Dearest Max,

I am so sorry I have not written for the past several days. First I was preparing for your funeral, Then we had your funeral, then I was just exhausted, emotionally and physically. The days have been difficult. My concerns about no longer being busy and things sinking in deeper were realized. We went up to Washington DC on friday, the 12th, to go see the national Christmas tree since we had already made those plans and your siblings were really looking forward to it. Your Memaw and Papaw had arrived at our house early that day at the same time your daddy arrived home from work. I was hoping for them to be extra help, but instead it brought extra stress and insecurities. I no longer felt like I was free to talk to your father because they were there, and I don’t feel comfortable talking about my feelings in front of them. I just kept getting more and more frustrated and kept thinking about you and our loss and what possibly happened. After the second concert your dad went to the bathroom, and his parents went with him leaving me alone with all the kids. My sister didn’t seem to even really care what occurred, and still hasn’t really acknowledged what happened. So when your dad came back I handed Juliette to him and walked away to get some space. I started typing some thoughts in my cell phone notes, because writing things down helps, most of the time, for at least little bit. The notes on my cell phone from that night:

“I feel like this was a mistake, I want to go home and crawl in bed and cry. It’s like my brain is suppressing everything baby related. I forgot the stroller, I forgot the pack n play, I almost forgot the diaper bag. I feel like an awful mother. I still have another baby I have to care for and that still needs baby things.”

“(to your father) You don’t seem to care that I have had a hard day. i am trying to keep it together, but you are not helping at all. It seems like since I have been saying I get”

at that point your father came up behind me and started to try and figure out what the problem was. It never really felt resolved. When we walked back towards everyone else; the oldest of my brothers, his wife, and your two cousins had arrived. They had gotten lost and ended up that Capital building instead of the Ellipse in front of the white house. I gave my brother a big hug and then broke down crying even harder when I hugged his wife(they are Lilith’s parents). We ended up leaving pretty quickly after they arrived because all of us were obviously tired. We got to my parents house and said hi to everyone and then sat down and talked for a bit. I wasn’t really paying attention to the conversation, I was enjoying a glass of wine, something I had not had in a very long time. I did talk to my SIL a little bit about her experience with miscarriage and what it was like to be pregnant again after having miscarried. Her situation was a whole lot different though, It was very possible that the doctors in Japan just didn’t have her on the right medicine for her PCOS, so her body was not able to sustain the pregnancy. After having had 7 healthy pregnancy and babies, this is a complete shock for me, I don’t know how to process it. The only thing that goes through my head is that it was something that I did wrong, or that there should have been some sort of symptom that I should have noticed and gone into the doctor about. It is very possible that it was an infection, but if that is the case, would there have been a chance to save you if I had gone to the doctor about things that seemed little and non important or normal. I just pray and hope that we can figure it out and that we won’t have to go through this again.

We went home Saturday morning after breakfast. Grandpa made everyone pancakes, eggs, and bacon. It was good, There was not a whole lot of talking though. We packed up the car and drove home. The drive home was pretty quite as well. It must have been your funeral looming over all of us. When we got home Your dad and his parents went out shopping to pick up some last minute things. When they got home we got dressed and went to 5pm mass at St. Therese which was offered up for you. The people at church have been very loving and sympathetic. Someone pre paid for 2 lbs of cookies for our family, the Theresians were having a christmas cookie bake sale. After mass we came home, ordered pizza and watched Heaven is for Real. That was difficult to watch, and your siblings got pretty rambunctious and where starting to get on my nerves. I really hate it when that happens, I don’t like getting angry with them, especially right now. After the movie everyone went to bed, I stayed up and put the lights in my christmas village and an extra strand of lights on the christmas tree since the middle lights have stopped working. On Sunday morning, I noticed that on our white christmas tree the top section of lights had gone out. I can’t help but think that the trees are going out just to remind us that this christmas is just not going to be as bright as past christmases. Your father says that having you up in heaven looking down on us should make this christmas brighter, but for me it doesn’t. I am overwhelmed by sadness, as much as I try not to be. I know I need to start moving forward, but it is hard and I am not really sure where to start. When we went up to bed your father and I had an argument about his drink being spilt on his chair and it now smelt like alcohol. I didn’t know what he was expecting me to do or say, I was tired and I didn’t think I had anything that would fix it right then and there. He did not like how I responded and I felt like he was putting his chair above everything else(which was not the case). I ended up going downstairs and finding something and cleaning it up so it didn’t smell anymore. I came upstairs, told him I fixed and then went and took a shower. While in the shower I broke down and cried. I cried for a long time, I am not even sure how long. He eventually came in and talked me through it. The biggest thing on my mind that night was how much my body is a reminder of what I have lost. There is no evidence that I was ever pregnant, my baby and my baby bump are gone. And I get constant reminders from men that that is the case by there comments and cat calls. I just laugh it off when it occurs, but deep down it is a knife being thrust even deeper into my wound.

