Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Easter pictures

I got my camera out today and looked at the pictures on it and realized I hadn't posted these ones from Easter. I'm not sure why I didn't take any of the kids in their new Easter attire but I did take a few of the Easter egg hunt we had in our back yard. I decided to not take my camera to the cemetery Easter morning. I guess didn't feel the need to take pictures of that special moment as a family.
As I posted before, Easter has such a greater meaning to our family. We had a nice time at Wyatt's grave Easter morning. It was a beautiful spring morning with birds chirping. A lot like what I would imagine it being on resurrection morning. After eating our breakfast the kid snuggled into their blankets while Derek and I talked about different things. It ended up being such a neat and spiritual experience. We sang "I know my redeemer lives" and we discussed how important the true meaning of Easter is to us more than ever. We talked about how wonderful resurrection morning will be and how it might be like when Wyatt is resurrected. We talked about many gospel principles and especially about the gratitude we have for our Savior. We had a nice little breakfast picnic read our "love one another" slips and just enjoyed being together talking, learning and remembering. It was one of the most spiritual Easters I've ever had. So grateful for the hope of the resurrection when I will hold Wyatt again.

Hayley is always changing into dance clothes...or some other interesting outfit.

Easter egg hunt

It's hard not to feel sad during these moments knowing how much fun Wyatt would be to watch as he would be running around and picking up eggs. Or if he was like my other kids finding one and opening it and being content with the one egg. Oh, it's hard not to wonder what he would be like as an 18 month old and it's even harder to realize I won't find out until a long, long time. I miss him each and every day. Some days are harder and more intense than others. I know it won't just go away some day. I think it will continue to be hard. I will always miss him and wonder what things he is missing out on. As I think about these lost moments I also have to realize that this is the time for my other kids. I don't want to lose out on their stages in life. I'm enjoying them so much and I'm so grateful for them and the joy they bring into my life.

Hayley going to preschool on her bike.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I have attached a post from a fellow angel mom. She lost her sweet Camille last summer after drowning in their hot tub. Stephanie definitely has a gift in writing and expressing herself. I loved what she had to say on this post and how it explains what us moms are going through. She expresses grief so well. I do not always express the many sad moments I continue to have over the great loss I've suffered. This blog would not be a true description of my daily life and how hard it truly is. There has not been a day that has gone by that I haven't shed a tear or two or many over missing my sweet Wyatt. The gospel gives me hope but it doesn't take away the heartache I continue to feel and will most likely feel the rest of my life. If you have a minute please read what Stephanie has written. She has expressed so much of what I feel. Thanks Stephanie for sharing. It's been 10 months for her. I'm on my 13th month. There isn't much difference for me as far as how I'm feeling today as opposed to 3 months ago.

10 Months - Long Term Care
by Stephanie
Periodically, I think it is good to give a real dose of what it is like in the grieving process from where I stand. I also think it is especially important to give tips to all of you on how to treat people who have suffered a loss like mine. I like to call these Long Term Care tips.

Just as with any major surgery, there are different stages of recovery with their own challenges. Depending on how major the surgery, the recovery period varies. It will also vary by the individual, based on a variety of factors ranging from how healthy they were before the injury to the dumb luck of which patient gets an unrelated infection or has complications arise.

The same is true for any great loss. The loss of a child, especially a young child, has particular challenges that span far deeper into the psychological realm than other types of more common loss. It feels like the physical equivalent of losing a limb. Okay so I haven't lost a limb, but losing a child has so many commonalities that I feel as if I have.

Like losing a limb, after the loss of a child, you are never the same. A child is flesh of your flesh. A young child depends on your for life. As children grow they become more separate physically, psychologically, and emotionally. But that is a gradual process. Young children still feel very much like a part of you in every sense. To have one die feels like a part of you dies. There just is no such thing as being the same after such a loss.

Like an amputee, your wound does heal to a certain extent. It becomes non life threatening. You learn over time to live with your handicap. But the physical healing does not happen as quickly to the psyche. Like an amputee, there are phantom pains that last (as far as I can tell) your whole life through. Perhaps they lessen in frequency, but from what I gather from those I know personally who have lived decades without their child and seem to all the world to have "moved on," those feelings of pain and loss can come back with freshness at a moments notice.

