(Maybe it was the “cha, cha, cha”?)
Geez is right, Debbie. But, I’m not offended because it’s my life, it’s my reality, it’s my grief and my blog and there are 6 billion people on earth that don’t know the depths of my heartache, but that’s okay! Jason and I were even talking about how, though we shared the same beautiful son, we both have different heartache and different ways that we will heal through it. I’m not saying people don’t understand other people’s sadness, since we are not the only ones to have had to take our son off of life support. I’m just saying that if no two finger prints are alike, than how can two people’s grief be the same?

I have no idea what it is like to lose my parent to a tragic death, to back over my child with my own car, to lose my spouse, to witness a murder or even commit one. I can’t imagine the feelings that speed through a soldier’s mind, spirit and body when they are ordered to shoot the enemy. I don’t know what it is like to have 3 miscarriages, give birth to a stillborn, to not be able to have children at all. I don’t know the pain or numbness that a doctor has in their heart when they perform an abortion or can’t save a child at a Children’s Hospital. I can’t pretend to have all the answers, nor will I. But as I said, this is my blog, this is my story of grief and healing, this is the legacy Noah is leaving on this earth and I know we will all learn from it.

I’m not offended about the “Wow” (cha cha cha) comment because I have a feeling it’s from the same person that wrote a comment on January 9th that I chose to delete. It said that they wouldn’t be so “upbeat” about giving their son up to God…As I have said before, facial expression, tone and so much more is lost in writing. That’s just the way it is. I could just delete everyone’s comments from today and start from scratch, but it’s all part of the process and, though at times, it can get ugly, I think it’s healthy for everyone to be real with their emotions, just remember that in our anger, God says not to sin. That is why this blog exists…

I’ve said it from the beginning, I will not “blow sunshine” at everyone about God, grief, our reality (for those of you that don’t know me, I mean I’m going to be real about it and not try to “defend” God and make life here all fluffly). Therefore, allow me let you into my mind, whether I’m “vacationing” or sitting at home reading my Bible, or laying in bed, never really falling asleep…

Sometimes I picture Noah alive, as he was at home. Other times, the image in my head is of him alive at the hospital with tubes every which way. Many times it is of his lifeless body in my arms, disconnected from the ventilator. Sometimes I picture him as a heap of ashes, still sitting there at the funeral home because I have yet to pick “him” up! The pictures above are in sepia because the color shots showed the blood pooling in his cheeks and his pale lips after his spirit was with the Risen Christ. I “see” him cold, pale, wrapped in blankets, in Jason’s arms as he carried him out of the hospital. There are 7 months of images that come in and out of my mind. I am not trying to be crude in sharing these things, but anyone who has lost someone they love has images that run through their minds. I’m telling all of you to educate everyone on grief. I don’t have the corner on the market for how to grieve properly, nor is it the way everyone should grieve. It’s my way, and thankfully I have not yet walked it alone, but with my Savior that has already felt all of my pain.

There are NO words that anyone can say to take away the reality of another person’s loss…that is why it’s important to just say, “I’m sorry. There are no words.” The reality is that most people are uncomfortable with other peoples loss, sadness, emotions or grief. Why do you think in the 1950’s and probably still today, many parents told their kids to stop crying when they were sad? Where do you think the saying, “Get over it” comes from? Have you ever wondered why your friendship circles change after tragedy? The ones that last are the ones that run deep and don’t ever expect the “grievers” to “get over it…”

Anyway, when I said vacation, it’s part of the grieving process…it’s called escapism, and it only lasts a week, but it helps put things into perspective so I can face my daily reality…life without my son.



49 Responses

  1. What a precious mama you are….so proud of you! You are so loved and are doing this so well. Keep being real with what you need and hold on tight to His strong hand!
    I love you!

