A letter to my early grieving self

Instead of writing a letter to Leo tonight, I feel like God has placed it on my heart to try and bring some order to the tornado of emotion that has surrounded me this past week. If you know me in person or on facebook, you know that some friends suddenly and unexpectedly lost their son about a week ago.

Watching our community mourn this loss brings back so many emotions from the beginning of when we lost Leo. I’ve been doing my best to push the emotions aside, but I know that isn’t what I’m supposed to do. I’m supposed to write a letter to myself. The Angela that just lost Leo.

This scares me because I don’t want this to come off like I’m pretending to be some sort of expert on grief. I’m no psychologist or psychiatrist. I’m an HR professional, I know classification , compensation, and how to train people. In any case…I’m just stalling now. So here goes nothing.

Right now you are standing in the epicenter of a 10.0 earthquake, a category 5 tornado, an insurmountable tragedy so heartbreaking that you can’t even fathom existence any longer.

Breathe. Breathe mama. And cry. Cry as many tears as your body can produce. Cry whenever you need to. At the store, in the car, at work, in Zach’s arms, laying face down on top of Leo’s grave, in the arms of your daughters…just cry. And when you’ve run out of tears, drink some water and cry some more. Don’t pretend to be okay.

How could you anyway. Right now, there is no pretending. Life just got real. There’s nothing like death to remind us how real life is. It’s okay that you don’t want to live anymore. I know that, if you could be assured that the girls and Zach would be well taken care of and would be able to live their God given destiny without you, you’d lay down and die right now. That’s ok! I understand that you’re not suicidal, you’re just not afraid to die. It’s ok!

I want you to know that SIDS is not your fault. It’s not your fault, it’s not Zach’s fault, it’s not your fault, not your fault, not your fault. Keep saying it until you can believe it. Everything is pointing to this being your fault, but it’s not. It’s just not! You couldn’t have done anything differently. Why would you? You didn’t know that Leo was going to die! And if you did, what would you have done? Babies die of SIDS in hospitals too.

Your trust in God is incredible. In the face of this pitch black darkness, your heart, your faith, your absolute trust in God and heaven, is shining so brightly that even we are lifted up just being in your presence. God is vibrating through you so strongly that even we can feel it.

You are inspiring people around you. I know, crazy, right? At your very weakest, you are your strongest. God has taken complete control at your surrender.

Friends, old and new, are surrounding you with the purest love. People are filling your broken heart with pearls of wisdom. Words that you’ll learn to live your life by. And all you’re doing is listening to what God is telling you. Going where God is leading you. Trusting what God has given you.

Don’t stop. The idea of being in control has been ripped from your being…don’t go looking for it. Keep making friends, I promise God will connect you with other bereaved parents when the time is right.

Hold on. Hold on to anything that feels real, anything that feels like God.

People think life is hopeless, that God is horrible for taking your only son from you, that you’re being punished somehow. But you and I know that’s not the case. There is a peace that fills you and you just know that God has a plan much greater than yours. Anyone who doubts that doesn’t know the truth.

All you have to hang onto is a deep knowing that God knew this was going to happen, that Leo knew this was going to happen. You are going to blossom in ways that you never imagined because of how open your heart is now.

I know you didn’t ask for this. I know you would trade anything to have Leo back. I know life feels thick and heavy right now. The pain isn’t going anywhere, Angela. Learn to live with it. You’ll learn to harness its power to bring others to Christ. It’s never going to be okay, but you’ll endure and the pain will find a place in your life.

Darkness is going to keep trying to make you get over this pain. Don’t do that! Let this pain be a part of your experience. And be filled with peace knowing that one day, when the time is right, you’ll go to sleep and wake up in heaven. Leo will turn around and say,”mom, how did you get here so fast?” And you’ll hug and kiss him and be together for eternity. And before you know it, the rest of your family will join you. And you’ll have all lived out Gods will for your life.

You have a lot ahead of you. Take life one step at a time. That’s it. No more, no less. You’ve got this. It might not feel like it today, but with God, all things are possible.

I love you.

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