Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Right Where I Am: 9 Months, 3 Weeks

Angie of still life with circles has created a project, asking those of us in the babylost community to write a post about where we right now are in our grief journey.  It's a great idea and I'm proud to participate.

9 months, 3 weeks

I started this post a few days ago when I was doing "ok".  I had it halfway composed, giving a brief history of how the first days, weeks, months felt as a way of comparing that to where I am right now.  Then, I slid down the slippery slope of grief, back to a place of "not ok".

That's where I am right now, in the land of "not ok".  Tears, sadness, hurt.  I was doing better a few days ago, damn it.  I was able to look back and see how far I've come.  I was thinking "it's nice to go days, even a week or two without crying".  Then, BAM, here come the tears, the tightness in the throat, the weight in the chest.  The unbelievable longing for Brianna.  For her to be here with me, in my aching arms, to snuggle, to kiss.  God, how I miss her.

I know what triggered the slide down this time.  But knowing that doesn't make it hurt any less.  That's how the grief goes these days.  I'm more aware of the triggers.  I can step outside of it and analyze it and figure it out.  But, at it's core, it still hurts.  It always will.  But at almost 10 months, I also know that the "down" days won't last forever.  I know there will be "up" days.  I also know the "up" days can't be forced.  Happiness, laughter, smiles will return, but in their own time.  And there will still be tears and pain and heartache.  Here, in this new "after" life, I've learned that  happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears, smiles and heartache can co-exist.  You can have all at the same time.  Life is now a constant contradiction because Brianna will always be both present and absent from my life.

The other day, while I was in the shower, I was giving this post a lot of thought.  I had just read Angie's post and was contemplating just where I was in my grief and my life so that I could contribute to this project.  It just felt so important to put it out there, for others who will come behind me and maybe find some similarities in their journey when they get to 9 months, 3 weeks.  To know they are not alone.  As I typically do on a Saturday, while I was showering, I had music on in the background.  Right as I was contemplating this post, "Ordinary World" by Duran Duran came on and I caught the lyrics.  Even though the song is about a lost love between adults, all I heard was the lost love.  As someone put it on a blog I frequent (sorry, I can't remember just which one), every love song is now about my baby.  The chorus to "Ordinary World" summarizes how I feel lately.

"But I won't cry for yesterday
There's an ordinary world
Somewhere I have to find
And as I try to make my way
To the ordinary world
I will learn to survive"

I know that somewhere out there is my new ordinary world and I will keep searching for it.  And on my way, I will find a way to survive.  And I hope that one day, I'll find that I'm doing more than surviving.  I hope to one day look around and realize that I'm thriving.  But, today, right where I am is still a mixture of emotions, good and bad.  It's messy.  It's a lot better than it was months ago.  But, it still hurts.  I still miss her.  I still want her here with me.


still life angie said...

This is really beautiful, Mandy. It is beautiful in its honesty. I think you nailed it. People don't get how one day is okay, the next day not so much, and then the not so much sticks around for so much longer than the okay day, and so angrily sticks around. Thank you for participating. Much love.

Hope's Mama said...

That there are so many newly bereaved taking part in this project truly breaks my heart. I really wish that people stopped gaining membership to this awful, awful club.
I'm so sorry for the loss of your precious Brianna and also that the ebbs and flows of the grief are catching you off guard now. This is one hell of a rollercoaster ride.

Anonymous said...

The line between OK and Not OK is very fine, I think. Even now, 3 years out, I'm astonished at how thin it is. As you say, it get's a lot better, but it still hurts. x

Missy said...

I'm so sorry for you loss. Thank you for sharing Brianna with us. I hope tomorrow is ok for you~

Molly said...

Hey there! Thanks for your comment on my post. Like I said, last week's post would've been VERY different as it was a rough week for me, so I know exactly what you mean when you say you slid down. Everytime I catch myself thinking, "I'm doing ok, I can handle this" that's when I start slipping. I wonder if that's conicidence or if it's my subconcious freaking out that I'm accepting things? Hmmm. Interesting. Anyway, beautiful post, and I'm so sorry for your loss. I can't believe we are so close to a year out. It's freaking me out.

erica said...

I'm so sorry about Brianna, and sorry about the slide down. But I'm very grateful to you for writing about this, because those slides are so much a part of grief.

What you write about smiles and heartache co-existing, about life being a constant contradiction - that is so powerful and well-put.

Christy said...

Beautiful post. So well put, what you said about Brianna being both present and absent really helped put into words what I haven't been able to describe for myself. Thank you.

Brooke said...

This resonates so much with me as well. It's better than it was but I will ALWAYS want my baby here with me. Nothing can ever be good enough to change that.

Fireflyforever said...

I'm visiting from Angie's project (fashionably late as always!). I am sorry that Brianna is not here in your arms (her name is beautiful). I have said the same about love songs - they're all about my baby now.

And I remember 9 months being a very difficult period in my grief - lots of those slides and contradictions you describe so well. Thank you for this post.

Catherine W said...

. . .all I heard was the lost love

So beautifully put. I feel the same way, so many love songs now seem to be about my baby.

I love this sentence too Life is now a constant contradiction because Brianna will always be both present and absent from my life. It is amazing how a seemingly contradictory statement can ring so very true.

And the unbelievable longing, that can still take me by surprise some days, even after nearly three years

I am so very sorry that you are missing your daughter, Brianna.