Thursday, February 26, 2009


February 26.  Has it really been two months?  The warm day today in Atlanta gave me mixed emotions.  Part of me wanted to embrace the change of year, and part of me ached for it to be as cold as it was two months ago, when I still had Webb.  Part of me wants to rewind to December and put my Christmas tree back up and have the feet of my 3 little boys pitter pattering underneath me while Zac and I hung ornaments.  I want to hear Webb and Whit and their "twin talk" and watch them wrestle on the floor.  I can still remember it, but I am terrified the memories are not as clear as they used to be.  I wouldn't change on minute of the way we lived Webb's 18 months with him, I just wish I could do it all again, then maybe the memories would be more permanent.  The last two months, this horrific journey of grief that had just begun, will hopefully be the worst chapter in a very long, fulfilled book of our lives, but I would do it all over again to have him for another day, another month, another year.  

This morning, I could not get out of bed.  That has not happened to me since the first couple weeks after Webb died, so I embraced it and allowed myself to stay in bed.  Most mornings I leap out of bed and start my routine with the boys, which has helped my anxiety.  But this morning, I did not feel anxious, I just felt....tired.  Something about it being the 26th affected me in a way I didn't think it would.  After I got up, I went out to the cemetery.  It was lunchtime, and there were several people coming out to see loved ones.  I sat there and picked pieces of pine straw off his grave and I wondered if he was looking down.  I told him how much I loved and missed him and how I needed him to watch over his brothers.  I cried until my eyes and chest ached.  I was again reminded of how unnatural it seemed to be visiting my child at a cemetery.  And then, I came home and played outside with Bo and Whit.  Their happiness, innocence and smiles brought me back to a more peaceful place in my soul.  Bo told us today (out of the clear blue) that Webb was not going to live with Jesus forever and ever; he was going to come home soon.  I was at a loss for words.  I just looked at him and hugged him tight.  Some days I do not have the heart to tell this little boy he will never see his brother again.  I cannot fathom it, so why should he?

 I have been thinking rather philosophically in the 2 months since I lost Webb.  Many of those thoughts are on this blog.  Most of those wonderings have come from the depth of my heartache and soul searching.  I have pondered God's works and His mercy.  I have read pages and pages of Scripture, seeking answers to my questions about heaven and God's plan for all of us.  And I can tell you what I have found: comfort.  Not despair, not anger.  My God is loving and good.  He loves us and grieves with us.  He is sad that I am sad.  He could have given me a "miracle" and saved Webb this Christmas, but the miracle would only be temporary since Webb's life would have ended one day.  The only true miracle God promises us is eternal life, not happiness on Earth.  The miracle is that when I leave this Earth, I will go straight into the arms of Jesus, and Webb will come straight into the arms of me.  Does that make this pain go away?  Absolutely not.  Will I continue to ache for Webb and be angry he is not with me?  Every day of my life.  But I still have hope.  I still have God's promise.  And that is worth living a good life.        

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Jamelle is back, thank God!!  She is feeling much better, and we are all so glad she is going to be ok.  Thank you all for your prayers.  The boys were so excited to see her and spend time with her today.  I also took two big steps...Sunday was my first day back to church service, and Monday I went into work for the first time since December 23.  I only stayed a couple hours, and it was an odd experience, but it is done.  I would be lying if I said I am 100% ready to be back at work.  I am not sure I'll ever be ready, and the truth is, I am a different person than the one who walked out the door December 23.  But going back, starting over and trying to do something besides grieving is important to me.  It has been 9 weeks, and it was time to try.  I am taking very small steps, but I do feel like I have accomplished something huge.  Today, I also went to the cemetery for the first time in several weeks.  I have not felt compelled to go there much, as I know it is only Webb's body that is there, and his spirit is everywhere.  But today, I felt the urge to go, so I went.  I knelt down by his grave and sobbed for several minutes.  I talked to him and prayed for him and for us.  It was such a peaceful moment, but very surreal. "Am I really visiting one of my children at a cemetery?" I kept thinking to myself.  I looked at his name and the dates of his birth and death on the temporary plaque, and it still seemed as unbelievable as it always does.  Webb is gone.  The little name I picked out, my namesake, the name I wrote on pieces of paper when I was pregnant with the twins: "Webber Bennett Broach," is now etched in stone.  Is this really still happening?  I was telling a friend of mine today that I feel like I am clinging to a tree in the middle of a tornado.  I can only focus on the present, because anything farther away than an hour seems too overwhelming.  My mind is still processing the shock we went through this Christmas, and the shock is too huge to be gone yet.              

