Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Missing my girl so much the last couple days. I'm not really sure why it's been worse lately. I suppose it's because we are coming up on the 24th and 25th of the month. I can't believe that ten months ago, we had no idea she was no fragile and sick.

A couple of nights ago I had a really messed up dream and it's stuck with me ever since. I almost hate to share it because it's so disturbing to me, but maybe if I get it out, I can let it go...
In my dream, I was in the middle of a big city, at a cemetery. The cemetery was divided in hundreds of sections- each section was like a concrete elevated planter, surrounded by sidewalks. Each planter had about 10 caskets in it. This was the cemetery where Ellie was buried. I was going to visit her and bring some items to decorate her area.
At this cemetery, they placed the caskets in the planters and just scattered dirt and sand around them. There wasn't even enough to cover them. Each casket was clearly visible. In my dream, this was apparently the first time I noticed that they did this, and I was furious. I wanted her casket to be fully buried. But they wouldn't do it. The employee told me they did this so that they could keep an eye on the bodies. He then proceeded to peer into Ellie's casket through a porthole and ask me if I wanted to hold her. At first I was appalled and said that I didn't want to see my daughter like that. He promised me that she looked the same, if not better, than when we last saw her at the funeral home.
I agreed.
I went into a waiting type area and the man brought Ellie into me and handed her dead body to me. She had on the same pajamas that we actually did bury her in. In the dream, I didn't look at her face. But in the dream, I was thinking that she did look better than last time we saw her. But it still didn't look like her. I spent the rest of my dream sitting on a somewhat dirty tile floor in an entry way of a waiting area, holding Ellie's body and rubbing my face in her fuzzy hair...

When I woke up, I could still feel her hair on my face. And that was an amazing gift. But it made my heart ache for her like it hasn't in a long time. It was just a split second taste of what I want more than anything else. It’s this reminder of what I am missing in my every day that has haunted for the last few days.
I was just starting to feel a peace settle over me in the last couple weeks. And I feel like this dream has really set me back. Not because it reminded me of what I’m missing so badly, I am well aware of that, but it brought to the forefront, something that I consciously push to the back. Ellie’s lifeless body. Like any other parent who has lost a child, seeing their body is something that haunts you. It’s the exact opposite feeling of seeing them when they were born.
When Ellie got sick, her body turned against her in the worst way possible. There is no way for anyone to ever fully understand what she looked like that day, unless you were there. I thank God that I can’t see what her face looked like that day. But I remember her skin, her fingers and toes and ears. I remember the tubes- there were SO many tubes, the blood, the colors, the oozing. I remember breaking down when we saw her body for the first time at the funeral home. Very little of her was recognizable. The funeral director worked hard to make her look “normal” but it was obvious that any normal coloring she had was make-up. Any touch would smudge it, revealing the grayness beneath.
There are times when I’m at the cemetery and I have to tell myself to not let my mind go there. Sometimes it starts to anyways. I try not to think about the small pink, fuzzy footie pj clad baby girl buried beneath the headstone. I try not to think about what her body looks like now. My mind never goes all the way there, I don’t think my heart would ever let it. But it’s just enough to shake me to my core. These are unspeakable thoughts. They are disturbing, maddening and heart-shattering. This nightmare has been like a big boa constrictor wrapped tightly around me. It’s made it hard to breathe, and I’m wondering if it’s just going to keep getting tighter until I finally just black out.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about this whole “grieving process” is that it goes in phases. It’s nothing that a stupid book or expert will tell you about, but it’s something that’s personal. I’m sure in a few days, my outlook will take an upswing. The 24th and 25th get me everything month, whether I realize its coming or not. I know I just have to ride it out. But I’m tired of being sad. I’m tired of this ache and hurt that lives in my heart. I’m tired of the crushing anxiety. I’m mad that I had to give up my daughter and bring this shit home with me instead.

Peanut- I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. Love you to the moon and back and a million times more. 

Remembering August 23rd, 2010

See that smirk beneath the nuk?? This was our morning routine. After breakfast, I would take the kids up to Max's room, and while I got Max cleaned up, Ellie would play on the floor. Afterward, I would get Elle changed while Max played. It was a pretty routine little routine. I miss it so much...
What girl doesn't like a trashy magazine??
Max and Daddy


Renel said...

Oh Tiffany. What the mind can do to us! We want to remember and forget simultaneously. Dreams can be so haunting and hard to shake. We should never have to have seen our babies dead and it's a picture and feeling we can never get away from. I hope the next couple days are gentle on you.

Kelly said...

When I was holding Adam when he passed, I didn't realize how pale he looked. I took pictures of him when the nurse was bathing him, and one last pic of Jim holding him, and then of Adam's face. I can't look at those pictures. He looks so pale and just not like Adam. I am still amazed at how quickly death takes over the body.

While waiting for the autopsy report, I googled something about how long they take. I found myself reading how an autopsy is performed. Most disturbing thing ever. Then I had a dream that I was watching an autopsy being performed on a baby, although it wasn't Adam. It was awful. That was probably the worst dream I've ever had after this. I don't dream about Adam much lately, but sometimes I'm scared to for dreams that you described.

I will be thinking of you. Our dates always get me, too, and like you said, sometimes when I don't even realize it. ((((hugs))))

Tiffany said...

((hugs)) i actually took a comforting spin on your dream with the person telling you she looked even better. maybe that is Ellie's way of telling you that she is doing well, that she is ok. it sucks that all we are left with are interpretations of dreams. we can't just wake up and talk to our babies. i hate it. thinking of you even more today. i've been feeling extra down lately, and a lot of my sadness is because oct is coming. and i know that is a terrible month for you guys too. miss you my friend.

Jennifer said...

I am so very, very sorry. No one should ever experience what your family has experienced. I agree with a previous comment - maybe Ellie is telling you that wherever she is, she's better, she's happy. I wish I had words to comfort you. I guess there are none really. I hope you find peace during these next couple of days. I truly believe with all my heart that Ellie exists and that she stays close to you always.

michelle said...

I saw Jack pass away three times, I will never forget how he looked progressing over the two months in the PICU, when we had to unhook him from everything and take him to pallitive care-it was not fast- his passing lasted 11 hrs, I still wouldnt let them take him away for another 12 hrs after that. I truly understand what it was like for you and what you saw. There is no letting go of it, there is just trying to live with it.Her smiling happy and beautiful face looking all cutie petutie in her adorable outfits will help you get through.Hugs

crystal said...

I am so sorry. I know that it is so hard on you. Just remember that your strength come from God and Ellie. Knowing that we will get to see our little ones again helps with getting a little bit stronger. Praying for you!!!

Ashley said...

Tiffany - I am so sorry. I too, have these same dreams and visions. There have been MANY times that I've had to distract myself from going to the cemetery and digging Erik up. There's a part of me that feels like I HAVE to know what he looks like now, but in reality, I do NOT want to see what death has done to him.

LauraJane said...

Oh hun. My mind goes there too, and these horrible thoughts are so fucking insane, morbid, and disturbing. I'm glad I'm not the only one.. GAH.

I'm so sorry. Your girl smirking in that first photo is so precious. :)

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