The Unbearable Pain of Grief
Nothing, and I really mean nothing, could ever prepare you for the depth of pain that you feel when you are grieving a child. I sit listening to videos while I type and love watching her sweet face and hearing her precious voice. I miss her so much and there is so much hurt and pain that I literally wake up feeling as though I cannot breathe. I have to continuously take breaks during some days to remind myself to do basic things, like take a breath.
Self care is a far cry when you are grieving. Simple things like taking a shower or bath, brushing your hair (I went almost four weeks of throwing mine in a bun and not brushing it until this past weekend.), or even getting dressed (sorry to those who saw me in pj pants and a hoodie) are almost unbearable. I decided to make this one of the things that I would change first. I had gotten so many clothing items donated but they are now mostly too big. I made the effort to go to Target and pick up some clothing items that were actually my size. I have lost more than 4 pant sizes since the fire. I was a stuffed in size 18 (not all 18s would fit me and in fact many would not) who desperately desired losing weight and now I am an easy size 14 (able to fit into any size 14 that I have tried on and own pants in 3 different brands). I now wish that I had never wished for weight loss. I would take being 500 lbs and having my baby girl here with me. I would never again complain about something so superficial. Obviously weight is not important in life and the fact that I put so much time, energy, and effort into weight loss or worrying about my weight over the past nine years makes me really sad.
I am working on taking better care of me. I take a bath or shower each and every day...sometimes I take two depending on the day and if I need a good cry when the kids are awake, the shower or the bath are the best places to go. I am also making sure that I take care of my skin, use lotion and skincare daily, and for the past two days I have been doing my make up. I don't have to do a full face, but a little make up can go a long way in self esteem and can help me feel a little bit more like me. I also am determined to get up and get dressed, to put on clothing and make sure that I am feeling confident and happy. I found this amazing video of my sweet girl last night. This was when she was two. I miss these moments so much. I miss being able to enjoy her energy and soak up that amazing spirit. I will never again have that in person, I am relying on feeling her spirit and soaking up every single second that I feel her presence, but there are times when even a few minutes seem unbearably long.
I find these little gems on Facebook. The last five months of Adeline's life, I had decided that social media had taken up way too much time and energy on my part. I had decided that I was too reliant on what others were doing and thinking that I decided to call it quits. On one hand, I am so glad that I did this because it meant that the last five months of Adeline's life I was present and not focussed on the other things in life that were far less important than the time that I spent with the kids. On the other hand, I am so sad that there will be no memories of her last five months of life. There will be no looking back on the last birthday where she got to do a scavenger hunt and spend time with the family at her request. (We had planned on spoiling her and taking her to a hotel with a whirlpool tub for her birthday, but she asked us if she could have a special family day instead. I am so thankful that we had this last day as a family with our sweet girl.) There will be no memories of her Zoom birthday party with her friends, no memories of the crafts that we made, no pictures of her last first day of school, no pictures o the things that I have ran through my mind 1000 times. We had found my iPad and phone but they went missing and we have not been able to locate them again. I am praying that someone threw them in a tote at the church, that I come across them sometime and that I can turn them on and recover all of these things that are literally breaking my heart.
There is no looking back on that last vacation or that time when we were enjoying life with her. There are no pictures of the beach, the kids eating special treats, or swimming in the pool. I lost my phone in the fire and have not been able to recover all of these moments as it was not backed up to the cloud. I am obviously heartbroken and hopeful that something can be pulled from my computer because I think that my phone and computer were synced. I have my computer in a tote although it does look badly damaged. I haven to yet had the strength to turn it on as I fear that I might break down if I have lost anything. If those pictures are not there, I know that I am going to freak out. I need those. I want those precious last memories to be documented so badly. I am just not sure that they will be.
Having a child is NEVER easy, but losing a child is beyond the depths that you can fathom. No one should have to go through this pain ever. Every single time that I hear of someone else who has lost a child, I break a little bit. I break inside for them. I break down because I know that they are feeling a pain that is so intense that I would not wish it on my worst enemy. I would NEVER want to have to deal with the pain that I am feeling and I would forever be grateful if I were able to skip this pain myself, but I can't. I can't stop thinking about what she would be doing in school, how she would be interacting with her friends, what it would look like to see her dance her solo at competition or for the gala, or anything else that she would have done in these upcoming months. I miss her with a passion and desire that I did not know that I could feel. I would give anything to have her back here with me. I feel like I have more love to give and while I am pouring it out on the three kids that are here with me and pouring it out to send to Adeline in Heaven, I wish hat I had her here to smother in my love.