Sunday, February 22, 2009


"And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress.  For we don't even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray.  But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.  And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God's own will."  - Romans 8: 26-27

As I sit down to write this entry, I hear the sweet sounds of my boys singing as they play.  One voice is missing, and that is still so hard to wrap my mind around.  As I continue to struggle with my grief and trying to live on in spite of my pain, I am reminded constantly that I am not the only person in the world who is grieving or in great distress.  In fact, I am just one of millions who are at this very moment trying to get through a horrible event.   Someone else has lost a child, or a spouse, or their job, or their dreams.  It is comforting to know that as Christians, we do not have to walk this walk alone.  It is comforting to know that I still have two precious children to live for, along with an amazing husband, unconditionally supportive parents and friends that do not walk away when the going gets tough.  I know all of this in my broken  heart and soul, but I am still in an unbelievable amount of pain.  How do people do this alone??  How do people get through the hard times without God?  I have always felt blessed about my life and the people in it.  I always knew I would lose one of those people one day.  I never dreamed it would be my child.  "That is my worst nightmare:" about a hundred people have said that to me in the past 2 months.  Well guess what?  It was my worst nightmare, too.  And it came true.  "I wouldn't be able to get out of bed:" that's what others say.  Well, you know what?  That's what I would have said 2 months ago if you told me I would lose one of my children.  But I have to get out of bed.  I have 2 other children and a husband to live for.  I have an entire blessed life to continue.  I am Webb's mother and always will be, but I am Bo and Whit's mother, too.  They need me.  And they need all of me, not a shell of what I used to be.  I have to pray for the strength to live on, to be a good mother and person even though my world shattered before my eyes.  I have to believe that's what Webb would have wanted for his parents, for his brothers.  So as I take the small steps to starting a new life and reconciling it with my old life, I oftentimes cannot muster up enough strength to pray.  How lucky that I have Jesus to say my prayers for me.  How lucky am I that He is whispering my deepest needs in God's ear, even those needs that I cannot formulate.  Tomorrow marks the second month since the day we found out Webb had a brain tumor.  Time has moved by so very slow in that amount of time.  Bo and Whit have outgrown almost all the clothes they were wearing in December.  The seasons are changing; it is staying light outside later, soon it will be warm again.   Time marches on, and so must we.  How very, very difficult that is to do.   

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


"I am losing all hope; I am paralyzed with fear.  I remember the days of old.  I ponder all your great works.  I think about what you have done.  I reach out for you.  I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.  Come quickly, Lord, and answer me, for my depression deepens.  Don't turn away from me, or I will die.  Let me hear of your unfailing love for me in the morning, for I am trusting you.  Show me where to walk, for I have come to you in prayer."  - Psalm 143: 4-8

For reasons I will not delve into, I have had a rough week.  Suffice it to say it has been one of my toughest.  I have found myself on my knees in prayer, begging God to help me through.  I opened my Bible Sunday night, and this verse was the one I turned to.  Like a chant, I repeated it over and over.  The Lord did not fail me, and I have awakened from this dark time with renewed hope.  Sadness remains, but there is not despair, and that it something I am thankful for.  I miss Webb as much as I did the night we left the hospital without him, maybe even more.  I still ache to hold him and watch him grow.  That will never go away.  However, I am thinking more clearly and more rationally than I have in a long time.  We are missing an irreplaceable part of our hearts and soul, but we are still a family; we are still whole.  In fact, I have never felt more love for or from my husband and children as I do right now.  We have gone to the depths of our souls and seen the darkest part of life , and we are still alive, we are still together and we still have our faith.  Praise God.  He is good.  He will not turn away during our time of need.  As horrible as this time has been, and as awful as I will forever feel about losing my baby, knowing God will not leave during our worst times has brought an indescribable peace.  Step by tiny step, He is getting us through this pain.  We will laugh again.  We will not always feel such a heavy pain in our hearts.  It may take a long time, but knowing there is something on the other side is a comfort.

Thanks for the continued prayers.  Many people have asked me how Jamelle is doing - she is still sick.  Pray for her healing and for the doctors' wisdom.  We miss her very much, and the boys ask about her every day.  Pray that we all continue to heal and grow as a family during this horribly difficult time.  We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends praying for us and helping us along.  We could not do it without you.  

