Sunday, September 14, 2014

Anniversary #3

September 14. No matter how hard I try, it's unavoidable. The third anniversary of the worst day of my life. 

I wish I could say that I am okay. I'm not. I'm just way better at hiding it and keeping myself occupied. It doesn't affect me the same day-to-day but I will never fully be okay. I've just gotten better at living with it. But today, I can't fake it. Today sucks. The week leading up to today sucked. I've cried myself to work and back home again every day this past week. I've tortured myself by looking at her pictures and watching the one, sad, three minute video I have of her. I am beating myself up over the fact that I only have this one video. Her two month life condensed down to 3 minutes. Why didn't I have the foresight to realize that I might want to see more of her, to have further proof of her existence? Instead, I was stupid and naive and thought I didn't want proof of her illness. I thought I had plenty of time left to take happy videos. I thought I had the rest of her life and by the time I realized that wasn't the case, she was so sick. I just couldn't bring myself to capture those moments. 

She was so sick, guys. Like the sickest you could ever imagine a human. She looked dead before she was gone. And then she died. It still kills me to relive that day, when they gave her to me to hold in my arms and say goodbye. How they turned off all the machines and shut her ventilator off. How I screamed as they did it and screamed as the doctor listened for a heartbeat and pronounced her dead. I still can't believe this is my reality. That this is her reality. That her life had been reduced to a 3 minute video, some pictures, and a cemetery plot. Thinking about it takes me to a deep, painful place that I wish didn't exist and, today, I have to confront it. This day is never going to go away. September 14 will always be the day that my daughter died.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Third Birthday

Here we are. It's July 24. Again. The day that would have been Naya's 3rd birthday.

Today has been very humbling. I am absolutely blown away by the amount of support we received today. So many people reached out to offer us their love. It's days like this that remind me how many amazing people I have in my life. I am so lucky to have friends and family that will never let my baby girl be forgotten. You have no idea how much this means to me. As a bereaved parent, you are constantly struggling with the fact that every day moves you further away from your child's death - and therefore their existence. You spend a lot of time trying to rectify this in your head and figuring out a way to make your child seem real to you again. When people take the time out of their day to remember and even celebrate your child, it is incredibly touching and healing. Thank you all for all you do to make my world so bright. 

Although I have been anxiously anticipating it, this day hasn't been what I expected. (As any veteran bereaved parent knows, the anticipation is always worse than the day.) After a good, nasty cry this morning that was deep and soulful, I actually felt pretty good the rest of the day. I had made a conscious decision a few months ago that I wanted to take the day to myself. I spent the afternoon at a local spa and took a yoga class, ate lunch, sat in the hot springs and got a massage. And I thought about Naya. I felt closer to her than I have in a long time. Although it is painful and heartbreaking, today is also the day that I was lucky enough to bring a perfect little girl into the world. A little girl that changed my life in so many ways and made me a better person. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to become her mother.

Happy Birthday my sweet girl. I love you more than you will ever know and I always will.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

I wish I could say that Mother's Day didn't affect me anymore. I wish I could say that I looked forward to a day of being showered by love and attention by my friends, family and social media like a normal person. I wish I could say I enjoyed and relished in it. But the the truth is, no matter how far I've come in my grief process, Holidays are still very hard and Mother's Day (along with Christmas) seems to be the hardest.

While people who haven't lost a child (or their mother) might not understand, everyone is else is probably enthusiastically agreeing with me right now. Mother's Day is rough. It's a day where a family gathers together and celebrates their love for one another. It's a day where moms can expect to see their children - and show them off! It's a day where a mom gets to relish the beautiful family they created and how much they appreciate the children who made them moms. And when you are missing one of the crucial elements, it makes it almost unbearable.

That is why I have decided to stay away from social media today. I don't in any way want to diminish other's happiness - I am truly happy that people are celebrating and posting pictures of their families today. They should! Family is truly the most important thing in life and it should be treasured and celebrated everyday. But my fragile heart still can't handle it. It might be a crappy thing to say, but I am jealous that everyone else has all of their children and I don't. And every happy family picture is just another reminder of what I am missing. Most days, I can handle it and it really doesn't bother me. Mother's Day is just not one of them yet.

Please don't think this post is any way disparaging those who wish me a Happy Mother's Day. I truly do appreciate it and am thankful that you thought of me. Please don't judge me if I don't respond until tomorrow. My heart just needs a little extra help today and, being this far into the grief process, I have learned when I need to concentrate on myself.

Much love to all the mothers out there today. And an extra little squeeze to all who are missing someone. I know you need it. <3

Saturday, February 15, 2014

A Return

Yes, I am still around. And I think about writing all the time but then I stop myself. I've been trying to understand why I always find an excuse not to write at night after putting the kids to bed - I am tired, I have work to get done, I want to sit on my ass and drink a beer while watching Netflix, but none of those reasons felt genuine to me. The other day, the real reason hit me. I have been avoiding writing because doing so forces me to confront my reality. And I've become really good at avoiding it.

I sometimes think that is the secret of surviving child loss - you learn how not to think about it. Because when you do, it is overwhelming and painful and just plain sucks. By ignoring it, you are able to go on with your everyday. You are able to go to work and not spend the day crying in the bathroom. You are able to spend time with your family without dwelling on the fact someone is missing. You are able to laugh when something is funny, get excited when something good happens, and look forward to the future. These things don't happen when you are constantly thinking about your dead child.

I've been doing a lot of yoga lately. It's mainly to help with my sore hips from all the running/hiking I've been doing but I've found that I've come to enjoy it for an entirely different and strange reason - savasana. If you are not familiar with the term, savasana is a pose that you do at the end of your practice in which you lie on your back with your eyes closed and you breathe and relax your body into the floor. It is typically known as the corpse pose. Usually, I find it relaxing but lately, I've found myself in uncontrollable tears and it all stems from one thing - Naya. I think about her at other time but it's all superficial. During savasana though, my brain takes me to that deep, dark place that I keep hidden. The place of realization that she is dead and never coming back.

This has made me realize that I obviously have a lot of anguish built up and I need to get to a place where I can get my emotions out again. It may hurt while doing so but my body is desperately craving the release. I can't think of a better venue then here.