Friday, May 27, 2011

Right Where I Am: One Year, Two Weeks

Thank you, Angie, for providing this opportunity to talk about where we are in our grief no matter how much time has elapsed since our loss. 

I am just on the other side of the one year anniversary, just able to see the sun on the horizon again after the 14th.  I thought it would be better sooner, that we would have the big memorial to-do we couldn't put together a year ago and then there would be some sort of peace, closure.  And there was peace as well as closure as we stood in the cool May air outside the birth center on the 14th, buried her ashes, remembered her, but the day after was horrendous, as was the one after that, and now nearly two weeks on it's still hard and maybe that isn't the sun on the horizon but a mirage comprised of wishful thinking.

I was doing so well, moving forward, not crying very often, finding my balance, regaining some sense of self, and then her birthday came along and rendered me weepy, sleepless and lazy, or maybe not lazy but grief weary.  It's as if being in May again, this time of spring, growth and so much rain, has completely muddled my senses. I can't seem to forget how awful last year at this time was and my brain insists on working through those days after she died, reliving them, wishing I could restructure her, create a future, elongate her life.

I don't cope with stress well.  I'm angry at so many things, but mostly Charlotte's death.  I'm 24 weeks pregnant with her brother and I have spent much of this pregnancy stamping my foot and being angry at things I cannot change because what I truly want - her and her brother - is unobtainable.  I want to be treated as if every emotion and thought matters, like all my fears and stresses and random blow-ups deserve attention, because I'm pregnant again, and shoot that's hard, but the coddling has ceased, it ceased a long time ago and I don't know why I expected it to resume.

This blog was a lifeline for me in the beginning, still is, but it's shifted to be about so much more than her and I'm not sure if this is the right place to keep my thoughts anymore.  Should this just be about her -a holy forever shrine to a baby gone too soon - or is it okay to shift focus?  She is in everything I do after all, she permeates every action and reaction now.

Faith has helped.  I believe she is in heaven, that we will be reunited.  Church has been hard since she died.  We attend, we skip, we attend, we plan to go, but can't make the change from pajamas to clothes, from solitary brooding (even with two in the house) to social niceties.

I need less now, even in this difficult time.  I packed most of her things in boxes in the attic.  There are pictures around the house, but no longer shelves upon shelves of memorial items.  She lives with us always - her urn above the fireplace, her nearly blooming rose outside, the pictures on our dresser - but there is no longer a need to surround myself with tangible things in an attempt to bring her back.

I've let go of the desperate grief that engulfed me when she first died.  It used to feel like a horrible nightmare I was fighting unsuccessfully to wake up from.  I thought if I closed my eyes and wished hard enough she would come back, but I could never push my mind past the idea that she was ashes in an urn above the fireplace and no matter how tightly you squeeze your eyes shut, even if it's so tight no light peeks through at all, ashes are permanent; they simply cannot reform into a living baby.

I'll never stop wishing she was here, but I have found peace in the solid unchangeable fact that she is not.

I miss her - my first born, my forever baby.

19 comments:

  1. a beautiful post, angela.

    "Should this just be about her -a holy forever shrine to a baby gone too soon - or is it okay to shift focus? She is in everything I do after all, she permeates every action and reaction now."

    it is perfectly ok for your blog to be BOTH. of course it is ok to shift focus, b/c your life has shifted focus, as it should. you will never completely let go of her, so this blog will still be her place - but there is also room in your life - and in this blog - for other things - and for her brother and future siblings.

    i know it's still so, so hard. but think about how far you've come. love you.

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  2. Glad you participated. A year on is a great time to stop and reflect and have a good look at where you're at. Missing Charlotte.
    xo

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  3. It's absolutely okay for you to write about whatever you want to write about. Our children, living or not, don't define us. So post about her all you want, but also give yourself the freedom to express other parts of your identity as well mama. xo

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  4. I agree, a beautiful post. You have summed up what so many of us are feeling so well. Our lives change but the one thing that doesn't change is that we love our children, we miss them and we always will. Lots of love to you and both of your sweet babies.

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  5. This is how I felt at a year, like I could manage one aspect--the day, but nothing around the day, and then I wondered how it could be that things changed so much in a year, and I was also stuck right in the anger I felt after she died. I was so angry for so long. I can still be angry if I let myself go there. I don't often let myself go there. Thank you for sharing right where you are. xo

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  6. Lovely Angela. I'll soon be on the other side of a year and it's just so hard to wrap my head around it. Thinking of you and remembering Charlotte with you~

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  7. Remember this is your space, you do what's best for you here, no one else matters...hard I know, it's something I often ponder on too.
    x

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  8. The otherside of the year is hard to contemplate right now, I'm struggling to consider the day - thank you for sharing your insight with where you are now...

