For so many things in life, there is an “easier” way to do things. Drive-Thru at a restaurant, ordering online, instructional videos, navigation on your phone, personal shoppers, text messaging, church online, steam-in-bag vegetables….
It’s human nature to find an easier way to do things. Look around you, there are so many ways you simplify your life each day, without even realizing it.
Grieving. It is one aspect of our lives we have no “easy” way around. There is no way to short-cut through grief- try as you might, it comes right back around to stare you in the face. You can bury it or ignore it, but somehow, it always comes back until you work through the process.
Grieving has been very difficult for me. By nature, I am a very happy person who only wants to see the best in life. I am the strong person; I am at my strongest when things are at their worst. I thought I could handle anything. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Miscarriage, losing my babies, brought me to my knees.
They say grief has 5 separate phases that are universal:
In my personal experience, miscarriage was unlike any other grief I had ever dealt with. I have lost many loved ones before, but never have I felt pain like I did with the loss of my babies.
For me, my grief went through a different series:
Following my miscarriages, so many people told me to work through each emotion. How was I supposed to do that? If I worked on my fear, it made me angry. If I confronted my anger, I was overcome with sadness. If I tried to move through my sadness, I began bargaining with myself and God. Bargaining just made me angry all over again. In my experience, it has been a vicious cycle with no end.
I don’t believe my grieving has truly ended. Notice, the “last stage” of my grieving is currently admission. At this point, I can not accept what has happened. I admit that it has happened, I acknowledge our loss. At this moment, I feel as though acceptance equals moving on, and I am not capable of doing so. The thought of moving on strikes fear in my heart- I never even got to hold or see my babies outside of an ultrasound. They never knew what it was like to feel me hold them or kiss their sweet fingers and toes. If I move on, I am so afraid they will think I never loved them.
My feelings may change again, but this is where I am at right now. This is my journey and for right now, it is one day at a time. I want you to know that is okay to be- just okay. It has taken me a long time to accept just being okay. I don’t want to give you the impression I am never happy- most of my days are filled with more happiness than sadness- but there is always a little piece of my heart missing.
I wanted to share some of my methods of moving through my grief:
1) Have someone to talk to- I have mentioned before the importance of having at least one person you can turn to with your feelings. It needs to be a person you feel like you could say anything to without judgement. Sometimes, just being able to release your thoughts and emotions is all you need to work through a particularly difficult day.
2) Music- I have days where I am so overcome my emotion, I am not sure how I really feel. On days like this, I put on music that soothes me- Andrea Bocelli and Chris Botti are two of my favorites- and sit in a warm bath to calm myself and relax my mind.
3) Remember your baby(ies)- Sometimes I just want to talk about them. I talk about the first time I found out they were to be, the first doctor’s appointment, the first ultrasound, morning sickness- the happy memories. Talking about them leaves my heart feeling so much lighter and filled with so much joy.
4)Write- For me, writing is very therapeutic. I may not be able to put my thoughts together out loud, but I can always work through it on paper or on the computer. I don’t even always publish what I write. I have a Word document on my computer that is strictly for writing whatever comes to my head. Just seeing it all down on my paper and working through my thoughts gives me relief and often helps me sort out how I feel.
5) Happy box- This has absolutely become a lifesaver for me. I am going to do a whole post on it on Tuesday, but the “Happy Box” is something I came up with when I was having a really bad day. I had found all kinds of quotes and prayers on Pinterest, but I wanted to print them out and have them handy. I decided to put them in a box next to my bed and look at the sayings and quotes whenever I needed a pick-me-up or reminder. Since then, I have added whatever makes me happy to the box. I have quotes, prayers, pictures of loved ones, magnets, a baby outfit, cards from friends, and a lot more. I will show you everything on Tuesday, but I highly recommend one of these. My “Happy Box” grounds me and reminds me I have so much to be thankful for and that God really does have a plan. I am still struggling with my path, but I need to trust in God- and everything in my box reminds me to do so.