This blog is an uncensored look into my soul. I am writing this as part of my healing process, but am leaving it public so others can follow me through my journey.

If you'd like to start from the beginning, click on the beautiful, adorable picture of Hailey on the right hand column.

You can also email me at:

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Waiting For Her To Come Home...

I don't care how much time passes, you NEVER get over it.  You NEVER stop hurting.  You NEVER stop missing and wishing and hoping and praying.  You just don't.  It's not possible.

I have become a master at hiding my feelings on the inside.  I'm not sure if that's something to brag about, but it's reality.  I love to laugh, which I think comes from the fact that it softens the pain a little every time.  My philosophy in life is, "One can never laugh enough."  I think that just goes to show, in some ways, how much softening I need for the pain that I carry everyday.

I miss her.  I seriously miss her so much.  I ache for her.  I yearn for her.  I hurt for her.  I go on for her.  

Sometimes I think watching your children grieve can almost be worse than your own grief.  Ava has always had a strong connection with Hailey, both before and after her death.  But lately, that strong connection has become bittersweet.  It keeps her sister's memory alive in her heart.  It makes her want to talk about and hear about her sister.  It makes her want to know her sister more and more.  However, it also makes her miss her sister, cry for her sister, wish for her sister.  

Tonight she came to me crying and told me that she just misses Hailey so much.  These times are so dang hard for me...beyond words actually.  I hugged her and she decided she wanted to go to bed early and look at a memory book I made for Hailey of her first year of life.  We laid side by side and looked at all the pictures.  I explained what was going on in the ones where she was in the hospital covered in tubes and wires and then told her funny stories about the ones where she was laughing or covered in food all over her face.  (I can't believe how much I've forgotten about Hailey's first year of life.  All the hospital stays, brushes with death, surgeries, setbacks, triumphs, pains, and joys.)  After looking through the book I had tears streaming down my face.  Ava put her little head on my shoulder, her arm across my chest, and asked me to tell her more stories about Hailey.  The moment was one that most parents will never experience with their 5-year old daughter, but me, I experience it often.  It is precious...sacred.

I hope and pray that I am helping her deal with her grief properly.  I never expected her to actually grieve.  She was only 9 months when Hailey passed away, so I guess I just assumed we'd talk about her memory and Ava would know she has another sister but it wouldn't go beyond that.  Well, I couldn't have been more wrong.  And although it is tremendously painful, I'm grateful that I was so wrong.  I'm grateful that she adores her sister so very much.

Just last week Ava told Sean that she was sad it was taking Hailey so long to come back.  Apparently, she was hoping Hailey would be back by Halloween so they could eat candy together.  

Most 5-year old children can't wait for their birthday or Christmas or popsicles for dessert.  Not my 5-year old...she simply can't wait for her sister to come back home.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

5 Years - It Still Hurts

The 5 year "anniversary" of Hailey's passing is very quickly approaching.  (Only 2 more days to be exact.)  I wish I had some great words of wisdom or inspiration that 5 years of grief have taught me, but honestly, I think I've pretty much covered everything over the last 5 years of writing my blog.  

One thing I can say for sure is that time does NOT heal all wounds.  It definitely makes them a little less sore and a little more tolerable, but they are not by any means healed.  I actually feel this year has been my hardest since my first, although I'm really good now at not showing it on the least not through tears.

On the inside though I've been so sad.  I've felt very vulnerable, insecure, fearful, overly sensitive, etc.  I have that pit in my stomach all the time and my heart flutters when I stop and think about her.  My heart has been on my sleeve and my feelings are hurt a lot easier right now, probably because I'm already hurting.  I feel lonely even though everyone around me is so supportive.  I think it's just the longing I have for my little girl.  

I seriously miss her so much and often feel like 5 years has been long enough to live without her so it's time to bring her back. I've passed the test.  I stayed faithful to God and my religious beliefs.  I've done tons of service in her honor.  I've stayed strong for my family.  I've helped others around me who are also grieving.  I've created a beautiful legacy in her honor.  The list goes on...  But now, selfishly, I want my reward.  I hate to admit that, but it is what it is.  I don't want to live another 5 years, 10 years, 50 years without her, yet assuming I live a safe and healthy life that is most likely my reality.  Yuck.