    And you're right, Charlotte is in your everyday, so use this space for you to write about your days fully.

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  9. It's as if being in May again, this time of spring, growth and so much rain, has completely muddled my senses.

    I often wonder if our bodies remember the seasons, as if just the time of year is enough to bring back those memories.

    I'm sorry that the coddling has stopped, I know I found that point hard too and I wasn't dealing with another pregnancy simultaneously.

    I think that this blog will always be about Charlotte, in the same way that she permeates your actions, she will, perhaps, always be present in your words? Even if they are not directly about her.

    'ashes are permanent' sadly they are. That is very hard to push your mind past but I never thought to find peace in that fact, in the solidity of their absence. That is actually a beautiful way to look at it. Thank you for this post. x

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  10. Beautiful post Angela. A year out was such a hard time for me - I did a lot of reliving, also, and kept coming back to the realization that I couldn't change any of the outcomes.

    Sending love to you and Charlotte.

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  11. Angela,

    I'll agree with the other commenters here. Your life is ultimately about you and it's a multi-faceted thing. Losing Charlotte, incubating your next child, coping, surviving--it's a lot to manage and there's not really a correct way to do it. Be patient with yourself and know that there are people out here reading and ready to coddle you when you need it.

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  12. I have spent much of this pregnancy stamping my foot and being angry at things I cannot change because what I truly want - her and her brother - is unobtainable.

    I could have written this sentence, one year out. I was pregnant with Iris' brother at the time. I still want to stamp my foot at it too. It will never seem fair. I wan't ALL my babies here.

    Thinking of you and your Charlotte x

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  13. Angela, there is no rule that says on the other side of the year mark things must somehow be better. Feel how you feel and never pretend that you are anywhere else. I appreciate your honesty as do so many others who are walking the same path.

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  14. I think that first year marker is so difficult. There are so many expectations of what that day should or shouldn't be...and then what we should be feeling after. Thank you for taking part in this...and for still finding the drive to write about how life your goes on without your sweet Charlotte. Sending much love to you always, dear friend.

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  15. I've found your blog through Angie's project - I am sorry your litte girl died.

    I was in the same place as you, just after one year. I found the anniversary of Emma's birth and death peaceful but I found the weeks after the anniversary brutal. It is still thus with significant days, the time after is hard. I was 24 weeks pregnant too with Emma's little brother and really, really needed coddling too.

    I hope you are able to ask and receive what you need to balance life and death and love and longing.

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  16. Found your blog through the "Right Where I am" post. I am so very sorry about the loss of your daughter. I feel the same way...he is my forever baby that I will miss forever. I think your blog should be about whatever you feel comfortable writing about. Just because you may shift focus or add posts about your new baby to come doesn't mean that she isn't as important or thought of.

    ReplyDelete
  17. It's as if being in May again, this time of spring, growth and so much rain, has completely muddled my senses.

    I often wonder if our bodies remember the seasons, as if just the time of year is enough to bring back those memories.

    I'm sorry that the coddling has stopped, I know I found that point hard too and I wasn't dealing with another pregnancy simultaneously.

    I think that this blog will always be about Charlotte, in the same way that she permeates your actions, she will, perhaps, always be present in your words? Even if they are not directly about her.

    'ashes are permanent' sadly they are. That is very hard to push your mind past but I never thought to find peace in that fact, in the solidity of their absence. That is actually a beautiful way to look at it. Thank you for this post. x

    ReplyDelete
  18. Found your blog through the "Right Where I am" post. I am so very sorry about the loss of your daughter. I feel the same way...he is my forever baby that I will miss forever. I think your blog should be about whatever you feel comfortable writing about. Just because you may shift focus or add posts about your new baby to come doesn't mean that she isn't as important or thought of.

    ReplyDelete
  19. a beautiful post, angela.

    "Should this just be about her -a holy forever shrine to a baby gone too soon - or is it okay to shift focus? She is in everything I do after all, she permeates every action and reaction now."

    it is perfectly ok for your blog to be BOTH. of course it is ok to shift focus, b/c your life has shifted focus, as it should. you will never completely let go of her, so this blog will still be her place - but there is also room in your life - and in this blog - for other things - and for her brother and future siblings.

    i know it's still so, so hard. but think about how far you've come. love you.

    ReplyDelete

thank you!

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