Sunday, February 15, 2009


There has been a darkness in this heartache I have been muddling through that I have not yet spoken of.  In the first few days and weeks, I was so in shock that my heart and mind would only let a tiny bit in at a time.  Then, since the shock has worn off, there are moments when the pain hits full force.  At these times, I cannot sleep, I cannot pray.  I don't think much about the hospital or Webb during these times, but I feel hopeless, helpless, overwhelmed and alone.  That is the feeling I have been living with for the past 2 weeks.  Today is the first day I have even felt close to being ok.  However, that dark, deep place is not far away and I fear it will resurface at any moment.  Mornings are the worst.  I arise from whatever slumber I finally forced myself into, and I am seized with fear, panic and overwhelming sadness.  I know I have not been repressing my feelings about Webb, so it is not as though I am finally dealing with things.  I finally realized this loss produced a hurt that is too much, too significant to get better yet.  It is much like an amputation of limb, I would imagine.  The pain eventually subsides, but you have to get used to living in a completely different manner.  God, who is still speaking in His still, small voice, is not far from me during this despair.  I have had little else to say to him, other than, "Please, help me," but His presence is there, which is a great comfort.  Grief, I have learned, is a complex process with hills and valleys that are indescribable.  As I have said before, the closeness to God is amazing.  The reaffirmation of His existence is life-changing.  Then, on the other side, the pain is indescribable.  Actual heartache.  I never knew such a pain existed.  I recently thought about where we would be in a year from now.  Will we still be in despair?  Will be be smiling more than crying?  I hope so.           

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Worn Out

For the past week or so, it appears I have been out of words.  I am having a hard time expressing my latest surge of emotions.  I have suffered from sleepless nights and anxious days and the visions of the hospital have been clearer than ever.  Like a bad nightmare, I replay the events leading to Webb's death over and over until I cannot think about it anymore.  It has created a vicious cycle of anxiety and insomnia, and I am exhausted.  Physically and mentally, I am worn out.  I do not know where I will find the energy to continue this grief.  Somehow, I know we will go on.  Somewhere, I see a light at the end of this deep, dark tunnel.  However, the pain I am experiencing and the thought of this pain continuing is a little daunting.  

About a hundred times a day, I am asked how I feel (which I don't mind).  There is no way to accurately describe how I feel.  As I have said, each minute I experience a different emotion.  Sometimes it is pain, sometimes fear, sometimes sadness, and sometimes a little bit of all of those.  I rarely feel good, but there are times I am ok.  Bo and Whit have brought many smiles.  They are at such precious ages, and we are trying to enjoy it and remember what we can from this time in their lives in spite of our broken hearts.  Whit is talking and laughing more than ever, and I thank God he is too young to know the loss he has suffered.  Our children are doing great, which is the most important thing to us.  As for Zac and me, God is still carrying us along, and we are grateful for His presence.  We are appreciative of prayers, and we still need them desperately.    

Friday, February 6, 2009


It has been 6 weeks.  That sounds like such a short amount of time, but it feels like an eternity since I last held Webb.  Today Whit looked so much like him.  For a minute, I pretended it was Webb, but that could not last long.  There is still a giant hole that no amount of daydreaming can fill.  My baby is gone, and nothing can bring him back.  My feelings are such a mess.  One minute I feel like I am going to be fine, and then next I am bawling my eyes out.  I feel so vulnerable, so detached.  The vivid memories of the hospital and the sequence of events leading to the final hour still haunt me.  I can clearly remember every last second Webb was still with us...I can remember our last moments with him as though they just happened.  After that, I remember very little.  Other than the week we spent in Vail and the three days I spent in New Orleans, the past six weeks are a total blur - almost a black hole in my memory.  One thing I can remember pretty clearly are my dreams.  I have only dreamt about Webb twice - in one dream I was holding him, and in the other I replayed his last three days, but in a different way.  Then I have this dream that repeats:  I am on a dock, or a cliff, and I fall into water.  I go down and down into darkness for what seems like forever until I touch the bottom, and then I shoot back up.  Not too hard to analyze that one, huh??  I hope this means one day I will resurface, but I fear that means I have not yet hit the bottom.  

I am still so confused about God's plan in all of this.  What hurts me the most is that He could have healed Webb, He could have given us our Christmas, lifetime miracle, but He did not.  Why?  I know God is good, I believe it to the bottom of my soul, but I still cannot understand what good could possibly come from leaving us here without Webb.  I know this story has touched so many people, and I honestly want this to change and effect people for the better, but why do we have to make that sacrifice?  It is not fair.  However, it seems when I become angry, it only strengthens my faith in God because I know He is the one who has kept me alive for 6 weeks.  There have been days I have wanted Him to be angry or absent, but He has not failed me.  When I cry out, He comforts me.  When I am angry, I feel Him beside me, almost nodding as though He understands.  Of course He understands.  That has been the craziest part of this entire experience - the One who could have prevented this from happening is the same One I cannot live without, the same One I have bared my soul to and cling to for dear life.  So I know that God is good and I still love Him.  But I miss my baby.  And that will never go away, no matter how many weeks, months or years go by.  I may resurface with a greater amount of faith than I ever thought possible, but it will not take away the pain of simply missing Webb.  Sometimes I do not know how I will live my entire life missing him so much.                

