Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dealing With Grief

Over a recent road trip with my mom to see family we got to talking about Grace and Olivia and also my cousin, Lance. We talked about how we can't believe its going to be three years since the girls died and coming up on 4 months since Lance died. We spoke about how we found out Lance died and shared our memories of me being pregnant and of the girls being born. It seems like we use any excuse to get to talk about these things because, well, we like talking about them. It's keeping their memories alive and cherishing wonderful moments. We also talked about how people deal with their grief and how people scramble to pick up the pieces of a broken home when a loved one is lost. There was a time where people would ask me how I possibly move on. People hail me as their "hero" and tell me I'm so "brave". But really they don't know that my world fell apart and I put on a total front so as not to seem so broken. But why? Why did I feel as though I needed to put on a front.

It seems to me that it was a smidgen easier to deal with the death of Grace and Olivia as it was to deal with Lance's death. Maybe since his passing is still so new. I feel as though I HAD to be strong after the death of the girls because I had to be there for Betsy. I couldn't just shelter myself away from the world because as much as I didn't want it to, life had to keep moving. I had to get out of bed every morning and visit my still weak and tiny baby in the NICU. I had to be there for my only remaining daughter and I had to prove to myself and to my marriage that life was still going to go on and I was going to be there for everyone. I think that completely helped me heal with their death. I joined support groups, reached out to other babylost mothers, talked about them all the time, found a renewed relationship with God and strengthened my marriage. I don't think I healed...I never will heal...but I do believe that dealing with the loss of my girls really has made me a stronger person. I literally had to concentrate to put one foot in front of the other every single day until eventually it just came naturally again. It's as though now when I think about Grace and Olivia I can smile instead of immediately crying.

I guess it will take time but I can't do that with Lance yet. I still cry when I think about him. So why is this grief so different? A. It was more tragic...we absolutely didn't see it coming where we kinda just knew with the girls. We had time to prepare. B. He had lived a much longer life. C. The relationship was different.

At his funeral I clinged to the words of the preacher when he said to be thankful that we had Lance for 24 years and to cherish all those memories. 24 years! I didn't get even 24 SECONDS with Grace. I didn't get 24 MONTHS with Olivia. I felt refreshed. I felt totally at peace after the funeral because I thought, what a blessing to have him for so long! But's not that way. I guess I've moved into a different stage of grief but now I just want one more holiday. Just one more holiday with him here.

I do feel as though time heals all wounds. People would tell me that after Olivia died and I felt like slapping them in the face. How can these wounds be healed? But the truth is...time does heal. It's been almost three years and although I miss the girls every waking moment, it is much easier to deal with the fact that they are gone. And coming up on the four month anniversary of Lance's death I just have to keep telling myself the same day it will become easier to deal with.


Daysha said...

I'm proud of you.