I Remember…

I remember the day I found out we were expecting Silas, and the overwhelming joy and gratitude I felt after such a long journey to get him.

I remember feeling grateful for morning sickness because my baby was growing each day.

I remember worrying that everything would be ok because I was already so in love with our baby and couldn’t fathom losing him.

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I remember how easy it was to change my diet due to gestational diabetes because his health was my number one concern.

I remember praying for his health and safety.

I remember how quickly he came into our lives with a 3.5 hour labor and how I worried I would deliver him in the car on our way to the hospital.  We made it…20 minutes before he was born!

I remember asking if he was ok because he didn’t cry right away, and the relief I felt when he did fill up his lungs so he could announce his arrival.

I remember holding him and thinking, “I waited SO LONG for you.”

I remember the fear when the doctor came to tell us he was in the NICU.  I barely knew him, but couldn’t bear to lose him.

I remember the gratitude when they assured me he’d be ok and how my heart broke for the parents of the other babies in the NICU who had such a long road ahead.

I remember watching Lily and Milo examine their brother with such wonder and amazement.  They, also, immediately fell in love with him.

Meeting Silas

I remember bringing him home.

I remember loving being a mom of three.

Three

I remember breastfeeding my baby.

I remember being glad to have the opportunity to change his diapers.

I remember the way it felt to hold him: in my arms, against my heart, with his head against my cheek.

Snuggles with Silas

I remember how my heart would break when he cried.

And how he calmed when I sang “Close to You” to him.

I remember the day my world stopped spinning.

I flashback to the hallway in the doctor’s office.

I remember praying for God to save his life.  Begging, pleading to keep him there with me.  Wanting to bargain with God for his life, knowing I had absolutely nothing to offer in return that would be worthy of my child’s life.

I remember the fear.

I remember the update: that he was not breathing on his own and his heart had stopped beating.

I remember wailing from the deepest, darkest part of my soul.

I remember praying even harder.

I remember the painful truth that I was not in control.

I remember the doctor’s red, tear-filled eyes as she knelt before me and told me the worst words I’ve ever heard.

I remember kissing my baby, crying, “My baby, my baby, my baby…please come back to me,” as I rocked him back and forth.  I think I rocked him because it hurt too much to sit still.

I remember heaven feeling so very close and knew I would be there with him one day.

I remember wondering how my heart could still be beating when I felt like I was dying.

I remember my children holding their brother.  Lily’s red eyes, devastated, her lower lip, quivering.  Milo, touching Silas’ ear, telling us he moved because he could not understand that Silas was gone when he was right there..

I remember my husband, my rock, holding our baby, needing a moment with just him.

I remember sinking to the floor because I could not stand.

I remember God catching every piece of my shattered heart.

I remember asking, “Why?” I am still waiting for an answer…but am not expecting one this side of heaven.

I remember feeling as if I were walking on unsteady ground as we left the doctor’s office without our baby.

I remember looking at my husband as we drove away in our truck, telling him we have to stay together forever in spite of this, and how he looked at my like I was crazy to think this could pull us apart.  I remember thinking he must really love me.

I remember looking up at the sky asking, “Where did you go?”

I remember dreading going home because it was no longer complete.

I remember walking into our house, seeing him everywhere.  Sitting on the couch, staring straight ahead, tears endlessly falling from my eyes, feeling the weight of him in my arms.

I remember Milo waking the next morning and asking me, “Mommy, where’s your baby?”

I remember explaining death to my children. How Silas wasn’t here anymore because his spirit, the part of him that makes up how he feels and what he likes and loves, left his body because his heart couldn’t beat anymore.

I remember feeling like a zombie, like a stranger in this world.  When did the world become such a cruel place?

I remember the nausea that accompanied the grief.

I remember seeing all of his clothes, his bouncy seat, his diaper bag…all of them rendered meaningless for the future. I hated to see them. I hated to pack them away.

I remember waking from the flashback nightmares to see his empty co-sleeper by our bed…my nightmare was real.

I remember wrapping myself in his afghan.

I remember the rush of help and support by acquaintances, friends, and family, and the gratitude I felt.  I will never forget those kindnesses then and the ones who still extend that kindness today, two years later.

I remember being offered so many hugs, crying on shoulders, being held up by those who offered comfort.

I remember what felt surreal: donating his heart valves, picking out his grave-site, planning his funeral, burying my baby.

