Micah and I were recently asked when we would be ready to handle a family get together. With all sincerity they wanted a date. Like we have a time line of our grief. They hoped we could look at our calendar and point to a date in the near future and say "Okay, it looks like November 16th works for us". I wish I could give such an answer. I wish I could forecast when we will be ready to have a normal family event without breaking down. The real answer is I don't know.
I honestly can't imagine a time that I can suppress the sadness, anxiety, jealousy, and fear that come along with being in a social setting. Right now it takes all the strength I have to get through a trip to the grocery store. Just this week I sobbed at the park after seeing a happy pregnant mom. I can't stand all the people around us getting on with their lives. Going about their normal days completely oblivious to the pain that surrounds us every day.
Some days are better than others. Some days I only cry a little bit. Some days I can focus on the positive aspects of my life. I can enjoy my daughter and be thankful for what I have. Other days it feels like I am stuck in despair. I wallow in my sadness and let the tears flow. I allow myself to experience all of the anger and depression. The dark moments come and go. I remind myself of what my Mom told me, "You will never get over this, but you will get through it". I am getting through it.
When will I be ready to handle big events? I don't know. Maybe in three months, maybe in a year. I know that with time I will heal. I know that James and Penelope are a part of me and someday I will talk about them without crying. I know that many families have gone through this same grief. I know that I will find peace. I also know that I have yet to come to that place.
Our son and daughter were due to arrive into this world right around Thanksgiving. When I was pregnant I would often imagine our future. Two newborn babies at Christmas time, two chubby six month old babies come summer time and a wonderful big sister through it all. This year we will get through Thanksgiving and Christmas. I will shop for friends and family and relish in the joy of watching our daughter open gifts and spend time with loved ones. But I know there will be a big empty hole.
There is no timeline for grief. Every loss is different and every person goes through it in their own way. I know Micah and I will go through different phases at different times. The hardest part is that there is no goal to look forward to. There is no "I am over it" place that we will reach. But we will get through it, together and alone.