I was talking with a sweet woman today we will call her “Betty” about life. She confided in me that her husband passed away in May. I have no clue of her age, but she said she is working through loneliness… I felt deep sadness for her, the thought of losing your partner, your confident and your best friend.
In the conversation she mentioned Jody, she knew about him and felt deeply as we carried him and loved him while he was here. Most importantly how we love him after. My heart sang… she knew his name… But again she confided in me, she was a mother of 3 lost babies… I remember all three a premature twin, one at 5 months and stillbirth. My heart sank. I had no clue what to say. How could I have no clue on what to say?
One thing she said is “I am pleased with where I am today.” I thought to myself… Where am I today in working with Jody’s loss? Grief is a journey you battle forever. Always aware of the black hole traveling behind you, knowing you could fall in at any moment… You never stop yearning for your loved one, but after time it does get easier.
Where am I now?
This is a good question, one that I rarely have time to think about, nor would I ever think about writing about it…
I don’t make enough time for me these days; I am working mom to three living children, a wife and a part time crafter. Sometimes I feel like I’m barely keeping up! I have yet to get my groove back in terms of the way I use to be. I am almost ready to forget that organized, patient, outgoing person I was previously and embrace the new disorganized chaos that I have created.
I am different, forever changed. But also different from those early days where I was consumed by my grief…
I am so grateful to have found a small group of mamas who lost their babies to the same disease. I spent my days emailing and commenting with these babyloss mamas and they helped me feel sane and supported in a world that has no space for grief or dead babies.
I wrote a lot –I have pages filled with anger, jealousy, shame and bitterness. I couldn’t wrap my brain around what had happened. One moment a happy expectant mom, followed by a mom carrying a baby that would not make it, to being a bereaved mom. I guess I was really a train wreck…
Holding Jody briefly in my arms. Coming home to emptiness and meaningless. Wanting desperately to wake up from the nightmare that was my life. Time moved forward around me, without him. Other babies were born and grew. But I stood still.
Now life is so very different, 2 years 7 months and 20 days later…
I’m so grateful to be given another chance at motherhood. Julianna makes life worth living again. That sounds bad or does it? She gave me hope… She keeps me busy, entertained and has helped me open my heart again. Sometimes I feel Jody watching us, standing next to us. Joey feels him too… By my saying that don’t think I am crazy… I am perfectly sane… Really!
I am constantly looking at other almost three year olds and wondering what mine would have looked like, what he would have been doing.
I still feel angry sometimes and jealous that other people around me have all their children. But the jealousy and the why me just passes through my mind momentarily. Those feelings no longer fester.
I needed to blame someone, direct my anger somewhere. I screamed and swore at the universe and God. I have a difficulty with my faith at times and many people around me who do believe so strongly. I felt robbed, I felt like my prayers went unanswered, I felt like He deserted me in my time of need…
But there was that moment… One moment that I felt peace, an overwhelming sense of peace… Who could bring that to me with the exception of Him? The peace that told me, whispering silently in my ear… “Don’t worry, she will be in your arms.” While my faith is not fully restored it’s there. I pray again with the belief that someone, somewhere is listening to me.
I have developed a fear… A really huge one as of late. I think I have forgotten how he felt in my arms. I have forgotten how his face looked. I see him in pictures and see his beauty. But those pictures are flat… Jody was not flat, he was just like me. I am forgetting him, my greatest fear… My mind plays tricks on me; I know I will never forget him in the sense that he was here. It’s the fear that over time those moments that I remember will be lost, locked away in my mind. I still ask him to visit me in my dreams; I have yet to remember him in one. I have to believe that soon enough he will answer. I have to be patient, so for now I will concentrate on what I can control.
I will focus on and continue to be in love with my family. They continuously amaze me, and make me laugh. I have a deep sense of gratitude for each one… Last night while I was awake I got to watch each one of the kids sleep, I was thankful for each breath. Sorry that before Jody I took them for granted. I hold them tight when we cuddle, because I know… There is nothing better then those moments.
None of this means that I am healed, that my old life will return… having Julianna doesn’t means I don’t grieve anymore. In a sense the grief is deeper, Julianna makes me aware of what’s missing…
So to answer the question… I am in a good place. Not yet accepting Jody’s loss, but feeling at peace with where I am. His passing has brought me so much; I continue to be thankful for him.