About Me

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Kirkland, Washington, United States
I am a child of God. I am a follower of Jesus. I am a wife, momma, daughter, sister and friend. I love good conversation and hearty laughter. A good cup of coffee is always appreciated. Most of all, I desire to bring others into an experience with Jesus. One that will shape their lives and rock their souls for Him. Geoff is my best friend and amazing husband. Parker is my handsome boy who lives in Heaven. Norah is my bright star and bringer of joy. Tori is my overcomer and peaceful warrior. I live to show Jesus' love to each person He places in my path. I pray this blog strengthens you, comforts you and encourages you and that it MOST OF ALL causes you to want to get to know Jesus in a deeper level.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Healing is slow, but good

As I sit here, in my living room, I am surrounded by love. I have my dad to my left, my husband stretched out on the couch beside me, my mom working on laundry and my Opus zonked out on the floor.

Today marks a week since Parker's birth. A week ago today at 7:15pm we met our son and said goodbye. What a long week it has been. I feel like I have lived through a lifetime of moments during this week. I have experienced the joys of pregnancy and the devastation of losing your child. I have experienced the pains of labor and the pain of saying goodbye to my son. What a week it has been. With all that has taken place this week, Geoff and I have still found time to begin the healing process.

We made the choice to have Parker's funeral on Thursday the 18th of last week so that we could begin the healing process, however strange that may sound. We decided that we did not want to draw this pain out any longer. We felt that as soon as we began saying goodbye, that that meant we could begin to say hello. So Friday, the 19th Geoff and I began the long road toward healing.

That morning we woke up slowly, feeling like we had just been hit by a 10,000 ton truck. My brother Rob, his wife Keri and their girls, along with my sister Sarah and her husband Brad and my Aunt Claudia, began to make their way to our house slowly. I believe they wanted to give us some space, but thankfully they didn't stay away too long. They arrived at the house and we got ready to head off to Cracker Barrel to have brunch. There we ate, laughed and shopped together. What a therapeutic time. Each meal meant more laughter and more conversation.

During this particular meal, my brother asked the question that I believe was weighing on every one's minds, "So, when are you guys gonna get back on the horse?" We laughed, looked at each other and both blurted out that we are kind of scared. Then we quickly said that as soon as my doctor gave me the green light, and as soon as we felt ready, we would start trying again. I was very proud of us to even be able to think of having more children. That to me was a sign that we had begun to heal slowly...slowly.

Another conversation that struck me as a "good sign" happened yesterday. Yesterday was a hard day, a VERY hard day. Yesterday, Sunday, marked a week since we had been to the hospital. It was a week ago yesterday that Geoff and I got the awful news that our son Parker had died en utero. Yesterday was a hard day. However, we had a conversation yesterday regarding Parker's nursery and what we would do when we were ready to pack up his clothes and things. We talked about how we would take the crib apart and how we would put the changing table away. We talked about buying a container for his clothes and a container for his memorial. Now, mind you, this does not mean that Geoff and I are going to pack up his nursery tomorrow, no, but it was very encouraging that we were even able to discuss it. That to me marked another step along the road to healing...slowly...slowly...slowly.

The last and final thing to happen that struck me as a "good sign" happened today. Today was a little better than yesterday. Today I only had one moment where I really broke down and missed my son. That happened when I was tidying up Parker's nursery. It had kind of become a dumping ground of gifts that had been brought in two Friday's ago (gifts like, a bouncer, bibs, cute Halloween outfits, etc.). It had also become a dumping ground of flower arrangements from the funeral, cards that we had received, and pieces that Geoff and I wanted to hold onto to memorialize Parker. So I decided to tidy up. It was during this time that I broke down and cried for my son Parker. This was not the "good sign" that came later in the day when Geoff and I went to buy Parker's headstone.

We pulled into the parking lot and were greeting by several beautiful headstones. My heart was doing fine. Geoff and I held hands as we walked the path toward the front door to Hanson's Memorial. We walked in and sat down at the desk. The man on the other side of the desk from us asked what we were needing. I calmly said, "We need a headstone for our son." I then thought, I am so proud of myself for being able to say that. We then went through the motions of picking out the best design for the headstone. We went with something very simple. We put his full name, date of birth and death and the scripture reference for 2 Corin. 12:9 (the verse that has helped Geoff and I through all of this). Every now and then I would reach out and touch my husband's leg and give his hand a squeeze. I would find myself staring at him and admiring how he and I were able to calmly get through this.

As we left Hanson's Memorial, holding hands, Geoff and I marveled at how we got through that with no tears. I was so proud of us. We had truly showed that we were well into the healing process. That we were able to make it through picking out a headstone for our son, something that no parent should ever have to experience, this showed me that we were one more step into the healing process...slowly...slowly...slowly...slowly.

So we're doing this. We are healing with grace, patience and the reality that this is going to be the hardest path traveled of our lives. We are learning and growing through all of this. We are realizing that tears are healthy, sadness is normal and having faith and leaning heavy on the Lord is the only way.

So slowly...slowly...slowly...slowly...slowly we heal, together, with God.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Rachel and Geoff - Do you have any idea what a blessing you are to those of us who know you and love you? You have blessed me so much! Thanks for being so open with your pain and grief, and for giving it to God so that he can carry you. I'm giving you a hug. I'm so proud of both of you!

Kathy

Jess said...

Rachel & Geoff,

We love you guys and are praying for you both constantly. I can only hope that in the same situation, I'd be able to handle things with the same grace that you're both showing. You are amazing.

Dan Cole said...

hey guys,
Stefanie and I have been reading everyhthing you've shared and looked at all the pictures and it truely breaks our heart that you've had to go through all this. Its touched me also because its been 7 years since I lost my mother. I know how painful that was and I can't even imagine what Stef and I would do if we lost one of our daughters! We're still praying for you and I wish that we could come see you and give ya'll a hug. And if we lived in the area I'd totally let you borrow the girls as often as you wanted ;)

Kara Minor said...

wow Rach.. wow. I have can't even begin to express how proud I am of you and Geoff. May God truly continue to bless you both. Remember how many people love you guys!