Ava has been showing real signs of grieving lately and I'm not sure where it's coming from since she was only 9 months old when Hailey died.  It could be the fact that she can sense my renewed grief and pain or that she is getting older and the reality is setting in that she's really not coming back in this lifetime.  

This morning she came into my room and woke me up and told me she was feeling like she wanted to cry about Hailey.  So I rolled over, lifted up the covers and she climbed in beside me.  As I hugged her tight a few tears slipped down her cheek.  She kept asking me when she was really coming back because it's been soooo long and she wants to see her soooo bad.   It is impossible to put into words what that does to a mother who is already grieving.  My heart broke for her.  I'm worried that she'll start to get impatient and "give up" on Hailey.  

Then today we went and had milkshakes at Hailey's Place as a family and as we were leaving Ava ran over and "hugged" Hailey and told me she wanted to cry about her again.  I told her she could cry about her anytime she wanted and I would be there to hug her every single time.

I've found over the last five years that the months and days leading up to Hailey's Birthday and the "anniversary" of the day she died are often worse than the actual day.  The anticipation sucks.  The constant thoughts of what we should do to "celebrate" her life turn over and over again in my head.  On one hand I want to do something super special in her memory, yet on the other a part of me wants to just go about it as a normal day and pretend like it never really happened.

Well this year, as every year so far, we're going to do something fun as a family to celebrate both her life and my mom's.  She passed away on my mom's birthday, which obviously makes it that much more difficult.  We were all supposed to go to dinner that night, but of course never made it.  So now we say that Hailey and my mom share a birthday.  Hailey's Heavenly Birthday and my mom's Earthly Birthday.  And we try to celebrate that day, instead of being sad.  It usually ends up being a "beau'ful" day!

At Hailey's Place Tonight

The kiddos and their milkshakes

Ava hugging Hailey
(Every time I look at this picture my stomach does a flip flop.)

Ava "crying about Hailey" 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Grief = Emotional, Mental, Physical, & Spiritual

I've been really thinking about my grief a lot lately.  Today I had a heavy heart all day.  I don't know if it's because Hailey's "Earthly" birthday is coming up on July 20th and her "Heavenly" birthday is coming up on August 11th or because in the last year I've had several close friends experience the tremendous loss of a loved one, but whatever it is my "Grief Journey" has been on my mind a lot.  

It's weird because part of me wants to go back to the day Hailey died and remember all the little details, yet when I try my mind literally slams the door and I can't concentrate on it.  I guess that's my emotions, mind, body, and spirit telling me I'm not ready for that.  (Who knows, I may never be.  I know nothing good can come of reliving that day in my memory, but in some strange way I also never want to forget it.)  

Anyways, as the door slammed once again this afternoon while I had a quiet moment to think, I was instead guided to thinking about grief as a whole and what it really did and is still doing to me.  (I feel pretty confident in saying that most people who have experienced the tremendous loss of a close loved one can probably relate very closely to the following.)

Grief literally wrecks you.  It rips you down to the bare bones in all areas of life: Emotional, Mental, Physical, and Spiritual.  It's almost as if you are stripped down to nothing and have to get up and start from scratch.   Now, let me say, I'm nowhere near that point anymore.  I think I'm definitely well on my way through my journey to healing in all those areas, but for those of you who haven't been through it or who are currently going through it, I thought I'd explain, (as best I can because there really are no adequate words to describe it), how grief has and still does affect me in those 4 main areas.

