My Shattered Heart & Hurting Someone I Love.

I have spoken very little about this subject. Not because I don’t care. Maybe because I care so much, the sorrow so intense but not mine alone and FEAR…fear that any and every little mention or acknowledgement on my part might in any sort of way could increase the pain felt by someone else that I love.

Grief doesn’t come with a Manual to help us navigate it…not for ourselves and not when that grief is shared with others, especially when those others grief by far surpasses even what we in ours might imagine.

It very much has been like balancing on the edge of a knife…how to acknowledge it, express it, talk about it, experience it openly while at the same time terrified that any misstep might slice the wounds of others even deeper. There are deep conversations that need to be had between you but even that is a fearful thing when you so desperately fear that the conversation itself might tear the delicate scabs of your wounded loved one.

I fear my silence though has done that very thing. I hurt someone I love and maybe, just maybe, she needs to know that she’s not trapped in grief all alone. Maybe it would be salve to her wounds to know that burden is shared, that the reasons for that grief means something and is important to me too.

For me, writing has always been my outlet, a way of working out difficult feelings, emotions, problems and grief. I have been unable to write since.

My fingers have hovered above the keys and blank page almost every day since June 11th, followed by June 16th. And, I knew and know still, that if I couldn’t write it out that I would never write again. All the hurts, pain and grief yet to come in my life would only pile up against this mountain. I will never be able to move past it, beyond it, around it. But, I feared the words would shatter me and shatter this person I love and want to protect, wanted to protect from this very thing that happened….but I couldn’t and that kills me inside every… single…day.

Today I’m breaking my silence, breaking my heart further still and hoping that as the cracks shatter, that it might become like glue that might help her in putting hers back together.

I often post memories of my 8 older grandchildren and share new things concerning them but the painful truth is, is that I have 10. I have 10 grandchildren.

From the very moment that our son and daughter-in-love called on my birthday to deliver the long hoped for news that they were expecting, I had both joy overflowing and a dream that was born. When we learned that there were twins, a boy and a girl, joy only multiplied.

I had a dream of the future that filled all the days remaining in my life…first smiles, first steps, Halloween costumes, Christmas pictures, dance recitals, T-ball games, graduations, weddings, our kids becoming grandparents and we becoming greats.

On June 11th, that dream began to clash with a hard truth that I have yet to fully accept.

My grandbabies were born, much too soon at only 23 weeks gestation and so very small. My perfect, beautiful granddaughter Bridgette, was only 9oz. There was no equipment small enough to help her. She spent 3 1/2 hrs with her parents and laying against her daddy’s chest, slipped softly into the arms of our Lord, having known in her brief life,only love.


On June 16th, we recieved a call from our son and with his wife, screaming in the background, informed us that our precious grandson Porter, 1lb 9oz, left us too. He had left us to join his twin sister, leaving behind a devastating grief for the rejoicing of heaven.

You’d think that would be the end of my dream…but it wasn’t. I still have it, want it, long for it in my very soul. Each day is a haunting reminder of one more milestone that should’ve been, should BE..and I’m missing those pieces of my life.

When I said that I’ve been balancing on a knifes edge, not posting about this, not adding their names to my grandchildren posts, that I was trying to protect their mother from further pain, that was VERY true.
BUT, only just now as I break this silence and write it all out have I come to realize that I have been protecting my own heart too!

Adding their names to the memory posts of our grandchildrens 1st days at school, them in their Halloween costumes, look how they’ve grown etc posts….would be and is, a heart shattering reminder of the memories, pictures, milestones and life that I will never get to have with them and the death of a dream that I’ve not been ready to let go of yet.

Unwilling to confront my own grief, I’ve kept it to myself, bore it silently with excuses to go outside alone, to another room, to the bathroom, where with my head in my hands, cried then wiped my tears so no one would know and ask for the words I could not bear to say.

In some part of myself, I feel a parents guilt. Our strongest instinct is to protect our children and the devastating truth is that I could not stop this from happening. I couldn’t fix it, take it back, make it go away and I could not comfort their pain.

After these many months, I am only now tentatively, with much trepidation, taking those first baby steps in attempting to confront it. From the moment that I heard that I would be a grandmother again, I had been systematically buying and collecting baby things for Bridgette and Porter. Only this last week have I dared to even look at the bags filled with items stored in my closet.

