Trying to Find Myself – The Changing Seasons of Grief & Odd Adjustments

IPhone Pictures 573It has been nearly eight months since we said goodbye to our baby Esther, and recently, I have found myself searching. Trying to understand. Trying to figure out who I am as a mom. Trying to hold on. Trying to let go. Trying to find myself. Some days, I have moments that I almost feel like my old self. Yet something is not quite right. In these moments, I almost feel guilty. I shouldn’t feel okay. I don’t want to be okay without her. Other times, I feel completely off the whole day, and I struggle just to keep it together. On these days, I wonder what is wrong with me, and if I’ll ever be okay. Sounds loony, I know. But it’s all part of the process. This painful process that I wish was never a part of my life.

I sort of see myself at a middle place in my grief. I am Far enough from the loss, that it frustrates me to not be able to feel it the same way. Not to be able to feel her the same way. It hurts, in fact, in a new way. I don’t want to be distant from the memories. I don’t want to forget…anything.

Yet, I am still close enough to the loss that it affects me daily, sometimes in odd ways. I may cry at random moments, and confuse people around me. Recently, I was at the hospital for our annual health insurance screening lab draws. I was waiting in the same hallway that I had numbly trudged through 8 months ago. I was attempting to get in and out as quick as possible. The lab tech called my number, and when I mistakenly walked to the wrong entrance, she laughed loudly at me. It was just enough to push me over the edge. As I sat answering the physical questions, my voice began shaking, and I had to will myself to not let the tears take over.

I am far enough from the loss that I feel like I have to look to the future.

Yet close enough to it, that I would still rather stay right here.

I am finding this to be a difficult place to live. I feel torn with every small decision and plan. Trying to keep living, while holding onto something out of reach can almost make you feel crazy. Perhaps some of my reactions have been a little crazy…

For awhile, I refused to buy any new shoes. The week that Esther died, I had been slightly obsessing over a pair of boots I wanted. Then I found out my baby had passed away in my womb and I didn’t even know it. While I was thinking about shoes. The thought of looking at, or heaven forbid, buying any shoes almost made me nauseous for a long time. I felt guilty and regretful. Over shoes. Ridiculous, I know. I finally had to buy a pair and I was just a mess right there at Kohls. (I have since worked through this one a little. :) )

Then there was the issue of my cell phone. I was eligible to upgrade in July. But I remember thinking back in February, “I don’t care if I never have a new phone.” July came and went, and I started to think about getting a new phone. Then I felt guilty. Had I changed? Did I care too much about something that was simply not important? Here we are in October and I just ordered a nice, new phone. Yet it is sitting in the box, unopened on my kitchen counter. Why? Because it’s not the phone that I had there with her at the hospital. It’s not the phone I have recordings of her heartbeat on and pictures of her ultrasounds. It’s not the phone I can look back at my text and voice messages on from December and January, and remember how amazingly happy I was. It’s not the phone that reminds me of her.

Constantly, I find myself trying to hold onto silly things…I guess because I can’t hold onto her.

If you could see some of the ridiculous conversations I have had with myself and my husband you probably would say I am actually crazy.  But living every day in the aftermath of loss is crazy.

How do you do it? How do you really let go of something, someone that you never even fully got to hold? How do you look to the future, when all you see is what should have been? How do you move forward, without leaving something precious behind?

These are all questions I am trying to figure out. Difficult waters that I am trying to navigate through. It seems like each week and each month brings new, uncharted territory in this journey.

I know that God never intended this kind of pain in His original plan. Yet I also know that He can still redeem even the worst pain. He has already redeemed our eternal future, and he will continue to redeem our earthly future, day by day.

I’m so thankful for all the support, prayers, and kind words that I have received from friends and family these last months. I am also thankful for those who have shared a piece of their journey with me.

What to say Wednesday 1In closing, I want to offer an encouragement, and a What to Say Wednesday tip…

If you know a Mom and Dad who have experienced loss, keep offering your support. They need it long past when most people think they should be “over it.” Grieving a baby is different. It doesn’t end or go away. It only changes with time.

If you are walking through a loss, keep going. I know grief is long lasting, unpredictable, and irrational at times. Yet I also know God is faithful to meet us right where we are, and take us to where we need to be. I would love to hear from you, and find out how I can pray for you or support you in your journey.

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Comments

  1. What wonderful advice! I know that this will be so helpful to many.

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