  2. Adrienne,
    You don’t know me.. but your blog was sent to me through a friend, asking me to pray for you in the last few days of Noah’s life. Since I first logged on the page, I’ve been captivated. Having lost our daughter five + years ago at 37 weeks of pregnancy, I was just especially touched by today’s blog. So many people said so many things to us after she died, and so many of them well meant – but not well said… it was so hurtful then, but now I realize that they taught me so much about how to help others through their grieving process. Sometimes saying less is more, so I just want to say, “I’m so sorry for your loss, and you are in my prayers.”
    I don’t know if you’ve read “Holding on to Hope” by Nancie Guthrie.. but was very inspirational to me. Just wanted to say you are a strong woman of God and my thoughts (and more importantly) my prayers are with you. God Bless, Erin

  3. Thank you Lord that you have blessed some of us, with a relationship so deep with You… that even in our darkest pain and grief, we will not be seperated from You. Thank you for the testimony of those who can cling to you in faith while doubt and tragedy swirls all around them. Thank you that because of You – we can know great joy in the midst of great sorrow.

  4. Each heart knows it’s own bitterness, and no one can share it’s joy.-Proverbs 14:10

    This verse came to mind as I read your first paragraph. I don’t know you, but I’m a pediatric nurse and Noah and your story has touched me deeply. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  5. Thank you.

    I just wanted to let you know that I’m still crying for you (esp after reading this post), still rejoicing that Noah’s eternity is decided, and still being impacted in the best possible way by how open you are.

    And “cha,cha,cha” your heart out, girl! 🙂

  6. Adrienne,

    You were so right on about grief being as unique and personal as fingerprints. I have said it before in my comments – I admire the deep Faith that sustains you. As always, prayers go out to you and your family. What good would it do you to sit at home wallowing in, and being consumed by, your grief – the grief is there whether you confine yourself or forge ahead. I think it is healthy that you spend your energy, even though grieving, modeling that while still on this Earth, there is mortal life to fulfill – what a great comfort that must be for your daughter.

    You are right, there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Your family fills my heart with love. I pray for you daily and pray for others because of Noah’s inspiration.

    Praying for a well-rested night for you Adrienne.

  7. I love that the Lord has given you such a powerful voice! Thank you also for addressing the sad reality that many do not know how to “deal with” the pain,loss, or grief of others who are going through it. I am not saying that people should know exactly what to say or do…but it has been 10 months since my painful experience and I am still finding it hard to believe how many people find saying nothing better than saying something. I am happy that most people will never go through the pain of wondering if their child will live or die. So in a way I understand why most choose to be silent. Most other Moms I have talked to about this just want their babies to be remembered and spoken about…even if it’s just to say ,”I love you, and am here for you”.

    So Adrienne, although I have never met you face to face, “I love you, and am here for you”.

    “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

  8. I am sorry for your loss! My heart is filled with tears for you. Thank you for sharing the pictures of Noah, he looks so peaceful & angelic. Stay strong and continue to trust in the Lord with all thine heart.

    Psalms 23:1-6
    23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

    23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

    23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

    23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

    23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

    23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

  9. Oh Adrienne,

    I don’t know if people are expecting you to sit in a corner in a dark room and cry for the next 6 months… but maybe they need to realize that maybe, just maybe you grieved Noah’s passing before you even took him off of life support?

    You grieved for so long already and still will grieve. Just because you got away from the house and spent time with your family, your not grieving? Not in pain? Not heartbroken?

    NO one at all knows what it is like to be in your shoes but yourself. No post that I or anyone else could make would be right on because we are not you. This includes the negative posts.

    So please know that there may be negative but there are plenty more arms reaching out for you in comfort and understanding to the best of our abilities. We thank you for sharing yourself, your family and especially your beloved son Noah.

    P.S. I hope you do many more travels because as you previously said..

    “Jason and I will have Noah cremated after the service on Monday and wherever God leads us as a family on this beautiful earth, we will leave a little bit of Noah there…

    Letting grief take hold won’t let you do that, so keep doing just as you are. Every step you make will be blessed. Cha Cha Chas and all!


  10. krqwheqYour grace is amazing!

    I was literally wounded in my spirit reading those comments on your last post. You have handled it beautifully, as your writing proves over and over again, and with the love of Christ our Savior which is what it’s all about. Thank you for being such a shining example of what Jesus would do.