Even then, I kept it to myself. The disposable items, I finally donated but I could not bring myself to open the bags of personal things I had bought for the babies nor could I bear the thought of what should’ve been theirs, seen on or possessed by another child nor could I bear to return them. I know that sounds crazy, but not everything in grief makes sense.
So, while Clay worked all week helping a friend, I placed the unopened bags deep within the bin to be taken to the curb…and cried.

Out of my comfort zone and set free.

Remarkably, it is the person most wounded and whom my silence has hurt the most that has pushed me out of my bubble, forcing me to see that grief is a journey that we can’t get through without putting one foot in front of the other and taking that journey together….Bridgette and Porters mother. She has needed me and I have failed her.

She has needed me to end my silence, to acknowledge my grandchildren, to show her how much I care and grieve WITH her. My personal grief, guilt and silence has been selfish, depriving her of what she’s needed. I was too afraid to even ask.

Without her love, openess, courage, willingness and respect…showing me every ingredient of relationship, to
reach out and communicate with me how my silence was hurting her, I would still be silent, clinging to my grief and guilt like a childs blanket, alone in it and leaving her abandoned in hers.

Bridgette and Porter. I will say, write and you will hear these names often now and I will say them with hope… hope for a day when the tears of saying them are replaced with a smile and hope for a day to come when I will embrace them for the first time and ever after.

Always with Love….and Hope – Laura💕

31 comments

  1. Oh Laura. I am so sorry 😭

    As one who has walked with, and still is walking, with Angie and her grief. I understand and I am here if you ever need to chat.

    And YES! Say their names. Write their names with the love only a grieving on can. And take your son and daughter-in-law’s hand as you all walk this journey together!

    Love you!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Laura – I’m happy that you have found the strength to write about this – something I have never been able to do. I have read your words several times and can identify with many of the emotions that you express. The tears that I shed as I read your words and now as I write this are falling or both your family and mine. It was Jan 21, 2015 when I got the call that my daughter had been taken to the hospital and was in labor. She was only 21 weeks pregnant. When I spoke with her husband I asked “does she need me?” and when he replied that it might help to have me there I called my sister who took me to the hospital. The doctors said there was nothing they could do to stop the labor and for several hours I sat with my daughter and son-in-law until she gave birth to our first grandson, Conner. To the surprise of the doctor Conner was born alive. During the his brief, 15 minute, life on this earth he was held and loved by his mother, his father, myself and my sister while our tears flooded the room. It was the most difficult night of my entire life but I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. In the days, weeks and months after his death I made sure to make myself available to both my daughter and son-in-law so they could express their sadness, their pain, their anger and their love for their son, all while I silently grieved. I have never talked of my sadness and pain, the unanswered questions, or the helpless feeling of not being to protect my child from this pain.

    In June of 2016 Conner’s younger brother Jackson was born at 26 weeks and spent his first three months of life in the NICU. It was a scary time for us and many people prayed for him. He is now 5 years old and started kindergarten this year. In November 2017 their younger sister Addy was born full-term thanks to the help of some very good doctors who specialize in high risk pregnancies. Addy was not planned (by her parents but certainly by God). These two are the greatest joys in my life.

    I pray that you son and Daughter-in-love may someday be blessed with a child as well.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m learning a lot about grief, how intricate, multifaceted and individual it is. I’m so honored you shared your story with me. I’m so grateful that God restored and multiplied blessing over loss for you and your family. It gives me hope that ours may be as well and hope is a precious thing.💕

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  3. Bless you all. This must be so hard to walk through.

    Dear son, we’ve been waiting for you
    Thrilled beside ourselves that you’ve arrive
    White coats came in, heads held low
    Talked for a bit, shuffled outside

    We closed the curtains,
    Held each other,
    And cried
    We said hello at the same time that we said goodbye.

    And smallest wingless, oh you came to us
    Leaving as soon as you’d arrived
    But sadness is just love wasted
    With no heart to place it inside

    We closed the curtains,
    Held each other,
    And cried
    We said hello at the same time that we said goodbye.

