Dustin, and boys

Mariah said...

Nat,I can't even begin to imagine the pain and longing you will always feel in this earthly life. I do hope you know that even though it may seem to you that some people have "moved on" with their grief, there are many others that still think of you and Branson daily. Today while shopping, I came across a little hat that matched the outfit I bought for Branson and I teared up and said to myself, "I will never get to see that sweet little boy in that outfit". I know this is merely a materialistic thing, but it felt like much more. I am oh so inspired and touched by your honesty as you write about your feelings. I know there are many many times when you feel the Mortal edge of the sword and yet you still hold strong, true, and never cease to inspire me. You are now and will for eternity be a wonderful and amazing mother!

Brandon and Julie said...

This has been a rough couple of weeks for me. I was feeling down and discouraged on so many levels and a dear friend said to me yesterday, "God knows what he is doing with your life." This struck me, and in reading your blog, I felt I should share it with you.

HE does know what he is doing with your life, and Rob's, and Branson's. Have faith, have faith that you will know this, have faith to know that this is never over.

Dave and Julie said...

My heart goes out for you. I wish I could take some of that pain away form you the other night. I love to hear the words that you write. They are so inspiring, It makes me want to become a better mother. You and Rob are strong. we love you.

Vest Family said...

Ministering angels surround you. Let your tears flow. Every tear is a tear of love. Heavenly Father knows that. When the tears stop for the moment, breathe deeply and feel the Savior's peace. I promise, even in the seemingly empty nursery, you are not alone. I'm so sorry you had a rough night.
Love you,

Gordon said...

Dear Natalie,
As usual I struggle to know what to say. I want to fix the hurt and make it go away...I know I can't and from an eternal perspective I am sure I shouldn't. As your father I just want the hurt to go away and for you to see the all of the wonderful things that come because you are a mother...and then I realize that most of the aspects of that vision come as a result of the "sharp edge" of the sword. Be patient...have faith and let the Holy Ghost help you to see things with eternal the mean time just wonder.
I wonder what Branson is doing today?
I wonder what who he is serving right now?
I wonder what he learned from the Savior today?
I wonder what miracle he is working on today that will bless our family?
I wonder what his assignment is today that will help prepare for the eternity we will spend together?
I wonder what assignment he is in charge of that will help prepare for the Savior's return?
I wonder at the mansion that he is building for you and Rob and with yours and Robs talent for interior design and decorating I wonder what it will be like?
I wonder what he and his brothers and sisters are doing to day?
I wonder who he is working with in his missionary work?
I wonder if he saw the Prophet Joseph today, and if so what he learned?
Natalie when I "wonder" I feel excitement to think what it is that he is doing. I know he is well and very busy, I know if you could see his work (and some day you will) you would be proud and grateful that he was chosen to do this work in fact you might come to understand that in deed no one else could have done what he is now doing.
When I use my imagination and wonder I smile and feel positive and it helps to over come the frustration I feel so often and not being able to "fix" and make things better for you.
I want you to know that I love you with an intensity that I have never known before. You are a great woman and a wonderful mother.
They say that the heart is the center of the soul. The heart is a muscle...for a muscle to grow and become stronger it must first be torn down and is always painful...but have faith and patience to let it happen for you will be proud of the results.
I know you and Rob read the conference talks...Have you read Elder Joseph Wirthins talk in the November Ensign. I it awesome.
Have a great day, I love you, I am proud of you. Looking forward to Christmas.
Love Dad

Debra and Ryan said...

I really can't begin to comprehend the pain that you are going through. Having never experienced a loss of that magnitude, it is difficult to try and relate. I just wish that there was something I could do to take some of your pain away. I cried when I read your dad's comment. He is experiencing pain as well, it is probabaly so hard for him to watch you suffer. Natalie, I know you have lived a rightous life. It definitely is not fair! You are a mother, and you will have a chance to raise Branson. I am always in awe of your strength and unwavering faith. You have always been a constant example to me. Thanks. Love, debra.

Gordon and Jackie said...

Natalie, It's amazing your perspective on the double edged sword because that is exactly how I feel as I go through these ups and downs. It's so hard to see you going through this and feeling so far away from you to hug and love you and yet I know you feel of all of the love and prayers that we send your way many times each day. You're right about never hearing lessons and talks about the loss you have gone through or any advice on how to handle it....I wonder, did God send us down here to go through some things without advice from a lesson manual on how to handle it so that we could maybe experience God and Christ and the Holy Ghost in a very personal way that we never would have if all the answers were taught at church or in home evening. We are all new at this pain and hurt and don't even know how to make it through it except to hold on to our faith and our love of one another and our family and dear friends. Look at what this blog has done for you and for many untold's a miracle my sweet daughter. I love You...for always...forever...and no matter what. Mom