Friday, November 23, 2012

This sacred place


Come in.

Thank you for coming.

Thank you for being willing to come.

I know it's hard sometimes.  I know it's not always pretty...not always "happy" around here.  

I know it's hard to be around someone who is down. 

I don't know if any of you realized this - but you have been welcomed into my private chambers, here.  I have let you come in to sit on my couch with me and to pour through my private journal.  I have let you cry with me.  I have let you share my pain.  I have let you glimpse into our world of suffering and attempts to find healing.  I have let you laugh/cry with me over memories.  I have let you get to know my Precious Vienne.  I have shared her with you and I have shared my passionate love for her with you.  I have let you grow to love her, too.

This is sacred to me.

I know that I didn't need to do this.  I know that it is risky to share publicly.  But, I am a person who does not expose my sad and hurt emotions very well.  I am open and honest, for sure, but I really struggle with releasing my emotions when in person.  I have a hard time letting go and crying.  But, through this blog, I have learned that writing, for me, is very cathartic.  This has become my outlet for "letting go" as well as my opportunity to share Vienne with you.  This has become my place for "release" when I cannot cry in front of you, in person.  If you are friends with me, most likely you have already told me how "strong" I am and how "brave" I have been through all of this.  And, I agree with you, I suppose I have been.  And, believe me, I am not offended by those comments either.  They are encouraging when I do not feel so strong.  But, on here, on my blog I let you in...inside to see how weak I feel, sometimes, deep inside.  I am becoming vulnerable.

Why?  Why do I share this publicly?  Because I am "so strong" and "so put together" on the front.  I am sure it is confusing when you see me.  I will ask you how you're doing.  I will smile and even laugh along.  I will act "normal".   I have explained this all before, I know.  But, here, I feel comfortable sharing and, for some reason, it is comforting to me to know that I am not alone in the deep dark places of my heart.  I understand it's not always an easy read.  I understand that people may stop reading because they don't want to be depressed anymore.  I get that.  But, I am not here for you.  I am writing for me...for it is helping me towards healing.  It helps me to process.  This is the place that I come to feel most connected to Vienne...whether I write a post about a memory of her or a post on what I am feeling for the moment.  I know it is not always rational...but this is my processing.  And, these are the steps that I need to take to find some sort of healing if I am to finish out this life without her.  Strangely, it means so much to me when you comment or write to me or text.  It makes me feel like you are willing to come alongside me during this difficult journey, to support me and remind me that I don't have to do this alone...even though it may be hard for you.  It reminds me that you are not pushing me to "move on".  It reminds me that Vienne is not forgotten.

I write all of this because I just received my first cruel comment/message in regards to this blog.  I was told that I am failing at keeping Vienne alive through this blog but am now "succeeding to remind everyone that she is dead".  This person, whom I do not know, literally tried to tell me how I should grieve appropriately.  The "air" about it had a sense of trying to "fix" me and gave critical opinions.  Honestly, I did not read past the first few sentences.  It was a lengthy message.  Those first few words cut to the core and I am beyond shocked at the inhumanity, selfishness, and cruelty of this person.  First off, let me just clarify - my daughter is dead.  And, I have to live in the nightmare of this every single day.  I am not writing to create a "fantasy world" of keeping Vienne alive.  If this blog is too hard for anyone to read...well, there is a no-brainer easy solution!  STOP READING.  Actually, if you have any inkling to critique or judge or raise a question, I am going to respectfully ask you to leave.  That is not welcome here.  This is not a place to leave your opinions.  That is completely inappropriate and out of line.  Especially if you have never lost a child.  Most especially.  You have NO idea what this feels like.  It has not even been 3 months yet.  I am just entering into the dreaded holidays.  And, if anyone is familiar with grief from loss, then you know that the first year of all the events and holidays are the absolute hardest to get through.  So, to be told this the day after I survived my first holiday without Vienne was beyond cruel and thoughtless.  This is a place to come with solemn observe and learn and love.  That's it.

Like I wrote earlier, I have invited you into a sacred private place, here.  Yes, I know that posting these things publicly does allow for the opportunity to receive thoughtless comments.  I understand that risk.  I guess I just never thought anyone would really step out to be so horrible.  But, if it happens again, I will not read past the first few lines and I will immediately really it is not even worth it to make the effort to offend me so.  And, even if the intent is not to offend me...but to "fix" me.  Well, this is not the place to fix me and it is NO ONE'S right to even think that they should try!  That is something that Mark and I will tackle in our own time, in our own way.  Three months ago I lost one of my most precious gifts in all this world, my baby Girl, Vienne...we are still just reeling from this fact.

I will get to a place of healing at some point.  I am sure of that.  And, if you are a true friend and decide to stick with me through this, then you will probably get to witness that.  But, no one has any right to try to rush me.  Didn't I write about this before?  Yes.  I did.  Remember when I had heard that the "public gives those who grieve just 3 months to mourn and then expects them to move on"?  Well, here's my first experience with that...I just never expected it to be so thoughtless and cruel.

To my friends and those who comment on here anonymously, sharing your broken heart for me and your love, continuing to read and walk alongside me, even through the hard posts, ~ I sincerely sincerely thank you.  Thank you for sharing your love for it truly does help.


