My Quiet Place

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Loss of One= Loss of Many (tears)

In the winter of 05-06 I was about to experience the most painful part of my life, and what I didn't know, is that there was more to come.

September of 05 my husband Bruce and I were asked to adopt a baby girl who was to be born in December. We of course said yes because we had been trying for many years and truly wanted a child. By November we were ready. We were given three showers and had more baby stuff then you could ever imagine. The nursery was painted purple, crib was set up and everything was in it's place. Someone commented now all this room needs is the baby. Shortly before our baby girl was born the birth mother broke off contact with us and we didn't hear anything else until a few weeks after she was born. We found out that our baby girl was born on December 6 and then passed on December 8. The birth family named her Abby and she was burried. She will never be Abby to me, her name will always be Mariska Emerson Brunkow. My baby girl would be turning 4 this year, the same age as the children I teach.

January 06 my husband became ill with the flu and a few days later I found him unresponsive. After a taking him to the hospital and then life flighting him to Nebraska, he passed from sudden liver failure on January 12. I thought losing my daughter was hard but this was my soul mate. He was part of me. We completed each other sentences. Bruce had defied the doctors all his life and lived a much longer life than the ever thought he would, but I wanted (needed) him to live longer. There were so many things we wanted to do, wanted to experience, but God took him early. I will love him and miss him always.

I found that I do have the same bond with friends as I use to. I think of things differently than they do. I know life is short and I don't know how long I have here so I am going to do the things I want to now. I have friends who have stopped communicating with me since my change. I can't change back to the person I was. I miss these friends and I have picked up the phone a few times and almost had the whole number dialed before I hang it back up and remember what has happened between us.

I have also lost some family through this. I have family that doesn't understand how I feel and actually what I have been through. They want me to just get over it. They are dead and we need to be happy and move on. WOW! That sounds great, someone please show my heart how to do that. Some of the comments have been "Let's try to make this a happy Christmas", "You are going to have get over it other people are still going to have babies", "You just need to get back out there".

For people who don't understand why we, who have lost a child, have trouble going to baby showers and being around pregnant people, I want you to try something for me. If you are pregnant or have been pregnant I want you to imagine that your baby was taken from you and they are no where to be found. You can't hold them or love them they are just gone and you will never see them again. Now everywhere you look you see people who are pregnant or who have children. How does this make you feel? Do you feel like your heart has been torn from your chest? Do you really want to be around the people who are a reminder what what you have loss? If you answered yes to the last one you a liar!

Over the last four year I have watched other family grow and move past this tragedy I would say that I have moved forward, to a point. I do have a new husband who loves my terribly and unconditionally. I am still trying to keep hope for baby in the future, but each day my hope gets a little less. We do continue to live though. We enjoy each day for what it brings and we travel and see new things. My life will continue on with or without certain people. I will continue to be strong and continue moving forward.

I try really hard to be understanding that other people's lives move on. I do feel that others should understand that part of my life hasn't and even though things have changed there is a part of my heart that will always feel pain because of what I have lost.


  1. Bambi, you are correct that no one can "sympatize" with how you feel about the loss of Mariska (and Bruce). However, I can relate to how you feel about not wanting to go to baby showers. As you know I can not have children of my own. I found out at the age of 17. At that time, having sex and a baby were no where in my future. However, as I entered my 20's and 30's and my friends and sister were starting their families, I felt left out, or left behind. The hardest day in my life, to date, was the day my niece Danielle was born. While being excited about being an Aunt and getting to spoil her rotten, it brought back all of the emotion I had bottled up for years. It wasn't fair. It will never be fair. Now as I am turning 47, 30 years after being told I could not have a child, naturally, I still "resent" other women who can bear children. Also Mother's Day is the hardest day for me as well. I cherish my Mother and celebrate the day for her, but for me there is and will always be a void.

    So in closing, the pain does not go away, but as you say we do have to go on. And anyone that has birthed a child they can not understand how we feel, as much as they try, they will never fully be able to "sympatize" with us.

    You are a great woman, daughter, wife and teacher. Stay strong.

  2. Donna,
    Thank you for your support. I know you know where I am coming from and I am happy that I know someone that does. I just wish it didn't hurt so bad. I have tried so hard to be happy and show my happiness for those around me but most of the time I feel like they are just rubbing it in that they have a baby. *shrugs*.. Even if I make it through a visit or a baby shower alright I am very emotion through the rest of the night.

    I do believe that God has a reason for everything and that in our own ways we are both blessed. You have two wonderful nieces that you get to spoil and be a part of their life and I have been blessed with two great loves. I could never thank God enough for the two wonderful men he has brought in my life. I try very hard to not let myself get down there are just day that it is hard and you fall in that self-pity pool.

    I want you to know that I am thankful for you. I am blessed to have someone in my life I can turn to who understand how I feel and knows it isn't something I am just making up.

    Love ya Donna!!

  3. Bambi,
    I've been thinking about this post since I read it yesterday.
    Last summer I went to a public talk given by the Dalai Lama. After his talk there was time for questions. One in particular was very moving. It was a woman who told the Dalai Lama about how her husband had died. She said "I love life, I really do, but I just don't know how to move on".
    I don't remember what he said, I don't remember the advice he gave. What I do remember is the way he seemed to absorb her grief and take a moment to feel her pain. Then he said "oh, that is so sad, so very sad" and the way he said it, you could tell he meant it. He could feel her pain.
    I don't have this ability. I don't have the stability of mind to really comprehend what it's like for other people. But I can be impressed with the way you keep going, and the way you are able to keep loving life, and the way you haven't let things break your heart.