Monday, December 20, 2010

Merry Christmas From The.....

Allens? What do you put on a card when you have lost a child? This is a question that arises each time I sign a card whether birthday or Christmas. Sometimes I put Evan's name on it and other times I just put the Allens. It doesn't seem fitting to leave his name off when he is still our child, just not physically present.

We have not sent out Christmas cards since December 2007. That was the last Christmas that Evan spent with us. This year I decided it was time to take photos and send the cards. Being an overwhelming emotional task Nate and I decided to make a laugh out of it. Then we couldn't decide whether to include first names, last names, etc.

This is the photo and the message. We didn't include any names...

From Our Misfits To Yours....

Have A Merry Christmas And A Blessed New Year

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Candle In The Window

Sunday, December 12th was the world wide candle lighting led by the Compassionate Friends Group. For those who do not know what that is, it is the support/grief group for parents who have lost children of any age. Of course this is the club that nobody wants to be in. So every year the candle lighting begins at 7:00 p.m.

Here is our candle in honor of Evan...

A big thanks to all those who lit and candle for Evan and sent us pictures. It means so much to us that people remember Evan!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Grief Monster (Written In My Own Self Pity)

Nathan and I had some much needed time alone the other night as we drove an hour to retrieve a Santa gift for Noah. We just needed time to connect and this usually means reflecting on our life together and the tragedy we have come to know quite well.

Grief is like a monster always lurking around us. In my honest opinion it is like the Devil always rearing his head in the midst of provoking sin. Unlike the Devil we can't fight this awful monster. Nathan and I agreed that we are stuck in this life with the monster who has taken control over our lives. At least that is how I feel at times. Sometimes I feel trapped in a dark room with no way out and no one to hear my screams. Sure we have our good days but even on our best days there is a shadow of sadness that looms in every part of our being.

When we wake up in the morning there is again the realization that this is not a dream. I pass Evan's dark, empty room each morning as I walk down the hallway to get the boys. Everything in his room is just as he left it with his little toys sitting on shelves and his clothes folded neatly in the drawers. His little pajamas from the night before he passed away are sitting on the bed unwashed. I often find myself just laying on his bed holding his jammies close to me, as his smell is all I have left to hold onto. His toothbrush is sitting on his dresser with remnants of toothpaste between the bristles. I sometimes sit in my own self pity and cry wondering how this became our life. This is the life of grief.

I leave to take Noah to school and always pass a school bus or two reminded that I didn't put Evan on the bus. I pass the funeral home on my way to Noah's school where I stood next to my precious child laying in a casket for hours on end. We attend church were I touched his little face one last time as the funeral directer slowly closed him in, knowing that I would never again get to touch his soft skin or hold him in my arms. While on our way to St. Louis the other night we passed the cemetery where he is buried. It was dark, cold, and pouring rain. I said to Nate "there's our sweet little boy".

People often tell me how strong I am and the fact is I am not at all. The strength that I do have comes from God and each day I pray for Him to help me put one foot in front of the other. Some days are certainly easier than others. Nathan and I remind ourselves that we are so blessed and have so much to be grateful for. The two wonderful little boys that we have here on earth is the medicine that keeps us going.

The other morning while having coffee with a dear friend she reminded me that our story makes her appreciate her children even more. This is such a wonderful thing to hear. I hope that people everywhere love their children and make each and every moment count.
"While we try and teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about."