Sunday, February 6, 2011


For lack of better words, I had a "doom and gloom" feeling from day one of my pregnancy with Brigham. To the point where, 2 or 3 times in the first few months, I asked Justin for a Priesthood blessing for peace and comfort. I was always antsy; worrying something would go wrong; hyper-aware of the possibility of miscarriage (although I have no track record/history of this). I think Heavenly Father began preparing me to let go of Brigham, long before he was born.

Without going too into it, I'll mention that my Patriarchal blessing talks a lot about my role as a mother. The last sentence in the "mother paragraph" says something to the effect of, "long-suffering, patience, understanding, forgiveness, and lots of love will make you a successful mother."

I remember thinking, "Oh no.... what am I going to go through?...." Never once, in the several years between receiving that blessing in high school and now, did losing a baby cross my mind. I thought it would just be something "easy" like having a delinquent teenager (although who knows, that may be in the cards too. I hope not).

Justin and I were able to go to the temple last Friday and do sealings. It was a wonderful reminder of our wedding day and our eternal commitments. Our children are ours forever. We are guaranteed to have at least one of our children in the Celestial Kingdom. While this is comforting, it's also scary. That means the rest of us have to work even harder to make sure we get there to be with him!

Anyways, afterward we were sitting in the Celestial Room. A friend from my home ward walked in (he had just finished a session). A quick version of his "story": Almost 2 years ago, his wife wasn't feeling well, went to the doctor, who sent her to the hospital for some tests. A few days later, she was diagnosed with leukemia. They started treatment, but it was too late and a few days later she passed away. She left her husband and 5 children.

As we were quietly talking to him in the temple, he said, "I will never be thankful for that trial, but I'm thankful for the things I've learned because of it."

I couldn't agree more. No matter how long I mourn, I will never be thankful that I lived on edge for three weeks in the NICU waiting to see what would happen; I will never be thankful that I had to bury my baby boy; I will never be thankful that I have to live the rest of my mortal life without Brigham.

But I am ETERNALLY thankful for my faith that has grown, that I have learned to trust more in my Heavenly Father, for my love that has increased for Carrie and especially for Justin.

I've been having both "up" and "down" days since he's passed. It's actually very exhausting. I feel like my good days are really good, but my bad days are equally just as bad. It's like I hold my breath and then crash. I know this sounds silly, but I feel like I'm not mourning "the right way". I don't know how I'm supposed to feel... The hard thing is, no one can tell me either. Apart from completely ignoring it and allowing it to completely overtake me, there is no "wrong" way to mourn. There are no rule books.

We put flowers on his grave last week. It felt strange. I promise I have a grip on reality, I'm not in denial at all, but I think all the prayers have been protecting my mind from over-thinking it while the wound is still so fresh. You know when you try to fathom "eternity"? It just doesn't make sense in your finite mortal brain? That's what it feels like when I think about what actually happened. We had a baby die. I can't fully process it yet.

He will never come home and sleep in the room I decorated for him. We won't be able to snuggle him, bathe him, read him books, kiss his owies... We will never get back to normal. Normal has changed. It's going to take a little time for me to figure out what my "new normal" is.


Haylee said...

I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I'll continue to pray that you will have comfort

Natalie Sadler said...

Isn't the priesthood such a wonderful thing? Isn't it wonderful that you have a husband worthy to hold the priesthood and give you blessings? I am so thankful for this. The priesthood is just as essential to healing spiritually as it is to healing physically. Please take time to grieve. It's really important.

Brittney said...

I'm so glad you expressed these feelings. It's okay to not feel strong all the time. It reminds me of the movie "Emma." She too had to bury many of her children. One of my favorite quotes from the movie says something like, "strength isn't something you have, it's something you find." Like I said before, it will be a rough road for you, but I know somehow you will find the strength to move forward. We continue to pray and fast for your family. Sure love ya Rebecca.

Brittney said...

Sorry, let me just clarify that it was the "Emma Smith: My story" movie, not the "Emma" movie just in case there was any confusion there.

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Anonymous said...

Left a comment, and then realized it was a little too personal. I've e-mailed it to you. I want you to know that we love you. And support you. And that this post was beautifully articulated. You're my hero these days.

Coleen said...

Again, you have expressed so eloquently your thoughts and feelings. You are right, there is no right or wrong way for you to grieve, there are no rules, no time when you won't hurt or long to have Brigham here with you and Justin. Just take a day at a time and know that you, Justin and Carrie are in our prayers every day.
Every person handles sorrow in their own way. I keep telling myself that too, you don't just "get" over something like this, it will be a tender hurt forever.
We love you!

Brittanie said...

I'm a friend of Aubri's. She's been telling me about Brigham's story for a while now. My first daughter was stillborn at 38 weeks. I didn't blog about Cora at the time, but if I had, I truly feel like I could have written this entry. I always "knew" throughout my pregnancy with her. Every ultrasound, every appointment I was surprised when they told me everything was good.

I, too, will never be grateful she died, but I am grateful for the woman she taught me to be.

There is no right way to mourn. It like of leaves you feeling directionless as well as knowing you aren't doing it "wrong."

Anyway, love and prayers with you. ((hugs))

Shawn and Ashley said...

I love reading your posts. This post seriously inspires me. You and Justin are both awesome. Brigham and Carrie are both so lucky! I have been amazed at how you have handled things all along the way...

Karissa said...

You're right, by the way - there is no "wrong" way to mourn as long as you aren't ignoring it, which you're obviously not. Just hang in there! We love you guys!

Jessica Rodgers said...

I appreciate your blog as well as all the comments from others. It helps me put things into perspective and I too miss brigham. He taught us all so much that there is no way to express what a difference he has made and will continue to make.