I’ve felt the need to write another blog post for a while, but then wonder what I can possibly write next.
Our lives have continued, as they do. With birthdays, holidays and all kinds of other happy/sad moments mixed together and inseparable from each other. Emma’s due date came and went. The holidays. The birth of my beautiful nephew. The start of our GriefShare class.
Each milestone takes us further from Emma’s short time with us. I look at my post from a few months ago and wonder at my ability to articulate so much. Somehow it was easier to know what I was feeling and what I needed back then. Five months later, my grief is less constant, but more overwhelming (and if I’m honest, more confusing). It makes me feel like I’m moving backwards in this journey.
The past few weeks have been fairly emotional ones, and not always in relation to my own loss. I am very aware of the sadness all around me and how close it is to all of us. A friend's family member or dog passing away, unrest and unkindness in the news, and politics in general, have all brought me to tears.
On the positive side of things, I’ve found a lot of joy in our home lately — both in the pursuit of making it better (more calm and restful) and appreciation for the space we have. Home is where I want to find comfort, and I’ve been more intentional about removing and re-thinking things that have become a source of stress. Over the past few months, we re-worked our laundry room and the way we handle laundry at our house, I started meal planning (hello new year’s resolution), and added more plants to our house. These tiny changes have made such a difference in my daily levels of joy.
I’ve also been going to counseling, and my counselor mentioned that reading short stories is highly recommended for people dealing with grief. She said it’s helpful for our brains to read and take in a full story arc. As participants in the middle of our own story, we don’t have the ability to see the beginning, middle, and end, so it can be a healing thing when we read other people’s stories.
So Andrew and I have both been reading more this year, and it’s been really wonderful. The more I read, the more books I want to read. There's a small bookshelf in our room where we stacked the books we’d like to read this year. They sit on the top shelf. After a book is finished, it moves to the bottom shelf to help us see the progress we’re making. Right now, there are eight books on the bottom shelf and it’s just now the end of February.
So, this is where we are right now.
Even on the good days, I don’t feel quite like myself. But I don’t really expect to. Everything is different, and we’re still figuring out what to do with that.