Fate took care of me the day Eli was born. For a reason I cannot explain, I packed a really pretty and drapey non-maternity shirt in my hospital bag and unknowing to the nurses, they suggested later in the day (when my husband and I were enjoying our alone time with Eli and the NILMDTS photographer came in) that I put on that shirt for pictures with Eli. I did and that shirt gave my pictures a look of normalcy that my pictures with Wyatt do not have. They are beautiful and cherished.
The shirt however became "that shirt" and I couldn't wear it for a very long time after Eli was born. I have worn it but recently me and the shirt made a big statement together. My husband and I were married just before Christmas almost eleven years ago and since I am a stay at home and he is not, each year I pack up the girls and head to the photographer's to have a photograph made for a special frame in his office so he can show off his girls. It's a semi-cheesy but completely sentimental annual anniversary gift. This year I will be wearing "that shirt".
It almost feels like I've forcibly shed a layer of skin to be able to don that shirt again. It didn't feel heavy or scratchy or any way uncomfortable. Another words, it wasn't laden with the heavy memories of that day and what an important role it played. The other day it was just a beautifully draped shirt that matched my daughters' outfits and subconsciously reminded me of one of the happiest days of my life.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Turn 8 on its side and voila! you have .
Infinity. What it feels like without my boys. Infinity. The space between me and them. Infinity. The time we will be together one day. Infinity. The number that's not really a number that I've found to give me some comfort while I wait for infinity.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
"Bull"ying that is. October is National Bullying Prevention Month and October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
You may be asking yourself what these two things have to do with each other. On their faces, nothing. But on the inside, everything. The loss of a child, or any loved one for that matter, comes along with a bunch of emotions. A bunch. Some of which won't even be experienced for weeks, months and even years. Death may occur in one moment during one day of our lives but the repercussions are felt for the rest of that lifetime. A lifetime which continues without our loved one.
This is where the bullying comes in. Emotional bullying. It is not the ugly kind of bullying which has recently captured national attention. It is quiet and even often well-intended. It can be perpetrated by strangers, family and friends alike. The bullying us into getting over our loss, moving on. Sometimes it's bullying to swallow our emotions like a burned casserole with a smile on our faces. It is cruel, painful and so often not even realized by the perpetrators.
So this month in particular I want everyone to think about the connection between these two profound awarenesses that occur in the month of October. To remember that we are more than others think about us and that at the end of the day we are the ones who live with our own regrets. With that said, I'm going to put a cautionary statement out there. Spring of 2011 I was still in the darkness left after Eli's death and struggled against it each and every day. Sadness was a constant companion despite the smiles and laughter wafting frequently through my own home. My husband called me out, he acknowledged my grief but also told me in no uncertain terms the effects he was seeing my grief having on our three wonderful children and himself. It was a bitter pill to swallow. On one hand I thought, "My baby just died, cut me some slack, of COURSE I'm sad." On the other I thought, "My goodness, I didn't know." I was alive for them and being dead for him was doing none of us any good. What I did is chronicled here. My husband bullied me back to life and helped me to see what the darkness had hidden from me.
I think sometimes it's important to listen to the words and try to see the reality within and around them. It is important to grieve and to own that grieve. It is also important not to lose our hearts to our grief.