Funeral

I remember and cherish the gifts people gave to us in remembrance of his life.

Silas' Pocket Quilt

I remember the unfairness…it still feels so unfair.

I remember the comfort people give to me when they speak of Silas…whether it be a memory of his life, or the aftermath of his death.

I remember the isolation of loss…even in a room full of people. And I remember the friends who reached out to let me know I was not alone.

I remember every mother who came to me to say that the trials and frustrations of motherhood melted away when she thought of Silas and me and how everything can change in the blink of an eye.

I am forever affected by the new perspective Silas has brought to my life.

I remember watching my children grieve, and grieve with them still today.

His death created a dividing line in my life: Before he died. After he died. All memories fall on either side of that line.

I remember hurting every single moment and how long and painful the healing process is.

But, when these things overwhelm me, I remember why it hurts so much…I remember the love. The love that makes this loss so cruel–that love is the beautiful part of life. And it is worth the cruelty, even though it is a wound that will never heal in this lifetime.

Fear

As my friend and I were talking about how we often fear for the health and safety of our children, I told her that after losing Silas, I was terrified that a normal, ordinary moment would turn into the worst moment of my life…again.  Now, I could usually talk myself through these fears and differentiate between which were rational and which were irrational.  But, the logical approach still couldn’t ease my fears because we lost Silas out of nowhere, unexpectedly, in a controlled medical environment with all the equipment needed to stabilize his life.

I knew trusting in God was the answer.  I tried.  I didn’t want to hand everything over to Him, think I could block out my fears and become ignorant to the situations that need attention and quick action should one happen to us.  But, the hyper-vigilance the fear created was exhausting and I didn’t have the stamina to stand guard every moment of every day.  I was in constant “fight or flight” mode and no one’s nervous system should be taxed like that.

Finally, I asked God to give me peace in the moments that were fine, but to allow me to know with absolute certainty when something was a true emergency.  I started to be able to trust and hand over the fear knowing that He would help me in those times.

So often, I wonder what I would’ve done if we’d been at home when Silas slipped away.  Would I have had him in my arms like I did at the doctor’s office that day, or would I have looked at him in his bouncy seat and seen my worst fear?  Would I have been helping one of my other children and been unaware that he was leaving us?  When would I have known it was necessary to call 911, because, when I handed him to our doctor that day, he was still breathing, but something just didn’t feel right.  I didn’t know he was dying, and that  alone causes me fear of possible emergency situations.

For months and months I wished I had taken Silas out to the doctor just moments sooner, thinking I had dropped the ball, that I had missed the window of time in which he could have been saved.  I felt like I had failed him because I lack medical training.  Tonight, as I was thinking back on these thoughts, I wished that before that day, I had known to ask God to help me to recognize a true emergency.

But then, I felt a peaceful reassurance as He said to my heart:

But you did recognize and know something wasn’t right.  Not only did I show you that, but I placed you in the doctor’s office that day.  

I have always felt as though God held us in the palm of His hand and protected us by placing us in the office that day.  Many friends have said we couldn’t have been in a better place or in more capable hands at that time and that they were so grateful we were there that day.  Being there allowed us to have every reassurance that everything that could’ve been done for Silas was done.  It assuaged a small piece of the unfounded guilt I felt.  I knew that Silas had been taken home by his Heavenly Father.  I just didn’t know why.

Tonight, I saw that providence had not only placed us in the doctor’s care that day, but that God was also answering a prayer that I would ask of Him in the future, for He helped me recognize the need for help while providing that help for us.

I still fear for the lives of my children.  I constantly have to hand that fear back over to God.  But, my trust in God is growing…


Silas in the NICU

A Grieving Mother’s Perspective

We all have bad days.  I did before losing Silas.  I still do after losing him.  However, my perspective has forever changed since losing Silas.

The things that triggered my bad days before are still frustrating, but there is a generous dose of thankfulness because I get to face those trials with my husband and two of our children.

I have avoided writing on this subject because it may seem critical of others and their complaints or concerns.  I had many of the same gripes before our loss.  I looked at how hard my life seemed in comparison to the lives of my friends and wished we could have better financial stability in the midst of union layoffs, that we could have my mother-in-law here to help watch the kids for appointments I had as she was so eager to do before she passed away, that my children be better nappers like my friends’ kids were, or that my husband would cook dinner once in a while or even initiate eating out so I could take a break from the mundane.

