Apr 22, 2010

Bad Days

I recently wrote in my journal that Acceptance is a Tear Count. Every tear gets me that much closer to the goal, which I guess is acceptance.

Accepting is tricky though. There are many levels to cross. Some days I still have some fantastic delusions that I can somehow get Brynn back, even 12 weeks after learning that she died. At times I find myself clinging to things that shouldn't matter, and later realize it had some small remembrance of something that happened when I was pregnant, events are categorized pre and post calamity. My highs are higher, for some reason. My lows are frantic and wild. I don't recognize myself.

As I grow stronger I take on tougher tasks, which bring me back down to a vulnerable state. Today I spell-checked her name and confirmed her birthdate for the head stone. I also researched funeral poems and designed the prayer card for her memorial service. I should have expected this would make my day hard. But I didn't see it coming.

I felt sad and lonely all day, desperately insecure. I was not nice. I tried to get myself out of it with music, reading, extra coffee (admittedly not the best idea). A few petty things happened today and almost threw me over the edge. I actually roared at Shane. Like a lion. He ran away crying.

I don't want to be like that. For a moment today I played the grief card. People should be nice to me because they know I'm grieving. Life doesn't work like that! I still have to be the bigger person sometimes, I have to forgive more often. There's a really good reason for my bad days now, but it doesn't excuse my bad behavior. I have even better reasons to rise above the mucky muck. I have two children and a husband to honor today.

I find it wise on these days to go with the flow, knowing that really awesome days often follow the bad ones. Some days the best we can do is to survive them. And now I sing The Sun"ll Come Out Tomorrow at the top of my lungs! Sing it with me!

Apr 18, 2010

We Celebrate

A few weeks ago the Resurrection of Christ was celebrated. A friend had asked me if this special time of the year gave me some hope and encouragement. I expected it to, I told her. Even though I was warned by those who had lost babies before me that holidays were hard, especially the first one after the loss.

In the week earlier I had experienced a small miracle, if you can even call it that. I do though. I had missed church throughout all of lent. There was a particular hymn traditionally sung during this time to Christ's mother Mary, who we in the Orthodox Church refer to as the Theotokos (God-bearer).

I leafed through every page of my prayer book hoping to refresh my memory of the words. I read every word in the lenten section and couldn't find it. Just before giving up I said aloud, "I'd like to sing you this song, but I can't find it." I looked down at the page I was on, and my eyes went right to it.

She was with me. I felt at once calmed and desperate. Tears came, I said thank you and please stay. And then I sat there for a long time, wordless. And then I sang to her.

Here is the song: I wish you could hear the melody, it is as hauntingly beautiful as the content.

All of creation rejoices in you.
The assembly of angels and the race of man.
Oh hallowed temple and spiritual paradise ...
of whom God was incarnate and became a child
He made your body into a throne
and your womb He made more spacious than the heavens
All of creation rejoices in you
Oh Full of Grace, glory to you.

So, heaven was close that week. Saturday night I lovingly made tiramisu for the big party. But when I woke up Easter morning all I could think about was an Easter outfit that my baby girl would not wear today. I had nothing for her. This thought would not leave. I had to include her in our day. I decided late in the morning that I had to go to her grave immediately, an hour away. Gratefully Jimmy was willing to change the day's course with me. We hurriedly showered, dressed, and sat in Boston traffic with a potted pink hyacinth for our daughter's grave. Shane blew bubbles for her while we were there.

We left and sat in more traffic on the way to church, so much so that we missed the service alltogether and headed straight for the party. Within 5 minutes of our arrival a poor unsuspecting parishoner asked if I'd had the baby. For some reason, when I'm feeling especially vulnerable, this makes me mad. I held it together well enough to say "No, she died... They announced it in church weeks ago... It's OK, you didn't know ... thank you ..." endured the obligatory hug and made a beeline for the door. I did not set foot back in the house, fearing that this would happen again. I asked Jimmy's cousins to sit outside with me and protect me from all of the happy people. They did, adding several bottles of wine for insurance.

Today I am making invitations for my own party. They have an angel, a wedding couple, and a graduation cap on them. We will have a memorial service on May 15, followed by a celebration in honor of our daughter, our ten year wedding anniversary, and Jimmy's completing five years of school to become a journeyman electrician. It occurs to me that this is a strange mixture of honors. That some people may think it odd, even inappropriate to celebrate them all at once. This is the best part about the transformational process I've gone through recently: I don't care. Brynn is part of our family, our marriage, our life together. We have reason to celebrate! And so we shall.