For a moment, I forget

Leaning against the car window, I scan the side of the road ahead for deer. I don’t know why I can’t trust John with that task. After all, he’s driving. I start to turn around to check on the children and freeze.

For a moment, I forget. For a moment, I fully expect to see Tiggy asleep in his car seat, hands behind his head, as I had seen him so many times before. For a moment. And the next moment I can’t bear to not see him, so I lean back against the window, staring down the road.

John flips on the radio.

“I think I’m going to Katmandu,

That’s really, really where I’m going to. . . “

He changes the channel.

For a moment, I can still see Tiggy in his car seat. And then it is empty. My mind drifts back to the hospital. Where I last held him in my arms. Felt his cold little hand. Kissed his cold forehead as firmly as I had wanted to before he went into surgery but didn’t for fear of hurting him. I promised to write down all his little stories and tried to figure out how to say goodbye.

“K-K-K-K-Katmandu. . .”

“That has to be the stupidest song ever written,” he comments.

He changes the station again.

I think about that long, impossible walk toward the exit. With every step, the door shrank away from me until we were suddenly there. Nurses stood at the door, offering condolences, hugging me, asking me if I needed a wheelchair. I remember being  mildly irritated at the suggestion. But as soon as I stepped out, I collapsed. My husband and two nurses caught me and carried me back inside, placing me in the wheelchair I had refused. Everyone was talking, trying to figure out who was going to ride where. A nurse suggested no one move the car seat. So it sat there empty for over a week.

“If I ever get out of here,

I’m going to Katmandu.”

John’s beginning to get annoyed.

“Seriously, I may as well sing about going to Narre Warren.”

The car seat had to come out for this trip. That didn’t really bother me as much as I was afraid it might. Slowly, everything that was his is being taken away. The last of his milk was drunk. The last of his clothes were folded and put away. His playpen was taken down. Soon, we’ll have to take his clothes out of his drawer to make room for the baby’s. Taking the car seat out didn’t bother me until I went out and found it lying upside down on the driveway.

I picked it up, dusted it off and carried it into the garage. But once there, I didn’t know quite what to do with it. So I set it on the floor and just stared at it. I had the strange urge to curl up in a little ball and sit in it, but there’s no way I would have fit. So I just continued to stare at it until John came in and moved it to the top of a storage tub where it was out of the way.

“There has to be an end to this song.”

And he hits the search button again, but without an antenna, the radio is only pulling one station.

I feel dead inside. These times are the worst. The fog is lifted and I feel just how deep the hurt runs. It’s heavy. It sits on my chest making it difficult to breathe. It threatens to consume me. But before it does, the fog settles as the numbness returns. I think for a moment perhaps this numbness I so often find myself fighting against is a gift from a merciful God who promises us no more than we can handle.

And the memory of him playing peek-a-boo in that car seat doesn’t quite make me smile, but at least I can breathe again.

About Dana

Dana homeschools her children on five acres in the country with her husband John.
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33 Responses to For a moment, I forget

  1. Phyllis says:

    Moments throughout the day I think of you. Of Tiggy. Of your whole family. I think until I begin to feel a tiny taste of what it must be like. And then I flee away from thought and feeling because it hurts too much. But I can flee. I know you cannot totally flee. I hold my little ones tight once more. I pray once more for you all.
    Phyllis´s last [type] ..This Beautiful Moment- Homecoming Edition and Snapshot Summary- December 19-25

  2. missy says:

    I do not know you, but we are sisters in Christ. The first day I read your blog was the day you wrote that your son had died.
    This post is heartbreaking to read. But I admire your courage and your ability to keep marching forward in these days. This is what walking in faith looks like. Just walking. In faith.
    You have been so much in my prayers these past weeks. I will continue to keep your name on my prayer list for a long time to come, praying for much grace and rich grace for your whole family.
    missy´s last [type] ..We are still Americans…

  3. Manda says:

    Praying for you Dana. That you may be comforted and that you may be able to forget the pain, but never Tiggy!
    :hugs: our Savior holds you tight and will continue to be with you through this. God knows what you’re going through as He lost His Son, so go to Him, hold onto Him! He will be there for you and will hold you!
    much love to you and yours. praying for you!
    Manda´s last [type] ..It’s A Wonderful Life!

  4. Lisa says:

    Dana, your vivid description of what you are thinking and feeling touches the depths of my soul and takes me back 20 years to the day we said goodbye too soon to our baby daughter, Heather Rose. Sitting in a wheelchair by the curb waiting for Steve to bring the truck around, watching new mommies and their new babies come out on either side of me with their balloons and flowers and teddy bears. Their babies were vibrant and alive and pink-cheeked. Just like mine had been only hours before. It wasn’t fair. Twenty years later, it still isn’t fair. But it is bearable. We keep breathing, and we keep putting one foot in front of the other until one day we no longer feel crushed by the injustice that life has gone on without that little one in it. Eventually the pain is just a dull ache and then eventually it becomes a sweet rose in our memories as we cherish the good of a life lived even for just a few hours.

