Monday, January 31, 2011

For someone who has suffered a loss

I got a call the other night from my mom. She knows someone that is friends with someone who just found out her 1 year old has a genetic disease and most likely won’t live to see his second birthday.

My moms friend asked what she should do. how she can help. she can see her friend’s pain and wants to do something.

When I have heard about other children losing their life I just feel sick. This nauseous, shaky, hot feeling. Because I know. I know what that next morning will be. I know what that next month- year will be. I have thought to myself that I should know what to say or do for someone because I have been through it. In the moment I just don’t know what to do. Because you want to fix it. You want to say something to make them feel better. But. That is a time- that no matter what- nothing can make it better.

I started really thinking about what helped us. What made a difference in our life? Ryan and I have been very fortunate to live so close to an amazing children’s hospital, to have family close by, to have friends surrounding us and to have 2 employers who were more than understanding. But even with all of that in our favor. Our life had still stopped. We didn’t think about anything outside of that hospital room. Our worst nightmares were being lived right before our eyes and they were happening at a rapid speed.

I gave my mom a few suggestions and went home to write this list. I have seen similar ones on other blogs and they all are so perfect. For some reason BECAUSE I WAS LOOKING I’m sure, I couldn’t find any. At least from my blog friends that I looked at. So I decided to compile a list of what helped me and suggestions for you to help someone who is going through a loss… No matter what kind. A loss is a loss and there is nothing easy about it.


Don’t ignore the big elephant in the room

Even though I have now been through this rough road I still don’t know how to talk to someone who has just suffered a loss. I’m sorry… I’m thinking of you… I’m here… All just seem like words and I just wish I could say something more. BUT. Just because you don’t know what to say- don’t NOT say anything. Acknowledge their loss. Hug them. Cry with them. Tell them you love them. Tell them how that person affected your life. Depending on the time frame (because it’s ever changing with time) in the beginning I don’t recommend trying to relate. I know that’s hard to do. We have all suffered a loss but in the beginning stages I didn’t find it helpful to know so–in-so lost their grandmother or a friend. Not that those people don’t matter and that your pain is any less than mine- but just for those moments focus on them and their loss. The person who they are missing. No matter the time frame know they are always thinking of the person who is no longer here. Especially a child. Over time make sure you let them know you still remember them, you talk to them or pray for them. Maybe that you do something in their memory. I can only imagine in 20 years ill still think of Makenzie every second. I’ll miss her just as much. Ill ache for her every day. She is my daughter. She was here and she was so real. And now she is gone. I hope that for the rest of my life she will still be talked about. She will still be thought of. I know I’ll never stop talking about her- For every birthday, milestone or accomplishment someone close to me does ill think of her and the fact that she won’t be here and I’ll never get to see her do that.

Just DO:

Stop asking… Just DO. Usually there are so many people who say they will be there if you need anything and ask to help in some kind of way but if your anything like me, you don’t want to “bother” others. You know they have a life as well and you don’t feel right calling them up at 1am just to cry. I know if I called any of my family and friends they would be there- it wasn’t that I didn’t know that- it was just because I felt I should handle this more on my own than bring everyone else down with me. The best support was pretty much pushed on me :) I didn’t ask. They just did.

*A dinner schedule was put together while we were in the hospital so we had someone bringing us dinner every night.
* We were given a small Christmas tree and decorations to make it more “Christmas-y” for our Christmas with Kenzie.
*After we were out of the hospital and home, my sister came every morning for 2 weeks straight and got me out of bed. She didn’t make me go do something but she did make me get up long enough to open the door for her. She would bring little goodies or ask me to come run errands with her.
*I had people plan activities, a double date, shopping, hikes and even trips. They would tell me when and where.




How to help from afar:

I don’t mean only if you live in another state but I also mean if you don’t know what to say and you don’t feel too comfortable coming around- or you want to help but don’t know what to do, here are some ideas that I loved.