  11. I bookmarked your blog awhile ago so I could come back periodically and see how you guys were doing. I have no doubt that our Father is working His miraculous healing touch in your lives, and just wanted to confirm what I already knew! So glad to see you’re still writing. God continue to bless each of you and your family…

  12. My heart still aches to think of your reality, but it is exactly that–real, and your grief is real, so let it be yours, unique and only you. No one can understand your process, we can all imagine your loss or compare our own losses, but we don’t know your loss and we never will. I am still praying for you and your family!

  13. I’m sorry people say ugly and unkind things to you.

    I’m sorry for well-meaning people accidentally saying the “wrong” thing.

    I’m sorry that our best intentions won’t be enough to heal your heart.

    BUT I’M THANKFUL that you have Jesus love to carry you – His grace to forgive – His stripes to heal – His heart of compassion and forgiveness to show grace to those of us who wish we could think of the right way to comfort you…and even to those how accuse.

    Thank you… for even in the hardest moments you shine His light. Thank you for remaining an example of His love.

    Heidi Jo W

  14. For those of you reading the blog entries my name is Kaija Graves. I am very blessed to be Jason’s mom, Adrienne’s mother-in-love, and Emily’s and Noah’s Nana.. When I was 49 my husband and mother died within 3 months of each other. My husband was ill with heart failure and my mother had cancer at the same time. Throughout their illinesses at one time my Mom was in the Sioux Falls, SD hospital and my husband was at the Mayo in Rochester, Mn. and I was trying to maintain a job to support our family. When they passed away my heart was shattered into a million pieces just as glass shatters on the floor. Only by surrending every chamber of my heart to God did I make it through that season of my life. I write this not to Jason and Adrienne as their faith is incredibly strong and they are leaning and relying on God to pick up every shattered piece of their heart and miracleously put the pieces back together, but I write this to those who disagree with how Jason and Adrienne are approaching this season of their lives. During that time of healing God told me that by allowing myself to go through the depth of grief I would more fully understand the depth of His love for me. It is an incredible journey to try and reconnect with the world when you have watched someone slip away before your eyes for an extended time. My husband died as he and I were on an air ambulance to the Mayo Hospital where he was on a waiting list for a heart transplant. After the funeral a dear friend took me to Florida so I could get away to hear from the Lord as one’s mind is spinning so out of control trying to reconnect to the world that only by connecting to nature was I able to truly hear from God. One only has to open ones eyes and look around at the incredible majesty creation to have God minister to us. The grandeur of the mountains or the steady pulse of the waves washing into the shores cry out to God. It has been 8 years since my husband passed away. There is not a day that goes by that I am not lonely or that I don’t miss him. Once you have allowed yourself to love that deeply and have said goodby to that person your life will never be the same. I have learned a lot in the last 8 years. I have learned never to be so bold as to state how I would walk through a situation as no one walks in another person’s shoes. I don’t know the road Jason and Adrienne are on, but I know my heart and I know how I grieve for them as no matter how old one gets, you never stop being a mother and having a mother’s heart and hurting when your children hurt. Only God knows the condition of our heart and only He can put it back together. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day and I was pondering on how if love could have healed Noah he would have been miracleously healed. For the 5 1/2 months that he was in the hospital he was never left alone day nor night. Except for the two days that other family members stayed with Noah while Jason and Adrienne were at a dear friend’s wedding, Jason and Adrienne took turns being at the hospital and loving and praying over Noah for those 5 1/2 months every day, every night, every hour and every minute. They basically encamped 24-7 at the hospital. Their love for their son spoke volumns to the doctors and nurses at Children’s Hosptial. I have never experienced a mother and father fight so long and so hard for a child. I am extremely proud of them and honored to call them my children. Many times in life we are placed on roads that we have not chosen. Our choice can be to take the high road and allow God to heal us or to withdraw into ourselves and become bitter and resentful to those that have joy. I am so proud of Jason and Adrienne for taking the high road, no matter the cost or pain because when we fix our eyes on eternity the circumstances of this world will not engulf us. Lovingly, Noah’s Nana (Kaija)

  15. I have not posted for a few days as it seems that I have nothing new to say.

    However after reading todays post and you sharing the pain of Noah in his last moments and that these are in Sepia for the reasons quoted I felt that I needed to just post again.