Social media can be incredibly helpful in times of grief because so many people can reach out to you and be present with you in your grief by offering words of compassion and words of encouragement.  However, as a grieving parent, there are many challenges the social media world presents.  It is often used as a platform for venting about the frustrations one faces.  There are the posts seeking attention through complaints and the posts seeking martyrdom status.  I suppose one could label my posts as ones authored by a martyr.

My biggest complaint with the venting posts is the lack of reflection.  Sure, vent about it, say it out loud, get it off your chest.  But, let that come full circle and see how blessed you are, even in those struggles.

Before I lost Silas, when my then three year old would throw a fit, I would feel defeated in my parenting skills and I would want to complain, thinking my child was the only one ever to be born with a thick skull and a healthy dose of stubbornness.  Hardly, I know!  I was emotionally and physically drained at the end of every day and I felt like the most ineffective parent in the world.  I was sick of the temper tantrum and the constant redirections.  Would he ever get it?  Now, when I face moments like those, frustrated to the gills, threatening yet another consequence, my heart softens and I think, “I am so grateful I get to do this for you…that I get the opportunity to help you grow and learn.”  And I thank God.  For the hard times!  Something I never really did with much sincerity before my perspective shifted.

So much of the time, we thank God for the blessings He has given us, and it is not until we come through the storms in life that we can finally see how He has blessed us even when we felt so alone.  I’m so grateful that I now see the blessings He has given me right in the middle of the “parenting storm.”

Finding the right perspective has always been a huge key for me throughout my life.  I remember being pregnant with Lily, who was due in September, and thinking it was so incredibly hot!  The summer heat zapped what little energy I had in the third trimester.  But, I would think of my grandmothers who were pregnant all summer with some of their children and marvel that they could survive without the luxury of air-conditioning.  Silly, I know, but it would give me the fortitude to power through.  I also realize there are so many women who would gladly endure any pregnancy discomfort just to be blessed with a child.  I felt that way when waiting and waiting for Silas to join our family.

God blessed me with the most beautiful perspective when I had Silas.  We tried for nearly a year to conceive him.  I began to think it would never happen.  I so desired another child to add to our family.  When we finally found out we were being blessed with another child, I was so incredibly grateful.  Those long months of trying and disappointment really made me consider that we might only have two children instead of the four we had planned.  My perspective caused me to love my third child like he was the last child I would ever have.  I sure hope he isn’t the last child we add to our family.

When Silas was born and in the NICU, the nurses offered to feed him so I could get some rest, but I always declined.  I never wanted to relinquish any of the time I had with him.  I knew I was in for long, sleepless nights…and because of the NICU schedule, they were even longer and more sleepless than with my other two.  But, I was so grateful to get to do all of those things for him.  I didn’t feel the haze of new motherhood like before because I was so incredibly aware of the gift I’d been given and I wanted to soak up every single moment with my baby boy.  Diaper changes were an honor.  My husband didn’t even get the chance to change one for a few weeks!

Silas

For months, I had friends and mothers come to me and tell me of how their perspectives had changed since our loss.  One friend told me she often thought of me as she was up at night feeding her little boy.  While it hurt because I was the one with empty arms at night, I loved hearing of how Silas was continuing to bless others by showing them where the true importance in life lies.  I know many are still affected by his death, but as time moves on and the shock of losing him isn’t as fresh, people fall back into their old routines and the same old problems move to the forefront again.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, when things are difficult, take a deep breath, place your feet in my shoes and look through my eyes when your teething baby has kept you up all night.  I wish I would’ve had that chance.  Instead, for months, I was plagued with the nightmare of losing my baby. Look through my heart when you announce you are expecting again.  Before losing Silas, and even after my miscarriage, I felt pregnancy announcements could only bring joy.  Now, they are a reminder of something I desire so badly, yet have been denied so far this last year.  They also bring back the hurt of waiting so long for Silas, yet losing him so quickly and it causes me to wonder why some are so easily blessed while I feel so forgotten in the midst of this cruel storm.

When my children want to watch the same movie over again for the 100th time, I roll my eyes, but then I wonder, what would Silas love to watch over and over?

When my mountain of laundry seems so big, I wish it were bigger.

When I vacuum and sweep, I wish it could be because I was making sure my toddler wouldn’t eat what might lying on the floor.

