I really have not had much to say lately. I think it is primarily because I have been working so hard over the last few months. Unfortunately, I will have to continue this crazy pace until school lets out around the first week of June, but there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. Being so busy, while exhausting, sometimes helps to keep me from falling into the baby loss hole and getting stuck there for days on end. But, if I fall, it’s usually a pretty big fall that distraction cannot prevent.
While I was out plowing snow for the hubby this morning (of course all of this comes on my Saturday, which is his ‘Monday’), I was thinking about the things that have been the most helpful to me over the last several months – the things that I would not have survived without. I decided to put them in the form of a weekly list. So here you go – the things that I could not have survived without since losing Gracie.
- My husband. Although I get frustrated because his grieving process is so much different than mine, and although I get frustrated because he rarely wants to talk about his feelings related to Gracie's death, I would not have survived this experience without him. He has been my rock, and I love him to death for that, even though it causes him more pain to be that rock.
- The rest of our family. They have suffered through this loss with us, and although they don't get it from our perspective, they have been as supportive as they know how to be. We could not have asked for much more from them over the last few months.
- Music. Music has been an important part of my life since I was very young. I have spent much of the last six months wishing that I still belonged to an organized music group of some kind, either vocal or instrumental. I have spent much of the last six months wishing that I still had a piano, and I am hoping to rectify the missing piano situation soon. In the meantime, I have taken much comfort in the music of others. I have always been able to lose myself in music that I 'connect' to, now it seems to be even easier to just get completely lost in it.
- This community and blogging. Over the last few weeks my husband has been reminding me that I need to keep pushing myself through some of the things that are backed up in my office and spend a little less time on baby loss. He follows that up with 'I know that you need to spend some time there for yourself...' but then reminds me that work will bring money (and we need the money). I know that he understands how important this community is for me with regard to maintaining my sanity, but I don't think he comprehends exactly how important. I have made some wonderful new friends here, and their support has really been uplifting over the last few months. Having this blog has helped so much in terms of having an avenue to express my feelings, especially the feelings that are not received well by others when spoken out loud.
- Sleep. Surprisingly, my sleep has been disrupted very little by this whole experience. Somtimes I am disturbed by this fact, but most of the time I am thankful. Being able to sleep has allowed me to maintain the little bit of focus that I have left and it has allowe me to maintain this blistering pace at work. I think it has also allowed me to maintain some clarity in many of my thoughts, and kept me from becoming a blubbering mess when I do get a little emotional. It has allowed my body to heal physically from Gracie's birth, as well as gall bladder surgery.
- The need to keep Gracie's memory and spirit alive. While I don't have it in me to go as big as some baby loss mamas have gone, it is important to me to do things that will keep Gracie's spirit alive, at least within her parents and grandparents. We have done so many things to keep Gracie alive - some that involve just family, and some that reach out beyond our little world. Most recently we made a donation to Doing Good in Her Name and plan to do this each Christmas to honor Gracie. I look forward to finding new ways to honor her in the months and years to come so she is never forgotten.
- Clif Bars and Luna Bars. I know that this seems bizarre, but my appetite really took a header into the toilet for quite some time after Gracie's death, perhps in lieu of being able to sleep. For quite a while, when I did eat, it wasn't much. I wanted what little I was eating to count, so I ate a ton of Luna Bars and Clif Bars. (The best part is that I can get them at a surplus grocery store near my house priced at 3/$1.00 - otherwise I would never be able to afford it!) My appetite has improved quite a bit over the last month or two, but without the bars, my nutritional intake would have been nil.