Life After Losing Layne
It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 6 months since Layne was born. Part of me wonders how it’s possible that 6 months has already gone by. Meanwhile, the other part of me feels like it’s been an eternity longer. Life after losing Layne has been a roller coaster, to say the least. Grief is like the ocean. It comes in waves, ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.
Some people read my posts about Layne and my journey through this season of grief, and they tell me how gifted I am with my writing. But, I have to admit to y’all that it’s not easy to click publish on any of it. I get quite uncomfortable at the thought of people reading it sometimes. Because this isn’t just a story filtered through the rose colored glasses of social media. This is real. This is raw. It’s straight from the heart unfiltered. The only thing that keeps me clicking publish is the wish that our story helps someone else who doesn’t have the same hope in Jesus that I have. As I’ve found these past 6 months as I’ve journaled through my grief, words can be healing. Red words, even more so.
If you’ve stumbled into my corner of the internet and you’re hopeless today, I pray that you’d know that it does get easier. The pain will never go away. But, you will learn to swim.
Life: 6 Months Later
I get a lot of awkwardly asked questions. Some people walk on egg shells around me. Which as an introvert makes me super uncomfortable knowing that people may be uncomfortable around me. I don’t blame anyone – I wouldn’t know how to ask either. They are afraid to ask. They are afraid to say his name. Bless their hearts, I know they just don’t want to upset me. Meanwhile, I already know what they want to know — how I’m doing, what I’m up to, when I’m going back to work, what’s next for us, etc. So if you’ve been wondering the same thing, I’m about to answer it all.
Spoiler alert: I have no idea most of the time.
How I’m Doing
Naturally, this is the most frequently asked question I get. However, it’s the most complicated one for me to answer. Here’s my thought process: In my mind, I know they’re asking – but at the same time I feel like they don’t really want to know. I feel awful even typing that. But it’s hard for me to explain to others how I’m doing who have never experienced what we’re walking through. To be completely transparent, there’s a lot of emotional guilt that I am still working through. Part of it is that I don’t want to burden anyone with how I’m feeling. It’s not that I think people don’t care. More so, it’s a weighted question. It’s just too heavy.
I don’t say any of that to discourage people from asking me how I’m doing. Rather, I just want people to know that everyday is completely different. In all honesty, every minute is completely different. Naturally, I still get triggered by things – and I notice that it happens more on days that I’m just mentally, physically, and spiritually tired.
If you see me out and ask me how I’m doing, I’ll tell you I’m doing okay. There may be some deeper things I’m working through. But overall, I really am okay. I promise. I’m okay because I have Jesus. In the grand scheme of things, that’s what really matters. This whole situation may suck, and I may hate it. But, He’s really enough. I am just focusing on picking up my cross daily and trusting Him with it all. Through that daily commitment, He’s given me a hope and peace that surpasses all understanding.
It’s just hard. But the Bible never said it would be easy.
P.S. I love talking about him
I know some people are afraid to mention his name. But please know that I do love talking about him. Just like any other mother with her baby, I am so proud of him. What happened to Layne was unfortunate – but it was real. While I sometimes wish the pain of it all would go away, I never want his memory or legacy to fade. I may cry, but I’d never get mad at anyone who wanted to talk about my baby. I love telling people about his red hair, his button nose, and his big feet. Even more so, I love talking about how God has already used my boy so much for His glory. (Talk about a proud momma!)
What I’m Up To
March 28th changed me as a person. The events of that day changed me down to my core. I’m not the same person I was just 6 months ago. God has stretched me past my limit (and then some), and I’ve grown and learned to lean on Jesus in a way that I never have before – and in a way that I never want to stop. While some days still trigger me and remind me just how broken this world is (and I am), I am reminded just how faithful God is, even in my darkest moments.
So as I walk through this journey, I am choosing to put aside the plans I had for myself (for the first time in my life) and walk each day by faith and not by sight. And while I don’t know what that will hold or what it will look like, I do know I am stronger than who I was – all because of Jesus.
“And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance: and perseverance, character: and character, hope.” – Romans 5:3
So during this season, I am focusing on myself – my mental, physical, and spiritual health. While I’ve been growing in my relationship with the Lord, I have also been working on my physical and mental health. My condition took an intense toll on my physical health, with part of it causing my body to swell SO much – leading to rapid weight gain. In order to get back to feeling like myself and to be the healthiest I can be for myself, my family, and (hopefully) our future family, I have been working with an amazing personal trainer who has already helped me in more ways than she’ll ever know.
Since the beginning of July, I’ve lost 24 pounds! I’ve still got some other health issues I’m dealing with that I may talk about more later, but I hope being active and eating clean will help put me on the right track.
A Hosting Home: What’s Next
A lot of people have guessed this or have seen it subtly mentioned on my personal Facebook page. But I thought this would be the perfect time to officially address it.
Unfortunately, due to some chronic health issues stemming from my condition with Layne in the hospital, I have made the personal (and very emotional) decision to take a step back and no longer take on wedding planning clients. At this time, I need to focus on my overall health so I am able to be around for the long-haul for my family and loved ones.
God truly does work in mysterious ways. But while I don’t always understand His ways, I am able to trust His heart and who He is when I am unable to trace His hand. I have also always been able to trust that He’s walking with me and leading me in every season of my life – whether I think it’s good or tough. While my health is forcing me to take a step back, God has already proven so faithful that He wouldn’t “take something away” without leading me into something new. He has laid it on my heart that while my season in weddings specifically is coming to an end soon, He is taking the same passion and heart that I built my business on and leading me into something new that I truly believe He designed and purposed specifically for me.
I hope to share with y’all soon what that means for A Hosting Home. But for right now, I am going back to my roots of where this whole journey started and focusing on my blog and my writing while partnering with some amazing brands. I’m not going anywhere! I have the feeling that this is just the beginning of a beautiful journey that God has in store for me.
Rob + Cathy: What’s Next
As for Rob and I, we are taking this time to focus on each other and helping one another walk through this grief journey. To be honest, getting back to a sense of ‘normal’ is the hardest thing about grief. I tell Rob it feels like you are stuck at a standstill while everything around you is moving like the fast-forward button on a VHS tape. Everyone around you goes back to their normal lives, but you’re stuck trying to figure out what that even means anymore. When you have plans built up in your mind and your calendars for so long and they suddenly change, it’s an adjustment. These past 6 months, we’ve been striving to find what our new normal looks like. In reality, it’s a lot of prayer and being patient to see what God has in store for us next.
To everyone who has walked alongside us these past 6 months, thank you. A million times thank you. Rob and I were completely humbled with thankfulness that so many friends, family members, and strangers came together to support us during our darkest moments. I still have a mountain of thank-you notes to write, but please know that every kind word, prayer, gift / gesture, meal, and hug did not go unappreciated. They truly helped us, pointed us to Jesus, and got us this far. We are truly blessed.