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A lot of the seemingly insignificant things become very significant when you don’t get the chance to realize them.

A lot of the frustrations in life melt away when you think you may not have this moment again.

Perspective.

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Blessed By Silas Winston Rondomanski

One year ago, August 17th, we said goodbye to our son for the second and final time.

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Our friends and family surrounded us as we faced the second hardest day of our life.  The outpouring of love and support given to our family at this time was truly amazing, and I am forever grateful.  I am grateful that we were not the only ones standing there brokenhearted.  My heart was touched by the love shown for Silas and for us.  We were not alone in our grief, and we still aren’t.

I still don’t understand why one so precious had to leave so quickly, so suddenly, but I do know this:  The hearts that shattered the day he died bonded the broken pieces together in love and sorrow for our family.  People are capable of great love and compassion in times of tragedy, and it is one way in which beauty can rise from the ashes.

In the days leading up to his funeral, God brought to mind the blessings Silas had brought to my life.  I couldn’t believe I could see the good in the midst of intense grief.  Each blessing proved to me that the pain of losing him was worth the blessing of having him, and my love for Silas grew even more.

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As our friends and family came through the visitation line during the hour before Silas’ funeral, I could see the pain and grief in their eyes and in their tears.  They tried to keep their tears at bay for my sake, but how can you when you see a mother and father standing there without their child?  They were absolutely devastated for us.  I just had to share why we were so blessed to be Silas’ parents.  Their tears gave me the courage to stand and speak for my baby. Below is the video of my words for my baby boy.

 

New life and new life in heaven

In the days approaching the anniversary of the day I wish had never happened, I realized that even though I wish with all my heart that Silas were here with us, a happy 13 month old boy, I have grown accustomed to carrying him in my heart. My arms still ache, but my heart is forever overflowing with love.

i carry your heart with me

I began journaling after I lost Silas. It helped me make sense of the sea of emotions I was discovering. I had never know such devastating loss before. I’ve chosen to share the following journal entry from last September because I often wonder what heaven is like. That is where my future with my son is. We are all moving forward in this life, but some of us are also moving toward reuniting with those who left us too soon, or those we never got to meet. Death has lost its sting. I have begun to realize my future does hold having Silas again. Lily always reminds us, too, that we will be with the baby we never got to meet, as well.

 

September 4, 2013

When they told me my baby’s heart had stopped beating, I felt so much pain. It was like I was giving birth to him all over again. My heart and soul were torn from my whole being. My body tensed and wrenched just as it did in labor. The intensity was incomprehensible. I could hardly breathe.

As I reflected on this moment, I wondered why his passing from this life was so similar to his coming into this life. I began to think there was a deeper complexity to God’s plan when Eve sinned and God said woman would suffer during childbirth.

Natural childbirth is excruciatingly painful. That pain faded quickly as I heard my baby cry and as he was placed in my arms. Joy replaced pain as he entered my life. When he left my life, intense pain filled my body. But, I wonder if it was followed with joy in heaven as he entered his new life.

Silas, six weeks old

This is the last photograph I took of Silas. He was exactly six weeks old here, and we lost him two days later.

 

You can read the story of how we lost our little man here.

***I purchased the above necklace from StampedbyDesign to remind me I always carry Silas in my heart. 

Finding Joy In June

So many emotions have hit me in the days leading up to Silas’ birthday, June 25th. In the first weeks of June, I felt so much joy, remembering the season of last year and the excitement his anticipated arrival was bringing. I thought June would be so terribly hard, but was surprised to feel that the good was in the forefront…that the beautiful memories were so vibrant.

But, those memories were muddled because as a mother approaches her child’s first birthday, she usually looks at him, an almost one year old, and thinks, where did the time go? How can you be so big already? Was it really a whole year ago?

I have no comparisons to make with last year. My son is not here. But, even amidst the pain the separation brings, there is no denying the fact that he brought me great joy.

As I reflected on last year, I thought of how innocent I was in my joy. Would I have ever wanted to know the way it all would go?

No. Absolutely not.

I loved him wholly and completely every minute, never wishing a second away, for I knew it would pass in the blink of an eye. I would never trade that pure, innocent love for knowledge that, while it may have eased some of the trauma, would have caused those days to be bittersweet and fearful. I have no regrets in how we spent our time with Silas, and that is why we didn’t need to know.

