Thursday, June 02, 2011

Right Where I Am: 2 years 2 months 5 days

I’m taking part with Angie at Still Life With Circles and other wonderful women in this community in writing a post about where we are at right now in our grief. I’m not sure where to go with this so I’ll just write what comes to my heart.
~~~~~
Today it has been 2 years 2 months and 5 days since Carleigh was born still on March 28, 2009. It is hard for me to believe it has been over 2 years already since that day. Wasn’t it just yesterday I found out I was pregnant with her? Wasn’t it just yesterday that we got the news that no parent should ever get? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I held her in my arms?
Sometimes I wish I could go back to yesterday. I think that is because I feel I didn’t get enough moments with her while she was here. I got to spend 37 weeks with her in my womb. I got to feel every single kick and hiccup and gosh I am so grateful for that. I shared moments with her that no one else ever got to experience. I think because of that I grieve for her in a way that no one else ever will. No one knew her like me.
I remember being completely ecstatic when I found out she was a girl around 16 weeks. My dream was going to come true of having 2 girls close in age like me and my sister. Life couldn’t get any better. But then that horrible day came. I’ll never forget the exact moment when all my dreams were shattered. It only took one word. Anencephalic. I saw the word and I knew what it meant. We’d never take our baby home.
I am still completely amazed at the grace that God gave me that day and on the rest of our journey. While my heart was completely broken, I felt God near me and He walked beside me through it all.
The first year was the toughest for me, especially around month 6. I had to go through all of the “firsts” like holidays and her birthday. But not only that I had to get through each month of wondering what she would be doing at that stage and what milestones she would be reaching. I still wonder to this day what she would be like and I imagine I will always wonder for the rest of my life here on this earth.
Now here I am at 2 years 2 months and 5 days out. What is grief like for me now?
My grief is a lot easier to bear, even though my grief has never felt extremely heavy. I’ve never really had sad days, just sad moments. Those moments have happened less and less as time has passed. They are still unpredictable though. I can be doing just fine and then something triggers a moment. It could be a reminder or a song or just looking at my other girls and seeing the little girl in the middle that is missing. I don’t miss Carleigh any less than I do from when I last held her. I prolly miss her more. People prolly wonder how can I be less sad but miss her more? I don’t really know.
I’ve always been an optimistic person and that optimism has carried over in how I handle my grief. I’ve kept my optimism and my hope and I think that has helped cope better than if I didn’t have it. I had my rainbow baby in September 2010 and she has brought a lot of love and joy into the spaces of my heart that were empty and aching. But I don’t want people to think that my heart is completely healed because that isn’t the case and never will be. My heart will always be broken for the daughter I had to let go and there will always be a piece of it that will be hers.
I like to imagine her being so happy that her sisters make me happy. I like to imagine that when we laugh and play together she laughs along with us. I even imagine that when mommy or daddy feels sad she wants nothing more than to reach to us and hold us and tell us it’s gonna be ok.
There are things that are harder now though. Although it has gotten better, I don’t look at babies and pregnancy the way I used to before Carleigh. A pregnancy doesn’t always equal a baby even when you’re past the first trimester like so many believe. I used to have the “that’ll never happen to me” mentality. Then it did happen to me and it forever changed me. It’s harder to talk to people about how many children I have because some people don’t think that children in Heaven count and I don’t agree with that.
I see more of the blessings I have been given in this life because of Carleigh. She changed me so much and I know she made me into a better and more caring person. I would hate to think that because of her I became less than that.
I don’t visit her at the cemetery as much as I used. It’s not because I don’t want to but because the days get away from me and I’m not out that way as much as I used to be. We visited recently though and it was so nice. Kyndra has always enjoyed going to the cemetery. She laughs and plays and runs around. She should never have to associate a cemetery with her sister.
I wish people would say her name more or just talk about her. I wish people would tell me that they miss her. I want to know that there are people who miss her besides me. I’m always missing her.
I never realized before Carleigh how much of an impact losing a child has on a person. It’s a pain and a grief unlike any other and can only be fully understood by those who have been there. Some people may disagree with me but I think it is the worst kind of loss. Children shouldn’t die before their parents.
I like to look at her pictures and the keepsakes I keep in her memory chest. It was not too long ago that I watched just a little bit of one of her videos from the day of her birth. The silence in the room from that day is haunting. I didn’t realize how quiet the room was then. I was so focused on her that I was unaware of what was going on around me. I do remember hearing the clicks of my friend Ashley's camera taking pictures of us. That was basically the only sound in the room aside from the whispers from our caretakers.
I don’t give myself a lot of time to sit and really think about things. Honestly, I barely have time to myself to get other things done let alone have a good grief session! But there are occasions when I am by myself at home or I’m in the car and I will take myself back there. I go back to the moments when we found out, when I carried her, when I held her in my arms, and when we said our final goodbyes. I wonder how I have made it through this. This is the stuff people tell you that they don’t know how you did it because they surely couldn’t. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been told that. And I want to tell them that it hurts and it sucks but oh, she was so worth it. She was and is worth every moment, good and bad, that I have experienced these past 2 years 2 months and 5 days.

