Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Looking Back on Looking Back

I haven't posted for over two years but don't think for one second that means I haven't been writing. A few things have happened lately that had me hunting for some time to log in and consider posting. So, here I am.

I dug through some of the entries I saved, but never posted. I found this one from almost two years ago. Reading it today, and just before the Christmas season, I particularly liked it and decided to share. I think I like it so much because I remember that this is when I finally started to turn the corner in my grief. This is about the time where the fog was lifting and I was also able to let more and more good times happen without feeling guilty or ashamed to smile and laugh.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Other Butterfly Effect

I am not surprised to see the widely accepted symbol for all little angels that left their family's too soon is a butterfly. For some reason, I've always felt this was such a perfect symbolic choice because losing your baby is such a good example of the scientific butterfly effect. I call it the OTHER butterfly effect.

The butterfly effect  in chaos theory, draws a connection between a seemingly insignificant happening, resulting in a dramatic alteration of another happening. That is of course, NOT the technical definition, but this isn't a technical article. During comparison, there are only two loose ends that I couldn't connect until now. One was that this is a linear chain versus the non-linear definition, and the second was that this was not an insignificant happening. Right? Maybe not.

To reason with the latter, I asked myself how many parent's lament the seemingly insignificant impact their angel might have had on the world at large. How many parents start charities in their sleeping children's names so that the impact can be felt by others, else there would be none at all? How many parent's work and bear witness to their angel at every opportunity in an effort to keep a voice to the matter, and a light on the subject? I see the world's definition of insignificant does apply to even my perfect little 5 pound bundle of forever sleeping awesomeness, though it is still significant to me.

Then I found myself reflecting on the former issue of whether the linear reaction I witness in my own life, is really linear at all. I mean, if the love she has left in her stead lives on in my heart, and my heart inspires me to do more for others, and if my doing for others dramatically affects the outcome of a happening in their life, well, then, it's just not as linear as it appears at first glance.

So the butterfly effect has yet another testament to the validity of the concept. I live the butterfly effect, except it's not up to chance what effect will transpire. It is always good. It is always with love. Not just me... everyone who knows this new normal has that same love. Whether it's all trapped up behind pain and fear, or it's already moved passed that to a place where it roams free. It's always the same. We all have heart shaped marks left on our souls where a baby that you can't see lives on. We all live the other butterfly effect.

Miss you baby and I love you.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

My Bull-y Grief

This morning, I took a moment to assess my expectations in anticipation of the anniversary of Carly’s death. Deciding that they were fuzzy, scattered, and unclear at best, I think it was only natural that I began going backwards in my mind to that Friday the 13th two years ago, and worked my way through time to the present. I find it’s easier to assess where I’m headed if I sometimes step back to look at where I started.

I’ve learned that my grief is much like a bull; strong and powerful. It’s presence is daunting and commanded my attention from the moment I was dumped head first over the fence, and into the corral. It didn’t take a genius to see that the bull's will to defeat me appeared to be unstoppable, but still, I slowly and carefully pulled myself right side up to face it directly. After a quick survey of my surroundings, I noted that I recognized the general landscape of my life in the distance, but this bull and the fence that kept me enclosed with it, made it feel too far away to ever hope to return.  Every wary step was tracked, and my bull would re-position itself offensively with each direction I move toward. I felt trapped. I felt doomed. I hated this bull!

After a year of pensively rooting around in the corral for a comfortable place to sleep, and a decent position in which I could half-assed take a rest, I finally starting making plans that didn’t factor in the bull’s countermeasure. I mean, I hadn’t been gored to death yet so there must be a chance for me to win this stand off. Then one day, I just laughed, and it was refreshing because laughing was so hard to do for a while. But my laughter was like a spark plug for the engine of my soul. Fueled by utter refusal to give in, the engine was on, and I took one giant, determined step toward my bull. I hadn’t done this before and I could sense the bull was thinking something like, “Oh shit. What in the world is she doing?” Of course,  he didn’t back down. He stood his ground but I wouldn’t stop there. I just kept taking step after step, no matter how small they were sometimes, until we were practically sharing the same breath. I didn’t get charged, or trampled or gored. I just stared him in the eye to let him know who’s really in charge, and then walked past him, and climbed out of the corral. I still see him every day as I walk past the corral, and the bull is always there looking at me. Wondering if today’s the day I’m gonna climb in there and kick it’s butt. I don’t think he knows I’m still a little too scared to get back in there. I’m just enjoying the victory of battle for now, but I know the war is not over. At least I know that I am every bit as strong as it is, and it is every bit as weak as me.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Pieces of Peace

The other evening, the hubs and I were talking about Carly, and mostly recounting the tremendous strides we have each made in our healing and grief process. I am so in awe of him and since he doesn't "talk things out" like us women do, this conversation was particularly special to me for the simple fact that he was leading it. The conversation ended naturally, and I again witnessed his incredible talent for communicating his thoughts in the most articulate and succinct manner. And once again, they echo my own, but with a clarity I cannot demonstrate nearly as well. Whether it's how he talks to me or if it's just how I listen to him, it's always the same. He doesn't just express his own emotions (when he finally does decide to come out and say what he's feeling!), he also puts things into perspective for the listener too. The other night... the listener was me and I loved every second of it.

Our conversation reminded me that while our loss is nearly unbearable at times, and it is easy to blame God, or at minimum question His seemingly unwillingness to intervene, He does understand. He knows the depth of our anguish when we cry out asking "why?" Why like this? Why now? Why us? "WHY" is a piece of the puzzle that remained empty for a long time. It was a question that reverberated in every waking thought. 

We did receive an answer, though the answer to our cries was not what we had asked for. I wanted to know the purpose, and physiological facts surrounding her death. Alternatively, He answered with a still small voice that 'why' is an answer we cannot have... yet. Instead, He gave us peace in it's place. The peace I have is heavier than any other. It's a blanket so heavy that it suppresses fear, confusion, and discord leaving only a serene warmth. It's like a beacon on a clouded desert night that eradicates the apprehension and angst in every step. It's the wind in the sails of every ship of grief sailing the open ocean called life. Sometimes, it's the only solid bit of earth you can find to stand on when the mountains are crumbling, and the valley's erupt to meet them. In a way, it's better than an answer itself.

I don't think you have to lose a child in order to find this beautiful peace. There have been a million times in my life when this kind of peace would have helped me through the hard times with much more ease, and I am sure it was available for the taking. Never before though, have I wanted it so badly. I was so desperate to feel better. For so long, I thought that an answer as to 'why' would bring that comfort, and I set out determined to find it. When I couldn't find it, or I realized I couldn't have it, it was a HUGE hurdle to overcome. Fortunately, what I did find was greater than I even knew to ask for. The everlasting, deep, centered, encompassing peaceful emotion I have today is far more cherished, and I thank God every day for it.
So, I didn't get the missing piece of my puzzle, but I did get a peace. This is something I can use. Something that not only fits into that space I reserved for the answer to why, but overflows into other spaces in my life and seems to make them fit better too.

Peace out!