Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Heartache of Easter

Easter is always so incredibly difficult.  The first one after the loss of Elias was filled with so many mixed emotions.  And even with all of the progress I've made in my grief over the past 2+ years, I feel like holidays such as Easter just get more difficult to navigate.

Did I buy enough baskets?  Candy?  Toys?  Should we dye eggs?  Do the kids even care when they are so young?  Did I take enough photos with the kids all dolled up?  Should we go see the Easter bunny?

And aren't all of these things simply massive distractions from what the holiday is really about?

I think that's why I fixate on them.  I need the distractions. 
From the holiday and from my grief.

Many loss mamas express that they feel every day that goes by they feel further away from their babies.  Further away from that last time they felt them kick, heard their heartbeat, kissed them, and held them in their arms. 

I understood this sentiment in a way but not fully, as I never felt "further away" due to time passing.  In fact, it's more like every day that passes I am possibly one day closer to Elias, as when my time comes I hope with everything in me that we will be together again.

I hold onto this hope. 

Even still.

I do, however, feel that every day that goes by I am further away from God.

Two plus years out from when I still believed in Him with every fiber of my being.  I miss that so much.  I miss praying and not feeling silly about it.  I miss going to church with genuine faith in my heart.  I miss raising my voice in love and praise for something so much bigger than me.

Now, my prayers seem to be directed at my son.  I prayed to Elias when things were going rough, and he seemed to be helping me through.  I prayed to Elias to send me a little brother for Evelyn, and he did.  I prayed for him to be healthy, to be born alive, and for a little piece of my heart to be healed.

The prayers I aim at my son seem to be heard much more often than the prayers I ever directed at God.

I say all of this very tongue-in-cheek.  Obviously I don't really believe (nor did I ever) that people simply pray to God and get everything they ask for.  If that was the case, there would be no poverty, death, heartache, or anything horrible happening in the world.

That doesn't mean I don't still find irony in how things have unfolded.

And it doesn't mean I'm not allowed to still be So.Freaking.Angry. at times when I reflect on how strong my faith had been during my pregnancy with the twins - stronger than it had ever been - and how betrayed I felt by God when my son was stolen so swiftly from me.  I had been so worried about Elias, and people kept telling me, "Let go and let God." 

If I had believed less in God, maybe my son would be here.

Biggest.  Worst.  Irony.  Ever.

During family photos and holiday pictures, we like to have Elias represented somehow.  He is and will always be part of our family, so it seems fitting.  It helps to ease the pain of missing him, just a tiny bit.  It's a statement to him that we haven't fogotten him, nor will we ever.  In our most recent family portrait, we included a butterfly from Pottery Barn that my mom had purchased for his second birthday. 

When Evelyn visits Santa Claus, we always have her holding a stuffed animal in Elias's memory (or wearing a butterfly clip in her hair). 

Every Easter, Evelyn has her picture taken with the Easter bunny, and she holds this little blue stuffed bunny that we bought for Elias's remembrance shelf. It sits next to his urn except for the one day it gets to make an excursion out of the house to visit the Easter bunny. 

It warms and breaks my heart all at the same time to watch her hold it, play with it, snuggle, and kiss it.  I say, "Evy, will you take good care of little bunny today?" and she proudly proclaims, "YES."

I don't know if I will ever get back to that place of unwavering faith. I don't know how to even go about trying.

Tomorrow, I will be going to church.

I won't deny my children the chance to have the unwavering faith that I so miss from my own life.


  1. I love how you represent Elias in the photos. I have a necklace with Eva's picture on it. I don't wear it every single day but any day that there are pictures planned I make sure to have it on. Right now as we are hoping for our rainbow baby I haven't taken it off in a week. I'm too afraid I might forget to put it on when I'm in labour and I want all those newborn photos to have her face in them...even if only I know it's there.

  2. You so accurately captured exactly how I feel about faith and church. I'm trying really really hard to get back to a place of faith. It took me a while not to blame God for Vivienne's death. But if I don't think God could intervene to save her, then I have to wonder what's the point in prayer? I still struggle with that one. I miss the days when I believed so strongly in a bigger plan and that prayer could make a difference. I still go to church, but it's very different. Another thing to grieve, I suppose.

    I love how you incorporate Elias into pictures with Evy and your family. What a wonderful way to show the world how much you love your son.

  3. It's wonderful that you incorporate Elias. As Evy gets older she really will appreciate these little moments and will understand things to fully and not question anything.

  4. I just became a "loss mama" in march and found your blog... Beautiful. I'm so sorry for your loss of Elias; I'm so glad you feel a strong connection with him still. I'm developing that sort of connection with my little daughter I hope... Been blogging at This is so awful but somehow I've been able to find some peace on the whole prayer topic by believing God has an even better life for my little one. I'm sure she'll get along great with Elias. :)

  5. I became a "loss mama" just before Easter myself and happened upon your blog... Beautiful. I'm so sorry for your loss of Elias; I'm so glad you still feel a strong connection with him. It gives me hope as I develop this long-distance relationship with my lost baby girl. It's helped me to blog too at Somehow I've been able to make peace with the topic of prayer by believing God has an even better plan for my little one. I bet she and your Elias will get along well. Lots of love to you!