Nothing in the world can ever replace my Sweet Adeline. Nothing can make the pain of not having her here go away. Nothing can make the pain of her being gone better. I miss her with a passion and a desire that I simply did not know was possible. I miss her so much that I want to scream and beg that God give her back to me. I know that this would be futile and that she will never be here with me again, but I want for this to be a nightmare, to wake up and hear her voice, to have been trapped in a world that was of my own creation....but I know that this is not the fact and that I will never be able to wake up again without her in my life. It has been 37 days without my precious angel and I would have given every single thing in my power, everything that I will ever own, every dollar that we will ever earn just to have her here. I would have taken over the national debt as my own if it would mean that she would be here in my arms. I miss that grin, that laughter, and that precious voice telling me that she loves me. I miss the world that I had just a short time ago.
At times I wonder why me? Why did God choose me to lose my daughter? Why did God believe that I was strong enough to endure this level of pain? Why did God want for me to have to live like this? Why did my daughter's life have to serve a greater purpose? In the end, I know that this is me being selfish that it is willing someone else to have lost their child so that mine could live, but I want her back so bad that at times this clouds my judgement and my vision. It makes me into a monster of a human that I don't know because the pain is just so deep, so bad, so raw...that I just want it to go away. I know that it is never going to be away. I know that every single day for the rest of my life that I am going to be a mess, that I am going to sob and wish that I could scream. I know that I am NEVER going to be the same even though the same old me is within this body somewhere. I just know that I will never be who I once was. I will never be that mom who laughed all of the time, joked and teased. I will never be quite as free spirited, quite as relaxed about the kids following their passions and dreams, or quite as encouraging of them to travel and see the world without me. I am terrified of anything happening to one of them. The three of them are helping me to get through this is ways that they will never understand. This is because each day I choose to think of what Adeline would have wanted for her siblings, what she would have wanted for those whom she loved the most and I know that it would be for me to be the best mom that I possibly can be and for me to laugh, enjoy life, and be present with me. I just want to crawl into bed and never wake up. I want to sleep away life so that it is over in the blink of an eye.
While some days feel as though time has sped by, that it was just yesterday that my precious girl was taken from us, instead of it being 37 days, there are other days that feel immeasurably long. I feel like there are some days that just will not end and are never going to quit. It is those days that are the most unbearable. I think that God allows our minds to protect us in some ways and the speeding up of time has been both a curse and a blessing. I feel like I am watching life with the other three kids zoom by, like Andrew's senior year is passing and I am incapable of being a good senior mom, like Althea is dancing and I am unable to see the full beauty of her dances (she is performing in the duet that Adeline was in and is performing Adeline's solo for a showcase that is coming up), and that Huxley is quickly leaving all of his little boy days behind and I am missing those last precious moments of his childhood. I just don't know how to be present. I don't know how to be the mom that I need to be anymore. I don't know how to keep living when things have been so painful, so raw, and so scary.
Today I start therapy. I NEVER would have thought that I would actually want to go and see someone to talk about my problems. Even after working in mental health, I never wanted to be the patient. I have gone to therapy in the past but always came to the conclusion that I was strong enough to sort through these issues and problems on my own. Now, I need therapy. I need someone to help me sort through the pain, to process the feelings that I have, and to be the best me that I can possibly be after the tragedy that has forever changed my life. I know that I can never be the exact same, that there will always be a longing in my soul, that there will always be an immeasurable sorrow that I will feel, a guilt that will be debilitating if I allow it to, a strong connection to the past that will not allow me to be fully present in the reality of the world around me. However, I also know that this is all futile, that at some point I will leave this Earth and that the pain will end as I have my sweet baby girl back in my arms, my Sweet Adeline will once again be there with me to hold, to cuddle, and to cherish. I will get to hear her voice while she sits on my lap and when that day comes, I will be forever grateful that it is here. I know that some are shocked by my new profound faith in God, but without God and that faith, there will be no seeing my sweet girl again and I have to believe that seeing her again will be a reality or there is really nothing to live for as the permanent hope of an eternity with her is giving me the strength to be who I need to be here on earth.
I keep hearing stories about how Adeline is visiting those around me, how she is showing signs of her presence to others and not just me, I am so thankful each and every single time that someone shares these stories with me. I am thankful that there are great people in Heaven that I can picture watching over her from my grandpa whom I have missed for years to my husband's father whom I never had the pleasure of meeting to my best friend from childhood's dad who loved children so much. I will forever be sad and that is okay, but it is still okay to have a good time, to laugh, and to enjoy my time on Earth as I know that this is everything that Adeline would have wanted. I just need help in being able to find my way back to me.