    We closed the curtains
    Held on to one another
    And cried
    We said hello at the same time that we said goodbye.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Bridgette💗and Porter 💙 you are so loved and will never be forgotten by your parents, grandparents, family, and those who followed you brief but impactful existence on earth. You are loved here on earth and in Heaven with those family members who arrived before you. Someday you’ll meet your family who are still here when they arrive to join you.
    Laura you are so amazing to say their names, for that means they are so very loved and will never be forgotten.
    Hold your grief, let it stay for awhile, but express it however you need to.
    I love you my friend! 💕 XO

    Liked by 1 person

  5. WOW… This is so powerful. My sister was born in 1985, also a twin, at only 1 LB 3 oz. It made the papers… Denver Post….One sister didn’t make it, while my sister Jessica did. The doctors told my mom all kinds of things. She’d never walk or talk or think… but she does all that… she has 2 beautiful kids of her own now and has a great life. She was the smartest kid in all her class growing up. The doctors were wrong.
    I was only 5 when she born and it changed my life and my other sister’s life as well; who was only 3 at the time… Growing up with a fragile person in our home was different… to this day we have a crazy family dynamic because of how “special” and “different” Jessica was. My parents so protective over her…. sometime it was as if me and my middle sister weren’t alive at all… Being the oldest… I’m okay now and am good with everyone but it’s taken sometime. However… my other sister carries so much anger and pain. I guess what I am saying is I felt this post in so many ways, just from a different angle. It was good to read it from your side…. these things… there are just hard. Your pictures… I have them too. My sisters. It’s like it was just yesterday and my life changed forever… I was just a kid.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad that you reached out and that you shared your story with me. It’s given me so much to think about, another piece to fit into this puzzle of grief. I’m learning a lot about grief these days…
      Even when a group is effected by the same tragedy, each person is experiencing it, reacting to it and surviving it, differently. It’d be so much easier if we did but the grief journey for each of us is as individual as we are. Simultaneously, I’m learning that grief carries it’s own specific forms of fear and guilt. And, often our grief and fears can hurt the others that we love.
      And then there is my grandson from my daughter, born at 26 weeks gestation., only 3 weeks further and only 1oz more than Porter. 5 months in the NICU, a battle for life, many problems….and yet he lived.
      I can but imagine what your parents went through….the grief of loss, the displaced love & dream naturally poured into the surviving child, yet her delicacy being yet another fear of loss. That fear perhaps drove them to focus so deeply on her that it left you others feeling abandoned in some ways and much to young to be expected to have the maturity to understand that it was because of grief, guilt, fear nor that it was a testament of their belief in your strength to survive and flourish. We hurt those we love the most…without ever meaning to.
      I wonder for us both…what lessons might this journey reap, strength gained, beauty excavated from the rubble? And in what ways will it equip us with the tools to comfort others?
      Hugs💕

      Liked by 3 people

      • So very true… I think that is the lesson. In a way honoring the life lost…. to do better with what we know better now. I try to be the parent that I needed back than and I always try to understand people in pain. How they can be to others… People that hurt, hurt people. I really am so appreciative of your post here. Sometimes we walk along own personal journey thinking no one would understand what we’ve been through or seen but sharing… talking about our stuff really helps others to know we are truly not alone in this world and all the hard stuff. xoxo

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  6. Any parent or grandparent, even those who have never suffered such loss, understand how hard this must have been for your entire family. Grief acts differently on all of us. There is no right way to explain the unexplainable. I think your daughter-in-law understands that. Try not to beat yourself up. I pray that your entire family can heal and that your family will love and support each other in good times and in times of sorrow.

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    • Thank you so much, Pete. We all could use prayers so much. I’ve been learning a lot about grief. It’s a very intimate journey that is experienced differently by each person or at least the methods of surviving is. I’ve heard about the stages of grief, and I assumed that one would experience each stage for an undetermined period of time before moving to the next. No one told me how you can cycle through them repetitively through a single day or that we don’t grieve in tandem within those stages and you can’t set a timer on it.
      It too has been a deep reminder that we are surviving in a hostel environment that we were not created for where even the smallest of things can cause our death and that the tragedies are not counter to the norm…they are the norm! The moments that are free of tragedy, when things go right….those are the miracles.
      Thank you so for reaching out and bringing me comfort.

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  7. Oh Laura!! Your heart, the raw emotions, and as always your honesty in your writing, in your pain just makes me wish I could hug you so tight!! Hugging you from a distance and praying for comfort for healing for all of you!❤❤

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  8. God’s blessings to you in this sadness. How beautiful that you recognize these precious human lives and treasure them, even in their brief time among us. No human life is valueless or disposable. God’s promises will be your hope and your comfort even in this difficult time. May God also bless your son and your daughter-in-law with the same hope and comfort and bring them peace. J.

    Liked by 1 person

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