    I don’t know you, but I love you.

  5. Samantha says:

    Your words are beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. I continue to pray for you.
    Samantha´s last [type] ..Children

  6. Q says:

    So glad you’re at this point. Yes, you are working through, and yes, the numb is our merciful and gracious Father’s protection of us, lest we lose our sanity. I hated finishing Alex’s laundry, knowing those were the last loads I’d ever do for her. And yes, the bagel I had pulled out to defrost for part of her breakfast that day sat on the counter for weeks. I couldn’t bear to toss it and ended up taking it to feed to the birds at the cemetery. The rear view mirror is a tough one. Looking back and seeing one less . . . heart wrenching. Praise God for the numb, be sure you’re sticking close to your husband, and know you’re being prayed for.

  7. Thinking of you this morning.
    Jennifer in OR´s last [type] ..Corncob Dolls and Christmas Coming

  8. Jen says:

    As I prayed for you this morning after reading this post, this scripture portion came to mind from Psalm 139…

    7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?
    Or where can I flee from Your presence?
    8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
    If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there.
    9 If I take the wings of the morning,
    And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
    10 Even there Your hand shall lead me,
    And Your right hand shall hold me.
    11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall[a] on me,”
    Even the night shall be light about me;
    12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
    But the night shines as the day;
    The darkness and the light are both alike to You.

    I will continue to pray for you in this new place of grieving.
    Jen´s last [type] ..Ebenezars Memory Stones

  9. Holly says:

    I am so glad you are being honest, and so glad you are able to write, too, Dana.

    My heart is with you as you go thru these difficult days.
    Holly´s last [type] ..Blessed

  10. Sara says:

    I have a little boy born just 3 weeks after your Tiggy. My heart breaks for you when I think of the pain you must be going through. I will hold my little man extra long today and pray for you and your family.

  11. Sheri says:

    Never stopped praying for you and I will continue to do so. I know you don’t know me and I dont know you but I just cry for you daily.
    Sheri´s last [type] ..Mid week buzz- Soulmates

  12. Beth Herring says:

    Dana – thank you for sharing your words with us. i can’t imagine your pain but i am praying that God continue to minister to you in a mighty way.
    Beth Herring´s last [type] ..breaking those ties that bind

  13. Anonymous says:

    Dana, I think that numbness is a gift. We can’t possibly feel the true depth of our grief all the time or our hearts would stop. And that fog may just be the comforting arms of God, shielding you from all the pain. His little things may be going away but his presence will always be there with you. I remember how my daughter used to put a blanket over her head and say, ‘where is she? where is she?’ and we’d have to pretend we couldn’t see her, even though the rest of her body was in full view! It still makes me laugh, even ten years later.

  14. Leslie says:

    Dana– I’m not sure I have the right words to share with you. But I know our Almighty Father is holding you tight in His arms and will not let you go.
    Leslie´s last [type] ..That First Shabbat

  15. Kelly says:

    Dana,
    I came across your blog via another homeschooling mommy. Our family has been praying for you. My husband pastors a church here in Nebraska. They are praying for your family.

    My heart breaks for you. There are no new words of comfort that I can share but our heavenly Father knows what you’re feeling. Hold tight to Him.

    In Christian love,
    Kelly

  16. Ms. B. says:

    I’m so glad you are able to write these posts, Dana. They help me to grieve with you and lift you up in prayer which I have been ever since the accident. Perhaps those moments of numbness are when our prayers are lifting you up. I remember going through the shock and grief of my divorce. There were days when I knew the only reason I was upright was other people’s prayers. I could feel it. Hugs, prayers, and tears, Patsy (Ms. B.)

  17. Janelle says:

    Dana, I feel your pain as I read this. I can relate to your pain and I am so very sorry that your precious little boy is no longer with you. We had to say “good-bye” to one of our sons too early also and I’m sorry you are having to go through this. Grief is such a necessary process to go through, allow yourself all of these things that you are thinking and feeling. I am praying for you.

    Your sister in Christ,
    Janelle

  18. Dana~
    There is not a day that has gone by since I read your good-bye post that I don’t see something Samuel is doing at least once that makes me think of you and Tiggy and pray for your heart and those of your family.
    Know you are on my heart and in my prayers.
    Asking the Father to be there for you in that fog and numbness and to give you rest and his Shalom in every breath.
    HUGS sister.
    ~J and family
    Jacque @Walking Therein´s last [type] ..Mini-Update

  19. Rachael says:

    I am so sorry for your loss! My heart aches for your family.

  20. Angela Wimbish says:

    Oh my goodness, how my heart is breaking for you this morning, precious one.

    I’d like to suggest a book written by Nancy Guthrie called Holding on to Hope. She and her husband lost two little children to a genetic syndrome. They were both 6 months old when they died and died about a year and a half apart. Their story is amazing and her words bring comfort. I lost my little Mary Margaret at 6 months old, 5 years ago, and Nancy’s book helped me get through that time. She and her husband actually hold respite retreats a couple of times a year for parents who have lost children. My husband and I are attending one this February.