Last year, I never could have dreamed we would be standing here today without our little Silas in our arms.

In the last few days, the heartache has been creeping in on the joy. I easily cry at the thought of him. I feel like all the months of healing are unraveling, but I’m sure this is normal…just a path to another layer of healing that will come with the passing of the storm of surviving his birthday without him.

I’m in uncharted territory, and feel very vulnerable because of the emotions that have been flooding my soul. How am I supposed to survive Silas’ birthday without him?

How is a mother supposed to feel as her son’s birthday approaches and he’s not here?

I feel devastated that my baby is not here.

I feel haunted by what could have been and what never will be.

I feel heartache because so much time has passed since I last held him.

I feel numb because I’m afraid of the hurt.

I feel confused because this is not the way it’s supposed to be.

I feel broken because my dreams for him have been torn away, but yet, there are still some I want to fulfill in his honor.

Most of all:
I feel joy because he blessed my life.
I feel love that reaches across the distance.

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Music Is My Balm

When we first lost Silas, I craved blocking out the world by listening to music as loudly as I could handle through the earphones of my iPod. The songs gave me moments to meditate and absorb all that had happened.

I listened to the songs that were on Silas’ birthing playlist–the ones I sang to him before and after he was born. I searched the internet for songs to which I could relate, songs that spoke of the heartbreak I was feeling. Whenever I hear of someone who has suffered infant loss, child loss, or the loss of a loved one, I want to share the following songs that brought me comfort, so I decided to write a post sharing all of the songs with their links and some of my favorite lyrics.

***Feel free to use the comments section to add any songs you may have heard that may be of comfort to those who have lost a child.

edit IMG_2214My mom snapped this photo as I was singing “Hourglass” to Silas.  It’s plain to see he really loved music.

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All I Have To Do Is Dream by The Everly Brothers

When I want you in my arms
When I want you and all your charms
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is
Dream, dream, dream, dream

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All of Me by Matt Hammitt

You’re gonna have all of me
You’re gonna have all of me
‘Cause you’re worth every falling tear
You’re worth facing any fear
You’re gonna know all my love
Even if it’s not enough
Enough to mend our broken hearts
But giving you all of me is where I’ll start

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Angel Standing By by Jewel

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Anyway by Martina McBride

God is great, but sometimes life ain’t good
When I pray it doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway

When Silas died, it was confusing to me that I was still here to live this life even when I felt like I could’ve died with him.  No matter what life throws at us, we will live it anyway, and we will love life, even when it is hard. 

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Beautiful Things by Gungor

All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found
Could a garden come up from this ground at all
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us

The words of this song really spoke to me as God brought to mind the blessings Silas had brought to my life.  In such despair, the love for Silas shone brightly and even in the desolation of my devastation and grief, I was able to see the beauty of my love for my son.  I clung to the thought of the beauty of his life still continuing to direct mine, even while we are separated.

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Beauty from Pain by Superchick

My whole world is the pain inside me
The best I can do is just get through the day
When life before is only a memory
I’ll wonder why God lets me walk through this place
And though I can’t understand why this happened
I know that I will when I look back someday
And see how You’ve brought beauty from ashes
And made me as gold purified through these flames

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Blessings by Laura Story

We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It’s not our home

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Broken Hallelujah by Mandisa

With my love and my sadness
I come before You Lord
My heart’s in a thousand pieces
Maybe even more
Yet I trust in this moment
You’re with me somehow
And You’ve always been faithful
So Lord even now
 
When all that I can sing
Is a broken hallelujah
When my only offering
Is shattered praise
Still a song of adoration
Will rise up from these ruins
I will worship You and give You thanks
Even when my only praise
Is a broken hallelujah

In the days that followed my son’s death, the grief was overwhelming and all-consuming.  I felt I was drowning in it.  But, then I would catch a glimpse of his precious face, still feel the weight of him in my arms, remember the downy softness of his hair on my cheek.  Through these memories each day, I could come up from under the weight of my sadness and catch a breath of the life we had with him and the blessing he was, and I thanked God for the memories and the blessings.  When I listened to this song after being wrapped in the beautiful memories, I bawled because even in my shattered state, I was so thankful to God for giving me my son…even if only for six weeks and two days.