Emotionally I was a wreck.  I couldn't stop crying.  I became terrified.   Will I be this sad forever?  Will I never be able to stop crying?  How am I going to survive the rest of my life without Hailey?  What if someone else I love dies?  Will I ever stop feeling so lonely?  One minute I was so sad I couldn't stop crying and the next I was furious.  The anger raged in me.  Then I would laugh at something.  How dare I laugh?  Did this mean I didn't love Hailey as much as I thought?   The guilt would start to set in.  I felt guilty for everything: laughing, crying, feeling angry, neglecting my other children, not being a better mom to Hailey while she was here...the list went on and on and on.  The guilt was overwhelming.  Along with this tornado of emotions, I also felt so vulnerable, like anything could rip me apart again. I was terrified to go out in public.  What if someone was rude to me?  Would I break down and start to cry in front of them?  I felt sick and wounded, as if the whole world would know my heart was broken and in some ways I wanted the whole world to know.  I lashed out at those around me, primarily my family and friends.  I think I took it out on them the most because I trusted that they wouldn't leave me, although to be totally honest, I didn't even care sometimes if they did because all I really wanted was to be alone in my grief.  I wanted to wallow in my own misery.  I wanted to yell and scream and punch and kick.  Nothing really mattered to me.  Then hope.  I would feel a sliver of hope, like maybe I would survive this and one day be "happy" again.  A smile would form only to be quickly slapped off my face by another round of guilt and then the whole emotional roller coaster would begin again.

Mentally I couldn't think.  It felt like someone had wrapped my brain in a heavy wet towel and all my thoughts were being held in and smothered.  I had trouble focusing on any subject, except my grief, for more than a minute or so.  All I could think about was THAT day and my very depressing future.  What could I have done differently and how was I seriously going to survive this?  It was difficult for me to do even basic things such as pay bills, read a book, drive my car, cook dinner, do laundry, etc.  My mind would get lost and I would come back unaware of where I began or what I was even doing.  Anger would rise in my chest when someone would interrupt my thoughts of Hailey or ask me to think of anything but my grief.  I had trouble engaging in a regular conversation or even thinking about the next 5 minutes.  I couldn't plan anything, commit to anything, engage in anything, or really do anything.  I felt so alone all the time, especially amongst a lot of people.  I never once thought of ending my own life, but there were definitely times that I prayed and begged God to take me because I honestly didn't think I could bear one more moment of the torture I was feeling.

Physically I couldn't move.  My eyes burned from crying.  My arms literally ached.  My heart throbbed and burned.  It felt so heavy in my chest.  Sometimes I wondered if I was having a heart attack. I often felt like I was gasping for air because I couldn't breathe.  I was constantly nauseous and the thought of eating could cause me to dry heave.  My stomach did constant somersaults.  My whole body physically hurt.  I felt heavy, as if someone had placed a backpack of bricks over my shoulder and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get it off.  Even taking a shower would take every bit of energy I could possibly muster up.  Sometimes it was hard to walk or even move, yet others I would just want to take off and run and never stop.  I would want to scream my lungs out and physically punch and kick things. And the exhaustion...the sheer exhaustion from it all was indescribable.  All I wanted to do was sleep, every minute of every day.  It was all I could do to escape. 

Spiritually I have to admit, I struggled the least.  Although my faith has always stayed strong, and I think I was least affected in this area, I still had many questions and concerns.  My mother is a woman of great faith and I learned a lot watching her as I grew up, so I was pretty strong in this area.  I would always say that it's easy for anyone to say they have faith until it's truly it was my turn.  My belief in the after life and God's plan for each of us kept me on a straight path. I knew that we would be together again one day for eternity, but I also didn't want to wait for that day...that alone seemed like an eternity. I also knew that Hailey was His daughter first before she was mine.  I felt honored that He trusted ME, of all people, to be Hailey's mom.  However, I also felt angry that He would send her to me to love so much and then turn around and take her back only 3 years later.  I felt like that was so unfair.  I think the major area I struggled in spiritually was my trust in God.  I knew that He would always be there for me, but I was (and honestly, still am) terrified of what other trials He may have in store for me.  I spent many hours praying, asking God questions, yelling at Him, crying to Him, and even begging Him to send her back.  I would feel frustrated when people would assume I'd be okay because I had such strong faith and knew about God's plan for each of us.  That didn't make it okay that my baby was gone.  It would anger me when people would tell me she was in a better place.  I know that she is, but that doesn't mean that as a mother I wouldn't selfishly rather her here with me.  Overall though, I have to say that it was my faith and my religious beliefs that kept spirit lifted and well. 

