Taking a Break

It has been almost a year since I have written in this blog. It was not intentional. I guess I just needed some time to myself. To really take a look at things. Where we have been, are, and are going. I remember back last August, I was just having a hard time balancing everything. I was talking with my husband, Chris, about it. He said, “Do you have to do all that you have on your list?” I said, “Yes.” Then I really started to look at it all, and thought, “No.” We as mothers want to do it all. Maybe even just being a women makes you wired that way. You don’t want to let others down. Others can do it all, so can I! But once you really start talking with other females, you realize that you are not alone (if they are being honest). 

So, I took a break from writing. I took a break from teaching Sunday school. I stopped putting so much pressure on myself. I am a perfectionist by nature. But I have tried to say to myself, “It’s good enough, and that is what matters.” I took time to really have some friendships blossom into what they are. It is so important I think, to take time to be with other bereaved mothers (and other moms and women). To have fun, laugh, and grow deeper. I was neglecting myself in that I made time for a “girls outing” here and there. But now I have said, once a month – I am going. And it has helped tremendously. I think too, being a stay-at-home mom, it makes it even more difficult to go do these things. But now I have given myself permission to do this, and it feels good. With Sunday school, I thought I was letting the PSR Director down. The kids. God. When I went in and talked with the director she understood, and said, “It’s okay.” So I stepped down, and became an aide in the classroom. And it was okay. This year, I am ready to teach again. 

I am also ready to start writing again. Here. So much has happened, and I have reflected much on life. Our losses. Everything. And I feel renewed to tell about the past year. So now this will be sort of different in a way. It has been over three years since Emily died, and over two since Michael died. Things have changed. I am not in the “thick” of my grief as I was even a year ago. I am writing more to give others hope that it will be okay. When I read my old blog posts, a lot of the time I think, “I don’t feel that way anymore.” But, I am not going to erase them. Because it shows what grief and loss is like. How hard it can be that is overwhelming at times. But you will be okay. 

I have sought out prayer, faith, and God again. I think I was angry and mad for almost a year and a half after Michael died. I had a hard time praying about anything. I would tell people I would pray for them, and I did. But my heart was not truly in it. I prayed and prayed for Michael to live after his sister died and it did not work. I started this non-profit as I felt “called” by God to do it, and it did not make Michael live. 

I am hoping to help others more. Because a lot of the times bereaved mothers get their “rainbow babies” after their loss. But that is not always the case. Not to say that the baby that mothers and fathers lost are forgotten, they are not. But many mothers have told me that having a baby after their loss has helped them so much in their grieving. It is hard for all bereaved mothers, yes. And even for some mothers it takes years and years to have a  baby after their loss. It is difficult no matter what the circumstances really.  But I guess what I am trying to say is, I want to write beyond the grieving when a “rainbow” baby that can soften it all is not delivered. 

It gets easier, but it is still hard at times. It seems sometimes like it was years ago that we went through all that we did. I do not go out to the cemetery as often as I used to. It is not that I am avoiding going there to visit Emily and Michael, I just don’t have the “urge” to go as much as I used to. I go on their anniversaries, holidays, due dates. Usually once a month. I used to go once a week last year. And after they first died, every day. And that is okay. I know that it is their bodies there. They are not there. I can talk to them whenever I want really. But there is something special about being where their bodies are. It gives me time to just “be” with them, and talk without any interruptions or distractions. Kind of like going to church. You can pray whenever, and believe in God. But being in church gives you special uninterrupted time with God and Jesus. 

So as the days and weeks continue here, I am going to start writing more. We just had some Board members step down, and brought on three new members. This year, we hope to do more in the hospitals, emergency rooms, and ultrasound offices to help bereaved mothers and fathers. We feel that more needs to be done. When I first started our non-profit, that area was definitely an area that I knew had (has) to change for the better. I am very hopeful that the care given can improve to ease the pain of such a difficult time. 

In conclusion for today, be hopeful. It will get easier and better. It’s hard. You will have to do a lot of work inside. Sometimes you just want to run away from it all, and to wake up feeling it was just a bad dream. But it’s not. And you are going to have to face it eventually as difficult as that may be. Give yourself time to take a break from whatever. You want to feel like “It’s okay. I can do it. I am alright.” But really look at yourself and what you are doing. Are you happy? Patient with others? Yourself? Are you in a rut? Just going through the motions every day? Are you present? That last one I am still working on. I started meditation a couple of years ago. Still working on actually doing it more often than I do. It makes such a difference in my mood for the day. And lastly, be kind to yourself. Don’t “should” on yourself as my counselor says. For we all are trying. And that’s what matters.