Between the Tallest and the Next

between waves/ /
Here I am, in the in-between. Several waves down, who knows how many more to go. Wednesday was the tallest one yet. I had to reach out to my counselor and a handful of friends to say please pray… I’m curled up in a ball, waiting for this wave to pass. Please come along side me until it passes, and just make sure I don’t wash out to sea. It was a doozy.

My counselor reminded me… “Remember when we last met, and I said it’s not a matter of if the next wave comes, but a matter of when.” She was right. Another came Monday. Then two days later… that doozy. If Wednesday was a d.o.o.z.y, Monday was somewhere around a d.o.o.z.

So I’ve been a little quiet here, in a place where, if I can get myself to, I have so very much to say. In fact, I’ve got three or four posts rough drafts lined up, one which I am really eager to share. But I’m in one of those can’t-really-get-things-out stages. That’s okay. It’s what I want to do, but if it’s not what’s flowing unhindered, then it’s likely not right at that moment… especially in the case of mourning a loss. I don’t think I should be pushing myself to do anything right now, other than stay afloat… simply push myself to keep my head above water.

I’m pretty sure I can pinpoint why I’m having a very tough time these past few days. On Monday, we received a letter from the hospital where we gave birth to Anysia. It was actually an invitation… to attend a memorial service in the chapel there, held for all the babies who have passed at that hospital over the past four months. We’ve been invited to light a candle for our daughter around the altar as her name is read aloud. When I opened the letter and read it, tears immediately flowed. It was not a letter I’d been expecting… I did not know this is something they do. But it’s not a reaction I would have expected myself to have, either. It wasn’t even the thought of going to the hospital… the only place we ever held her and saw her face… the last place we saw her and where we said goodbye. It was more just how the letter made me think of her so deeply, out of the blue. She had not been on my mind. But as I read and thought of commemorating her that way, the vision of her filled my mind.

I’m looking forward to attending on Sunday, for sure. But it’s stirring up a lot… and I’m not surprised.

I also had a couple of friends reach out to me last week, first to offer their condolences, as we had not yet communicated since before I went off of Facebook during my pregnancy. They had heard about Anysia and reached out via e-mail to say some thoughtful things. But then, the husband of this couple I went to college with who is now a pastor, shared with me about a family in their community suffering the sudden and unexplained loss of the youngest in the family… a two-year-old girl. He would be presiding over the funeral. I was so glad he told me, because my instant reaction was to pray for them and ask God to comfort them in their loss, the way He had comforted us… and still does. I remember just how many people had been praying for us… even across the world. Though I do not know this family, I felt such a deep longing to pray for them. As I did, I could not help but weep. Never before have I prayed for someone and wept that way. And it stuck with me all day. I hardly stopped thinking about them and crying for them until I fell asleep later that night. Again… not how I would have expected to react.

I’m beginning to realize I can expect unexpected reactions for quite a while.

Another part of all this is finding ourselves trying to navigate struggles that were present before Anysia came along. As I’ve mentioned here before, those things that we once found ourselves able to cope with or juggle, we now feel quite overwhelmed by. After forgetting they were there because normal life went on hiatus for a bit, these things can throw us for a loop on those days they come a-knockin’.

I would probably be remiss not to mention one more significant happening that is likely contributing to the rise in height and frequency of waves. Less than three months after giving birth, my menstrual cycle has returned. It came as quite a surprise, especially since it didn’t return until six months later after having Isaac. That’s probably more detail than some might care to know, but I’ve learned on matters such as these, there is nothing that really seems taboo. For instance, we have some friends who went through a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment and survived the disease as well. I remember once, at a party, hearing the husband start explaining some of the removal surgery and reconstruction surgery issues that his wife would be facing, and he spoke about the nipple and her breast as though it was nothing at all. I thought to myself, why do I not feel like I am turning five shades of red right now?, but quickly realized that in matters of life and death and sickness and survival, these things are merely facts that tell the story… the whole story, with nothing left out because of taboo subjects you wouldn’t normally discuss with the opposite sex… because they aren’t taboo anymore at that point. So I share this piece of what I am going through freely, because in all of this, it’s a significant piece… at least right now. I think it’s rather significant within my most recent waves… perhaps even a trigger. Not only am I pretty sure that the physiological fact that it has returned is wreaking a bit of havoc because of hormonal fluctuations and the weepiness that can result, but the emotional ramifications are a factor as well. I told my counselor, it feels like yet one more thing that is moving on and returning to normal while I remain here in the land of so-far-from-able-to-move-on. Even my body is getting back to how things used to be, and it’s as though it is telling me I must too. Aside from that, just to have it return is a reminder that I can once again be pregnant… it’s physically possible… but I can never once again be pregnant. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that having another child would cure my pain or be the reason I eventually heal. Having another child would have to be for other reasons, and healing would have to come from other places. But it’s still a reminder. And it just feels like such a significant piece to these few steps back I seem to have taken.

Lastly, I miss her. Plain and simple. I miss her.

It’s slightly difficult to share all these things. No one is forcing me to… not even myself. In fact, the post I am eager to finish and share is about that very subject… why I freely share them… why I feel the call to grieve out loud. That post is nearly done. But I couldn’t quite finish articulating my thoughts. So this post instead… because it was practically already written in e-mails-to-counselor-and-a-few-friends form.

Today was good, here in-between. I had the chance to go to my church to take some pictures for the Good Friday presentation that is coming up. Having the chance to photograph anything is always good for me. I was able to get out of the house, because Izzy and I had a rare day of having the car. Mr. B, Izzy and I went out for breakfast before starting our day… a rare treat. {How fun that was!} The temperatures rose from yesterday, the sun was bright, my courage was up, and I stood up between waves… hopefully stronger than I stood through my last in-between, as I had to fight the hardest through this last wave that I’ve had to fight yet.

Maybe soon,  I’ll be standing through the waves, too. I can only hope the next won’t be quite so tall.