25 comments:

Sarita Boyette said...

Even though I never met Carleigh, I feel like I know her & all of you through your blog. I miss her. I started reading your blog when she was still alive within you and have continued to follow your journey. I thank you for sharing her story - you know it has helped me, and can you only imagine how many other hearts have been touched? xoxoxo

Mary said...

Je suis triste que carleigh ne soit pas ici... Par son absence elle a fait tellement de grande chose que je peux me demander qu'elle grande femme elle serait devenue...
Je suis tombée sur ce proverbe "la vie est comme un livre, ce n'est pas sa longueur mais sa valeur qui importe"...

Hope's Mama said...

I draw a lot of strength and inspiration from your positive nature and optimism. I'm also glad you have your strong faith to help you with the loss of Carleigh.
Missing her with you and glad you took part in Angie's amazing project.
xo

tomandcheryl said...

What a beautiful post, Holly! Carliegh is up there, looking down and is so proud of you. You are strong, you carry her name, and talk about her. You help others in ways you don't even know or imagine. She is proud to call you momma! Always remember that!
~Cheryl

afteriris said...

And I want to tell them that it hurts and it sucks but oh, she was so worth it. She was and is worth every moment, good and bad, that I have experienced these past 2 years 2 months and 5 days.

I love this, Holly. When people ask me if I ever wish Iris had never existed I always feel so shocked that that could even be a question. She was, and is, completely worth it.

Kara said...

So very well said. Made me teary. Made me smile. So honest and true. HUGS Holly!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

Thank you for sharing your heart.
((HUGS)) You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Deanna said...

Thank you for sharing, I wish I could be as optimistic as you are. I am fortunate to have "met" you and Carleigh, it has been a blessing. ((hugs))

Clarissa said...

beautiful post! so very true! i can relate to you on so many levels! i am at 3 months and 25 days... and i feel like i am the only one missing him at times too!

Keri Kitchen said...

They are so worth it. I was just talking to a friend today about how strange it is to hurt so much but have so much peace at the same time. God gave us so many blessings through Carys, and I know He did the same for you all through Carleigh. What miracles they have been!

Lori said...

Oh Holly...I totally get maybe not being quite as sad, as often, yet missing our babies even more, if possible. It's so hard and confusing to someone who just doesn't know, isn't it.

So grateful for you sharing your heart and letting so many others know you DO know...and bear the burdens with us. xoxoxo

butterflymom said...

You always have such a perfect way of putting things in writing. I'm so glad that you were able to take part in this writing project set up by Angie. It has been so incredible to read the many posts from everyone...yet so different...but very much the same. Sending much love to you and your family always, Holly.

brigette said...

What a beautiful post! You do a great job with words!! Much love

New Year Mum said...

Such a heartfelt post... love this idea and will post mine soon. Thinking of you always xoxo

newyearmum2blogspot.com

Crystal Theresa said...

you're positivity is so uplifting, holly. it really is. and your love for each of your children is amazing to witness. i think i know what you mean about being less sad, but missing her more. i don't feel as heavy (and not as often) with sadness as earlier on, but i am very aware of the missing little ones and all the milestones that i'm not getting to see them reach on this side of heaven.

still life angie said...

Thank you for participating in the Right Where You Are project. I think I already commented, but I don't see my comment here. Then again, I thought we friended on Facebook. I might be losing my mind. I will just echo everyone else. Your faith is an inspiration and your positivity and perspective admirable. Thank you for sharing your Carleigh and your love.

Caroline said...

What a beautiful post Holly. You write so wonderful. I know I never met you or Carleigh. I will forever never ever forget her wonderful beautiful life. I think of her so many times. I think of your family. Carleigh's blog was the first BL Blog I read and following your journey helped me in a way I will never forget.

Melissa said...

haven't been here for a while...i love carleigh's chunky cheeks! and this post...

erica said...

Such a beautiful, thoughtful post. Thank you so much for sharing where you are. And your last paragraph, oh, yes. Yes.

CynthiaS said...

I have not been on blogger for awhile and I'm so glad I went back and read this! There are so many feelings that I have and you have put them into words perfectly. Thank you for sharing Carleigh and your heart with us!

Chrissy said...

Thank you Holly for sharing where you are now. I can relate to so much of it. ((Hugs))

Sara said...

Catching up on my reading from Angie's project. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry you don't have Carleigh here with you.

elena said...

Holly, you have such a beautiful way with words. As I read this I just kept nodding my head and felt I could relate so closely to your words and how you thought and felt during your journey. Six months was my hardest as well. It was like I was reading my own thoughts and I am grateful that you were able to so eloquently put into words, the way I view my journey with Lilly and after her. <3 hugs <3

Jessica said...

this is such a beautiful post. *hugs*

Fireflyforever said...

I'm visiting from Angie's project (fashionably late, as I often am in real life.)

What a beautiful post - your love for Carleigh shines powerfully from every word (and what a beautiful little girl she is) and your last sentence - yes, oh yes.

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