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to see a video of Gretta
and pictures from her funeral

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

When She was Four

I never intended for this blog to be about grief. It was more about 'The Big Picture' as it's entitled. As I see it....that is. But that's not how it's turned out. I certainly would never have imagined it being about my own grief, about losing my little girl. No one predicts these things.

As June 6th rolled around, Gretta's supposed to be 4th birthday, I experienced the usual milestone anxieties, depression and coping skills. Like always, I wanted to just crawl into bed for the day or week. Better yet, just not get out of bed at all. As usual, life expects otherwise and you get up and go on. Funny what they say, life goes on....even when you don't want it to.

Gretta's Butterfly Garden has been a huge part of the peace I get on a daily basis. I just decided I need to integrate some evergreen and winter pieces so that the garden doesn't just die off at the end of summer. It seems wrong, somehow to let it die away if it's a living memorial for her. Any ideas for shrubs or plants are welcome. I walk out to the garden at least once a day, rain or shine. Sometimes I just sit on the bench, other times I weed...lately I've been adding plants to it.

The fact that Gretta could have been 4, could have been here with us, could have been talking and becoming her own little person, part of our family, cuts deep. There are moments when I almost see her shadow, her little ghost playing along side the rest of the kids. It seems unreal still, even now.

I have set my mind on things above, not on things on the earth. I await Heaven almost desperately, planning my reunion, but never knowing enough to solidify it. There are days when I do not seek out God because I find Him elusive and redundant. This is a lie of course, but nevertheless, He is evaded in my personal life. Other days, I seek Him alone, solace, peace and comfort that comes only by knowing Him personally. I have found in Him an unfailing friend. One who stands by as I flounder, One who answers when I call, One who is a rock when I am a storm. He plans, I don't. He knows, I question. He comforts, I falter. He accepts me when I am unacceptable.

I still, two years after her death, waiver steadily from sadness to peace. I still weep uncontrollably. I still wish for death and am even jealous of those I know are facing it. I still have days where I can do almost nothing, I still feel like a failure in mothering my remaining children. I still am.

But it is better than it was before. It hurt to breathe a year ago, it hurt to open my eyes, to think, to feel. That intense physical pain is gone most of the time. It returns unexpectedly and in waves. Life goes on.

I still wish and probably always will that instead of all of this, I was talking about all the things she did, does or is doing, when she was four.


JuliaVP said...

Grief is a terrible, confusing, life-changing, awful, and somehow wonderful thing. I'm sure it is 100% different for each one of us who experiences it first hand. But the similarities remind me that God is the one governing it. I've blogged a bit about my own experience with it, so I won't bother you with it here, but most of the time I was too depressed to blog. I so appreciate your honesty as you journey through these painful waters. It is crazy how as time goes by it hurts a little less each day... until for some reason one day hurts more than it ever had before.

I too wish you were blogging about Gretta's adventures, but I am so thankful you are clinging to the only comfort!

ben and erin said...

i imagine she is chasing butterflies in heaven, with all her little 4-year-old friends!

happy birthday gretta.

Alex Jerry; Stephanie Jerry said...

I am so sorry, again, Lesley. We go through that every birthday after losing Maezie, too...although it doesn't even compare to your loss.
Despite what you think, you are a good mother. I'm sure your children know how proud you are of them. They will be okay. You love them like crazy and God will cover the days where you can't be what you think you should be. His grace is sufficient even for your kids. Hold on, Lesley. It's just another day closer to your sweet reunion!

Nicole said...

I looked up some shrubs that flower in the winter:


Not sure if they'll flower in a Minnesota winter but it might be worth a try! :)

Happy 4th Birthday Gretta!!!

Anonymous said...

Heaven seems so far away,, just beyond our grasp.. when will be get there.. how much longer do we have to wait. I see her sweet face in so many things throughout my days.. her smile, her laugh, her soft hugs,, how she would just wrap herself around your body. I think about how I used to stick my finger through her ringlets and she would say. "NO" I found a hairin the hat Rosie gave me to give to you,,, I cried as I held it in my hand.. a little hair. I miss her, I hurt for her, with you, Im sorry,. BUT>> BUT BUT BUT BUT BUT
So many wonderful amazing things have come of her death.. so many I cannot count, many we will not know of till we stand in the presence of the Almighty.. I rejoice in her death for this reason. Although I must be honest, that was hard to write. but i do. i really do. ~Angel

Jody said...

Hi, Leslie
I have been thinking of you cuz I knew Gretta's bday was coming.
I don't know what to write today- only to say I have the same feelings. My son will have been 2 this coming August. Everytime I see a little boy his age I get a lump in my throat.
It still hurts and I long for Heaven too. Praise God when that day comes, all this pain will be a memory-- actually, I don't believe we will remember it at all. Because if we did, it wouldn't be Heaven! Love u, keep hanging in there!

Anonymous said...

You have comforted and inspired many as you journal your way down this path God has set you on. Your faith is steadfast and an example to follow; enduring what every parent fears most. I doubt you will ever know the true depth of God's plan until the day He reveals it to you. But know that your baby girl has touched the hearts of more people in her two short years here on earth than others touch in a hundred.

I'd like to think Gretta and my Mom celebrated their birthdays together - I'm sure my Mom gave her big birthday hugs and extra frosting :o)

Please know you have many praying for you, Matt and the kids.

Love you girl.