Well, I'll admit, that was some heavy deep stuff!  Now again, let me assure you that I am far beyond most of those feelings now.  I am well on my way to healing, but I would say all those things listed above lasted for at least the first year, some a little beyond, and some are still present in me today.  Each time someone I know experiences death I revisit all the above for them.  In many ways I carry their pain with me because I know the long road ahead for them.  It is overwhelming for me to think about starting the road over again and I pray that I NEVER will again.

Emotionally, I'm much, much stronger now, although I still have my days here and there and I'm ALWAYS missing her.  I still have days that I'm sad and I cry for her. But, I have to say I'm the most stable and happiest I've been since she died.  I now know I can pretty much get through anything and I've learned how to make good out of the bad.  I have my sense of humor back and still LOVE to laugh and have a good time.

Mentally, I still hate to have my thoughts interrupted, but with 3 other kids to take care of, that's normal.  I do still fear everyday that another person I love is going to die, so I'm still working on that.  But, I'm not constantly dwelling on the day Hailey died and all the details that surround it. (However, as mentioned above, I do still have times that I revisit it all)  I'm able to focus on things and rationalize with myself when I'm starting to feel the slippery slope of grief creeping up on me.  I've learned healthy ways to deal with what could be such a negative and anger filled trial in my life.  

Physically, I'm feeling better than ever.  Yes, I still love my naps, but they don't happen nearly as often and I don't NEED them anymore.  I have much more energy and feel stronger and healthier than I've felt in 4 1/2 years. (No, I'm not going to start working out yet!)  I definitely can feel the times when I'm actively grieving and need to sleep more than normal, but once I get through it I'm good again. And I no longer feel the weight of the world on my shoulders!  I've learned how to relax much better.

Spiritually, I'm the strongest I've ever been.  I love my Heavenly Father and have grown so much closer to Him.  I've learned how to truly offer deep, heartfelt prayers.  I've learned how to see His hand in everything and I know that no matter what comes my way He will be there by my side to carry me through it and bless me in ways I couldn't have imagined before, but I've also learned that I have to allow Him to do so.  I've learned what it means to have Jesus Christ as my best friend and I've personally felt how He and only He knows exactly how I feel and what I'm going through.  I have a testimony of the Plan of Salvation and why we're here and where we're going.  I know Hailey still lives, not physically but spiritually and I have often felt her so closely I could almost reach out and touch her.  I am grateful for eternal families and the fact that I am part of one.  I know that I will be with Hailey one day forever.

So, there's my update!  I still miss my little girl more than words can describe.  I still cry for her.  I still ache for her.  I always wonder what she would be like if she were still here.  And I'll never stop wishing she'd come back.  But through all that, I'm okay and I'll continue to be okay...and one day even better than okay!

(If you ever have any questions about my beliefs and/or church please never hesitate to ask me or visit (We're not as weird as some people think!!  Ha Ha!)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Still On The Pathway

It's been quite a while since I last posted, so I wanted to check in and let you all know that I'm still actively on the pathway of grief.  I'm haven't forgotten my sweet little angel for a split second.  I find that I write most of my updates and experiences on Facebook instead of my blog now, but I'm going to work on attaching them here too.

Although I haven't written many long blog entries recently, this year has been very difficult so far.  I've cried more that I have in a long time.  I often feel like I'm back at year one again.  I feel vulnerable, emotional, sad.  I miss my little girl so much.  I guess in some ways I already expected it because there are several milestones happening this year.  For one, this year is the 5-year mark since Hailey died.  There's just something about 5 years.  It seems soooooo long, yet still so short in the scheme of life.  Assuming I live a safe, healthy life, I could live to be in my 80's or 90's, which means I still have another 4o or 50 years here on this earth without my little girl.  There is just something so wrong about that.  So many moments missed out on.  I feel that I've already missed out on so much of what should have been Hailey's life in the "short" 5 years she's been gone.  I also hate the fact that I'll have to miss her for the that long too.  

