I imagine this will be a multi-part series considering that in the past six weeks alone, grief has shown up in a variety of ways.
In the beginning the pain was so bad that my body couldn't even handle it. I would cry so hard that my brain would shut off from overload and exhaustion. I'd go from debilitating sobs to no feelings at all- just staring blankly ahead, no longer able to process anything. When it came to making plans for Annalee at the hospital and at the funeral home, I completely relied on Eric to vocalize our decisions. It was like I became a complete zombie. Bad TV and movies and time seemed to be the only way to get through it. Never in my life did I think I would enjoy Godzilla, but I'm still grateful for that thing (is it a dinosaur? A lizard? Who cares.).
As time has gone on, the grief has become more manageable. Something I've noticed throughout this journey are the different ways that people mourn. When my parents came after Annalee was born my Dad was so eager to help us get stuff done. He and Eric were cleaning up our backyard for Annalee's celebration, we were making trips to the garden centre, Home Depot, etc. and I realized that my Dad is a doer. I think I might be a bit like that too. We like a good project as a means of distraction.
The other surprising thing has been what triggers the heartache. I thought I'd never be able to see babies again, that I'd break down at the next Pampers commercial I saw. I thought I'd never want to go in her room, that I'd keep the door closed forever. That hasn't been the case. It's weird, less obvious things. Going hiking and thinking that the backpack should've been a baby carrier. Catching a glimpse in the mirror and remembering that I'm no longer pregnant and that all of this DID happen. When I see Dads with their kids, my heart aches for Eric. As I write this, I'm watching the house next door to us being torn down and remembering that this was the exact thing I worried about when I was pregnant- how is our baby going to nap through that construction noise?
Nowadays we keep busy and have welcomed the distractions of everyday life. Eric has gone back to work and I fill my days visiting with friends, getting stuff done around the house and trying to focus on my health. I try to recognize when I've been too busy and make sure to take a day to allow myself to do nothing. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it makes things worse. We still cry almost everyday- sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. I know this heartbreak is never going to go away, but people assure me that it does get better.