Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Here we are...

1 week later.

1 week since that terrible day.
1 week since we drove home to an empty house that no longer felt like our home.
1 week since we felt normal.
1 week since we held, snuggled, rocked, sang, danced...

1 week...and its felt like forever.

So much has happened in the past 7 days, it hardly seems possible.

First, thanks to all of you who were able to help us celebrate the life of little Charlotte on Friday. While it was a horribly difficult day, it still carried with it a feeling of peace. I'm still amazed at how beautiful her service was from start to finish. It was perfect, and aside from the obvious, I wouldn't have changed a single thing.

We made the dreaded trip home on Sunday afternoon with our moms and Matt's sister along for support. They have been the most wonderful distraction and my stomach aches at the thought of them leaving tomorrow. Its hard to even know where to begin. Every inch of this house is filled with memories of Charlotte, and while I never want to forget a single one of them, its all so very overwhelming right now.

I've struggled with this blog lately. I want so badly to come here and to pour my heart out, but the words are hard to come by. I've always been honest here, and while I don't share every detail of our lives, I put a great deal out there for public scrutiny. I have let you all into our lives--you have seen our good days, and as of late you have seen us totally broken. That scares me. Am I strong enough to put the new "grieving" Kristen out there for all to see? Can I continue to be truthful and honest, or will I hold back, fearful for how others will perceive my emotions?

If I can't be 100% honest, then I can't continue.

In my heart I know that I need this blog.
I need it as an outlet.
I need it to help me process the extreme grief that follows me 24 hours a day.
I need it to help me continue to celebrate Miss Charlotte.

I need it probably more than I even realize.

21 comments:

  1. Thinking and praying for you guys to find comfort. Let us know if you need anything! :)
    Hugs from the Krumbachs

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  2. Thinking of you....
    -Heather, Greco and Becca

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  3. Kristen...I know you don't know me all that well, but I have to tell you that you are truly the STRONGEST person that I know. You and Matt have been and will be in my prayers always. Miss Charlotte's service was perfect, just as she is.

    Kelly Eaton

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  4. I have thought about you a lot this morning. I have thought about you all week. Constantly. All I want to do is make things better for you...and I can't. But I do know that we all love you and that we will be by your side no matter what. For always.

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  5. Keep writing, friend. I dont think I will ever stop writing on Kale's site. It has really helped me. For some reason it has been healing. You are such a great writer, seriously!! I also think it's a good way for people to keep praying...and if people don't like what they are reading they don't need to read it! You are such a great person Kristen. We are continuing to pray for you guys and hope that you will start feeling more like yourself...it's hard. Very, very hard. I am just now getting to that point but I still struggle daily. Thinking of you so much!

    Abbie

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  6. Our Family has been thinking of you since Sylvia told us. I can not even begin to imagine what your family is going through but even the thought of it breaks my heart. I wanted to share something with you....
    From the time the girls were born, every night when we put them to bed we tell them what to dream about and we always always include Angels. Every night since Emma and Chloe found out about Charlotte when I tell them to dream about Angels they tell me they are dreaming of baby Charlotte as an Angel. Our thoughts are with you, may you find comfort in your memories.

    The Willis Family

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  7. Kristen, I don't really know what I'm going to say....I'm going to apologize for rambling right now b/c it may just turn into a rambling mess...First off, I want all your pain to go away....I want your life to be "normal" again.....I want so badly for you to be able to hold your Charley Bear again, to be able to have another dance party with her, (I wish I could be a fly on your wall throughout your dance parties....they sound so AWESOME....& I'd bring Calvin along so he could learn a few moves!), I want so badly for you to be able to post pictures of those beautiful little smiles, those crazy hair days, your days when you were frustrated about Charley not eating or sleeping, the days when you were lucky enough to just be "chillin" in the back yard or at the park, about your Mother's Day, your pajama Saturday's, the list could go on & on.......Kristen, I've told so many people in the last four days of what an inspirational blogger you are.........I talked to your sister Lindsey on Friday and said you ABSOLUTELY need to continue blogging........ugh....I'm so sorry for you & Matty........your blogging may be a way of healing for you & I'm almost certain, it'd be a way of healing for so many other unfortunate mommies & daddies out there... a sense of peace for all your friends that come to your blog to "check in" on the Ritchie clan.....Kristen, I need you to continue to blog......I love reading about "your world"......be honest, as painful as it may be, be honest! Know we are all here for you...we are going to do our best to move the mountains that lie ahead of you and Matty & praying that God will carry you through this very confusing & painful journey....we LOVE you...FOREVER & EVER & ALWAYS!!! There's no gettin rid of us!!!
    With ALL our Love, Peace, Hope, Hugs, & Prayers, The Pospisil's

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  8. Please don't fear how others will perceive your emotions; all of your emotions are valid and it is that honest expression of those emotions that may help heal you. I admire you so much for being able to write like you do...it takes courage and truely is a gift. Having said that, we all would understand if it is too painful to continue to do so. And as hard as it may be to ask, please let people in and allow them to help you in any way they can. We will continue to pray that God will comfort you in this impossilby difficult time of adjusting to the new normal. Take your time with it; as much time as you need. We are all here for you and if there is anything we can do to help, even to just get out of the house for a while, please let us know. ~Sarah Schuster

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  9. Share more memories, stories, pictures, ups and downs. Your future family will feel the love the three of you shared, and feel apart of it.

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  10. Kristen:

    I went to school with Lindsey and came across your blog awhile back when she had posted something about it.

    So I have come here and started a post many times and then deleted and then would come back and delete again because here I am some stranger to you and a part of me felt like I was intruding on something so private and precious.

