Friday, April 22, 2016

Surprises of grief


When I look back to 5 years ago and the memories surrounding our time with Lily there is much that I remember, both good and bad, and the grief of losing a baby, that never goes away and I am often surprised at when it comes back with force, but reading back on my posts from that time, I realise there is so much I don't remember.

5 years ago, here, I wrote about not being able to understand what grief was doing in my life at the time, the panic I was feeling at different aspects of my life that had, in the past, been perfectly normal tasks, simple things like going to the supermarket.

If you asked me to talk about what grief felt like for me and what I experienced, I would tell you about discovering that 'heartbreak' was a physical feeling, not just an emotional one, I might tell you about my experience of the emotional roller coaster that I had never experienced before, or the feeling of seeing people when I was out walking, or about specific events that I remember, like the Balloons over Waikato night glow festival that happened not long after I had Lily where I made it through without breaking down by imagining what fireworks must look like from heaven, perfection right? I might even try to explain the feeling of the first time going to the movies after we lost Lily, but the anxiety and panic over everyday things is not something that springs to mind.

Grief is such an individual journey and everyone experiences it differently, but reading todays 5 year ago blog reminds me how far I have come, grief never goes away but it does stop being the all consuming feeling that it is at the beginning. It still jumps out at me at times and I do still break down and cry and that heart break feeling, it is just as powerful as that first day, but over the past 5 years, without even trying, I have found ways to cope, to carry the grief without letting it consume me.

Zeke, almost 4, talks so often about Lily and every time he mentions her name my heart flutters and I feel like we have done something right in keeping her memory alive and her place in our family is never diminished. He talks about her like he knew her, like he met her and held her. He talks about her as his sister and says things like he wishes she didn't die, he wishes she was here and for him that's not a depressing statement, it's a beautiful statement of a boy who just wishes he could spend time with a member of his family.