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Come What May from Moulin Rouge sung by Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman

Seasons may change winter to spring
But I love you until the end of time
Come what may Come what may
I will love you until my dying day

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Dancing in the Sky by Dani and Lizzy

I hope you’re dancing in the sky,
and I hope you’re singing in the angel’s choir,
and I hope the angels know what they have,
I’ll bet it’s so nice up in heaven since you arrived,
since you’ve arrived.

Wondering…I wonder what my baby is doing in heaven.  I know he must be happy.  I just wonder what it’s like.

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Everything’s Gonna Be Alright (Three Little Birds) by Bob Marley

My husband loves to play this song for our children and we included it in our visitation music for Silas.  How fitting that Silas was our third child.

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Fix You by Coldplay

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone, but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

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Forever Young Bob Dylan

May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay forever young.

One of my husband’s favorite artists and songs. I think of Silas and how he can do everything this song sings of from his place in heaven.

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Glory Baby by Watermark

We miss you everyday, miss you in every way
But we know there’s a day when we will hold you, we will hold you
And you’ll kiss our tears away, when we’re home to stay
We can’t wait for the day when we will see you, we will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, until mom and dad can hold you
You’ll just have heaven before we do.

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The Glory Of Love by Bette Midler

You’ve got to give a little, take a little,
and let your poor heart break a little.
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love.

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Godspeed (Sweet Dreams) by The Dixie Chicks

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh, my love will fly to you
Each night on angels wings
Godspeed, sweet dreams

I sang this to Silas often.  Never thought his journey would be to heaven…

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Gone Too Soon by Daughtry

Who would you be?
What would you look like,
When you looked at me for the very first time?
Today could have been the next day of the rest of your life.Not a day goes by,
That I don’t think of you,
I’m always asking why this crazy world had to lose,
Such a ray of light we never knew,
Gone too soon.

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Gone Too Soon by Simple Plan

Like a shooting star
Flyin’ across the room
So fast so far
You were gone too soon
You’re part of me
And I’ll never be
The same here without you
You were gone too soon

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Heaven Got Another Angel by Gordon Garner

Heaven got another angel the night you left this world behind
Heaven got a little better the day it took you away from me
I’m missing you tonight
I’ll see you again sometime
For now I’ll close my eyes and dream of heaven tonight

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Held by Natalie Grant

This is what it means to be held
How it feels, when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive
This is what it is to be loved and to know
That the promise was that when everything fell
We’d be held

This song is on my heart often.  Many times the memory of first holding my still son comes back to my mind, but it is almost like I’m watching a movie.  I probably can’t allow myself to be in the moment, even in my mind, for that was the moment my heart shattered.  The words in this song describe how some of that moment felt.  When I felt I was disintegrating because of the heartbreak, I know God caught every single broken piece of me and held me.

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Homesick by MercyMe

Help me Lord cause I don’t understand your ways
The reason why I wonder if I’ll ever know
But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same
Cause I’m still here so far away from homeI close my eyes and I see your face
If home’s where my heart is then I’m out of place
Lord, won’t you give me strength to make it through somehow
I’ve never been more homesick than now

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Hourglass by Mindy Gledhill

When you reach for the stars
Don’t forget who you are
And please don’t turn around and grow up way too fast
See the sand in my grasp
From the first to the last
Every grain becomes a memory of the past
Oh, life’s an hourglass
Life’s an hourglass

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The Hurt & The Healer by MercyMe

I’m alive
Even though a part of me has died
You take my heart and breathe it back to life
I fall into Your arms open wide
When the hurt and the healer collide

I went to this song often as my heart tried to make sense of losing our little boy.

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I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe

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I Give You to His Heart by Alison Krauss

I wish that life wasn’t always ending up this way,
with Heaven’s love at stake and hell to pay.
But you in God’s loving plan might be the missing part.
You must live.
So I give you to his heart.

This song helped my heart realize, that even though Silas had been taken from us, I still needed to give him back to God.  You can read more of my thoughts on this in my post.

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I Want You Here by Plumb

I waited so long
For you to come
Then you were here
And now you’re gone
I was not prepared
For you to leave me
Oh this is misery

The bitter truth of childloss.

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I Will Carry You (Audrey’s Song) by Selah

I will carry you/While your heart beats here/Long beyond the empty cradle/Through the coming years/I will carry you/All your life/And I will praise the One Who’s chosen me/To carry you

I had heard this song when I was pregnant with Silas and wished I had known of it when I had suffered a miscarriage.  I hoped I would never have a reason to relate with it ever again, but the night my baby died, I knew I would find this song and ask my friends to sing it at his funeral.