    But I finally decided that even though I don't really know you I felt that I wanted to share this with you for whatever it is worth to you and your family.

    First, what an amazing story you've told and shared. Secondly, what a beautiful little life the two of you created and everyday loved, nurtured, supported and appreciated every single day and moment of your little girl's life. Thirdly, I am an utter awe of the strength and courage the two of you have.

    When I saw Lindsey's post, my heart felt like a 100 lb weight that just sunk to the bottom of my being. As a mom of two, I can't even begin to imagine what you're going through. I, like so many people wish from one Mom to another that I could give you some profound words of wisdom or comfort to make some of this pain a little less but unfortunately, I cannot. I do hope that you can find comfort and peace in knowing that there were bigger plans that maybe doesn't make sense now but one day it will all come together just as beautifully as it was created.

    Writing and sharing the good and the bad is real and at times raw but that is what was/is so true and real and sweet all at the same time. I liked that you didn't gloss the details and make everything rosy because I'm sure those moments were hard but there was always the good and the little moments of joy. I think you should do whatever your heart tells you to do and what feels right.

    And lastly, this was a journey and this too is a journey . . . it isn't the destination. You (and Matt) have so many more journeys . . . continue to love, mourn, live, laugh, pray, be strong, to share . . . LOVE . . . LIVE.

    My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to you, Matt and your families.

    Jill Garnett Samuelson

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  11. Kristen and Matt,

    Keep talking, sharing, venting, whatever makes you feel better. So many people have posted things that sound so nice, I can't seem to find the words. Your story touched our family in so many ways. I pray for you everyday and night and hope you find some comfort, know there are so many people praying for you, loving you and here for you if you need anything.

    Nora

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  12. I still think about you and your family daily. When I heard the news last week, my heart broke into a million pieces. Being a mother myself I cannot even imagine the pain you are going through. Your blogs and posts about Charley were and are amazing, and even on my bad days seeing pictures of her and hearing of her amazing days always brought a smile to my face. Know that no matter what you decide to do whether it be to keep blogging or not everyone is still here praying for you and your family. Stay strong.
    Kylie

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  13. All the individuals who read this blog read because they care for you and your family. You wll never be judged or perceived wrong. Your blogs have always been such an honest inspiration and will continue to be. We are here to support you and help you work your way through the unthinkable. You are so gifted at expressing your feelings. Please continue. Constant prayers go out to you and Matt.

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  14. Without question, you need to keep writing. Whether that is here on this blog, in a personal journal, or some combination, it will be a place for you to process your thoughts/feelings/memories and will surely celebrate Charlotte's life no matter what you choose.

    You have proven that you are a loving, generous, confident, strong and 200% capable mother. And as grieving parents, you and Matt are entitled to feel/express/act on any emotion in the book. Don't ever worry about what anyone else might think - you and Matt alone know what you are experiencing right now.

    By sharing Charlotte's story, you have reminded so many of us about the power of prayer and the importance of faith. Please know that SO MANY of us are praying for you every day in the hope that you will be able to hold onto your faith. Your family, friends and God will get you through.

    Kate

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  15. Kristen & Matt,
    You don't know me, but I have come to know your story through relatives with whom you are acquainted. I am so moved by Charlotte's story, and so very profoundly sorry for your gut-wrenching loss. I believe that this blog will a tremendous help to you as you find your way through this unimaginable process.

    If you aren't already familiar with this blog: http://jacksonparkcity.blogspot.com/
    You may want to check it out. This family has suffered a similar loss, and the mother blogged through every step of her pain. Being able to relate to someone who has "been there" may be of some comfort.

    Again, I extend all my very deepest sympathies, and prayers and hopes for peace in your broken heart.

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  16. Been thinking of all of you this past week. Keeping you close in my prayers every single day as you walk this new journey through grief.

    I think you should do whatever you feel is best for you and if that is to continue blogging then I agree that you should continue doing that. I don't think that anyone here will ever judge you for anything you post. Honestly this blog may be the best thing for you to process your thoughts and allow all of us to be here to support you every step of the way!

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  17. Oh Kristen, I have the sweetest image of you three dancing to "What I am" and laughing. Your writing about Charlotte is so heartfelt and moving that it is hard for me to believe that we have never met. I think about you every day, and Charlotte will always be in my heart. And yes, I do believe that Gracie has a sweet angel watching over her! Many hugs.

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  18. please write. there are still many untold charlotte stories out there!!! you're still sharing her with us, even in your grief. praying for your continued healing.

    Anne Dee & Avery

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  19. Kristen,
    This blog has been such a great thing for us too-my buddies and I here in the inf.center have followed along with Miss Ritchie's life by cheering with the good days and wonderful pics and saying extra prayers and shedding tears with the bad days. I feel like we also had so much vested in your beautiful daughter-and I'm so very proud to say that. I hope we can help you celebrate her life and help you return to work when you are ready. Know that you have our complete support.
    Love,
    Nancy P and the AHAT infusion gang

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  20. You don't have to comment, but what happened? She is the most beautiful little girl. Prayers to you both and family.

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  21. Kristen I'm so sorry for the grief and the sadness you and your family are going through right now. I wish I had the words to make it better but there are none. I can feel the pain and the fun you have gone through the past year and I wish I had known about the heart problem because we could have talked. As you know Ryan's little sister meghan was born with a heart problem and has undergone 4 major heart surgerys. It's not an easy thing to live with but it did make us stronger. When Jenni Heim was telling us about your loss I just wanted to come and hold you but I did in my prayers and thoughts of you and your family. Please know we will continue to pray for you all and if you ever need to talk please call. Ryan and Jenny will keep us informed. hugs to all Jan Lawler

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