How could this be?!?!?!?! It has been TWO WHOLE YEARS since I have held my sweet Ellery, kissed her little cheeks, smelt her curly hair, tickled her little belly, heard her say “wuvvv you, mommy!” I think about what she would look like now (she would be 4 years,3 months and 26 days old). Would she still have curly hair or would it just be wavy as her “big girl” hair would have grown in? Would she be talking like a “big” kid or would she have a baby tone …….. what would her voice sound like? How tall would she be? Would she be stubborn about her clothes like her sister Emilyn or would she be more laid back like Aubryn? Would she be super sensitive like her brother Brahm? There are so many questions that will never have answers, dreams that will never be fulfilled. My life stopped that day….. our entire family was stunted that day. I still see Emilyn as a 4 year old (the age Ellery would be now…. if that aint mind boggling). I see Aubryn as an 8 year old and Brahm as 10. I see them physically growing taller and maturing but part of me can’t accept them getting older…… maybe it is my unwillingness to embrace the passage of time or my fear of forgetting our life before. The mind is a crazy thing and it’s even crazier when you are grieving. You want time to pass fast so you will soon reunite with your child but at the same time you want it to stand still, cherishing every living moment because, who knows….. it may be your last.
I am not gonna lie, these past two years have been excruciating. They have been the most difficult, painful years of our lives……. yet infused with GREAT JOY, BLESSINGS and plenty to be THANKFUL for. Still, the heartache can’t even be described with words because there are non that could even come close to explaining this aching of child loss. I have searched and searched on how to get through this by reading countless grief stories and listening to how other people are managing their own grief. I truly cherish these stories and the people grief has brought into my life, they have helped me. However, what I have figured out is……. this is MY grief journey and it is unique to me, my husband’s is unique to him etc.etc. etc.… We live in a world of quick fixes and coverups and there is not ONE darn thing that can fix this……there is no fast way to get through this….. and I will never get over this… THIS IS MY STORY…. I must FEEL it and it is PAINFUL but it is part of who I AM NOW!
WHAT I HAVE LEARNED SO FAR……
I have felt anger, guilt, envy and all non serving emotions you could possibly feel and ya know what…… IT IS OK. In fact I think it would be a bit abnormal to not have such feelings after a loss. I have also learned to “let go” much quicker to all of these emotions when they rear their ugly faces. Letting go certainly lifts the suffocating weight from my chest (it’s funny how that little song has played such a significant part in my life).
I have learned the true meaning of forgiveness and that is liberating- let me tell you. There is actually a HUGE difference in “saying” the words and actually performing the action, and by action i mean “letting it go” and that is true forgiveness. I hadn’t TRULY experienced this is my “pre-grief” life.
I have learned so far that the grief DOESN’T go away but it shifts, it hides and it sneaks out when you least expect it and there is no stopping it. Grief is kinda like a little kid and a tantrum- you just gotta let it happen however embarrassing it is.
I have learned that some people appear to run like heck from grieving parents. I don’t really know the answer to this one. Maybe because it is too scary and sad. Maybe they don’t know what to say or do…. or it is a scary reminder that this could happen to them. Maybe it’s too hard to see others suffer so much. Maybe they are just too busy. That’s all I can think of. I truly don’t think people intend to be hurtful but a bereaved heart is so fragile. However, I can only assume but you know what they say about those that assume………… On the contrary, there are those that encapsulate you with LOVE! Thank you to those who have stood by us, prayed for us and with us, held us, been present with us and continue to walk this journey with us….WE are forever grateful! And thank you for SAYING her name- ELLERY.
I have learned to live with panic attacks. PTSD is real and it isn’t just those who have been to war that suffer from it. It is reliving trauma over and over and over. Something as simple as the phrase “dead weight”, ambulance sirens, helicopters, pools all bring upon a certain level of stress and panic that I am slowly learning to deal with. IT IS HARD!
I have learned you loose who you were and start the journey of finding out who you really ARE! You truly embrace what is important in life- LOVE and “let go” of what is NOT! You also try to live a life to carry on your child’s legacy. The last thing a bereaved parent wants in this world is for those to forget that their child LIVED!
Most importantly, I have learned to praise God and be grateful for the MANY blessings in my life while filled with immense sorrow and grief. Last February we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl, Bryar Ellery. She is our gift within our grief. She has shown us light within the darkness as well as our other children. I can say that our living children have given us purpose to go on and live, along with our Faith and Hope of being reunited with Ellery again in HEAVEN.