    I check your blog every day and feel a tinge of dissapointment if you have not left a message for ‘me’. I feel that I know you intimately and you give me courage and strength to face my challenges and my ‘demons’.

    Thanks to Noah and you sharing his story I find myself on a path of enlightnement and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Yes I also find myself with many questions that don’t yield satisfactory answers, but I am sure those answers will present themselves and my awakening progresses.

    Thank you … I look forward to subsequent messages from you!’

    Have a great weekend, know that you and your family are loved.

  16. i haven’t read the bad comments you must have been left. but i’m so sorry you had to endure them. Your faith and determination to grieve and be real is still inspiring me. i’m now in christian counseling to deal with the grief of losing my mother. I’m making progress and it’s because God has used you and noah’s situation.

  17. Just wanted to say that I am sorry there are such insensitive people in this world. I am sorry you lost your beautiful son. You are in my prayers.

    I walked a mile with pleasure
    He chatted all the way,
    But I was none the wiser for all he had to say.
    I walked a mile with sorrow
    Never a word spoke he
    But, oh the things I learned that day when sorrow walked with me.

    I am sure you are finding this to be true right now. Even though you miss Noah so much it hurts, take joy in the fact that he will never have to know sorrow or pain in this sinfilled world we live in. I would like to think if I lost my child that I would imagine them in the arms of Jesus, and that would give me great comfort and even joy. You seem like a very strong woman so I am sure it does, yet how your heart must ache. God bless you and your family.

  18. I was asked in an email the other day what is my greatest fear, for the first time in my life I could answer this:

    Since being touched by Noah Steven Graves and his family I no longer have anything to fear.

    Thank you.

  19. To the WHOLE Graves Family-
    Not a day goes by that we don’t pray for healing in your lives. You have been a wonderful testimony to us all how wonderful Gods love is for us. Nobody can understand your grief because as you said, everyone grieves differently. I think you all deserve a little R & R and you should do whatever your heart desires. Also, to Kaija, thank you for sharing what you did! My heart goes out to you as well to everyone in your family because I know you are all hurting and only God can heal that pain. We love you and look forward to future posts!

  20. Adrienne,

    You are so right that we can all never truly understand the grief and pain that you feel and must live with everyday. You shouldn’t have to “justify” the way you feel to anyone on here. This is your blog and your story of little Noah. You are a good person and kind soul and we are honored with what you share with all of us, your faithful readers. Yet the fact is, you are only human, you bleed just like the rest of us and …..you grieve for your little boy in only a way a mommy can know.

    Everyone has their opinions on grief but that’s all they are, opinions. YOU are the one that carries so many memories of Noah in your head and heart everyday, you are the one that thinks about him probably every minute and second of the day. We are not that one’s that have to live with all of that, you do….everyday for the rest of your life. So, no, we can not all “truly” understand how you feel. Yet I think most of us just want you to know that you are in all of our hearts, thoughts and prayers.

    You have been through quite an ordeal in the past few months and still have alot to process as everything is still all very fresh. I’m not sure that the “grieving” process has a time limit on it and there is no rule for it. You take the time you need and let your heart guide you. Just know that, on another level, we are all sharing your grief.

  21. I’m so sorry about Noah. I am also so glad that you continue to share the journey with us. I continue to learn so much from you and your experiences. I’m so sorry that someone hurt you with insensitive comments. Why are they even reading? Much love to you and your family.

  22. Awesome response! I pray for you to have a good night sleep.
    Praying and thinking of you and your family.

    A mom from South Dakota

  23. Adrienne,
    I have been reading for a few weeks. And, I have wanted to tell you just how deeply and profoundly you have touched me…I just didn’t have the words.
    Well, today you mentioned 3 miscarriages…and that is exactly how many I have had…all right in a row. And, I felt like OK it’s my time to let YOU know that sharing your family’s life has changed me. I already knew God and loved him I just needed a little fine tuning. And, it happened the day I “stumbled” across the life of Noah Steven.
    Thank you.

