It seems impossible - how could anything be harder than watching a tiny white casket get lowered into the ground with the body of your precious son inside?
But yesterday, for me, was a harder day. With the help of my mother and my daughter and Heavenly Father (Jason was out of town), I went through Link's closet and I took his clothes off the hangers. Pulled them out of his drawers. I smelled them. And I sobbed into them. Soul-wrenching, devastating, angry, sorrowful, sobs.
There was his little "Stuffed" onesie that he wore on Thanksgiving day when he was in the St. George NICU. The blue and grey giraffe outfit - the first real clothes he wore - on the day we were finally discharged from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. The little Santa jammies Grandma Potts gave him that he wore on Christmas day as he was passed around as our "miracle baby." The handmade onesies Aunt Trisha had given him. The orange & grey "All-Star" outfit..Oh he was SO handsome in that outfit! The Broncos sweatshirt that he had worn on a football Sunday. His soft, white blessing outfit, complete with tiny bow tie. Sigh... And then the bag of clothes that were in his dirty clothes - for a year. I couldn't bring myself to wash them until yesterday. And that brought on a whole new set of tears. The blanket he died in. The bear shirt that they had to cut open... it was almost too much. I almost gave up. It's too hard. Just too hard.
Finally, it was in boxes. And we brought in the girl clothes for Noelle. More tears. I felt like I was betraying my baby boy. Replacing him. Moving on without him. To take out all his clothes - the cars and trucks and sports and bugs and dinosaurs - and replace them with bows and frills and pinks... there are no words. I missed him so much. My only baby boy.
I haven't yet written about his angelversary. When people ask me how it went, I havne't been able to think of one word to describe it yet. There were some VERY difficult moments. And there were some very peaceful, wonderful, joyful moments. It started with Ireland
coming into our room in the morning & excitedly saying "Mom! get up! There's a beautiful sunrise outside & you have to come take a picture of it!" So - I got up. And she was right. It was full of clouds and pinks and it was beautiful. We let the girls stay out of school that day. I was so thankful my mom was here to be with them. Jason and I headed to the temple with family names and that was the best place we could be on that day. We were able to do work for many ancestors - including 11 (eleven!) sealings! There was so much joy in that room during
In between all of this, there were loving, caring phone calls, text messages, e-mails, visits, gifts, etc. My sweet friend sent flowers.Jason's mom came bearing gifts and love. A wonderful family in our ward who had just experienced their own huge loss came and brought a book and cards. My sisters' families watched Link's slideshow. One of them sent me a picture of a rainbow they had seen. Another one sent me a picture of their family gathering to talk about Link. A couple people sent e-mails with names of temple work they had done for family members (thank you!!) on behalf of Link.One of my good SIDS mom friends had a dream with her son, Link, and another SIDS baby, all playing together on a rainbow quilt. Sweet, tender mercies.
The evening before his angelversary, we were reading in The Friend magazine & it talked about the story of Jarius' daughter being raised from the dead. They had come to tell the father that it was too late- she was already gone. I am sure I can envision the devastation in the father's eyes and heart when he was told that. Jesus' response was "Fear not. Only Believe." Those words stuck with me throughout the next day of Link's angelversary. You see, lately the questions have come more. The doubts. The "WHY?"s A year later & none of it makes any more sense than on the day it happened. I still just cannot understand why he was taken from us - especially after all we went through to get him cured. But after hearing those words, I felt like the Lord was gently telling me "Heidi... it is not your job to understand. It is your job to believe." And I realized that those words seem familiar. How many times have I told my children, in effect, "listen sweetheart, you don't need to understand why I'm asking you to do this. I just need you to obey and trust that whatever I ask you to do is going to be for the best." So - I'm having faith that my Heavenly Father really does know what is best for me. Everything in my plan is going to be for the best. Even the painful things. He is God. I am not. He sees the bigger, eternal picture. I do not. So, this Sabbath morning, as my eyes are still swollen from yesterday's sobbing, I am taking a deep breath. I am looking ahead and trusting that "the best is yet to be!" and I am trying to find the joy in all He has given me. I am truly blessed.
|Link's bench draped with the chain of names that we & other family & friends had brought to the temple. There were 24!! We came to know and love each one of these names & are looking forward to finding more.|