Tuesday, November 4, 2008

new journey, new blog

I made a new blog for me to talk just about Gavin and this "new journey" we're on. I decided I didn't want to use his old blog for that...I want somewhere else. I haven't been able to post my feelings online for awhile, I'm not sure why. I definitely had no problem doing it before! Part of me is scared to "put them down on paper" because maybe then they won't go away. But I think being able to express them will help me move through them.

There are a LOT of gray areas in my life right now...things I was so sure about before are muddled and confusing. I like things black and white...this is definitely NOT black and white. Trust me when I say that it is so easy for others looking in to be confident in what "we believe" and to feel comfort from that. I.e. "we'll see him again someday" and "Heavenly Father knows all". It is NOT the same when you are actually thrown a situation that forces you to examine "What do *I* REALLY believe?" and having to do this during the most horrible, unimaginable pain ever.

It *is* doubting everything the gospel teaches us...doubting "the plan", doubting an afterlife, a chance to be together again, doubting Heavenly Father's love for us, His involvement in our lives. How can you not??? When everything you care about, everything that matters, everything in your life now rests on whether or not its true??? How can you not be filled with fear at the dreadful thought that creeps into the back of your mind..."but what if its not...?"? When it would take away all your hope, take away your entire reason for taking one breath and then another, take away the meaning of your entire LIFE???

And that is the worst part of all. Being in your own personal Gethsemene, bearing your own personal cross and at the absolute worst part of it feeling forsaken and alone and doubting as Christ did when He was on the cross, and wondered in agony "Why hast Thou forsaken me???". If even Christ himself, being a perfect man, having a perfect knowledge of all things, and knowing the end from the beginning, had to feel that way, then perhaps there is a higher reason for it, some meaning in it, something you have to go through. Or maybe we simply cannot feel the Spirit when we are in that much physical, emotional, and spiritual agony. Maybe even the Spirit cannot console us when we are experiencing a loss that is just too much for our imperfect, veiled, mortal beings to bear. "It is hard to hear the still, small voice when your soul is screaming in pain".

I felt no peace at all this month. None. The night Gavin died I was in such agony, I can't even begin to describe it. I prayed, pleaded, begged that Heavenly Father would at least let me sleep, let me escape this pain for a short while and it never came. It was the most awful night of my entire life. My physical body just could. not. handle that much excrutiating pain. The week after was just numb...all of our family was around, there were so many decisions needed to be made for the funeral, it was the easiest week.

Its the weeks after that have been harder. The torture of that first night returns often...wondering why? how? what if...? going over it in my head, over and over and over and over. Feeling like it is my fault, that I could have done something differently, that I wasn't paying enough attention...how could I possibly live with myself? The overwhelming sadness, missing him so much, wanting to hold him and touch him so much I can't even breathe. Crying until I can no more and there still aren't enough tears to express the pain I feel. Feeling angry, so betrayed at giving all my trust to Heavenly Father, believing with all my heart and soul, giving up my fears and putting it in His hands and then having Him take it all away at the last moment and leaving me all alone. The fear of having faith and hope and trust again. Knowing that even if you can manage to have a "good day", there are tsunamis of emotion just waiting to overtake you again soon.

And then eventually realizing that even knowing doesn't make it feel any less worse. Because that is how it feels no matter what you "know" in your head. Logic and rationale have no place in grieving, no bearing at all. You can be thinking logically and rationally the whole time even while the storm rages in your heart, and it doesn't help at all. Knowing in your head doesn't help the way your heart feels. Its nice to know, but it doesn't bring any comfort because Gavin is still gone today and will be tomorrow, and the next day, and the next and it won't ever stop hurting in this life.

And beyond the horrible, intense waves of emotions that come and go, there is always, always an ever-present aching pain in my heart. It feels like you are always walking in a fog, like a hundred blankets are over you, and a constant nagging in the back of your mind...that feeling you get when you were right in the middle of doing something and you can't remember what it was. Something is just wrong. I don't know if I'll ever be truly happy again, because underneath it all, there will always be this ache. There will always be a hole...someone always missing, a piece of our family puzzle...it will never feel quite right again.