  1. Sweetheart...You are exactly right. This is your "sacred" place - and it is sacred to those of us that "enter in". It is our choice and our privilege. I am so thankful for this blog where I can come and be with you...and be with my visit memories and her sweetness...and to share in your deepest, intimate emotions through this. Thank you for allowing us in and sharing with us. Most everyone reading this recognizes the healthy aspect of you having this place to share, to release, to process. As Joelle is good that you are not tucking and hiding. That approach sets one up for a really bad outcome in the future when things eventually arise to the surface - generally in destructive and unhealthy ways. This is healthy. Tom and I know first hand the fragility of this journey...and that it can be a very long journey. And even we manage to step on one another's toes through this, as everyone's grief journey is unique to them. It's a learning process for all.

    I am so sorry that someone felt a need to criticize unkindly. It most likely stemmed from that person's own issues - though highly inappropriate. And yes, they should just not enter into this sacred place. It is a choice...and again, a privilege, to join you here.

    I missed our Vienne yesterday. Her absence is loud. I am thankful and grateful for Ivy and Miriam and the joy they bring when they enter the room. I am so thankful for these little sweet gems.
    I love you, my daughter, my friend.

    1. Thank you, Mama. Thank you for your continual support and unconditional love. I love you to China.

  2. There are so many people walking around with hurt and pain and grievances and many dont know how to heal or cope with the brokeness they feel. In an attempt to soothe their own festering wounds, they lash out, expecting others to just pull up their big girl panties, clench their teeth and move on. You're doing the right thing, my friend. You're doing this, this grieving process, the way you feel convicted and lead to, and that's why it is right. It is right for YOU. No one gets to tell another how it should look, feel and be 'over'. This wound will never be gone. The scar tissue will always be there, and you will never be back to 'normal', but if you go about this in the way you need to, hopefully this wound will heal gracefully and without 'infection and extensive scarring' if we're going to carry on with the analogy. I love you. Dont absorb the hurtful comments or the ones that rub you the wrong way. Lay them at the feet of your Comforter and ask Him to help you forgive, ignore and move on.

  3. I just want to say that I have gotten to know Vienne better from all your posts and video's. That seem's to me like you are keeping her memory alive. It is a hard read at times but it is my choice to read it. How selfish can someone be by trying to tell you what you need to do to heal? We all are different and heal in our own ways. I am so happy you write this blog so I can see how you are really doing. Thank you for letting me into your world and letting me share in your memories and feelings for Vienne. What a great mother to be able to keep Vienne's memory fresh with such great writing. She is always on my mind. XOXO, Andrea

  4. I meant grieve not heal.

  5. I have loved reading this blog, even though it is hard, painful, and so gut-wrenchingly sad at times. But there are many times equal amounts of joy, such tender memories that are filled with so so SO much love and laughter in times past. I have loved getting to know Vienne more on this blog. Don't ever stop writing.

  6. I feel so privileged to be able to read this Jenny. It is never hard for me to read it because it is real and it is a testament to a mother's love for her child. Of course I feel horrible that you and your family are going through this but so many people stuff their feelings down and never share what grief really is. This could happen to any of us. Ivy will be able to read this when she is old enough and see how wonderful and amazing Vienne is and how much her Mommy and Daddy loved her and know that she has a real, amazing sister waiting for her when we all go home. Your blog is teaching me how to love my daughter differently, deeper than I thought I could and treat each day as the precious gift it is. It has changed my patience level with her and my priorities in life so that my family will ALWAYS come first. I know this blog is for you and I am so glad you are strong enough to articulate your feelings, and the fact that you have allowed others in is a tribute to the far reaching effect that Vienne is still having in people's lives.

    My heart is sending love and peace out to you always,

    Susan (Morris)

    1. Susan ~ This was very encouraging to read. Thank you so much. I feel so honored when I hear how Vienne is changing people...especially Moms in how they view their children.

  7. Jenny,

    Even though we don't know each other well, my heart is so with you and Mark on this devastating journey. I read your blog because I am moved by how honest and raw you are about the depths of your love for Vienne and your grief in the wake of her loss.

    The internet is full of trolls...people who will write the strangest, most inappropriate things from the safe anonymity of their laptops. It's bizarre. But I'm so glad you already know that their comments aren't worth the time it takes to read them. That's what the handy little delete button was invented for. :)

    Keep grieving the way your heart tells you's the only way. And know that there are so, so many of us cheering you on from the you continue to put one foot in front of the other and learn how to live this life without your beautiful girl.

    With love and prayer and hope,
    Sarah Case

  8. I have commented before that though I didn't know Vienne, I have come to have such fondness for her. And sadness that she is gone. Again, I'm more thankful for, patient with, loving toward my small children... BECAUSE OF YOU and this difficult journey you are sharing. There is no judgement; just solidarity, prayer, tears... From mother to mother.
    The kind of ugliness inside someone's heart which would lead them to send a grieving mother a mean-spirited message, is very sad and pathetic. I'm sorry that happened to you. You have an army of support here: you were an incredible mom to Vienne, you are still an amazing mom to Ivy and you grieve however you need to. We are here.

  9. What is wrong with people! Seriously! No one can "fix" this wrong or try to change your grief. This is you and Mark's story and you write it however you need to. I will never stop reading this blog because you keep her alive in every post. I have not lost a child but as a Mother I will support you any way I can. It was good to see your smile on Facebook Jenny, surrounded by true friends. I HOPE you had a good weekend!

  10. So sorry you had to go through that Jenny. I appreciate your willingness to let us in. To share Vienne with us. It helps to know how to pray for you and Mark. It helps to fall in love with Vienne. Keep pressing on. We love you.