Monday, August 15, 2011


I went to check on the boys the other night--night time has been a problem at our house since Laila passed away--and found Will in his bed looking pretty upset. I asked him what was wrong and he started crying and said, "I can hear Eli snoring so I know he is still alive but I can't hear Isaac at all. I was worried so I got out of my bed and put my ear close to his face to see if I could hear him and I can't. I think he is dying."

How can someone so little be expected to go through something so big?

I told him it was OK, that both his brothers were breathing and they weren't going to die. I asked him if he was afraid in his room and he said, "Well, yes. I'm afraid to be on the top bunk by myself." I told him he could sleep with one of his brothers if he would like and he said, "No, what if I'm sleeping in the same bed and they die?"

I assured him again that they were not going to die and that he would be safe in his room and we said a prayer where I called on Heaven for help to keep my children safe, happy, and unafraid.

The boys are dealing with the loss of Laila in very different ways. Eli seems the least touched by it, though he talks about Laila dying almost daily. He said, "What if I jumped so high over the car that I reached up to heaven and grabbed Laila and brought her back?" We told him she was a spirit and he couldn't grab her. He then said, "Well, what if I got a sticker then. That could work."

I'm not sure who is struggling with Laila's passing the most--Will or Isaac. Not surprising, Will is very vocal about his feelings. Isaac, on the other hand, is not. He is getting better at opening up to us but he says quite often, "I'm just crying on the inside, not the outside." The other night at bedtime he started crying. He said he was so sad that he never got to see Laila roll over and that just daddy saw her. He said he missed her happy squeals in the bath too and that he missed her.
I asked, "Isaac, do you know how sometimes you find me in her room writing in my journal? Do you know why I go in there to write? I go in there because I feel peace in there. Sometimes I think I feel her there. I think that you could feel peace in there too. I think that if you pray and ask Heavenly Father to let you feel her spirit in that room, that He will let you feel her. I think she loves you and your brothers very much--that you were best friends in the pre-existence and that she wanted to come to our family so she could be with you. And I think she will want to visit you."

The next morning I walked by her room and noticed the door had been opened but no one was in it. I went downstairs to find Isaac and Eli already awake. I said, "Isaac, I noticed Laila's door is opened. Did you go in her room?" He beamed at me and said, "Yeah, I went in with Eli." I asked him if he felt good while in there and he said, "Yes! And guess what? I felt something in my heart. I think it was her hair tickling me." Then later, he added more when he was talking to Mike. He said, "I think I also felt her little fingers poking my heart and I think she was kicking me in my tummy just like she always did when she was alive. And I heard her squeal."

Since then, I've found the boys in her room almost every morning. Sometimes they are all there and sometimes just Isaac and sometimes they all just come in while I'm writing in my journal.

When I first found out we were having a girl I got excited to decorate her room. I had ideas for how her room should look before we ever moved to this house. I felt anxious to get it done and it was the first room finished. I was stressing about all the stuff I had to do and I think Mike was confused about why I was so determined to get it done so quickly. I couldn't figure it out myself. But now, I wonder if Laila wanted this room--if I was supposed to get it done quickly so she could enjoy it for those few short months. Perhaps it brought her peace too, and hopefully, it is still a place she wants to be so those of us left behind can go there and seek her presence and find comfort.

Even if it's not true, I like to believe it.


Jess and Jen said...

You are a great mom Adrianne! You are blessed to know just how to help those sweet little guys of yours deal with their pain. Give them hugs for me! -Jen

Jess and Jen said...

Um, you should leave warnings at the top of the post saying, "Warning, if you are a man sitting in your office at work and would be concerned about people seeing you cry, don't read this post until you get home."

I loved the line about Eli wanting to jump high so he could grab Laila and bring her back. But wait, she's a spirit? How about using a sticker? So fun, and so Eli.

chelsey said...

I'm with Jess on the warning label! I'm at home and crying my eyes out for you. Those boys are wonderful little guys. Laila is so lucky to have those boys as brothers.
You'll be able to know how to best help them each deal with their feelings. Heavenly Father will help you know what each one needs individually. You're a wonderful mother.
And I love that room of Laila's! It's the perfect place to look for some peace...for the whole family!

Marcy said...

Kids are the best. My oldest wrote me a be-flowered note once that said, "Mom, I know you're sad that Dad doesn't want to live here, but I love you." I framed it and put it by my bed for a while. I'm so glad you have a peaceful room to remember your little girl and feel her close--all of you.

Nothing brings me greater peace than sharing my testimony to my kids through times of heartache. They are tearful, but very precious times, and it makes the truths that we speak sink deeper into our own hearts.

Dave and Tana said...

Age, This is beautiful. Those boys are so great and it is remarkable how different each one is and to hear how you handle each boy. I know that room is special. I could feel so much light in that room when we went in there. Loved loved reading this post.

Mommo said...

Adrianne. This is simply beautiful. Heavenly Father has heard your prayers and the prayers of others for your family. I am truly amazed at your insight and strength. I think the room WAS finished for you and the family as well as for Laila. It is another tender mercy. I love you.

Chersten said...

Beautifully said and written. What an inspiring person you are!

Papa Doc said...

Amen to what Jess said. Two people came in while I was reading and bawling my male eyes out.

I love you and Mike and those kids so much. My heart does not ache when I read, it is filled with joy, the real stuff that comes from knowing how much Laila and God himself loves you and your family.

How could I be so lucky to have such children and grandchildren?

I have little wisdom to lend, I only watch and pray for you all. God is faithful, and answers my prayers. Your post it evidence of that. Thank you for being my daughter and for Mike and all the kids.

Dad Clark

GrumpyJaxMomOf3 said...

I agree with the warning label, but all it needs to say is have tissues handy. I am bawling!! Your spirit is so sweet. From what I read, I can tell that your boys have learned that from you. I pray for your family often. Thank You for sharing your heart with us.

Zachary said...

Thanks for sharing how you're dealing with this Adrianne. You have been constantly in my thoughts these past couple weeks. Eternal perspective is wonderful isn't it? And it's so insightful of you to share that perspective with your children.

Zachary said...

P.S. That was me leaving a comment, Nikki, not Zachary-sorry, I guess I'm logged in under my husband.

Jess and Jason said...

You are all working through something extremely difficult that most people don't have to deal with so early in life. I think you are an amazing mom and are helping them deal with this grief in Heavenly Father's way. You are teaching them so much and you are incredible!

We love you all and continue to pray for you and that Heavenly Father will continue to comfort you.

Kristi, Liezl, Quincy, Ava, and Josh said...

Oh, I love those boys so much. this is so much for them to deal with and understand, but because of their terrific parents they are going to become stronger and closer to the spirit. You are wonderful.

Aaron and Lisa said...

I am glad that you can feel peace in her room. It must be difficult to deal with your own grief, while comforting your boys at the same time. I think that you are amazing! We think of you often.