  24. Adrienne,

    I have only commented once or twice, but I have to tell you how much you have inspired me. When I was a teenager, my only sibling and hero, my brother, took his own life. It was a complete shock to everyone who knew him. I was shattered and spent most of my days and nights locked away in my room crying. I recall one of the first times I left the house to go see a play a few months after his death, and I heard the whispers and saw the pointing. In my naive mind, that experience taught me that I needed to stay inside to prove to everyone that I was indeed grieving deeply. I denied invitations everywhere and even felt guilty if I laughed out loud at a joke. I heard people at my church saying that my brother was in hell for his actions, and I couldn’t bring myself to go back and face hearing that again. I was raised in a religious family, but I began questioning all I was taught after my brother’s death.

    Now I have two little boys, and I long for them to know God the way I did as a child. I have been reading your blog daily since before Noah’s passing, and I cannot possibly put into words how you have given me renewed faith. I have been inspired to call nearby churches and have been truly considering going back on a regular basis. That is a huge step for me, and I feel such debt to you for letting all of us in on your journey, your pain, and your grief. Someone like you who is so positive and confident in her faith should never be sitting in a dark room crying for the next six months; that would be an incredible disservice to all of us and those you love. Your sunny attitude and amazing love for God and your precious Noah are contagious and have enabled me to look at life in a different way. I cannot thank you enough, and you should never have to defend yourself for being an inspiration and spreading your sunshine to so many others.

    Love, Kristin in DE

  25. Adrienne,
    As a reader there are so many things that I appreciate about you. You have a solid relationship with Christ and stand firmly on His Word. You are a committed, compassionate, loving mother and wife. You are real, transparent – what you see is what you get. In today’s world, it is refreshing.

    I hope you don’t mind, but I have added your blog as a link on mine.


  26. You are so awesome! God chose you for a reason. I know that may sound bad but I know you know this. Thank you, thank you for helping me get my priorities straight!

  27. Oh, wow…I so agree… when we lost Morgen, one of the first things I knew was that no matter how similar my situation to someone else’s I could never assume their grief was the same as mine. We are all so different.

    That said, since we lost our little girl, I have met other women in different situations where we feel so connected by the things we are feeling and thinking. But none of us would assume to know how long and how someone grieves.

    You do it, Adrienne…grieve hard and as long as you need. I even rememeber getting mad at Kevin because he wasn’t grieving enough… how funny is that?

    Escape as much as possible, make memories, savor the time you had with that precious baby and love hard. There is nothing any of us can do to alleviate your pain, but our prayers are true. Bless you!

    And thank you for letting us know about this other family in Michigan…

  28. I am so amazed by the wisdom and immense grace that you use to handle all the situations in your life. Inspiring! I believe that in sharing this intensley intimiate journey with us, you have been fulfilling the destiny God has layed before you to make this place a better place to live. I, like you, am so “done” with this world. I’m constantly looking for how God can use me and I am very sensitive to His “plan”, but there will be no sorrow in my heart when He decides to come and take all of His children home. I’m anticipating that day! While I’m here, I am encouraged by you, your family, your story. You truly walk the walk and talk the talk of someone who has a intimate and personal relationship with our Father. Prasie God for the strength He has graced you with to be a becon of light in a dark world!

  29. I am reminded of a lady I worked with a few months ago. I am a physical therapist and I do homecare so most of my patients are elderly. I was working with a 93-year-old lady and I asked her how many children she has. Without hesitation, she answered 4, 3 living and 1 in heaven, a son that died in childbirth. She has children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and a great, great grandchild on the way, but never for a minute forgets the son she lost in childbirth 60 some years ago.
    The thought that you ever would, or could forget Noah is absurd, and anyone that has read a fraction of your blog should know that. I think any escape you can get now is a welcome blessing and you should take it and enjoy it.