Sunday, the day of your funeral. Memaw and Papaw woke up early and prepared the rest of the food that need to be ready for your reception. I drove your dad and some of your siblings to church for choir practice and CCD. Several women who had heard the news came and gave me hugs. One of them cried when she did and apologized for crying. I went back home and finished getting everything at the house ready and made sure Luke and Juliette were ready for Church. We left at 10:05 to head over to church to get everyone from CCD and find our seats. Mass was nice and they mentioned you in the prayers of the faithful again. Your father teared up when he came and sat by me for the homily, he later told me that he heard you talk to him. I know that was very special for him. After mass several other people came up to me to give me their condolences. I felt numb, so I am not really sure how I responded. We headed home and had a quick lunch and made sure everything and everyone was ready for your funeral. We all ended up wearing blue or purple. All of your brothers had black or navy blue suits and ties. They all looked great. The service was great. Father Jim did an excellent job and the Funeral home staff was very nice. Your father and I really had no clue what we were doing though. I made him take the lead and followed him. Both sets of your grandparents were there and all of your aunts and uncles were there, except for T and K, just be sure to keep them in your prayers up there in Heaven, they are most definitely lost and need all the prayers they can get. A lot of the church choir was there and they sang the song your father requested beautifully. The song they sang was “By Name I Have Called You”. We had a few other friends and people from church show up as well. There were probably at least 50 people there to help us lay your body to rest. I was not able to cry, after breaking down in the shower and crying, for I don’t know how long, I guess my eyes were just too dry. But your father broke down and cried, and I am thankful that I was able to be composed enough to comfort him. I don’t know what the others thought about him crying and me not crying, but I really shouldn’t worry about that. We were very happy to find that you would be buried in the ground instead of put in a mausoleum. I don’t know why, but that just seems better and more comforting to me. All of our family and some of our friends came back to our house. We visited and enjoyed each others company, and of course ate. It was nice and calm and relaxing. It was a relief once everyone was gone though and we were able to go to bed.

It was even more of a relief when your memaw and pepaw went home Monday morning. I was finally able to let more of my guard down and relax and reflect, but boy was I exhausted, both mentally and physically. I slept most of Monday. Your siblings did a great job taking care of each other and letting me rest. Your father came home from work and made us dinner and we were able to relax with each other and watch a tv show together.

Tuesday was very similar to Monday, where I slept most of the day. I was just so tired, even too tired to pull out my laptop and type, I just could not keep my eyes open. We drove your dad into work since we were going back down there to have dinner with him and see his beginner and intermediate orchestras preform. We also had every intention to drive through the Newport News Celebration of lights, but everyone one was so tired we just drove home and went to bed. On the way down to your dad’s school we stopped by your grave, I just wanted to make sure you had been taken care of and that your grave was properly marked. It was, and the flowers from your funeral were perfect sitting there on top. I took a couple pictures for your father since the earliest he will be able to come by and see you will be Saturday. We are going to come together, just the 2 of us, your grandma and grandpa are going to take your siblings for the night since we will be in DC on Friday for your father’s orchestra’s performance at the national christmas tree. For dinner on Tuesday we went to IHOP, because your siblings have been wanting to back there for a very long time. What seemed amazing to me, and felt like it was a blessing from you and God, was that between the hours of 3-5 all regular entrees under 9.99 were half off!! Most things on their menu are under 9.99. we were able to feed the whole family for under $60, and everyone was able to eat until they were full and they got what they wanted.

I am seeing a lot of blessings and things to be thankful for even during this dark time, It is helping, but the pain and fear is still really strong right now. Others who have gone through this already have said that it will get easier, and I have faith that it will. I just wish that it was easier now. Now that I have accepted things for the most part, our financial issues are rearing their ugly head at me again and I feel like there is no relief in sight. I have been praying for some sort of miracle for awhile, and then we got pregnant with you, which, the pregnancy was difficult because I felt sick and had no energy a lot, but you were still a miracle, and then you were taken away. But as I was thinking and talking with your dad last night, a thought came through my mind, that you are still a miracle, my miracle, but you are meant to be my miracle in heaven, for one reason or another, and I may never know what that reason is.

I love you Max!

Mommy

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