Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sharing Our Story

Many of you have been asking how our trip to UW went, and I guess it went well? As well as something like that can go? I always think that I will be able to pull myself together, I've talked about many of these things before. But it's different to sit in front of a group of people and tell the story of something so truly devastating. Something that still affects our every day lives. Something that most people don't understand and only happens to other people.

It's different to tell our story to a group of people who have willingly come to learn about grief and the way it affects people. The difference is that these are the people who care and who want to know how to help. They make us feel validated by audibly gasping when I admit that someone told us to our faces that they were going to put our baby in a refrigerator because they know how heartless it is. They are the ones who wipe our tears and hand us boxes of kleenexes. I think that's what makes it harder and easier at the same time.

A lot of times when I tell our story to other people, they may or may not want to hear it. It might get awkward and the conversation might end abruptly. But this crowd is special. The faces that fill the room are ones we recognize. And even if we don't know them directly, we know their kind. We know that they are compassionate and take care of our babies in moments that we aren't able to. They are the faces who dress up our babies when we are gone and make signs for their rooms. These are the people that cheer on our babies, that help us process good and bad news, and who we share our lives with. We have nothing but the greatest appreciation for the NICU staff and the amazing and difficult things that they do every day.

I have a lot of other things I want to share, but am still processing. Both times, this has been a hard and rewarding process. It always takes me a few days to recover from talking about our boys and everything we have been through. It's one thing to think about Carter, which I do everyday. It's another thing to have to put into words and try to help other people understand what it's like. It's scary, emotional, and puts us in a very vulnerable spot. We came home last night exhausted. I went to bed early with a headache. It really does take it out of me for a few days, I know it's worth it, and we will probably share again at another workshop. Thank you for all your support and prayers, we truly appreciate them!

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