And from my own experience so far I can say that sometimes you NEED them to. Sometimes you need to mourn and feel and know that your child was real. Their reality comes to you in the pain you feel in separation. There is nothing wrong with feeling this pain as the years go by. It is a healthy part of mourning, grieving, and living without someone you love.

Now to the psychological aspect of these wounds. For me personally, this is the hardest part of this loss. I consider myself a strong minded person. But this loss is so much bigger than me. It is like a strong swimmer facing the power of the ocean. In calm waters I am fine to float on my back, but when the winds blow ... I often find myself at the mercy of the sea and its overpowering waves.

Let me highlight a few of the my own waves. First is the wave of anxiety. I am an optimist by nature. But this loss has robbed me of the "things like that happen to other people" mentality. I used to be calm in the face of possible harm. I no longer have that luxury. Now that I live with this pain, I have greater anxiety when reinjury seems even remotely possible. I fight against this. I hate that I feel this. But I do.

When we were in Cancun we lost track of Sabrina on the beach for a few minutes. I thought she had headed up to the bathroom and after Jon came back not having found her, I panicked. I would not have done this before. But now... well it was as if I was back in that day all over again. All the while Sabrina was just 20 or 30 feet away playing in the sand. That scare kept me up all night. I couldn't calm my nerves. The panic ... a feeling not natural to me ... just wouldn't leave me.

I fight against the heightened anxiety I feel about my children's safety everyday. This is especially true anytime we are around water. I feel my heart race when I see a pool without a gate now. If my spa gate is left unlocked on accident it sets my heart in a panic. If my kids leave a bathtub full after they get out my stress level skyrockets.

Logically, I know that there is no absolute prevention of accidents. I know this in my head. But this anxiety is beyond my control. I fight it and try not to let it show, but I feel it and I do all I can to avoid being in situations that give life to it.

A second wave is the intrinsic feeling of failure. No matter how well my children are doing, no matter how many times logic tells me I am doing fine as a mother, there is an innate feeling of failure as a mother when you have failed to keep your child alive. This is true in accident cases, even accidents that everyone would agree were unavoidable. It is also true in many cases of natural death as well. A mother's instinct to protect her child can not be underestimated.

A third wave is the misconception that spiritual truths take away the pain of this loss. Spiritual teachings and faith do give us hope. But, they do not lessen the pain. In the blessing Elder Clayton gave me just after Camille died, he blessed me that I would be able to experience my grief normally and fully. He blessed me with grief sufficient to allow me to heal normally over time, but not above my ability to endure.

The gospel does not take grief away from us. Rather, it gives us hope through the grief and it teaches us to look to the Savior to help us walk on the water when the tempest is raging. My husband was counseled to be patient with me in my grief. It is different for him than it is for me. Everyone finds their own path through grief. We all enter from different places and have different obstacles along our way.

Because of this, we simply cannot judge another's grief process. We can only love them, pray for them, listen to them with as much understanding as we can, and know that they are ultimately in the Saviors hands.

So now let me turn to the DOs and DO NOTs of how to treat people at 10 months out.
Do expect that we are still grieving. Maybe not as often as before, but don't be surprised if we break down in tears once in a while. Know that this is normal and natural and don't be so worried that this needs to stop. We ought not to rush past our grief. Certainly the Savior did not.

Do be patient, open, loving and supportive when we feel like opening up. If you haven't been through this, you cannot understand. We know that. It is easier to talk openly to someone who freely admits they are not going to understand but will be supportive no matter what than someone who wants so much to understand that they try to put themselves in your shoes and judge the way you are grieving.

Do be gentle with us. I have particularly appreciated how gentle my bishop has been with me. He has not felt this himself but is mindful that this is a long journey through healing. He lets me know that I am welcome to come to him when the grief gets hard. He knows it comes in waves over a long period of time. He is mindful and watchful of me at times he thinks things might be difficult for me. I very much appreciate this.