- Send them a pizza. Bring them a goody bag. Bring them breakfast, lunch or dinner. Bring them a Dr. Pepper! These are little things that seriously mean a lot. You have no idea how much we appreciated all the goodies Ryan and I got in the hospital. We had a locker to keep all of our stuff in and we had to get another just for the treats people brought. We loved them! It helped so we didn’t have to keep running to buy something, it helped so we didn’t have to leave Makenzie’s side more than we had to. It helped to keep our visitors happy.
- This might be more of a personal thing for me but I loved when Kenzie was sent balloons. They made the room more cheery and brought so much happiness to her. Send balloons! I can’t think of anyone that wouldn’t smile with a balloon.
- Have your little one or even you color a picture.
- I received some amazing gifts from so many people. Everything meant so much, nothing was overlooked and we treasure them so much.  Some of the most special items we received were so MAKENZIE personalized. A necklace with her name on it, a bracelet with her initials, ryan got a key chain, a charm with her picture in it, pictures of her... You don't have to spend much. Do something small.
- Even though you shouldn’t worry about them returning your calls, texts or emails DON’T stop doing it. It was always a boost for me to read a sweet text or email form someone even if they just wanted to tell me they are thinking of us. AND don’t be offended if they don’t respond to you. It’s not that they don’t appreciate your message. Go with the flow for that person. If you think your friend likes to talk on the phone and they are okay with that- call everyday- even just to say hi. To check in on them. If they don’t like to talk but text do that instead. I know when I was in the hospital I didn’t want to do either. I appreciated every phone call and text I got but I wanted to just be with Makenzie more than anything. I know there were some hurt feelings by me not returning phone calls, email or text messages but it wasn’t because I didn’t care.

Long Term:

I am only a year/13.5 months into this. I’m not far. At this stage I may have more better days but I also have lots of bad/egh/blah ones. I have many moments through every day where I just miss. I love to talk about her. I think I have those better days when I get to talk about her. I get to tell stories of her. I get to share her. I have so much to share. Even if it’s the same story over and over. I want to tell it over and over. I would ask your friend to talk about their loved one. Tell you stories. Tell you anything. Or just sit around, look at pictures and talk about whatever comes up. Do that always. There is never an ending to that.

Remember:

This kind of ties into the long term one but I know everyone that has lost someone wants nothing more than for them to be remembered. They don’t want this person whom they love so much to ever be forgotten. They can’t continue writing their story and none of us want it to end. Remember dates! Some people think it’s better to not put much into a date but others want to do a lot for that date. Either way I think anyone would appreciate a simple- I remember and I’m thinking of you.



For anyone that has lost someone they need love. They need people around. There are times they need a moment alone but I don’t think you should leave them alone for long. They don’t know what to ask for. They don’t know what they need or want. Being on the outside you can be a light to help guide someone. Don’t be afraid. Don’t think of them differently. Don’t walk on egg shells.

Everyone is different so maybe these things won’t help the person you’re trying to help- and if they don’t- try something else. Do something else.
Everything matters.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

weekend

is it seriously the last weekend of january?? can it just be the last weekend of april so school can be over this week and it will be finals instead of exam #1 :( waaaa....  seriously... im feeling very sorry for myself.
mainly because just about my whole weekend was spent sitting at my dinning room table, butt falling asleep, eyes heavy and trying with all my might to retain a little bit of physics and math. 2 exams tomorrow. hmm.. not sure how it will go- but my head is ready to explode and when i try to think about any of it, i cant remember a thing. soo... waaaa..

for the few rare moments i wasn't buried in the books i tried to do something productive with myself.
friday--- studied all day... until the last minute when we jumped in the car and went to the dollar movie.
umm first-- the dollar movie is no longer a dollar. wtf. when did this happen? it was $2 per person! then you go inside and the refreshments are probably 3x the amount of a regular $8.50 movie theatre. grrr. so we saved NO money. and... my neck is still killing me from sitting 2 rows from the screen... and the seats were straight up and down, hard as a rock and kinda smelly. i couldn't get comfy. i was laying on one side then leaning on the other, i sat forward then tried to slouch down enough for my head to be straight. it was ridiculous. then i kicked that $500 bucket of popcorn over. i almost picked it up off the ground because i hate wasting treats and refused to have that theatre suck another dollar out of me that i didn't take full advantage of. but. when i had to put some serious power into pealing it off the sticky floor i changed my mind and slumped back over and pouted! we watched the social network. pretty good show- really wish i was as smart as that guy- at least until im done with physics.
--that was friday--

