Monday, April 22, 2013

The art of grief

There is an art to grieving. I didn't know this and even as we began our efforts to grieve well last April, I was unaware of the magnificent attempts I was going to need to make it each day. I just figured I would cry a little, laugh when forced and the earth would rotate on, oblivious to to my new role.

Sometimes grief numbs and sometimes it floods with more emotions than are easily worked through.

A friend who recently lost a child was telling me how hard it is for her to simply get out of bed. That there is little to no desire to thrive and surviving is simply because other babies rely on us. Living lacks joy and brings tears.

She no longer feels her worth as she did before losing her flesh and blood.

And I get that.

See, when you are still alive and your child is not, you will despair. You will feel helpless and overwhelmed and sad. A sadness so deep that you probably just nod at it in acknowledgment every once in a while knowing full well that if you were to fully acknowledge it you simply would die.

This is the truth and it is ugly.

People who have not lost this magnitude cannot comprehend. I have learned to be selectively honest when asked how I am doing...many women who would hear me talk would be concerned. They cannot understand and they somehow need to still see me moving on and praising God and smiling. They need this almost more than I do, if that is possible.

And that is where the art comes in.

Where being honest collides with being depressing and I am left a grieving but emphatically/weakly faithful woman. Where I can tell you all about how dark my thoughts grow at times and still show you that I am wearing pants and my hair was recently washed .

This is the art.

Grieving honestly while breathing still.

Sobbing then showering.

Staying in bed for the extra moments so you have the strength to mother.

Again, people want to see me as strong. I imagine in the dark parts of their fears they need to know one can survive loss like this...they don't want to know that it is simply by the Grace of God that I am still here.

Still grieving.

Still making the decision to live.

So when you hear a woman say she is okay, she may be in that moment. And in the next she will be hiding in the bathroom at church because there are way too many almost 4 year old little girls running around, reminding her.

Love this woman.

She doesn't have a clue how to be this sad any more than you do, but she was thrust in to the balancing act of remembering how much breathing hurts and how much and many rely on her to do so anyways.

One year later this hasn't changed.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"there's a whole lot of you there"

Someone said this to me the other day.

I'm not easily annoyed or offended so I just laughed and asked them to bend over and pick up the pen I had dropped because there's not sense in not getting some sympathy help from someone who can see me large and in charge.

And I love it.

My hips ache, my left foot is often swollen and my right leg twitches none stop. I have heartburn just about every day and a little boy with constant hiccups.

And I'm not waddling....

Ive got pregnancy swagger...

Would you believe me if I said that I love this beautiful opportunity? That even as I complain about a physical ailment, I am rejoicing because I am having a child. You best believe I don't take that for granted and I appreciate it.

I "swaggered" out to the front yard today to water these beautiful red tulips that Chad planted for me last fall and then roped him into taking a picture of me...waiting at 36 weeks...for my son.

Indeed there is a whole lot of me. Both girls were pretty petite and I never got this large with them, I am certain.

Four weeks to go...

Easter pictures

I have a beautiful daughter.

Inside and out, Linley is quite stunning and I forget sometimes to document this in both photos and stories. Our church had an Easter Egg Hunt the day before Easter and we were able to participate this year...unlike last year, which I do not remember, but apparently they chose to not have in honor of my daughters funeral a few hours later.

Have I mentioned I am in a good, good, good church?

I am.

And I am thankful so many times over.

But this year we were all about Easter Egg hunts and Linley had 3 separate ones (church, school and Nanas house) and did a great job of scoring Mommy and Daddy some good loot that I now have stashed up on the fridge so it's relatively "out of sight and out of mind" until I find Chad digging through it which makes me need a jelly bean that I hadn't even thought about 2 minutes before.

Here she is. This is not an aggressive child in any way, shape or fact she might have forgotten the entire hunt for the way she tends to people watch. The little guy lined up next to her was asking how was she going to get the most eggs and she looked totally taken aback...

Again, not aggressive but beautiful.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

And I miss you Piper.

Most mothers don't have to ever experience having a child die, much less the frustration of how to acknowledge the literal day. They get to celebrate birthdays and first steps and report cards. Me? I get to stumble over the wording of mentioning the anniversary of Pipers death. We sure as heck won't be celebrating it, not as we were able to both celebrate and mourn her birthday but it's not exactly a date one can just skip over.

Especially when it is the completion of the first year. The one I wasn't entirely certain I would survive in one piece.

But I did. And Chad and Linley did. Heck, we are soon bringing Beck into the fold as a sign that life hasn't entirely stopped around here. We have survived and at rare moments, we find ourselves thriving, albeit only by the grace of our good God.

Even so, as we found April 3rd rolling towards us not unlike a long black train barrels towards its destination, we mulled over what to do with ourselves. When we realized it was smack dab in the midst of Linleys spring break and it was a Wednesday, which is Chads only guaranteed day off each week, we quickly put two and two together...

And drove to the beach together which was the perfect place for 3 sad faces to hunker down and simultaneously weep and smile for who once was in our world 365 days ago.

For just over 365 days I have woken without Piper. It has not gotten easier. I did not cry less today than I did April 4, 2012 after that first night without her. I still feel an overwhelming sense of forgetting something each and every time I pull out of my driveway. I still want to buy Bugles at the grocery store. I still hear her voice in my dreams and I still hold my arms as though she were securely settled into them when I shower each and every morning and I rock in grief.

I've been told the second year is the worst...Im simply not certain that is possible.

Thank you all who remembered.

And I miss you Piper.