My family is gentle with me as well. This is a great blessing to me. We all process this loss differently. For some it is easier not to revisit the past or to think much about Camille. This is simply not an option for me. I allow those in my family who would rather avoid that right and am not offended by it. We all get through it any way we can. They in turn do not judge me in my grieving process. They don't put a timeline on when I should be "better."

There are times that I get feeling really heavy with the grief and feeling very alone in my suffering. Last month I had been feeling this way for weeks. I felt unable to express it and did not want to have to explain it. One night I stayed up till 4 something in the morning spilling out my feelings to a sister in law who is acquainted with grief. She lost her mother very suddenly when she was in her early twenties and still single. It isn't the same as losing a child and she knows that, but this sister in law understands what it is to grieve.

I hadn't planned on this impromptu therapy session but her open, non judgemental, accepting attitude made me feel safe revealing dark emotions I had a hard time admitting even to myself. The best part was I felt so much better after having talked to her. Sure I couldn't function very well the next day due to the lack of sleep, but many of the dark emotions that had been weighing on me so heavily felt lifted just in my expressing of them.

Perhaps these dark emotions will return again. I am learning that often issues you think you are done with do find a way of returning through one trigger or another. I am glad to know that I have safe places to turn to express these dark emotions without fear of judgement or worry that I am not getting "better."

Another DO -- Do anything you can to help ease the psychological stumbling blocks that trouble us. Family especially should affirm over and over that we are doing okay as moms. I do this with my own kids affirming over and over that they were good sisters to Camille and that she appreciates them and loves them. We need to hear this.

Do try to help them avoid situations where anxiety is bound to be high. We had only had our spa for 5 days when Camille drowned. I wouldn't let anyone near it and asked my father to handle the matter of getting a gate put around it. I know a gate is not a cure all answer. But that gate provides me with a great source of peace of mind.

Be patient with our paranoia. I hate paranoia. I hate it in others and I hate it especially in myself. But here I am stuck with it and it isn't going away so I am having to learn to be patient with it and accept that it is just a part of me for now. We may forgo certain activities or events because of our paranoia. Don't take it personally. Just realize some events are not worth the anxiety or return of grief they will cause us.

Do not worry about us. I know this is hard for those who love us most. Mom's want to "fix" their kids hurts. But some hurts are unfixable. Limbs lost will not be restored until the resurrection. We will miss and mourn the loss of our limb till then. But we mourn with hope and we are learning to function fairly well despite the loss. Your worry is an added burden, your confidence in us lightens our load.

The Savior has confidence in us. He walks beside us with perfect understanding. Even through the darkest hours He is with us. Even for those of us who are angry at Him, He stands patiently beside us waiting to help us. Oh that we all could be like Him, the grievers and those who love us and are trying to support us.
Posted by: Stephanie "A Daily Scoop"

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Mosiah 16:7-9: "And if Christ had not risen from the dead, or have broken the bands of death that the grave should have no victory, and that death should have no sting, there could have been no resurrection. But there IS a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. He is the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea and also a life which is endless, that there can be no more death."

There are so many wonderful scriptures like these that bring such great hope to my soul. Easter has so much more meaning to me now. It has always been a special holiday but now it's more than that ....it's the hope I get that I will have Wyatt again. He will be resurrected and I will get to hold my baby again. I dream of that day all the time. I have a hard time even coming up with words that could fully explain the gratitude in my heart for my Savior. Because of him I have hope. Because of all he went through I have hope of eternal life. He has broken the bands of death. Wyatt will never die again and I will never have to say goodbye to him again and we will have him forever. What greater gift could be given?

I've changed a few things this year as far as Easter goes. We will still do a little Easter egg hunt and color a few eggs today because those are fun things to do but we are focusing even more upon the true meaning of Easter. We are concentrating on Jesus' last week and all that happened on each of those days. We have been reading the scriptures that correspond to each event that happened. We are also learning a new hymn. Some nights it hasn't worked out like I had hoped but at least we are trying. We have a "Love one Another" jar that we are writing nice notes about each other and placing them in the jar. We then are planning on reading them tomorrow morning at Wyatt's grave. We also drew names for secret pals this week. We are suppose to treat our secret pal like Jesus would treat them. The kids wanted to put Wyatt's name in to be drawn and whomever got his name would treat everyone in the family like Jesus would. There has been a sweet spirit in our home this week by just doing these few things. I have received some very tender and sweet notes from my secret pal.