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Break

For those of you following my blog, you may have noticed I have not posted for a few days.  I have not fallen off the deep end - thankfully - I was just taking a break.  Zac, as I have said before, went on a hunting trip a couple weeks ago and found it helpful to get away.  He encouraged me to do the same, and I said no.  Then, one of the people we've been talking to told us how important it is to take a vacation from our grieving, which is so mentally and physically exhausting, I thought about it...and I prayed about it, and the next thing I knew, I was on a plane to New Orleans to see Brigitte for three days.  Brigitte is the closest thing I have to a sister.  We don't have the same parents, but we definitely have the same soul.   We have been finishing each others' sentences and reading each others' thoughts for the past 20 years, and I have missed her presence desperately for the past month.  She did not leave my side the week after Webb died, and I don't know if I could have made it through that initial state of shock and grief without her.  The past three days with her helped more than any medicine could.  We laughed, we cried, we analyzed, we stared, and we talked about life, death and the randomness of it all.  She kept saying she never thought we'd ever be going through something like this at our age...which, of course, are my thoughts exactly. 

Taking a break from the day to day did not lessen the ache in my soul.  My grief followed me like a dark cloud all the way from Atlanta.  I thought about Webb as much as I always do, and I cried for him and for us as much as I do when I'm at home.  However, it gave me a new perspective and also helped draw me closer to "living again."  I had another glimpse of what my life with out Webb might look like.  I prayed and poured my heart out to God on the plane ride there and home, which is the first time I have been completely alone in a long time.  I thought about the future and what I wanted.  I didn't make any drastic decisions, but it was nice to just think.  

Now it's back to reality, back to the day to day, but it's also great to be back with my boys.  I didn't fall apart leaving the comfort of my little world.  Another hurdle accomplished. 

Sunday, February 1, 2009

This weekend

This weekend was a major step in the healing process for us.  Two of my very best friends are going through an exciting time in life: one is getting married and one is having her first child.  Yesterday, January 31, was the day our group of friends picked to host 2 showers, a baby shower in the morning and a wedding shower at night.  We picked the date in October.  Since December 26, I have been fearing January 31.  It was the first time I would have to make a decision about whether or not I was ready to leave the house, dress up and socialize.  Of course I wanted to go because I love hosting showers, and I love these 2 girls more than life itself;  I was just...scared.  Scared I wouldn't be able to stop crying, scared of the awkward conversation, scared I wouldn't laugh and enjoy myself as much as I used to on occasions like these.  For those of you who know me, you know my girlfriends are pretty amazing.  For being an only child, God has certainly made up for my lack of siblings by bringing the strongest and most beautiful spirits to be my best friends.  Many of those girls were part of the day yesterday, and I could feel them praying for me, watching after me, protecting me and willing me to make it through.  And I did.  Because of the prayers, I woke up in a great mood, dressed up and felt as though I was literally carried through the entire process.  I had so much fun celebrating with the bride and mother to be.  I laughed a lot, cried only a few times, and was reminded of the many blessings in my life and in the lives of the people I love.  January 31 came and went, and I can mark it in the column as a good day.  To me, that is a huge step.  It reminded me that although my soul is aching, I can still have good days.  And as incomprehensible as it is to think of life without Webb, it reminded me that life does go on, and we must go on with it.  

For all of our prayer warriors who have been praying for us and are reading this, please take a minute and lift up a prayer for my boys' second mother, Jamelle.  She has been with each of them since they were born and is such a special part of our family.  She loves the boys like they are her own, and the past 5 weeks have been as hard on her as they have been on us.  I ask especially for prayers today because she is has been ill with respiratory issues for the past week and is in the hospital right now getting tests, and hopefully, beginning the road to recovery.  We miss her so very much and need her in our lives, and I think she needs us too. ;)         

Thanks for praying for us and staying on this road to recovery.  Lately, I have been asking God to show me a purpose for all this pain, to help me keep Webb's memory alive, and to ensure his life mattered, not just to us, but to so many people, including those who never even knew his sweet soul.  Bo asked me yesterday if Webb was coming home soon, which he often does.  I try to keep my answers very real for him, since I realize his 3 year old brain cannot yet process where Webb is and that we believe we will see him again.  I never tell him that we will see him again because I don't think he's ready for that, and I don't want to confuse him and get his hopes up that Webb might any minute come home.  I was planning on explaining how we all meet up in heaven when he could comprehend a little bit more.  So I said, "No, sweetheart, Webbie isn't going to be able to come home.  And that makes me very sad because I miss him so much.  But we can talk about him and talk to Jesus and ask him to tell Webb we love him."  And he said, "But we will see him again.  We will see Webb."  And I said, "We will?"  And he nodded seriously and said, "Yes, when we meet Jesus, Webb will be there."  Thank you, Lord for the words out of the mouth of that child.  Only You could have told him that.  Thank you, God for that "sign" I always ask for.  When we meet Jesus, Webb will be there.  The most precious words my sweet Bo has ever spoken.