The one piece of advice offered to me over and over after we found out that Talmage would not be joining our family was, "There is no right answer."

The nurses, doctors, and social workers all kept repeating the same thing:

"Would you like to hold him after he is born? There is no right answer."
"Would you like him cremated or buried? There is no right answer."
"Would you like photographs? There is no right answer."
"Would you like to see a therapist? There is no right answer."
"Would you like help sleeping? There is no right answer."

The format was always the same - they would pose the question, I would stare blankly back like how the heck is one supposed to answer such a question, and then they would offer this one statement, "There is no right answer."

As one who always wants the right answer - to do the right thing - to do the one thing that someone is supposed to do in whatever circumstance is thrown their way, I was completely thrown off track. I entered a world where the right answer was whatever I choose it to be and the right thing didn't exist. I had to find my own way.

So I made it up. I held my lifeless son and buried him as physically close to home as possible. I took photos that to this day are still too hard to look at. My blog became my source of therapy and Blake's arms the only sleep aid worthy enough.

I wrote when I couldn't sleep. I drove to the hospital to hold my preemie son. I showed up to church before it was probably socially acceptable. I cried a lot. I went to a Valentine's dance wearing cute clothes where I small talked and smiled and crazily danced with my husband. I drove to the cemetery but then always left quickly because I had no idea what I was supposed to do there. I ate hot cookies, inhaled words of condolence, did laundry like my life depended on it, and read lots of sad books.

At that time it was my right answer and the only way I found it was by doing it.

Even today I am still finding my way through grief... 

What does a mom who lost her son four years ago write on such a day?

There is no right answer.


Jana Weaver said...

Probably nothing I say is the right answer either, but I wanted you to know I'm thinking of you. You and Blake are such a wonderful example. I admire how you continue to write.

Jo said...

Knowing God's plan and knowing that Christ understands your grief and knowing that the Holy Ghost comforts you and us is the only answer we have at this time. Talmage is loved and remembered.

Shelby Olson said...

Thinking of you and yours often Cyndi.

HowellAZ said...

Four years ago, I didn't know of anyone who had gone through a similar situation as yours. Since then I have met others who have been in like circumstances, as well as women who have experienced miscarriages, etc. I hope it brings you comfort to know that while your experience is yours, there are others who have walked in those shoes. Or maybe, trudged is a better way to say it!
God loves all of us individually and knows our unique needs. I think you found your right answers. You truly are a strength to those who know you.

Chirleen said...

Hi Cyndi,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I first discovered your story only moments ago when I read it on Rage Against the Minivan's "What I Want You To Know..."

I wanted to share with you that on April 17, 2012 my son Caleb was stillborn. He was not a twin so our stories differ, but the pain of our losses are both significant and devastating.

I want you to know that you are not alone. Losing a child at birth is unlike any other experience. And it changes us in so many ways.

The biggest comfort I have found has been reaching out to others who have had similar losses and sharing our stories with one another. I pray that you can find that comfort as well.

If you are interested in reading Caleb's birth story, you can do that here:http://calebs-story.net/2013/11/calebs-birth-story/

God bless you and your absolutely beautiful family!

Jenn Duke said...

I just happened upon your blog and just had to comment. We have a few things in common....I have twins boys born prematurely in 2005. I had a stillborn son in May of 2010. And my daughter who we adopted was born on January 22, 2011.
Losing a child is so so hard. There really are no words. But perusing your blog you seem to have handled it beautifully. It always helps me to talk about Jordan.
Anyway, blessings to you and your family!
Jenn Duke