i was awoken saturday morning to a slobbery cold dog who just wanted to get under the covers and snuggle. ryan was up cooking something that smelled yummy.  i was hoping a lasagna but it was french toast. NOW down get me wrong. i was so very thankful and ate every last bite. but. im not a breakfast food fan. i know i know. im weird. but i would eat a giant steak for breakfast if i could. i usually stick with a glass of milk. some coffee. and that's it. but with enough syrup the frenches were good.
and lucky for me... it was time to once again hit the books! weeee....
do you know how to measure mass?
i do :)
well i did... i told you... i cant remember now :(
so saturday. books. then my sister... that girl! geesh. decided to text me and ask me to get a PEDICURE. the nerve! i mean, who really wants to stop reading about force and acceleration and momentum and get your toes rubbed and painted?
ryan encouraged.
i gave in.
we went.
i feel like such a boy because i haven't had my toes painted since long before christmas! ahh... so they are nice and pretty now... well i think they are. i haven't let them come out of my fuzzy socks because my house is freezing!
so after the pedi. came home. did a little valentine craft. then made myself get back into the books. got all my homework done and was just trying to finish reading each chapter for the hundredth time.
had to stop abruptly because time totally got away from me and we had a very special birthday to be to.

this uber cutie pie turned the big WHOLE HAND! 
.five.
love our emma bunton













she obviously loves
-barbies-
-purple-
-pink-
-tangled-
-justin beiber-
-balloons-
-HER BIRTHDAY-
she is such a doll and we love being with her and her family any chance we can. she has grown so much and i cant believe she is 5. i can only how her mother is falling apart at the seems. she has a 5 year old. 
ha!


so after that fun parta we thought we would go get a drink. just ryan and i.
but last minute we realized we were much to tired and decided to go grocery shopping instead.
yeah we were one of those weirdos that went grocery shopping at 1130 at night.
came home, i fought like a little baby to go to sleep. i didn't want to go to sleep because that meant i had to get up and do more homework. so i was drug to bed kicking and screaming. i even refused to brush my teeth. because i was so upset with the world i didn't set the alarm! 
...nice...
so that was saturday


sunday
like i said. i forgot to set the alarm the night before and lucky for us- we had to be somewhere at 9 am.
and that place was an hour and a half from home. and. we had no gas.
quick shower. decided to brush my teeth. flat iron to hair. no breakfast. gas station. picked up a donut. yum.
got there just in time. 
it was a missionary farewell. a cute boy ryan knew growing up. i was lucky enough to spend the whole hourish making cakes on my phone with addison. (thank you free app)
left the luncheon and headed to my grandmas. 
got to visit with her and my aunties. talk about life. get advice. and cuddle on her bed!
after gmas we went to take kenzie her vegas toy. 
we haven't had a chance to take it to her before now so i was happy. 



loved this. got it at the lions den.
stayed for a bit. sent lots of kisses.

headed to family dinner
now we are home
did more homework. then decided to blog a bit. now im shutting down.
back to physics.

hope you had a good weekend.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My baby brother is MARRIED

vivaaaa las vegas... vivaaaa las vegas!
left friday morning
coffee-candy-chips-cup of blueberries - 7 hours later - let the fun begin!
we stayed at the fabulous-o MGM


checked in and ryan got right to business to have some fun
yes... he is running around the hotel in my 5" high heels!
he looks pretty good if you ask me.



we changed clothes and headed out to the strip. although we got lost in the hotel and couldn't find our way out. we ended up on the convention center part and in the back of the hotel on the street. eek. i had jello shots and a wonderful drink so this long journey around the block wasn't so bad for me. 


after we got un-lost we hit the strip for some shopping, drinking and serious people watching.
enjoyed all that vegas has to offer for the rest of the night








had a wonderful dinner with family and ryan decided to pursue his dream of riding a bull


8 seconds!!!!



night ended a bit early -- for vegas.
had to rest before the next day.
which was the BIG DAY!
saturday january 22
wondered around the hotel waiting for the rest of family to arrive. got to see the baby lions in action and even got to pet one. it was so much fun and made me really want one-- hmm -- someday.




enjoyed lunch at the sports center restaurant - yumm-o!


then it was time to get ready.
wondering around the parking garage finally finding our truck with a mattress in the back, getting lost, going to the wrong chapel, waited over an hour thinking our name was on the list - but it wasn't...

dumm dumm du dumm


the beautiful beautiful bride




The Groom



the waiting party





i snuck this picture because we weren't suppose to take pictures in the special-sacred chapel :)


the minister was really great - his drunk self and all. he almost fell over.
ehh.. what else should we expect. the parking lot of the chapel was a liquor store.


after the "I DO'S" we had a fabulous dinner 
check out this cute idea to put condiments on your food



wonderful trip. wonderful family.
look at these 2 love birds... on their way back home to real life.
GOOD LUCK you crazy kids!

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