Friday, June 24, 2011


In the early weeks and months after our loss, I felt so incredibly close to my husband. I felt protected, loved, and cared for. I saw how he took charge and was so incredible with our daughter. I felt like without him, I'd die from the heartache of losing Elias. Our relationship was suffering due to the stress of my being on bedrest, but suddenly none of that mattered compared with what we were dealing with after losing a child. My husband completely amazed me with how he was handling everything, and I honestly never loved him more. I remember looking at him thinking how much closer we would be now that we had this loss in common. Nobody else in the world had this in common with us; nobody else in the world could call themselves Elias's parents. It seemed something to suddenly solidify us when for many weeks tensions were high and I was very unsure of our relationship.

I thought, "Wow, this is the first gift our son has given us, and I'm sure there are many more to come as the rest of our lives unfold".

Now, I've come to realize, that just because I consider Elias my silent teacher, and I want to live my life better to honor him, that doesn't mean my husband is on the same wavelength I'm on. This breaks my heart almost daily, and I'm not quite sure I can handle it much longer.

I feel like we are on totally different levels, different pages, different worlds sometimes. I hate this. I hate how this loss seems to be destroying other things in our lives. I hate that my son may be watching us from another realm and probably sees us arguing every single day and feels horrible about it, feels like his death has ruined everything.

I don't want that for him.

I want my son to see that he has changed us somehow for the better - that we love one another so much more fully now, that we appreciate things more, that we let things bother us less, that we don't let the little things get in the way of our joy, that we are genuinely caring and kind to one another always before anything else, that we will be spontaneous and not worry about a line being too long or a drive being too far, that we will soak up each moment, enjoy every minute we have with his sister and just be happy to have each other. Traffic, clutter, work stress, etc. just doesn't matter in the face of what we've been through. WE are what matters. I feel our son wants us to learn these lessons and live better for having loved him, for having had him in our lives for the eight and a half months that we carried him.

I'd like to think Elias wants us to have learned to not waste these lives we have been given but live twice as fully because we are living for a little boy who doesn't have the luxury of life.

The sad realization I've come to is that these are all lessons I alone have learned.

Yet another sense of isolation has taken over.

A new grief.(Apparently I don't already have enough of that in my life at this point.)

I am so completely and utterly alone in my grieving and in what I do to try and honor our son. Our son deserves so much more. If he can't be here physically, the least we can do is try with all our might to love each other better, live our lives more fully, and make him proud to be our son.

* * *

Today, we went for a consultation to get a plan in place for our tattoos. The hubs and I have both decided to get the same design, and as excited as this makes me, today I just felt sick about it. We went in and discussed our options with the artist and left. It was a very brief meeting in which the tattoo artist disagreed with my ideas (but was very gently and tactfully honest about it) and also did not say he was sorry for our loss. My husband did tell him (briefly) what happened, and while he spoke I followed my daughter's gaze to the fish swimming around in the colorful tank alongside the far wall. I didn't add anything, nor did I want to, and I kept my eyes on the tank, but it shocked me that we didn't even get a simple, "I'm so sorry" in response. I'm not angry about this, just surprised and confused.

Earlier today I had been so stoked about this consultation, but suddenly I started to feel so damn ambivalent about everything. Like, what's the point?

BLOGPOST EDIT DONE THE NEXT DAY 6/25/11 - Sorry, I know some of you have already read this and/or commented, but I just want to say that the tattoo artist was actually very professional, and the suggestions he made will make him less money, so I know they came from the right place. They were along the lines of "less is more" suggestions, and I can tell he is a true artist that cares about his work and its aesthetic appeal. To me that is also important (in addition to having a meaningful tattoo). He assured me I could always add to my tattoo later but wanted me to start with something "simple and uncluttered" to see if I would like it as is, and I actually agree now that I'm less emotional about things. Also, I want to add to this post that the tattoo artist sent me a FB message to my inbox saying how sorry he is for our loss and how he simply can't imagine what it would have been like to go through. So I'm assuming he was simply quiet about it in the parlor because it was a public place, there were other customers, and he initially may not have known how to respond. I feel a lot better about our choice to go with him, and I know he does awesome work. Bottom line, I think I was just feeling very fragile and so I took his ideas as a sort of personal attack on account of my understandably vulnerable state. Luckily, he is so popular he is booked solid for two to three months, which will hopefully give me more time to be in a better place about the whole thing. END EDIT.

