When There’s So Much Loss

The grandsons carrying Dorothy.

Loss.

So much loss.

After we received the call about the death of my mother-in-law, Dorothy, I curled up in bed, crying.

I thought, “How will we move forward? How do we keep going? It’s too hard. Life’s too painful.”

As my thought was concluding I got an immediate impression.

“You’re not alone. You’ve done this. You weren’t alone then and I won’t leave you now.”

These last two years have felt heavy, hard, and impossible.

But as a family we’ve done the impossible with help from family, friends, and Him.

Faith. That’s been the key for me.

We’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other because we believe we’re going to see these loved ones again.

I’ll take a deep breath and hugs my boys through their sorrow because I believe we’re building a family that’ll last into forever.

I’ll cling to my husband as we weather yet another storm because I love him and I have faith that there’s something more for us than this life.

Faith isn’t easy. In fact it can be downright hard.

But we’ve experienced loss before so we know the work it’s going to require.

And we know we’re not alone.

So we’ll keep trusting. Keep believing.

We’ll keep hoping.

Dax is Finding Joy in Gymnastics Again

If Rory’s death was the only struggle our family had to get through for the rest of our lives, it would be enough.

Her death hit each of us, leaving cracks in so many places. I’ve found that pain finds its way into those cracks, spreading into different aspects of our lives.

For Dax, the unexpected crack, the unexpected pain, was gymnastics.

Dax started gym at age 5. He spent the entire summer begging me to do gymnastics.

I thought maybe it was more of a whim, but when it lasted the entire summer, I signed him up in September. One day a week on Thursdays.

After starting gym his first question everyday was, “Is it Thursday?” Then he spent the day doing handstands and cartwheels all over the house.

Because of his love and insistence, I signed him up for Tuesday as well.

In a few months they invited him into the pre-comp team then within a year he was moved up to the competition team.

We were out of our depths and didn’t know what we were getting into until it was too late.

But it never mattered because he LOVED gymnastics.

Fast forward to a few months after Rory’s death.

I was saying goodnight to him in bed and he expressed regret that he spent so much time away from Rory doing gymnastics. And now he doesn’t have anymore.

In the following months, he talked about quitting a few times which was so unusual for him. He stopped doing gymnastics around the house. He hardly ever went to do flips on the trampoline.

But Lance and I kept encouraging him. He found so much joy in gymnastics, we didn’t want him to regret leaving the sport.

The last couple of weeks, he’s been doing handstands all over the house again. He walks from the couch to the kitchen on his hands. Dax annoys Lance by doing handstands right into his face.

It’s made my heart swell to see him loving gymnastics again. I’ve fought back tears seeing his love and passion return.

Rory didn’t love going to the long competitions but she did love to watch Dax do gymnastics at home. She also loved to push her brother out of handstands every once in a while too.

I think she’s happy to see that joy returning to Dax.

Rory’s attempt at doing a press handstand on Dax’s parallettes.

Rory Ann Moore Foundation

A week after Rory died, we stumbled through Thanksgiving.

Two weeks after that, we limped through a move across town.

Two weeks after that, we crawled through Christmas.

By the time New Years hit, we were face first on the floor.

I lifted my head long enough to see the longest, coldest month ahead of us, with Rory’s birthday at the end.

The first birthday without her.

How were we going to get through this month?

This was going to be unbearably painful.

Lance and I talked about a lot of ideas. What we decided on was to do a service project that would end on her birthday.

I made calls and sent emails and we decided to do a service project with Primary Children’s Hospital.

We collected toys.

We made wands.

We collected crafts and bubbles.

We knew that Rory loved other kids and would want to make them smile.

We wanted to honor that sweet love.

That is the reason behind the Rory Ann Moore Foundation we created.

We wanted to remember her.

We want to spread her love.

We want to bring the joy to others that Rory readily provided in our lives.

If you want to learn more about the Rory Ann Moore Foundation, the link is here: https://writingthroughgrief.com/rory-ann-moore-foundation/

In the few days we have been accepting donations, we’ve been overwhelmed with your love and support.

We miss Rory with every fiber of our beings. Thank you for helping us remember her and honor the funny, kind, silly, loving girl she was.

Painful Todays

The past month has been painful.

There have been triggers that I can point to that take up mental and emotional space. Which is already limited for me.

But I think a big part of it is: a settling in and a question.

In my mind this is what I’ve allowed myself to think:

Rory has moved on.

My baby girl passed away.

But I’ve expanded my verbiage to include:

My daughter is dead.

Those all mean the same thing. Different words. But words are important to me and I haven’t allowed myself to use that word much.

Died.

Dead.

They’re final.

My daughter will never walk through my door again.

Done. That’s it.

It’s not a new thought! I’ve been living with it for one year, seven months, and nine days.

What I’ve been getting stuck on is this.

How do I live the rest of my life with my daughter being dead?

It feels endless. The pain. The waiting. The getting by. It’s endless.

How do I live a whole life with my boys when I’m broken with pieces missing?

People do it.

Bereaved moms have reached out to me. They’ve survived decades now without one of their children.

I just struggle to understand how I’m going to do it. My ultimate hope of being with her again is death.

That’s what I’m straddling. My life here with the boys is important. I want to be here! But the life I hope to find in Heaven with Rory is equally important. I want to be there!

I have one foot planted firmly here on earth, loving my family. And one foot ready to jump to the other side.

It’s overwhelming.

I’ve been trying to take a step back. To focus on today.

Love today.

Care today.

Hug today.

Give cuddles today.

Spend time today.

Serve today.

I can make it through today.

Then tomorrow I’ll start again.

I’ll put that on repeat.

Though, I’m broken and not the mom or wife or woman I once was, I love my boys and husband with all I have left.

I can’t foresee the struggle between the two worlds ever changing.

But I’m working to bring a little Heaven to earth.

To include Rory in my work from day to day. To serve and love with her and for her.

Jesus Christ is my Hope.

He lives.

She lives.

With that hope, I’ll make today count.

And tomorrow.

And every day I’m gifted after that.

The Love of a Dad

After Rory passed away, so many decisions needed to be made.

The hard thing about unexpected death, we had never given a single thought to what we’d do if one of our kids passed away. So, everything is planned in the middle of shock and grief.

I feel very lucky. My dad stepped up those days. He went to the mortuary. He got all the information and did as much as he could.

There was a point that we were talking in the doorway of a bedroom about plans and money.

My dad said, “You will not pay to bury your daughter.”

I remember tears rolling down my cheek.

It wasn’t the money.

I knew no matter what, my dad was going to be there. He was going to help us through this.

He did.

In so many ways. Even when it tore him apart to do it.

Especially with the viewing. He ensured Rory looked perfect.

Down to her imperfectly perfect painted nails.