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I’ll See You Again by Westlife

Always you will be part of me
And I will forever feel your strength
When I need it most
You’re gone now, gone but not forgotten
I can’t say this to your face
But I know you hear

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In Dreams by Roy Orbison

In dreams I walk with you. In dreams I talk to you.
In dreams you’re mine. All of the time we’re together
In dreams, In dreams.But just before the dawn, I awake and find you gone.
I can’t help it, I can’t help it, if I cry.
I remember that you said goodbye.It’s too bad that all these things, Can only happen in my dreams
Only in dreams In beautiful dreams.

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In My Arms by Plumb

Castles – they might crumble
Dreams may not come true
But you are never all alone
‘Cause I will always,
Always love you
When the clouds will rage in
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash around
But you will be safe in my arms, in my arms

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In My Life by The Beatles

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

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In Your Hands by Unspoken

Every sorrow, I leave it in Your hands
Every sickness, I leave it in Your hands
All my failures, I leave them in Your hands
Amen, I can leave it in Your handsEvery promise, I leave it in Your hands
Every healing, I leave it in Your hands
And my future, I leave it in Your hands
Amen, I can leave it in Your hands
I can leave it in Your hands

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Lift My Life Up Unspoken

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up

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Love Never Fails by Brandon Heath

Love will sustain
Love will provide
Love will not cease
At the end of time
[…]
When my heart won’t make a sound
When I can’t turn back around
When the sky is falling down
Nothing is greater than this
Greater than this

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Lullaby by The Dixie Chicks

How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough, is forever enough
How long do you want to be loved
Is forever enough
Cause I’m never, never giving you up

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Lullabye (Goodnight, My Angel) by Billy Joel

Someday we’ll all be gone
But lullabyes go on and on…
They never die
That’s how you
And I
Will be

Beautiful song that leaves me yearning for my son and all the time we could’ve had.  We included this song during Silas’ visitation.

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Moon River by Audrey Hepburn

Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossing you in style some day
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you’re going, I’m going your wayTwo drifters, off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after that same rainbow’s end, waiting, round the bend
My Huckleberry Friend, Moon River, and me

Another favorite of my husband’s and mine that we included during Silas’ visitation.

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Most of Us Are Sad by The Eagles

Love was here today
Oh the sun was bright
I will sing you faraway
Love is here tonight
Most of us are sad
No one lets it show
I’ve been shadows of myself
How was I to know?

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Never Alone by Jim Brickman and Lady Antebellum

Never alone, never alone
I’ll be in every beat of your heart when you face the unknown
Wherever you fly this isn’t goodbye
My love will follow you, stay with you, baby, you’re never alone

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Never Be Forgotten by Jessica Andrews

You will never be forgotten
A million days could pass us by
But what is time but just a dream
Oh I still feel you here with me
You’re more than a memory
Oh you will never be forgottenAnd the world just keeps on going
It has no way of knowing
That you’re gone

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Over the Rainbow by Eva Cassidy

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me.

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Please Remember LeAnn Rimes

Goodbye, there’s just no sadder word to say
And it’s sad to walk away
With just the memories
Who’s to know what might have been
We’ll leave behind a life and time
We’ll never know again

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Praise You In This Storm by Casting Crowns

And I’ll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I’ve cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

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Return To Me by Dean Martin

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Return To Pooh Corner by Kenny Loggins

It’s hard to explain how a few precious things
Seem to follow throughout all our lives
After all’s said and done I was watching my son
Sleeping there with my bear by his side
So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that the old bear whispered “Boy welcome home”Believe me if you can
I’ve finally come back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
What do you know
There’s so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin
Back to the days of Pooh

My husband was named after this song.  He really wanted to choose a special song for Silas’ funeral, and this was the one he chose to share that day.  I like to think that as this was played, his mom was smiling down from heaven while holding our son.

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See You Again by Carrie Underwood

Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking
But I stay strong and I hold on cause I knowI will see you again,
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me

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Shooting Star by Bob Dylan

Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you
You were trying to break into another world
A world I never knew
I always kind of wondered if you ever made it through
Seen a shooting star tonight
And I thought of you.