Also, in a couple months my little Joey will be the same age as Hailey was when she died and Ava will be almost the same age as Lexi was.  This brings back tons of memories and emotions.  As I watch Joey grow, I'm constantly reminded of all the things Hailey was doing at that age.  Sometimes I forget how much of a little person she was! 

Lastly, in our church we baptize children when they turn 8 years old.  This is what we believe to be the age of accountability.  Prior to 8 years old, we believe that children are perfect and therefore do not need to be baptized.  When children turn 8, they are responsible and accountable for their actions.  (For more on this you can visit  Anyways, that's besides the point.  The reason this is so difficult for me is because Hailey would have turned 8 this July.  I'm watching all the little girls she would have grown up with getting so excited for their baptisms.  They're sending out invitations and buying pretty white dresses, etc.  Although I know that Hailey died perfect, it still hurts as a mom to miss out on that special rite of passage.  Every baptism I go to tugs at my heartstrings and really hurts.

Along with all the above, to be truly honest,  I'm just tired.  Tired of missing my little girl every single minute of every single day for the past 5 years.  Tired of knowing I have so many more years ahead to continually miss her.  Tired of having to go to the cemetery to visit her.  Tired of wondering what she would look like or how she would get along with her siblings.  Tired of having to tell people I have 4 kids, not 3.  Tired of the lingering sadness that is always in my heart.  Tired of spending holidays and birthdays without her.  Tired of watching my children miss their sister.  Tired of family pictures with only a photo to represent her.  Tired of watching all her little friends growing up without her.  Tired of the roller coaster of emotions I constantly experience.  Tired of wishing I could cry, but can't.  Tired of feeling the constant sting of death.  Tired of trying to convince myself that I'm so strong.  Tired of the sheer weight of grief on my shoulders.  Tired of looking like all is good on the outside, when it's not on the inside.  Tired of the constant crippling fear of losing another I love to death.  Tired of the helplessness and sheer pain I feel for others grieving.  Tired of not being able to fix it for them.  Just plain tired.

Today, my sweet little 5 year old, Ava, was watching a movie on her iPad in her room.  All of a sudden she came walking into my room literally sobbing hysterically.  I couldn't figure out what happened and she couldn't even talk between sobs to tell me.  I asked her if she was ok and she just melted into my arms and cried harder.  After about 5 minutes she finally told me that she was watching Charlotte's Web 2 (Didn't know there was one!)  and I guess it began where the original Charlotte's Web left off...with Charlotte the spider dying after giving birth to a billion eggs.  Anyways, between sobs Ava said, "Mommy, I didn't know the mommy spider died.  She died and left her babies.  I didn't know that.  It reminded me of how Hailey died and left us all.  I miss her so much, Mommy.  I just want her to come back.  I am so, so sad."  Try holding it together through that.  I continued to hug her tighter and kept telling her how sorry I was.  What does a mom even say to that?  (Ava was only 9 months old when Hailey died, but is so attached to her.  She sleeps with a stuffed horse Hailey had and she has pictures of Hailey all over her room and talks about her non-stop.) She cried for about 15 minutes straight.  I literally would have given my own life at that moment to have Hailey walk through the door and hug her sister.  

I believe death is a beautiful thing... on the other side.  But for those of us left behind there really isn't much beauty to find in it.  Yes, there are little miracles here and there, blessings from God if you believe.  I have had many in the last 5 years, but still nothing even close to making it all better or worthwhile.  It just is what it is and it becomes something you just have to get used to living with.  

Joey giving Ava a hug as she holds Hailey's horse and cries for her.

Ava has this picture in her room of Hailey opening up the horse she now sleeps with on her 2nd birthday.
(Thank you Bloom family!)

Ava also has this picture in her room of Hailey pushing her in the swing.

