How Can I Enjoy My Living Children After Loss?
How can I really enjoy my living children when one of my children is no longer with me? This is a question that seems to torment so many loss moms. There is so much heart break in mom’s hearts trying to carry on with life after a loss and what that looks like with their living children. Some mom’s fear that if they enjoy their living children it will discount the life of the little one they lost. I want to encourage you, this is not so. Your child will never be forgotten and you play a big part in keeping their memory alive especially with your living children. I realize some moms are hurting so much they feel depressed and not able to parent they way they would under normal circumstances. I want to encourage you too, all your children are a gift even if they were only with you a short time. Parenting your living children and enjoying them is part of the healing process for you and it does not mean you are forgetting your heavenly children.
Lexi understands the roller coaster of emotions of losing a baby and parenting living children. She describes Grayson (her son who only lived 12 hours) as woven into the fabric of their family and life and he remains a very real part of their family even though he is no longer with them. Here is a snippet of Lexi as a Mom this Fall season as she enjoys her girls and includes Grayson in it all. I pray this will be an encouragement to you.
Thoughts from Lexi ... Three Fall Activities
With the start of Fall I am making a list of activities I would like to do with my toddler. Last year I did this, but since she was just 18 months, the list wasn’t long or very exciting; which is also why my 9-month-old doesn’t have much of a list this year. However, this year, Aurelia is two and a half and her wonder has sparked, I am eager to direct her toward seasonal activities that trigger imagination and learning. I can’t help but see things missing from my list… things I would want my nearly 4-year-old son Grayson to do. Each year I know we include his memory, and are incredibly aware that he is missing, but now that we have Aurelia learning I want to be purposeful in her life to tell her about her brother in heaven. So, this year alongside my list for Aurelia I have made a list of three ways I’d like to purposefully include Grayson in our Fall activities.
Before I get into the three activities, I want to discuss the two main purposes of doing this. First, so that through talking about Grayson we actually talk about God more! My husband and I see how God has purposed Grayson’s life for the sharing of the gospel… even though Grayson never accepted God as savior (he had no chance) God, through His grace has forgiven Grayson of the debt of sin that we all carry. Grayson is saved to heaven, to perfection, to eternal life because of Christs victory over death! The more we talk about Grayson the more we get to talk about where Grayson is and why he is in heaven. Secondly, it serves me and my husband to remember Grayson. This isn’t true for all grieving families. Some do not like constant reminders, but for us its truly a blessing. We love seeing his name, having people ask questions, talking about what age he would be, wondering what toys he would be his favorites. Now onto the three ideas I have for Fall!
I plan to take some nature walks this September and October, I’d like to drive up to the mountains and collect pinecones, acorns, fallen leaves, twigs, etc. As a family I hope we stroll through nature appreciating God’s beauty in creation. I am going to find a stick and write Grayson’s name in the dirt. I am going to spell it out with Aurelia as I write it and tell her about the worship Grayson is doing RIGHT NOW in heaven. I am going to tell her that while we are admiring God’s creation, Grayson is admiring the Creator. I will also write Aurelia and Aurora’s names in the dirt. I never want them to feel like we are so focused on Grayson’s memory that they’re not included. Plus, this is a bonus to talk about more letters.
We will be visiting the pumpkin patch at least once over the coming weeks. Aurelia loves to wash the pumpkins when we come home, I plan to buy three mini pumpkins, one for each child. We will decorate each pumpkin accordingly. I think for Grayson’s we will do Star Wars stickers or maybe just plain white for purity since he has been perfected in heaven.
Lastly, we will be doing a leaf banner. You can do this with real or fake leaves. I will gather enough for the month of October, one leaf per day. Each day we will write things that we as a family are thankful for. Obviously, each member of our family is a huge blessing and deserves a special leaf of thankfulness! It will be wonderful to see all the kid’s names hanging on the leaf banner in our home!
I am sure there are so many more ideas for Fall time, and as the years go on I hope to add to my list. I think seasonal activities can be refreshing, especially when each season can bring its own hardship. I know for Halloween I am already struggling with not getting to dress Grayson up. I am looking forward to what I can do instead of what I can’t. I am also going to be focusing on the purpose behind activities, and I think seeing the fruit of those goals reached will make my heart smile.
Lexi is wife to Cameron and mom to three babies: Grayson in heaven and daughters Aurelia and Aurora in her arms. She is a stay at home mom who enjoys serving at church, reading, writing, indoor plants, and chasing after her littles. She has lived in Southern California her whole life. She and her husband love taking the girls on adventures camping, to Disneyland, and back home to Cameron's families in Texas and Kentucky. Lexi also has a ministry called Grayce and Kindness, you can see more on her website (http://grayceandkindness.com/).