We were getting new phones after our consultation, and at the phone store my husband was blabbing on and on about some technical phone jargon that honestly I probably wouldn't have even been focused enough to listen to on a good day. This was certainly not a good day. I was just staring off. I wasn't even listening. It took everything in me to just sit there and not cry. He kept talking until he finally saw my blank expression, and it suddenly registered that I hadn't heard a word he'd been saying nor did I care. His next words sent the tears erupting. It was like they had been just waiting there for some acknowledgment, some permission to fall.

"Are you okay?" he asked.

"No, I'm not. I don't want a tattoo. I want my son back."


  1. :( I'm sorry you're going through such a difficult time right now. I know it's hard keeping a brave face and trying to "go through the motions" when all you really want to do is go back to the time when your baby was alive...

    It's unfortunate the tattoo artist wasn't more compassionate, maybe that would have helped you feel more attachment to the design rather than feeling the way you do?

  2. I'm so sorry. When I got my tattoo for my son, my tattoo artist was very nice and said sorry, asked questions, and even gave me his views on life about people dying (which I didn't agree with, but I digress). I would have a hard time getting a tattoo from someone that said nothing. I suppose they hear everyone's stories and do tons of memorial tattoo, but a simple sorry would have been nice. :(

    When Adam was still hospitalized and close to dying, I looked at my husband and said, let's forget all our stupid crap cuz it doesn't matter anymore. It's been REALLY hard. It's such a horrible and incredibly stressful time. It's hard to not take it out on each other. Many hugs to you.

  3. The tattoo artist I had an appt with also didn't say anything which I had also emailed him ahead of time to let him know how personal and important the tattoo was for me. Well, needless to say I left the studio and will not get my tattoo from him. I agree with Kelly maybe they are used to giving memorial tattoos, but they should say something.
    And, I am so sorry that Chris isn't in the same place as you. That makes it so much harder and like you said "lonely".

  4. I am glad now that you have had some space from the situation that you feel better about it and that he responded well to you guys.

  5. I am so sorry about all of this... I want to tell you that when we first lost Andrew (almost 8 years ago), my husband was very quiet. He rarely talked about it... On occasion I would get something out of him but when I did push things, I just got upset so I dropped it... (I should add that this lasted YEARS) I found my comfort (much needed) at the time from online support groups and especially my hospital support group HUGS. I knew what I needed but I also recognized that for whatever reason I wasn't getting it from my husband... that hurt but I gave him space. (In the same year both of his parents were diagnosed with cancer and he lost his dad). In the meantime, I would share with Jeff some of the stories but rarely did he say much about it.
    A year or two later, we were ordering our weekly pizza when I suggested something other than Little Ceasar's Pizza (which happened to be housed in the hospital where I delivered the boys). I found out then that he liked getting the pizza there because he visited Andrew's brick in the garden.... WHAT???? He never told me that!!!! On another occasion I found some lyrics to a song he was working on (he's a musician) about Andrew WHAT???
    My point in sharing this mini novella is... guys are different and most aren't like us. Sometimes what we may need, they aren't ready to give because they grieve and get through things in their own way. I am sure that your husband thinks about Elias every day~ if he didn't he sure wouldn't be getting a tattoo to honor him. Sometimes it takes a lot of time to understand each other... my husband listens to me more now and I give him room and wait for that next little nugget he'll give me when he says our sons name or talks about it... But we've been on this road for quite a while now...
    Make this your sanctuary- where you can come to be supported and remember your son and share all that you need to get off your chest! But don't give up just yet... Just like the tattoo guy there is probably a lot that your husband isn't saying just yet... because he just can't...
    Thinking of you loads~
    (sorry for the novella/blog in itself comment)

  6. I hope that you and your husband can over time draw closer again. When two people grieve differently it can make it difficult to connect at times.

    I hope that you can get the tattoo that you envision. I have one and already want another!