    Please know that you are not alone. In her book, Nancy talks about how someone crying with you helps to ease your pain. Know that I am crying with you this morning and wishing I could give you a big hug.
    Angela in Knoxville

  21. Dana,
    Still praying for you. I wish I had the words to give you, something heartfelt that would somehow pierce the pain and numbness, but sadly, all I have to offer is love, prayers and the thought that the Lord will heal you, it just takes such a long time. keep writing, keep remembering, giving Tiggy’s short time here with you the honor he deserves.

  22. Mari says:

    Praying for you. God is right next to you and he is helping you, allow him to continue, I am glad to see you write, you are extremely brave. I remember when my mom lost her son, my brother 20 years ago, she went so numb, she almost literally died herself. I was already half mom to my sis, as mom was a single mom, so I helped with everything. After my brothers death, I had to help my mom, get up, eat, dress, go to work, and just function in general. To this day, she is still in denial, she cant even greive yet, because she is in denial, which I can’t blame her, it hurts to loose your child. I still have to call her during those times to eat, take meds and everything.

    I am still praying for you and your family.
    Mari´s last [type] ..Free NASA Calendar

  23. Valerie says:

    Dana,

    Allow yourself to feel the pain. I have learned from my own life that you have to walk through the pain before you can come out on the other side. It does not get easier, but you do deal with it better. You will still be a good mother to your children and a good wife to your husband. You will not be the same person, but you will be a changed person who can still count her blessings and still feel joy. That will come in time. You and your family are in the prayers of this stranger who feels your pain.

  24. Dana, my heart aches for you and I’m praying for you.

  25. lyndsaykay says:

    Dana,
    My heart breaks with each new post. I can’t imagine how you get through each day, but you do. I pray for you and your family everyday. I just wanted to let you know that I think you are blessed to have taken the pictures you did of Tiggy. I only have three kids and my youngest is eleven months and I have only “staged” photos. I take for granted the moments when my baby falls asleep in his carseat and when he is playing with his sisters. What a blessing for you to have pictures along with your memories. He is so beautiful and it hurts my heart that you have to wait to see him again, but more joy of knowing you will see him again. Sending love to you and your family.

  26. Michelle says:

    Dana,
    You don’t know me, but we are sisters in Christ. I just wanted you to know that you and your family are often in my thoughts and prayers. I know that nothing can really be said, but our Lord and Father grieves with you and collects each one of yours and your family’s precious tears. May you remember David’s words and may they give you hope: I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. May the Lord give each of you peace and abundant joy that is beyond understanding.

  27. samantha says:

    Know that what you are feeling is so NORMAL. For me, when I lost my first husband and my son survived his brain injury but was so damaged, people who had never gone through what I was going through (most of them Christians) would tell me what I SHOULD be feeling, what I SHOULD be doing. For a few years this went on. I was in a depressed fog for a long time. Every now and then, a wonderful Christian woman or two who HAD been there would say something so sweet, so OKAY, and I would be reminded of how much God was there. Don’t forget how much God is there, how He wraps His arms around you and hurts with you. Don’t believe the lies of the enemy and let bitterness set in. I believe it’s okay to get angry, but let it out and let it go. God understands. Just as Jesus said, “Father, why have You forsaken me?” and yet he stayed on that cross because He knew and believed in the future hope God had promised. We have that same hope – eternity with God, and with our loved ones who have gone before us. Don’t give up. Bring your children with you on this journey. And, as someone above said, do stay close to your husband. Men (my husband anyhow) deal with grief differently and may not understand all of what you are feeling, but God does. Lay it all at His feet. You’re in my prayers.

  28. Sisterlisa says:

    Dana, I know this has got to be so extremely painful for you all and while I sit here and read your blog posts I see such a beauty in you that I cannot describe. Keep blogging about this journey. Your words are shaping something special in my heart and while I don’t know what our Potter is doing with my clay just yet, I thank you God for you.
    Sisterlisa´s last [type] ..Goodbye 2010

  29. Don’t feel like you have to make any decisions regarding things right now. Since Christian shared a closet with his brothers, I decided to pack away his clothes sooner rather than later. I got an orange bin (I don’t know why I always associated orange with him) and put in his clothes, shoes, crayons, wooden racecar and a few other favorite things. Maybe I’ll look at them again, maybe I’ll make a memory quilt, or maybe I will do nothing… As far as his carseat, we put it in the attic. I would toss it but *sigh* there are pieces of his blonde hair on the headrest…

    Keep breathing. Take things one moment, one day at a time.

    I am praying for you.

    When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when though walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. -Isaiah 43:2

    For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

    Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. -Hebrews 4:15,16

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  31. Jana says:

    My heart just aches for you… :(
    Jana´s last [type] ..Merry Christmas

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