    Stephanie in PA

  30. Adrienne,

    I read your posts all of the time. I find that my favorite time to read is late at night, after both of my kids are in bed and I can reflect on my day, as well as your daily dose of inspiration. I was originally sent your blog several weeks ago, and the more people that I talked to the more people I found that were following your blog as well. It was all very surreal for me. I have been struggling with running a household, adjusting to having two kids and having a husband that is a full time nursing student and working full time. I want to thank you for sharing your daily “ups and downs” with all of the world to see. I know that it is difficult for me to show weakness or admit when I need help, but you are so natural in sharing your feelings. I want you to know, like so many others do, that you have truly made a HUGE difference in my life. I have a son that is 8 months and a daughter that is 4, so this story really hit home for me. However, I now take the time to REALLY enjoy my kids and I take the time to watch them grow, because I have learned from you and Noah that life is too precious to let go by because I am busy or consumed with daily stress. I am so amazed at how well you are handling your grief and I am so touched by the fact that you get out of bed every day and still provide a REAL life for Em and not just exist from day to day. Thank you for showing me that life does exist after a loss. You and your family are lucky to have one another. Show Em the world, let her enjoy her mommy. I think that people from previous blogs forget that Em is grieving too and to take her on vacations lets her have time to deal with her feelings away from where it all took place. Show that little girl all that life has to offer. We all know that she has endured more in her little life than a lot of us ever will. You and your family are VERY strong people. Thank you for sharing your life and making a HUGE difference in mine!!!

  31. I’m still reading your blog from time to time, but I’m sorry to say that I don’t come as often anymore because of the pain. I cry everytime even though I know that Noah is perfectly happy where he is. I guess I just wanted to say that a perfect stranger from across the world finds this hard to deal with, and can’t even imagine what you and your family are feeling. I’m sorry that this happened, but I’m thankful that you and your whole family are safe in the hands of the ever-living God who never makes mistakes.
    Weeping with you,

  32. You mentioned considering writing a book, and I just got this email from a friend in case you are interested. Let me know if I can help get more info!

    –Molly (Johnson) Malsam themalsams@msn.com

    Dear Friends,

    Some of you know that I work for a Denver based publishing company called Lifevest Publishing. They are Christian owned and publish everything from children’s books to novels and cook books. Some of you have expressed an interest in writing a book or novel so I wanted to let you know that they are offering a really great deal right now. Even if your manuscript is not ready or you are six months from being ready, you can still lock in the package price and publish when you’re done.

    The link to their site is below or you can speak with an author advocate by calling the office. And by the way, if you need an Illustrator I am in training and I know three other illustrators too. Maybe you can be a published author by the end of the year!

    Feel free to forward this to anyone else you know that might be interested whether they live in Denver or not.


    Lifevest Publishing

  33. as a mother i pray to never understand what you are feeling,but 3 years ago i lost my twin brother in the month of january which is still sad for me, then mothers day that year i found out i was pregnant which made me extremely happy and hopeful, but may brought along my third miscarriage….then june came me and my partner splitting up leaving me a single parent with a 26 month old child.By that time so many things had happened to me in such a short space in time and i was only 19 at the time i just didnt know how i was going to cope… and the worst thing was that nobody even stopped to ask me how i was doing..not even my family.So i really envy you and think you have a fantastic family and support unit around you also your faith in god, so dont explain yourself to the heartlesss person judging you by the way you grieve..personally if they are offended they dont have to come back to your place.. because thats what this blog is and im glad you let a stranger come visit so thankyou xx

  34. I think it is absolutely horrid that people are attacking a mother who is in the process of grieving the loss of her precious little child! I have NO IDEA how I would respond to the loss of one of my children and to be truthfully honest – I hope I NEVER find out! You are a stronger person than I sweet Adrienne – as I would have turned the comments off a LONG time ago!

    Please know that you are on our family’s hearts and in our prayers!

  35. Adrienne,
    Thank you for you authenticity. God is calling all of us to authentic living today.

    Today my class read Our Daily Bread, that mentioned Galatians 6:17 and had this poem written in it:

    We fuss over form and we put on a face,
    All the while showing God disrespect,
    Not seeing how pride is eclipsing God’s grace
    That the light of Christ’s life should reflect.

    Also, thank you Noah’s Nana for your words.

  36. Do it, write a book!! I’ve been following your blog for a few months now, and your words are transforming no matter what the subject. God, death, haircuts. 🙂 You are a writer! God has given you a gift, Adrienne…

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