But as much as you don't want it to, the sun keeps rising, and life continues on, and you have no choice but to keep getting up each morning and forging through. Please don't tell me I am strong...I am not, I just don't have a choice in the matter. If I had a choice, Gavin would be here with me and to heck with "the plan" and everything else. Do not underestimate how quickly I would pass this trial on to *anyone* else, if it meant having Gavin back again. But I don't have that choice. The only choice I have is what I will do with this trial now that is it mine to bear. I just hope that eventually I can use it to do something good.

Gavin's gift to us was his life, and I know eventually I'll be able to find other gifts in this, too. I don't want his life to be for nothing. Don't get me wrong, I'd much rather he had lived and because of his experiences had grown up to be an amazing doctor and saved millions of lives or something. In fact, I'd rather he simply grew up, even if he did nothing particularly amazing and our lives just went back to normal and no one ever heard from us again, or even cared to, and nothing else special came from our experience this year except that now we were together and happy and whole. But again, I didn't get a choice in the matter. So now all I can do is try to somehow move through this and be a person worthy of my sweet, perfect little boy.


Kunz Family said...

Oh my sweet friend. I truly feel all those emotions with you. I don't know that it get "better" per se, but it changes. I also don't think the intensity changes for awhile, but the frequency of the knock down fall on the floor not get out of bed feelings are lessened.

You are right also. We are being tested in our beliefs through all this. My testimony has never been shaken like this in all my life, but it has also never been strengthened this much so quickly. My desire to see my little man is intense that I am trying to right by him and doing all that I can to return to him.

At nights when I cry into my pillow, I pray that the Lord will help me to find peace, that I will have understanding of why we must endure such a tragedy, why someone so perfect had to go. I know the answer, but like you said, it is hard for the heart and the mind to come together.

I once heard a talk by Elder Holland in my mom's stake conference and he said (mind you I was bouncing my son, the very thing I would lose and the very challenge that he was talking about) "Where are you going to go?" When the storm gets to hard to muddle through, where are you going to go, where are you going to turn? I revert back to those words because honestly? Where would I go, what good is it going to do for me to turn my back on everything that I have ever believed just because life was going "good."

I certainly don't have all the answers and don't claim to either. You spoke so eloquently the words and feelings I had in those early weeks. The fog seems almost unbearable at times and you don't think that the heavy blankets will ever lift, but then that day comes when one blanket is lifted and then another, and you can then make it through another foggy day.

Much love, Brittany
PS I live just around the corner from you. We should get together.

Brett and Meredith said...

Thank you for starting this blog. So many lives have been touched by Gavin. He is an amazing child. Your experiences have and will continue to bless the lives of many. Grief is so intense, so emotionally and physically real. Those people who come into our lives and have to go so untimely leave holes that seem so dark and so deep that they will never be fully filled. After my mom passed away when I was a young teenager, I remember crying dry tears, as though my eyes had given all the wet ones they could. I do not know how it feels to lose a child, and my heart just aches for you at this time. I do know that when in the darkest, bleakest moments after my mom died, I could do nothing more than have hope, because that seemed to be all that was left to do. I knew she would want me to do that...so that's what I did. Right now you don't have to be strong for you, just stay strong for Gavin...and then, it time, your own strength will come. Time eases the pain, though it is impossible to see now. Thank you for putting your thoughts into words. Heavenly Father will uphold His promises. He is there. Let him hold you while you lay awake at night. We are praying for you always.

Hiatt Family said...