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Smile by Nat King Cole

Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you

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Stargazer by Paloma Faith

Stargazer, heartbreaker.
Wish you were here.
How will I shine anymore without your atmosphere?
My dear stargazer, don’t disappear.
How will shine anymore when you’re not here?

I heard this song a few days ago on Pandora.  The next day, my husband said he had a song he wanted to play for me.  He told me this song came on his Pandora station as he was driving to work and was playing as he passed the doctor’s office where Silas passed away.  He thought I would like to know that, and of course, I think it was really special.  I told him maybe Silas was sending him a message as he drove by that hard place the other day.

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Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton

Time can bring you down,
Time can bend your knees.
Time can break your heart,
Have you begging please, begging please.Beyond the door,
There’s peace I’m sure,
And I know there’ll be no more
Tears in heaven.

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There You’ll Be by Faith Hill

In my dreams
I’ll always see you soar
Above the sky
In my heart
There will always be a place
For you for all my life
I’ll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you’ll be
And everywhere I am
There you’ll be

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(They Long To Be) Close To You by The Carpenters

On the day that you were born the angels got together.
And decided to create a dream come true.
So, they sprinkled moon dust in your hair of gold,
And star-light in your eyes of blue.
That is why all the girls in town follow you all around.
Just like me, they long to be close to you…

I sang this to Silas all the time.  He always calmed and melted in my arms.  I sang it to him in the moments before he died as he cried before becoming unresponsive.  This song is still precious to me, though it is a trigger for my grief.

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This Life by The Afters

For a moment, we are here together.
And it hits me that this won’t last forever.We can’t own it
We just get to hold it for a while.
This Life.
We can’t keep it
Or save it for another time.
This Life.

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This Little Light Of Mine by Addison Road

With the ones you love treasure the time
And for those who are gone keep their memories alive
Hold on to your dreams don’t ever let go
There’s a fire inside you burning with hope

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To Where You Are by Josh Groban

Can it be
That you are mine
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up aboveFly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you’re there
A breath away’s not far
To where you are

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Untitled Hymn (Come To Jesus) by Chris Rice

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory’s side and
Fly to Jesus and live

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What Do I Know by Sara Groves

Oh, what do I know? Really, what do I know?
Well, I don’t know that there are harps in heaven,
Or the process for earning your wings.
And, I don’t know of bright lights at the ends of tunnels,
Or any of those things.But I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord,
and from what I know of him, that must be pretty good.
Oh, I know to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord,
and from what I know of him, that must be very good.

I absolutely love this song.  I love that it doesn’t claim to know what kind of glory lost loved ones are now in.  It asks my questions and reconciles our lack of knowledge in a gentle, calming way.

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What’s Mine Is Yours by Katherine Nelson

What’s mine is Yours
It’s always been
What slips through my hands has Your fingerprints on it
I’m letting go
Remembering
Though Heaven’s doors feel shut they’re wide open
What’s mine is Yours

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Who You’d Be Today by Kenny Chesney

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Wonderfully Made by Scripture Lullabies

Looking out into the night sky
A million stars shining down and
I can see how you’d feel so smallDon’t forget I’m your Creator
You are Mine and I adore you
Nothing else moves My heart like you
You’re not here by chance, you are My design
I did well to give you lifeYou are fearfully and wonderfully made
Long before you drew your first breath
I knew your name
Surely goodness and mercy
Will follow you forever
For you are fearfully and wonderfully made

While searching for a song to use for the photo video my husband’s brother and sister were creating for Silas’ funeral, my friend suggested this song.  It was absolutely perfect.  On the last slide, they added the last part of the scripture, “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever,” for that’s where he is now.  Our children listen to this song over and over and call it “Silas’ Song.”

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You’ll Be In My Heart by Kenny Loggins

For one so small, you seem so strong
My arms on hold you keep you safe and warm
This bond between us can’t be broken
I will be here don’t you cry
Cause you’ll be in my heart
Yes, you’ll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more
[…]
When destiny calls you, you must be strong
I may not be with you, so you gotta hold on
You’ll see in time, I know
We’ll always be together ’cause
You’ll be in my heart
Always you’ll be in my heart
From this day on
Now and forever more

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Your Hands by JJ Heller

When you walked upon the earth
You healed the broken, lost and hurt
I know you hate to see me cry
One day you will set all things right
Yeah, one day you will set all things rightWhen my world is shaking, heaven stands
When my heart is breaking
I never leave your hands

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