For the initial jump start for this post, jump over here.
One year and five months makes it sound like a long time has passed since Lyra died. I suppose it kind of is. I now have Simon here...almost 4 months old. Things have changed. We've moved twice since she's been gone. We have a house now. We have new neighbors...hell, we have a new town. That in itself changes everything.
The rawness is gone, but the grief has left an indelible mark on me. I don't cry as often. But the tears are right below the surface some days. I think of her many times throughout my day, and as I discover new things with Simon, I sometimes faze out imagining how she would have been. It may be imaginary interest, but I feel good when Simon gazes at the stars I've put near the changing table or by his crib...or as he giggles at the mobile or pictures we made for her that he now enjoys. It feels like she is a tangible piece of our family and he's interacting with her, even if she can't be here.
But then I step outside the safe boundaries of our home, and re-enter the real world where it looks like we have just one child. And I try to interact with other moms and kids in a semi-normal capacity. Moving back to my hometown means some people know what happened. But even then, she's never really brought up. And those who don't know, ask about her tattooed footprints on my foot and to ease the silence after telling them, I change the subject to some newfound delight about Simon. It's just easier that way, and I'm ok with it. That's just how it will be.
I don't know what I expect from others still. You think I'd have figured that out by now.
I've found myself falling back into my perfectionism state of mind. It may be the moving, or parenting a live child and fearing failure in that, or just my self critic popping up with a grand zeal again...but whatever the case, I've lost the ability to not care what people think. I feel I've lost a bit of what Lyra brought to me. I do hate that part of moving further away from the rawness of the grief. The raw emotion and grief gave me blinders to the expectations of others...to the fear of falling and failing. I did what felt natural and instinctive, and it felt good to be free. And I've slowly been shackled again. Maybe just because I haven't had time to do as much art. Maybe because I feel looked down upon for staying at home with Simon. So many reasons I could blame it on. But ultimately, I've allowed it to happen.
I feel like I just repeat myself. I have nothing new to offer to the already existing BLM's. The new ones, sure...they are looking for any and all bits of information that prove they can survive this. But I'm not good at interacting with lots of blogs and comments and I'm sure you've all noticed that. I feel like this blog saved my life...that this beautiful blogging community reached out and held me afloat on those hard days. But I don't feel like I'm contributing anything anymore. I'm feeling more disconnected, and alone. I'm not blaming the BLM community for that...but myself. I don't know what to write, and without posting any new art, what do I have? And sometimes what I feel like writing, I don't feel comfortable sharing with the real life readers I know stop by. I've considered closing this blog. But I haven't come to any solid conclusion about that. Maybe it's just run it's course in regards to being an external outlet for my grief. Maybe my grieving is more internal now...in a healthy way. Maybe it's not so healthy. I don't know.
I cringe internally a lot in regards to how grief in general is handled. When bad things happen to other people, and hearing what words are said and how easily it is swept under the rug. I have intentions of creating a FoLFoH group this way. And maybe signing up to help photograph for families...I don't think there's anyone in this neck of the woods who does that. It's heart-wrenching to think a family wouldn't get pictures with their child(ren). Of course I haven't initiated any of that though.
I know I tear up when I read another new story or hear from a friend about a miscarriage/stillbirth/infant death. It often make me flash back to certain moments in those days during and after her death. It doesn't wreck my whole day anymore though.
And because I do wear my heart on my sleeve, and because I believe and hope that maybe it may help another family or BLM feel less awful...I'm still angry and bitter. Mostly at God and religion. I hate to admit that. There are real life people who will be disappointed to read those words. I don't want to be fixed, or have a big, long, drawn out discussion about why I'm wrong. Or what I'm supposed to believe. Or whatever. But I'm not comfortable with the notion that God did this and has some great reason and plan for her death and for my life. And I'm not comfortable abandoning it all either. As I think I would have said before Lyra's death, I'm a life long student, and I'm still learning and figuring stuff out.
I am "glad" to not feel so bogged down...the weight of it all seems less most days. It's more manageable. Course I'm lucky to have Simon to distract me and keep me busy. I don't know how I would look if I didn't have him here. I wonder how to tell him about her. Or his friends about her. Again, my tattoo is easy to point out, and I wonder how many kids or their parents I'll frighten by telling them babies die.
She's always here...right in my heart...In our home...In our family. I wonder how my grief will look in another year. And how we will continue to remember her.
Thankfully Angie has brilliant ideas, and gave me an outlet to perhaps throw out something new here. I hope others will describe where they are at in their grief journey...it's important to see. As Angie stated:"Now, it's your turn. Where are you in your grief? Emotionally. Physically. Psychically. Title your post, "Right Where I Am:(Time since your child's death)". then come back here and link your blog post on the Mr. Linky. Click other participants and read about right where they are. Comment if you can. Just a thank you for telling me about right where you are. If you don't want to write a full post, why not just comment here and tell me the time since your loss(es) and anything else you want to share. Spread the word around the community by linking back to this post, so people can find out what grief is like on all stops on the road."