Of note: On May 4, I delivered my fifth child. Keith Perry Merkley entered this world as quitely as he left. He was termed a stillborn. But I like to say he is an angel. Many of you may dream of angels, but on this day I got to hold one. It was a painful yet new day that has changed many ways I deal with life. Part of my plan with this blog is to publicly display some of the feelings I am going through. I have been keeping a journal on my computer (mainly because it is easier for me to type then to write), and I would like to share this with all my friends, family, and strangers who may know someone or are interested in the difficulties in the 'grief' over a loss of a baby. Below I have my journal writings for six weeks. Remember, Keith was born on May 4, so over the last six weeks you will see the grieving process in live reality. Also, some of my journals were written to my son (Keith) some are not. Sorry for any confusion, it is what has helped me heal most.
May 22, 2008
Here I am riding the commuter rail with your sister, Kayla and am thinking about you. I miss you and truly wish I could hold you right now. I’m trying to be the best mother I can to Trevor, Eric, & Kayla, but it is not the same without you. I was suppose to be 27 weeks and 1 day pregnant today. I must have loved you much, because the grief for your earthlyloss seems unbearable at times. Kayla gets upset at me when I cry for you. I try to explain they are happy tears, yet she reminds me when I cry that you are in heaven and will one day will be my baby to hold.
May 23, 2008
I want you to know Keith that I am grieving for you. My heart yearns to be with you. But I know that Trevor, Eric and Kayla & your Dad need me. I’m not afraid of dying now. I know that I will get to hold you and play with you. I know that you are with baby Angel and together I hope you are watching over me & Dad and your older siblings. As in the song I am A Child of God ‘Lead me, guide me, walk Beside Me’. Until I meet with you again, God Bless our Love.
June 1, 2008
Keith it has been one month since I found out I lost you. I spent some time today and thought of the day I delivered you and some of the moments that were slipping away. Like the admitting registrar who came in and was gathering information regarding the admit and expressed her apologies to me. Come to find out she had lost a baby to SIDS a year ago. It seems for some unknown reason God takes some special ones so young. I used to think I was ‘safe’ from this group you know after having three healthy children with out any major problems. You have now shown me that I too am unsafe for the pain and suffering that humans on earth go through. I didn’t know this, but the tech, Julie Madsen (Steve taught her kids) who helped me with your delivery stayed longer just to help me with your delivery. I read an article that touched me yesterday. It was written by Suzanne Pullen who too suffered a stillbirth of a baby boy around the same time I did. It said, ‘The road I am on is my son’s gift to me. The least I can do as his Mother is to continue on this journey and see where it takes me’. I keep reminding myself of this. Keith you have changed me in more ways than I can explain. I am a different mother to TEK. I am more cautious with them. I worry about their safety. Granted, I am more likely to become irritable with them, I have to remind me and them that I am still suffering your great loss. I am writing this from Capistrano Beach, California. We arrived today with TEK. I got emotional coming on this family trip seeing the Pacific ocean and realized that I would never be able to hold you as you touch the ocean for the first time. I wouldn’t be able to show you the beauty of this place I love. We’re going to throw a tribute to you on June 4 at Dana Point. I am looking forward to this. Keith, I know you are here watching over us, but I truly wish I could hold you in my arms. I miss you so much. I am forever your Mommy!
June 3, 2008
Today is your brother Eric’s birthday. He turned seven. I don’t know if you recall this or not, but on May 1 prior to taking the kids to school and going to my doctors appt, Eric came up to me and gave you a kiss on my tummy and said he loved you. It wasn’t the first time he did that during my pregnancy, he’s my snuggle bug. I was thinking of some special moments of you today. One was in regard to the Christmas Box story about the music box. A couple of weeks after you passed away, at 3 AM in the morning a music box that was in Kayla’s room went off. We had gotten this music box from Dad’s coworker who was retiring, and it didn’t work very well (no I didn’t want it to wake your sis at 3 AM in the morning). It woke me up, but no one else in our house. It kept me up so I finally went and tried to shake the music box to turn it off. That didn’t work so I went and hid it under the pillows in the library couch. If you recall in the Christmas Box story, the music box keeps the father up at night and makes him ‘snoop’ around and find out what the woman he is living with keeping in the attic (he finds out the woman had a child who he had lost). I kept thinking that was maybe your ‘spirit’ showing me at 3 AM that you are with me even when no one else is hearing the music box. I love you Keith and baby Angel. I get so much comfort that you are together. I do not fear death, in fact part of me looks forward to it so I can see you again. I have changed much in the short month since your passing. I am a different woman a better mother (not sure about the spouse thing right now, I am still emotional and Steve hears about it a lot). I often wonder if it would have been better to have had you and Angel 1st and 2nd in the line of my children rather then 4th and 5th. I hope if anything out of this I can be a better woman. More compassionate towards others, more humble, more patient, I guess….more Christlike.