Bethany, I am so glad that you started this blog. When I started Jackson's blog (which I badly need to reorganize and update) it was just for me. Then I found that it was helping others. A little while down the road I felt like this journey was too private for me to talk about with strangers, but I had a very strong feeling that I needed to keep posting about all of it. I am positive that your experience has already helped others & that it will continue to do so. I am sure you don't want to hear this right now & that it doesn't make sense & that it doesn't seem possible, but time really does make it better. It of course doesn't take any of it away but I guess it just kind of helps the wound scab over. Sometimes the scab is ripped off & I feel like it just happened. But for the most part I have continued to heal. I know that this can happen for you & your family too. I know what you mean about the difference between knowing something & feeling it. Grief really doesn't follow any rules. There were many nights when I would take Jackson's blanket that we wrapped him in when he was born & I would just cling to it all night. That is the only way that I could sleep sometimes. I feel like I know what you mean also about not wanting people to say that you are strong. People tell me that and I don't know what to say back...because I HAVE to deal with this trial. I have absolutely no choice or say in the matter. What else would I do? I just love you & I am sorry that I couldn't come to Gavin's funeral. I really wanted to, but I was out of town. Things make so much more sense to me now than they used to. I know what it feels like to literally have a completely empty place inside of your heart...or to feel like your heart isn't even there. I never knew I could ache so badly for someone. Gavin is a PART of you in every way. He is part of who you are. Don't think that you should be completely happy with what happened or that you should always see good in it. It wouldn't be normal if you did. I promise though that you will see little miracles in your life if you just try to do what is right. I promise. Just hang in there, ok? I'm sending my warmest thoughts your way!

Matt & Staci said...

When I talked to you today, I almost asked you if you have thought of blogging again---as an outlet for your thoughts & feelings if nothing else. But then I didn't mention it, because WHO the heck am I to tell you to do something that maybe you weren't ready for!?

SO when I saw your post, I smiled. There are so many people that love & care about you and want to know how you are doing---even if you aren't doing well. Just reading about your feelings makes me feel better. I've been worrying & praying constantly for you.

I can't say ANYTHING to make it easier & I have no idea how you feel. I'm just so sorry you have to go through this & wish so badly that Gavin was still here.

I love you so much! We need to get together during the days & if you ever need to vent, give me a call!

Love you!

Janell said...

Bethany, thank you for sharing this. The pain you describe is so raw and unfathomable to me, I don't see how anyone could endure it without the questioning, anger, and everything else you must feel. Neither can I understand "the plan" sometimes. But I pray for you and for your family, that time will ease your burden, that you will find a measure of peace, and that faith will return, even if faith means something a bit different than before. I believe that other lives will be saved because of the awareness caused by Gavin's short life. And I love your idea of doing an annual project in honor of Gavin. Please let me know when you do the first one--I'd love to be able to donate or help.

ShawnaBAmomma said...

Bethany we miss you so much on LF. You are a part of our family and you always will be so will Gavin. I'm praying for your peace. Shawna and Addi

Colby Kids said...

I wish I had something brilliant to say to make this all easier for you. I hear your pain and it breaks my heart. Hopefully this blog will be cathartic for you. I’ll be reading.


The Lindsey's said...

I want so badly to take some pain away from you. My heart is aching so badly for you. While reading your comments I can't help but think that I would feel the same way you do with what you've been through and what you'll have to go through the rest of your life. I wish we all had more answers. Mostly while thinking about all this I'm just completely at a loss for words. But know Gavin's life story will never end. He's embedded deeply into all of us and that can never change, no matter what. We all love you so much and don't know what to do to help. I don't know if there is anything. Just know we're here for you. We know we can't take the aching away, but maybe we can pull off a couple of those blankets that are covering you. Thank you for your comments. It takes courage to put your thoughts into words and to share them with everyone.

Melody B. said...

You already have done MANY good things for Gavin, things in his honor and future things that will no doubt come through you. Cause look out world...when Bethany puts her mind to something....there's NO turning back!:) I'm sure there are some things that only someone who has been through something similar can offer as words of comfort. And though I have never been through anything like what you are going through now, I do know this....Heavenly Father IS there...He DOES love you immensely...His heart aches when yours does. And though you cannot (totally understandably) see ANY of that right now....I can because I am not in the dark where you are. Maybe you can trust someone who is on the outside looking in for another perspective? You know I love you so much and would do anything to take this from you. You ARE amazing (even though you don't want to hear it...TOUGH...you're going to hear it anyway)!!!!:P I love you!