Eighteen months ago, I watched my baby leave her earthy body.
Eighteen months ago, Bryan and I made a commitment to really work on our marriage so we would survive Natalie’s death.
Eighteen months ago, I became a stay-at-home-mom.
Eighteen months ago, I had to learn how to be honest yet sensitive with our 3 year old who was trying to figure out just what happened to her sister.
Eighteen months ago, our families (about 30 people or so) converged on our home to carry our family…and we barely fit inside.
Eighteen months ago, I stopped nursing Natalie.
Eighteen months ago, my bible returned to my bedside table.
Eighteen months ago, I questioned all that I believe.
Eighteen months ago, I thought I had lost all hope.
Eighteen months ago, my heart was so heavy that I could barely breathe or walk or shower.
What does grief look like eighteen months after you kiss your daughter goodbye? It looks like me.
I am torn. I am sad. I am hurting. I am confused. I am scared. I am lost. I question so much of what I believe. I question my faith. I question God’s love. I question where my life is going. I question all that was solid before October 24, 2007. But, He reassures me that His grace is perfect. I am not but He is. And He is working in me.
I like to shut off. I will admit it…when I don’t know how to react or respond I just shut off. I hide. I want to stay in bed. I do all that I can to keep the kids going while avoiding taking care of me. I avoid the phone. I ignore my animals. I stop blogging even though I still want to and my mind is racing a million miles a minute. I don’t ask for help. I want to avoid the feelings, avoid dealing with what happened. I almost get to the place where I think that if I ignore it, it will go away. I feel as though I am damaged, unworthy, hopeless. But, when I get to that place, that still small voice surrounds me, catches my tears, and reminds me that I am loved. He reminds me that His hands are carrying me and that his yoke is uncomplicated. And then I feel His peace around me and I can face my grief and know that no matter how difficult it feels, I am in His grasp. And I am His child.
I prefer only safe things. I have a hard time with baptisms. I sometimes leave the sanctuary for those, so that I will not break down and loudly blubber during someone elses’ amazing wonderful moment. I just don’t want to ruin it. I am unsure when I get near children that I have not been around much in the last 18 months. I bow my head and avoid eye contact when I get to those places. I do have those strangely uncomfortable moments even in places that I think are safe. At Emily’s ballet studio, I felt a panic rise in me for the last 2 Mondays. Not because I don’t feel safe there, but because Natalie would be starting Kinderdance class in the fall. And she would be playing with one of my favoritest (is that a word?) girls who is just her age. They would be dressing up, playing so sweetly and going through the terrible twos together.
That’s me…simple, straight forward honesty of how I feel. I have bad days. I have horrible days. But I also have smiles, cuddle time with my sunshine Emily, ‘nuggle time with my nuggey Alie, and belly laughs with both girls. There is a twinkle in Emily’s eye again, proving that she is working through it. Alie is blissfully unaware of the past. And Bryan and I are wading through the messy world of grief, together. I am so very happy to have him home. He most definitely is my rock. Now if I can just get back in the habit of journing and getting to the gym, things could be back to “normal”.
As soon as my computer is working better, I will get some new pictures up. Yes, it is still crashing on me. We have a hectic month during May. Alie will be having surgery to open her tear duct on her left eye. I am very aprehensive and scared. But I know it is what she needs done. And Bryan will be gone most of that week. Thankfully, my parents are coming a bit early (before Alie’s baptism) to help with Emily while I take care of Alie, and calm myself down. Alie will be baptized at our church on May 24th. We are going to have a gaggle of family and friends with us…and we would love to have you share in this important moment for Allison and reaffirmation of faith for Bryan and me. It is also such a beautiful moment when a grandpa has the honor of baptizing his fourth granddaughter.
I will do my best to not stay away so long anymore…really it doesn’t do me any good. Journaling helps me heal. So when I don’t journal, I get depressed. And I do love to share my beautiful children with you all.
It is now almost 1am and I need to join my sleeping family. Thank you for praying for us and checking on us. We yearn for each prayer and are grateful for all your support.
Good night all…off to dream of my three girls.
Hillary, Bryan, Emily, our angel baby Natalie and Allison