It has been two weeks since I held my little sleeping beauty. Two weeks since I saw her beautiful little body and kissed her sweet head. Oh how I miss her!
It has been two weeks since I officially started the journey of grief, although it actually started about two months ago when we got the news about her holoprosencephaly. During this time I have learned some things about grief that I never really knew before. I am a therapist by trade, so I know what the textbooks say about grief, but actually experiencing this kind of grief personally is quite different. Here are some things I have learned…
- Being a therapist did not/does not exempt me from feeling all stages of grief over and over again. I know the stages, I analyzed the stages, I examined how I was/am experiencing them.
- Being a Christian did not/does not exempt me from experiencing all the stages of grief. I think people think that as Christians we need to “get over it” quicker. We need to “get back to normal.” We can’t show our weaknesses. Something about complete brokenness and vulnerability makes Christians uncomfortable (which is a topic for another day). But that brokenness is exactly what grief is…and that is ok.
- Some people have more grace than others for the healing process. Some people tell you to take all the time you need and you can tell they mean it. Others stress the importance of healing in a way that pressures those grieving. There is a healthy balance I think…I’m hoping that I am finding that.
- Just because you don’t cry as much in one environment doesn’t mean that grief is over and you can go about life “as normal.” I stayed home last week and felt like I may have “conquered” my home life, besides triggers that can’t be avoided. But going to church and back to work this week was a completely different animal.
- Netflix is a great way to zone out and just rest from reality.
- Something about mornings is really really hard. Before I even crack my eyes open I have to pray because I know that when they do open my reality is still really hard to face.
- Productivity and motivation are really hard, especially the first week or so after and it only gets gradually better from there. And really being able to focus was virtually impossible for a while, and is still something I struggle with minute by minute.
- Losing a baby is different than losing another family member because pregnancy hormones make grief worse and more confusing.
- Having people to cry and laugh with is wonderful. And having people who understand that just because I am laughing doesn’t mean my grief is over is even better!
- I spent a lot of time alone last week since Jonathan went back to work and I survived just fine but I did/do much better when I am around Jonathan.
- Puppy therapy is a real thing, especially when empty arms are an issue and you have a puppy who likes cuddles.
- God gives strength to the weak.
- He is totally ok with crying and in fact catches every tear.
- God is good! Circumstances are hard and sorrow fills my heart…but so does God and one of these days I am confident that God will replace that deep sorrow with something a little more joyful, all the while taking care of my sweet baby.