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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What Remains

Twenty-seven months.  791 days.  Just over 18,984 hours.  Just over 1,139,040 minutes.  Yet, it seems like just yesterday that I gave birth to my oldest child's lifeless body, with the only cries to disturb the quiet of that night belonging to myself and my husband.

Twenty-seven months.    Enough time for my little girl to have grown into an active, inquisitive and loving toddler who would have understood this year's trick-or-treating, this year's visit to Santa, and the presents under this year's Christmas tree.

But instead, what remains is simply a notion of my daughter...a notion of what she would have looked like...and a notion of who she would be now. 

What remains is a mama who appears, on the outside, to have 'gotten over it' and 'moved on'.  Truth be known, I am okay.  I have far more good days than bad days.  But the bad days...the bad days are very.bad.days. that knock this mama down and leave her heart hurting in the worst way possible.  The bad days leave this mama wanting to stand on the roof and shout loud enough for everyone within 100 miles to know just how much this sucks. 

What remains is a mama who has never struggled with anxiety, but is now regularly blindsided by the feeling that her heart is going to pound right out of her chest...followed by inexplicable angst that lasts for the remainder of the day and evening and interferes with everything else on her agenda.  

What remains is a mama that desperately wishes that she could understand this phase of her husband's grieving process (and that he could understand hers a little better, too.).  For now, she will settle for finally accepting that there are sometimes no words to begin to describe the difference between a woman's grief and a man's grief. 

What remains is this blog space.  Originally intended to honor my daughter, hold my thoughts and my grief, and let others know that they aren't alone, this space is now relatively quiet.  Over the last twenty-seven months it has certainly served its purposes, but now it is seldom visited and seldom updated.  I like to hope and believe that it still serves it purpose in the natural progression of my grief...

What remains are acquaintanceships and friendships that I have forged through this blog and other avenues within the loss community.  Lots of acquaintances.  More than I can easily count.  A small handful of life-long friends that I feel like I have known since elementary school.  Friends who understand.  Friends who expect nothing from me except the same understanding.  Friends who will always be there.

What remains is a mama who feels compelled to reach out to those who suddenly find themselves the newest member of this dreadful 'club,' despite the fact that doing so sometimes seems to add insult to injury.   Salt constantly poured into the wounds, yet it feels worse to not reach out...  I guess it balances out in knowing that I am able to pay forward the love and support offered to us when we needed it most...

What remains is a mama who lives amongst people who see the things that she does to maintain and honor daughter's memory and say things like "Maybe if you did less to keep her 'alive' and constantly remember her, you would have an easier time letting her die.  Maybe you would feel better if you just let her die."  (I sometimes secretly wonder if these people might have a small, yet valid, point...)

What remains is a rainbow who embodies everything that I pictured her older sister to be...and more.  I love her more than words...with everything I have, but sometimes I feel like it's just not enough. 

Ultimately, what remains is a mama who misses the 'before,' yet would not trade any of this for anything...except for one very small, tiny, little Peanut...


Dawn Brown said...

What a horrible reality we live in. Wishing the past could be undone without affecting the future. I hate it.
Your post reminds me of a quote I read yesterday..."One of the worst things isn't being unloved, it's being forgotten." I think we know this. Our babies won't be forgotten, Gracie won't be forgotten and there's no reason to "let her die" because she did. Let the memory of her, at least, live. It's all we have, and there's no shame or blame in holding tight to that. <3 Many hugs to you.

Big Love, Big Acceptance - or so I say said...

Oh, I hear ya mama, and feel your pain. All of this rings true and deep for me.

Love to you!