And I have to share this too!  Ava had this frame with a picture of Hailey in it since she passed away.  A couple weeks ago Joey stepped on it and broke it.  Ava was devastated, to say the least.  My mom ended up getting her a new frame, but Ava wanted the little ladybugs on it, so she took matters into her own hands and made some new ones!!!  I seriously love her!

I couldn't get the picture to rotate, so the broken frame is on the bottom and Ava's masterpiece is on the top!

P.S. I just realized how much I missing posting here!  I have a lot to catch up on.  Please, stay tuned...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Yet Another Christmas

Yet another Christmas has come and gone without my sweet Hailey here.  I'm not sure why, but this year was harder than the last two.  (My first was by far the worst ever.)  But for some reason, I really missed her, an extra lot, this year.  I've gotten pretty used to daily life without her, although she's always on my mind, but I'm not sure I'll ever get used to the roller coaster of emotions that I'm continually on (and will probably be on for the rest of my life on this Earth.)  It's just so weird how some days, weeks, and months go smoothly and relatively unemotional and then all of a sudden it all comes back again.  I would have thought that after 4 1/2 years it would all seem "normal," but it still doesn't.

I hate to admit that in some ways it gets harder.  More and more new people enter my life that don't know about Hailey, which means I have to continually decide whether or not to inform them that I really have 4 children or to just let them continue assuming I only have 3.  It usually depends on the person and situation.  I also am continually seeing other children who are the age she would be now (7 1/2) growing and learning and maturing, while she's not.  I'm always wondering what she would be like and how she would interact with us and her siblings.  I miss her.  

Although I have a lot of faith and know that this was her plan and her time to go, it's still really hard.  I feel cheated in some ways.  I put so much hard work and time and effort and love into raising my sweet little girl...everything I had...only to have her leave me.  And yes, I know spiritually she's here, blah, blah, but that doesn't mean I don't still miss her and selfishly want her here physically.  I want to hug her and kiss her, hear her laugh, cry, sing, and yell, see her smiling face, watch her light up with excitement on her birthday and Christmas morning, see her interacting with her sisters and brothers.  I HATE that I don't get to experience any of those things with her.  

This Christmas was especially hard, I think, because I have some close friends who are still newly grieving and I feel their pain and sadness.  The holidays are a beautiful time of year, but for those of us grieving or celebrating without a loved one they can also be very ugly.  I used to always send out a Christmas card, every year, but I haven't since Hailey died.  And as much as I love getting cards from all my family and friends, I hate to admit that I do feel a little sting seeing such beautiful "complete" family pictures, knowing that I will never have that.  (Please though, keep sending me your cards!!!  I still want them!!!)

Sometimes I wish I could actively grieve outwardly and cry in front of others so they could see how much pain I still feel, yet in many ways I'm also grateful that I grieve better in solitude.  My sadness and pain often manifests itself in other ways, such as moodiness, impatience, being distracted, and sheer exhaustion.  So when you see me acting those ways, know it's not about you...I'm just missing my little girl and don't want to cry in front of you.

On a positive note, I'm also so grateful that I love to laugh and still do even after 4 1/2 looooong years of grieving with many, many more to go.  There are three things that have gotten me through this trial: My faith, the support of my family, friends, and strangers, and laughter!  

Anyways, I just felt the need to get a little venting out since I didn't have much time to write during this holiday season.  So there it is.  I still have so much to be grateful for and for that I'm even grateful! 

This was the picture we put on the last Christmas card I sent before Hailey died. 
(Joey isn't in any of these because he wasn't born yet, which is why I'll never have a complete family photo.)
It was so frustrating to try to get a good pic with everyone looking at the same time, so we ended up just all shutting our eyes! (Of course, Barbie's eyes are still open, so I still didn't win!! HaHa)
My 3 beautiful girls.

Hailey was so excited to sit on Santa's lap!
All my other kids were terrified at that age.  She was always so brave. 

Hailey's new Dora p.j.'s!

And her new "big girl" potty!
(Kinda looks like she's actually going!) HA HA 

And of course, lot of LAY's Potato Chips!!!