Tomorrow morning we are planning on going to Wyatt's grave and having a picnic breakfast and possibly watch the sun rise. It's our wards fast Sunday but knowing that in advance we fasted a couple of weeks ago so we could do this at Wyatt's grave. We then are going to talk about Easter and how significant it is to us now more than ever. I want my kids to realize how grateful we need to be for our Savior Jesus Christ. I also want my kids to be able to visualize that wonderful day when they will hold Wyatt again. They will get to kiss his cheeks again, tickle him and see him smile again. Someday I want a painting made of that very day. I can see it in my mind. It will take place at the cemetery. I believe Wyatt will be one of the last in our family to be resurrected so those friends and family members that want to be present will be able to watch as we get to see our baby again. My tears will FINALLY be tears of joy as I get to hug him, love him and kiss every ounce of his cute little body. It will almost be like his birth..we will be checking out his sweet little feet and counting his toes. We will check out his belly button, ears and look into his big eyes. He will grab onto my finger as he always did when I fed him. His smile will be radiating to all that will see him. After Derek and I get our turn with Wyatt Tyler, Emily and Hayley will be anxiously waiting to hold their little brother again knowing that they will never have to say goodbye to him ever again. I'm sure there will be many tears of joy shed that day...such a contrast from a year ago at as we laid him to rest. Because of the Savior we have the hope of such a day. How grateful I am to him for giving us the greatest gift anyone could give us...RESURRECTION & ETERNAL LIFE! How grateful I am for this Easter season when we get to reflect on the true meaning of Easter and all the many wonderful things that will come to us because of our Savior.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Emily wanted to buy the spring pictures they took at school. I didn’t necessarily want to pay money for them, even though they were really cute. I promised her that I would take her sometime and take some pictures of my own. This past weekend my niece came to town and she is starting to learn about photography so we decided to take Emily and take some pictures of her. Emily loved it and it was fun to try different stuff. I learned a lot from my niece and got ideas of how to better take pictures. My niece has added some of the pictures she took on her blog called “Captured Moments.” I love how she took pictures of their flip flops. She got some really cute ones. I’ve added some of the many I took. I can’t wait to get an editing program so I can edit the pictures. Emily was a great little model for us. She is now wanting to learn how to take pictures so I let her use my old camera yesterday and she spent the afternoon taking pictures of the neighbor kids. It was really cute watching as she would come up with different poses for the neighbor kids. I think they enjoyed getting their pictures taken as well. I've only added a couple of her pictures but she took some really good ones.

Emily's photo's
Hayley and the neighbor boy

Sunday, April 5, 2009


So grateful for Conference and for the many talks that give me hope and courage to continue on. I was especially grateful for Elder Scott and his willingness to share in the losses he has experienced. There were also many others that touched me as well. Can't wait to hear more tomorrow. I'm so grateful to have these talks to help me through another 6 months.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Yesterday we went to the mortuary to start figuring out what we want for Wyatt's headstone. I really can't believe I'm even having to do this for my baby. I shouldn't be designing a headstone, I should be designing scrapbook pages. It's just unreal at times. After meeting with the guy at the mortuary(which was hard to go back there) we went "window shopping" at a cemetery to see what we might want. We are leaning towards doing a bench. I really want his picture on the front and then maybe our family picture on the back. I've drawn up a few ideas but not sure what exactly we want. It's going to take us some time to even save up money for this but we've decided we have already waited a year lets wait until we can afford exactly what we want. So, at this moment that is what we are going to do. I've shed many tears and I'm sure there will be more to come as we go through this final process. Really can't believe we are doing this. And as always, I continue to miss our little boy and the many dreams that aren't being fulfilled right now. It's just plain hard.