Monday, November 16, 2009

How it works.

Would you believe that after more than eight years of living with grief and moving beyond trauma that there are still new things to learn about the whole process and unexpected moments can still come as a surprise? Well, it's true. I've got a little story to share with you that happened while I was browsing in the girls' outwear department yesterday. If you check in on me at Facebook, you already know what happened as I updated my status with this story.
This is what I posted:
I was stopped dead in my tracks when I was at a store today and heard a mom say, "Teagan, Teagan...come over here and stay by mommy, sweetie!". Of course I had to look over and see who Teagan was. She was about 5 or 6 and had pigtails in her hair and a smile on her face. Just what I'd expect from a little girl named Teagan. =)
I also added this when a friend asked me if I was okay:
For a quick second I thought about asking if I could give her a hug. Then I would have come home and said to Chip, "I hugged Teagan today!". Thanks, Karen for caring. Yes...I'm okay with such an unexpected moment. To me, anytime something or someone makes me think about Teagan is a really wonderful thing.
It really was a surprising thing for me to hear Teagan's name and to see a little girl bouncing around the clothing racks- just being happy. I have people occasionally tell me that they know someone named Teagan or have some sort of connection to that name, but I've never met another Teagan since mine went to Heaven in 2001. I actually really liked that I happened to be in that place at such a time yesterday to hear a mom call for her Teagan. I used to miss hearing her name so much and it made me realize that another Teagan was living this life with happiness. I was happy for them. That unexpected moment also made me realize how glad I am that I have moved beyond the heart-wrenching grief that I've lived through. Instead of tears welling up in my eyes I actually felt glad and I turned and had a big grin on my face.
There are times when I wish a million times over that I could change the reality of my life without Teagan. And if you're familiar with grief on a personal level as I am with the death of my little girl, you understand how my heart felt overwhelming gratefulness that such an incident brought back a million memories and I wouldn't trade those for anything in this world.
Grief is ever-changing; forever a part of my life- even in the most unlikely of places.
I just wanted to share this as I know that some of you are walking through the process and carrying a load of grief in your own life's story. I hope that even something as small as hearing your loved one's name in an unexpected place can bring healing and happiness to your heart too. It's hard to embrace death as it's so final- yet it never, ever goes away this side of Heaven. Today I am grateful for Hope all over again. I look forward to calling Teagan's name and having her run into my arms... with Hope, I know that will happen again someday.
That's how it works.


Becca said...

What a great story, and a great place to be Jodi! I had that same experience, but my daughter's name was Hannah. It was about 4 years after her stillbirth at 38 1/2 weeks pregnant, and it was the first time I had been happy to see a girl that would be around her age. I remember feeling so free after realizing the happiness I felt instead of grief! It is an ever-changing process that will be a badge we were until we are all reunited again. I am so glad that you had such a great moment within the grief too!

Erika said...

Jody, thank you so much for this post. I can only imagine that a little girl named Teagan would be beautiful and adorable!

I have been having some trouble with the name thing- and I am so glad you are giving me a different perspective.

When my twin daughters were both stillborn on July 12, 2008, I named one Vivian and the other Annemarie. On that same day, halfway across the world, Angelina Jolie had her twins and named one Vivienne (same name, different spelling).

I can't tell you how much it CRUSHED me to see pics on magazine covers of her daughter, born the same day as my daughter with my daughter's name...yet my daughter wasn't here. Since then there have been so many little girls born named Vivian, probably in part because of Angelina Jolie's daughter.

Everytime I hear about a new baby being born named Vivian, it hurts my heart SO MUCH. I know I need to move past that- I just don't know how. I am going to focus on finding the good in it, and maybe think that my Vivian is sending me a message from Heaven that she's okay now.

Thanks for being so open and real...


Beckypdj said...

A man I work with has a daughter named Teagan. She is adorable too. I have heard Peyton's name said by strangers a few times since he's been gone. It took me by surprise.

The songs on the DVD we played before his going Home service have brought me many tears when they come on the radio. Now I can usually smile when I hear them.

It is good to be able to "see" our progress as we make our way. Thanks for this post!

Southern Gal said...

Thank you for sharing that story. I'm so glad it gave you happiness to hear your sweet little girl's name. It's amazing how God works through things in our lives to bring us one step closer to Him.

Stephanie said...

What a great memory for you, Teagan is so beautiful and yuo do a grat job of showing and teaching us a little bit about Teagan. I always look forward to the posts where we get a glimpse of Teagan.
Thanks again! ~Stephanie

Cheryl said...

Thanks for the reminder about the hope that God gives. It is what I need to focus on.

With love and hope,
Caleb's mom

Little Miss said...

Thank you for this reminder. I didn't lose a child, but recently lost my husband. It is nice to see what is ahead of me.

harmonysong said...

What a beautiful post! I love how God can surprise us with little moments like that. While it brings back some sadness, it is also a wonderful reminder of who Teagan was. One day you will hold your little one again! :) Thank you for sharing!

Kelley said...

This is a beautiful post. Thanks for taking us on your journey with you. I have been so sad over the loss of my brother. The first year was so awful. Then my Dad got very ill and we had to turn our attention to getting him well. Our family has come so far. My brother Blake would be so proud of us. I hear his name a lot. I love to see the smiling faces of the boys who have that name.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine how the grief of losing a child changes you over the years. I had a close friend who was like a brother to me who was killed in an accident the summer before my senior year in high school and before his sophomore year in college. We were such close friends through childhood our parents thought we would end up married one day. He was the only person who called me "Aim" instead of Amy. Even today, 18 years later if someone ever calls me that it startles me. Rarely does anyone ever do call me that, but it is so imbedded in my brain of hearing his voice call me "Aim" that it's surreal when someone else does.

September said...

You are remarkable. Thank you for sharing this today.

etrhodes said...

Love it! Thanks for always sharing. It'll probably be a while before I hear Brinley's name called out by someone else but now I can look forward to it. I'm so thankful that I'm not where I was!

jennie said...

Jodi, I live nearby and have a 4 year old daughter,Teagen. I dont think it was us you saw, but I must tell you that it was the name that originally brought me to your blog. Another Teagen/Teagan! Not something you hear much.

So glad that it was a positive experience for you. There is just something about our little "Sweet Teas":)

Lauren Kelly said...

wow, wow, wow... I have no words!!!!

Jeanne Wroten said...

What a great experience to share! I don't know if you believe in "coincedences" or not, but it sounds like a sign to me. Gone but not forgotten. I am sure you had a warm fuzzy feeling after that. Wow!

Together We Save said...

Beautiful story!! You are very strong.

teresamay said...

Thanks for sharing and being real. I like to call those "God moments" or "Kisses from the King" as a friend of mine puts it.
Blessings. Hope you are well!

Johanne said...

You are so right!!! I love reading your experiences, and am able (sadly) to relate to them! We had already organised to move to a new teaching post when our girl died suddenly..Imagine that at our new small church there was a girl also called Evie, ( Evangeline) (except she was spelt Yvie) I felt so hurt that this special unusual name was to be said and put into everyday use, but she wasn't mine. It sounds mean spirited, but it really pained me!!

Lisa Guidry said...

I dont know if I ever told you this but I have another friend named Jody and her daughter's name is Teagan. I always think that is ironic. I hope you had a great New Year and I am so excited for your news on your new little blessing :) Hugs!