I remember sending her emails... asking her random questions about what I should do. Almost as if she was the expert on how to handle losing a child and how to handle a remaining child's grief. She lost a child, too, my friend... and her other child lost a sibling. I turned to her when I was faced with a dilemma - hoping she could tell me what to do.
Actually, she wouldn't.
She replied to me with love, but my questions always remained unanswered.
It was the best and most loving thing she could have done. Each time an email response came into my inbox, I would catch my breath with anticipation. The answer! It was near! But as I read her words and realized she was gently and lovingly refusing to tell me what to do... I would always exhale and think, "Right. She's right...
This is my journey to walk."
And so it is.
This Winter, my journey has been more difficult than ever. I have been functioning just fine - and smiling and happy - and handling homework and Hope-work and playtime and even remembering to water the plants.
I've been taking care of myself and remembering my mantras: Remember to eat, remember to not drink, remember to take your vitamins, remember to sleep, remember to breathe. And never skip dessert. (very important)
But for some reason that I can't explain - probably because there is no rhyme or reason to life or grief - I have felt like I've been floating through cement for months.
It hasn't helped that we've had one illness after another since December - but it's more than that. I've just been... let me think about the right wording to use. I don't think "lazy" is the right word - because that would mean I was doing something wrong. I don't think "depressed" is the right word either - because I don't believe that grieving automatically means that a person is depressed. I got it. If you're offended easily, skip this part.
I just haven't been able to give a shit.
If there's a choice between cleaning up the house or sitting on the couch and watching mindless TV when Hope is napping? It's an easy decision.
If Ed calls me from work and says, "What are we doing for dinner tonight? Want to order something?" I automatically say yes.
I have avoided socializing because I just don't feel like trying sometimes - to make conversation, to worry about what to wear, to be "on."
Many nights after the kids go to bed I think, "I should really write a blog post. It's been a while." But I just didn't have the mental energy to think or to type or to tell this truth about not giving a ... you know.
I've been in somewhat of a fog at times and read emails or texts or open mail... and then completely forget about them.
But you know what? I'm really okay with this. While some might think "red flag! red flag!" - I don't. If I spend too much time over-analyzing this time in my life - or thinking that I need something to "fix" me or "help me" or "change me" it will lead me down a path of feeling like there's really something wrong with me. And there isn't.
My journey after child loss is mine... and mine alone. It's not easy.
Everything in life is fluid. Ever changing. Sometimes life takes us to a destination unknown and we have to find our way out with a map that only we have access to. We can try to borrow other people's maps - but we may end up in the wrong place. There's always that chance. It may take longer - especially if you were never good with directions, like me - but finding your own way out is always wisest. There were times in my life when I found myself in a destination that was less than desirable - and I tried to pretend I wasn't there... fight the reality... hurt those around me because I wanted out of there so bad... blame others for me winding up there in the first place... and it ended up nearly destroying me every time.
Basically - I didn't feel my feelings... or simply realize that I could ride out ANY wave and come out on the other side if I just braced myself and kept my eyes forward.
It's always best to keep your eyes looking forward.
And so it goes...