Thursday, October 7, 2010


As Dan and I lay in the darkness of our room last night, we anticipated another sleepless, restless night. These have been plentiful lately. Awake at 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning with no baby to feed, no crying little one to calm and a million thoughts running through my head. "I really miss Aaron", I whispered. "Me too. Today was one of the first days it all really hit me. Me too...", he said quietly. That is how life is beginning to feel lately. The shock and numbness are wearing off and the reality is settling in, becoming all too real and present. We go about our days with broken hearts... hearts that feel like they have been ripped out, stomped on and then handed back to us and are somehow still supposed to function. Everyday feels like a fog, some better than others, but still hazy and lacking clarity, lacking purpose. Putting on a happy face is getting easier just to make it through the day, even when it is not reflecting any sort of joy in my heart.

As we lay there fighting our wakefulness, I couldn't help but think that the dark emptiness between us should be filled with our six week old son, surrounded by our love and protection. I slid over, wrapping my arm around Dan with tears running down my cheeks and pressed my ear to his back, listening to the strong, steady "lub-dub" of his heart; I wondered how something that is so simple, basic and functional in so many of us was so very broken in our little boy. Aaron's broken heart, our broken hearts and no way to fix them...part of my heart left with Aaron the day we said goodbye. 

Our insomnia last night was not only provoked by broken hearts and minds that we couldn't quiet, but also by a good old Colorado thunderstorm that seemed to park itself directly over our house for quite some time. The thunder and lightening would have woken even the heaviest sleeper as the sky sounded like it was cracking in half right above us. As we listened to the storm beat down on the roof and gutters my first thoughts were, "I love the sound of rain", followed by "this is why I'm glad that we didn't bury Aaron". Yes, I know, very weird, but these are the irrational thoughts that grief seems to plague my mind with. Almost everything I see, do or hear right now triggers some sort of thought or memory of Aaron, 99.9% of the time. To explain my thought above, there actually is some "rational irrationality" to it. 

When Aaron passed away and Dan and I (and our family) began the process of planning a memorial service or funeral, the major decision after choosing a funeral home was to determine if we wanted to pursue burial or cremation. That is a road I never dreamed we would have to walk down, regarding our child, and what a painful, heart-wrenching conversation for two parents to have. We were not in a place mentally, emotionally or financially to decide on and purchase a family plot and the thought of our son being buried alone and away from us someday down the road was just too much to bear. We know we will all be reunited in heaven someday. I know it is just his body. It is only a shell where his spirit once resided, but in the irrational, nonsensical mind frame that grief has placed me in at times, I also could not personally bear the thought of my son alone, far away from us in some cemetery, in the midst of a downpour, or throughout the cold, icy winter, night after night. 

His ashes are with us. His memories are with us. His spirit is with us. We deeply miss our son...

This morning, I opened my "K-love Encouraging Word of the Day" e-mail and it read:

2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing..."
"12 God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him."
James 1:2-4, 12, NLT

The ways in which God speaks to us amazes me. Through this He reminds me that even during the downpours, trouble and trials, our faith may be tested, but it is only an opportunity to grow stronger in Him, and that somewhere down the road... much further than I can begin to imagine or envision right now, there again will be joy.


  1. Oh, Danielle, this is such a beautiful sharing of your thoughts and feelings in such a dark time for you.

  2. I thought the same...wanting Aaron to be safe with you and Dan, in his own home..not far away.
    When you all were little, one of the days greatest joys was seeing you all peaceful and safely asleep in your beds. At least you were safe, for awhile from the world. At least, it might give you some comfort now, knowing that he is in part with you, and God. love you both, mom xoxoxo

  3. That was a beautiful post. Aaron is lucky to have such loving parents. I can't imagine the pain you are in. I think of you daily. I know we don't know each other but as a mother I can't help but hurt for you.

  4. There will be joy again. It'll come when you least expect it, in unexpected ways. Thanks for allowing us to take this journey with you through your blog. Lots of love to you both...

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