It’s seems as though Micah and I have gone to great lengths to do everything “right” in our grieving process. The moment our babies were born we held them each in our arms. We bonded with them as much as we could in the short time frame we had. We had pictures taken of us holding our beloved children in our arms since we would never again have that opportunity. I look at those pictures often. The weekend following James and Penelope’s birth and death we held a memorial service at our church to mourn their loss with our family and friends. We are reading books and visiting websites about dealing with infant loss. We have recently started counseling to help us cope with this great loss. We have attended a support group for parents going through similar loss. We talk often to each other and others about our feelings. We openly share our grief. As our counselor told us we are “doing the work”. So why is this still so hard?
I know that this isn’t supposed to be easy. I know that grief takes time and we are still only in the beginning stages. I know that losing a child, or in our case two children is a loss like no other. I know that we are forever changed. I know all of these things to be true but I hoped it would be different somehow. I hoped that by seeking out all of the appropriate channels and facing our loss head on we would somehow be exempt from the typical crappyness that is grief.
Part me is ready to move past this stage. The constant tears and breakdowns are exhausting. I find it challenging to get through the day, let alone care for my toddler and be present for her. I am tired of crying, tired of talking about it, tired of the emptiness. Another part of me relishes the pain. It exists because of James and Penelope. It is really all that I have left of them. Each tear that falls is in their honor. I don’t want to “move on”. It seems disrespectful to want to escape the sadness.
Eventually I will get through this. We are doing the work and it sucks, but I know it is necessary. I look forward to the day I can tell the story of Penelope and James without crying. I will find other ways to honor them. I may never know why my body went into labor at almost 23 weeks, forcing them into this world too soon. However, I know that they came into our lives for a reason. They reminded me of how fragile life is. They taught me how to have a new level of appreciation and love for Gwenevere. I love her so much more, which I never thought was possible. I am amazed by here mere existence as well as in everything she does. I am thankful that I have been given the opportunity to be a mother to three children. Even if I only got to meet two of my children briefly, they will always be my son & daughter and they will always be loved.