It's been a while since I've felt like I've had any words to give. Exhaustion has overwhelmed me, and lately I've found expressing my pain very difficult. Almost like I'm afraid to feel the exhaustion all over again. She's been gone 6 months today. I looked back into our car as we were driving the other night thinking about the 6 month old we should have smiling and coo-ing looking back at us. The reality of it all is still too surreal.
It takes a lot of time for me to process my emotions. I want to run and hide and make sure I'm safe to release. It's hard to allow myself to open up and be surrounded. Not in this. It's too delicate. Too precious. The loneliness that accompanies grief doesn't depend on the amount of people that love you and are there for you. It has to do with understanding. It's a strange space to be in when you feel like no one in your world will ever understand what you're walking through and the emotions you face every day. I had a really hard time with that in the beginning. Feeling like if I was smiling and laughing then people would discount my pain and relieve themselves with the notion of "they're doing ok". It made me shut off from being around others. I desired understanding so deeply. But wasn't getting it. If someone would mention someone else's experience of grief and how hard it was and that they couldn't imagine... I would immediately translate it to thinking they thought I was ok, that grief was hard and unimaginable for other people but that I was doing great. It's crazy what starts happening mentally during whatever season you find yourself in. That's been a huge thing Ryan and I continue to talk about and challenge ourselves on — what our minds are telling us because of our pain vs. the reality.
I came to a place where it finally clicked for me. At the end of the day this is not their pain— it’s mine. It’s not my job to make others feel an ounce of it or understand all of it. This is my walk to understand and to feel every ounce of pain and sadness, every spark of joy that creeps in is mine alone to experience. Once you come to that place the social complications start to fade into the night.
If you're walking through grief, people might not ever understand what your day to day looks like. How difficult it is to do such mundane things. What kind of energy it takes to find the small joys, and what an effect it has on you if they accidentally rip away a beautiful moment with negativity. That's ok that people don't get it. They have their pains and seasons and heartaches that you may never understand either. This is your life. Your story. Your pain and your redemption.
I sat in bed last night reading my mom's recollection of October 4th. She had been recording voice memos in her phone about the time at the hospital while she was here in October. So I had asked her if she could write it all down for me. All of her memories from that day, every detail from her angle. I wanted more memories of Sage to be able to grasp onto. She sent them to me in January. Sage's 9 months of growing and 10 hours of breathing are my most precious memories. They are heartbreak and joy all wrapped into one. Some days I'm not strong enough to revisit the days in the hospital because although they are the memories of her touch and sounds and smells, they are also the memories of her life robbed so short. But I pulled them out again last night. I sat in bed sobbing as all my memories flooded to the forefront. It felt like it was yesterday. Pain and peace, sorrow and joy. I wanted to share a small excerpt from my mom's writing, this was the evening at the hospital right after Sage passed:
"Then at almost 6pm, Faye and I went outside again to find a place to wait - it was a gorgeous day. It was very warm and the sky was blue. I texted dad… filling him in again, filling in Devin & Andrea… letting them know as much as I knew. By this time the sun was low and the sky was beginning to turn beautiful colours… I remember that when I got another text saying “they should be coming to get you guys soon.”
We of course had no idea that Sage had already passed… gone to heaven… so we rushed inside and made our way to the 2nd floor… there, we found Bri waiting for us, along with a nurse, waiting to take us to see you. We walked toward the room, expecting to see Sage with you again, perhaps struggling, perhaps waiting to take her last breath… but what I saw was peace. A peaceful, pink-skinned baby in your arms. Ryan was sitting to your right… you were holding Sage. You said to us “she’s healed in heaven…”
I think I was stunned… as I recorded the voice memo of this last hour or so of events, I was weeping recalling the struggle and passing. The depth of loss so heavy - so great. Ten hours of life on earth - so brief - much too brief. But the peace I felt was so tangible. As I looked at you holding her, she looked like she was breathing because you were holding her so close to your chest… every rise and fall of yours, made her look like she too could still have life. I remember staring to make sure… there was a moment I saw a healthy baby… a flash that could have been different… alive in her mamas arms. I wept and wept as I recorded these memories.."