June 4, 2008
Today is the one month since your birth. I should be 28 weeks and 5 days pregnant, instead I am mourning for you. I don’t know if you can tell by my typing, but we are in California, our favorite place in Capistrano Beach. Today we are going to the most beautiful spot in the world, Dana Point. I have brought some dried flowers that covered your small casket and that friends/family brought to our home to spread on the Pacific Ocean at Dana Point. I have always loved the ocean. It is my refuge, my place that takes all my worries away. I feel at peace and that life will go on as each wave comes in. We will all say something to you and let a flower go into the ocean in remembrance of the moments you were here on earth. We know that you will be in our hearts forever. My friend Teresa’s husband said he felt his brother a lot while on his mission. I told this to Trevor and Eric and they too look forward to going on a mission to feel your spirit with them. Keith Perry Merkley, your life on earth was only a moment, but you will remain in my heart forever. I have worn the necklace that I got in remembrance of baby Angel and it also holds the identical (well for you it was a bracelet) ring on me since the day I delivered you. I just don’t want to ever forget you. Hopefully the ocean will be more of my favorite place to visit it will always remind me of you. Like Beaus pond is my special place for baby Angel, the ocean is my special place for you. Besides this is giving me time to ponder and pray and be with you and your siblings. I love you Keithey. God bless our love.
I am now at Dana Point California, the loveliest place God created. We just had a family tribute to Keith Perry Merkley. I couldn’t think of a better place to pay respects to the loveliest person I ever held than here. We each took some flowers said some remarks regarding you and dropped them in the water. We watched the waves recede into the ocean with the flowers in remembrance of our son, Keith. I did very well emotionally. I know you are here in spirit, I just wish I could physically be holding you. We as a family will probably not have a tribute again for you until well at least until Aug 20, maybe Christmas. I will continue to type this journal for you as I move through this enduring grieving process. I guess it is true, I risked to love, so I am faced with grieving the loss of you. Keith I yearn to be with you so much it hurts. But Kayla, Eric, & Trevor need me and I know you are in good hands with our Mother and Father in Heaven. You have our big brother Jesus right there with probably playing ball with you and baby Angel. Why they tear Mothers and babies apart I don’t know. I tried to explain to Kayla (who herself was teary eyed and Trevor that this life is like a board game. You have already finished your game (or test) and Kayla, Eric, Trevor and I still playing. We hope to win the prized honor like you and live with our Heavenly parents and Savior. Help us Keith attain the honor of living with you, baby Angel, our Savior, and our Heavenly parents. Believe me, we’ll need it. Until then, God bless our love.
June 8, 2008
We are on our way home from California. As we are traveling, I am thinking about you. Wondering the ‘what if’ of life. I miss you. I love the ocean, and now I have another reason why, because of you. Thank you for making my dreams come true of being a Mother to beautiful son. I think of the Garth Brooks song. I could have missed the pain, but I would have to miss the dance. I love you Keith, your earthly Mother.
June 16, 2008
I had a bad day or so the song is sung like that. I must have cried today as much as I did the first week after I lost Keith. I finished the photo album/pages for us and kids. They are nice. I showed them to the kids at family home evening. I’m still bleeding, my doctor says it is normal. What does she know. I’m tired of bleeding. We had to change to a flat headstone thanks to the stupid and mean sexton at the cemetery. I’m just frustrated with everything that seems to go wrong. Anyways, I think my husband needs attention. Hope tomorrow is better.
June 17, 2008
Well today is a little better. I heard a quote that touched me immensely it was ‘Some people on dream of angels, I got to hold one May 4, 2008’. Thank you Keithy for coming into my life. I was able to persevere today . I appreciated a call from Mom H today. She reminded me that I guess grief is just like this. That I will have days that will take me back to the first week after loosing you. I wish modern medicine could find a way to speed up grief, it sucks sometimes. I’m just letting the tears fall down on me today. Hey, I found out after a walk last night with Steve, that mosquitos don’t like salty skin, so there is one benefit to crying. Today, just seemed better, so I thought I’d write in my ‘journal of loss’.