Sunday, July 9, 2017

It's grief week...

Well folks, the time is here.
That time of year when Dorothy gets all sappy and posts a million things more in addition to her usual blather.
Grief week ~ year number 3.
I had made big plans this year to have everything be more normal, more low key.
Then death and terminal illness reared their ugly heads around me.  And due to my process, I have learned those to be trigger hot spots for my emotions.
So I sit to write the splattering of jumble bumbling around in my brain which should be comfortably asleep. 
Nope, the lovely PTSD is sending the old images crashing through the back corners of my mind.
Tonight I waited to go to bed till I was good and tired.  I took a long soak, talked to God a while and thought happy thoughts.  I was relaxed till the first second I laid my head on that pillow. I close my eyes and there she is scampering out the door in her purple 3 sizes to small swimsuit, tittering on her tippy toes cause the suit is still wet...and I am to busy to do what my gut says.

Regret on top of the flashbacks sits me straight up in bed, gasping for air, tight bands constricting my chest.
I pray. 
I know HE is there, but so is the horror. 
So I resign myself to going where there is light to chase the dark away and where I can safely voice my inner struggle.  Here I write. More prayer and a good glass of bubbly are my aids.
We have tried many coping mechanisms. 
Some of them work. 
Some of them don't. 
I internalize people's words. 
I am sure much of what has caused much brooding was not so intended.
It's that people pleasing part of me that does not always do me well.
A conversation last week which left me feeling like a squished bug,  firmed up the plan to "move on along" and "get on with life".  It bothered me when it was so spoken, but man! has it eaten at me ever since.  I wish I wouldn't have been so complacent in my response. On one hand I wanted to punch the broad and yell that she had never faced this type of loss and that she should sit quietly by hoping that she never would, instead of issuing such branded statements.  But I sat there, smiled and agreed, even trying to point out ways we are moving along.
Now don't get me wrong, moving along is all good and well and necessary. 
But grief is unpredictable.
The 100 miles we got ahead yesterday may be meaningless in the 101 we got set back today.
I feel we are relatively healthy emotionally for where we are and for where we have been.
Our counselor told me recently that our lives will most likely always be laced with PTSD as well as the happy now untouchable memories. It's not the greatest of outlooks, but it's ours so it'll have to do.
We talk of death now as we would food and drink and other parts of daily life.
Some friends of ours had a miscarriage this week at 18 weeks along.  We talked of another sweet girl up with Abby.
Today we chatted about that family fun day we had with Thomas the tank engine just months before Abby died and how she acted that day. She was the only one not afraid of Sir Topham Hat. (yes..."Sir Topham hat was cross...")  It made us all giggle. 
I think that's the one thing I miss the most is her giggle.  Sometimes I fear it is fading so that I will not remember.  But her loud, rambunctious spirit came through in her laugh. Her smile really did light up a place.

I miss holding her and how after seemingly endless years, I was suddenly not mommy to a preschooler, just in the blink of an eye.
It hit me this week how odd it is to not sign cards from our family with her name.
I still feel lost and incomplete at times when we are all in the car, like I am there in just my under ware or that my purse is still inside on the counter. 
She is not there. Life is upside down.  We long for Heaven and Jesus and the day all will be upright once more..
I need to re do the bows on the fence where we feel she met her amazing Creator. They are tattered and torn.  They aren't really all that sentimental but are from the first Abby memorial event we did. I was mowing close by the other day and almost couldn't continue when I got close....Maybe this week I will have the energy.
Kali is heading to her first Bible camp and first week away from home.  We are both a tad nervous and I am sure that is not all that helpful for the process of trying to "feel" calm in this season.  She has openly asked us if she will die at camp.  Of course the question always takes me off guard and leaves me with that kick in the gut feeling.  I think we have handled it ok....
While it is a tough feeling I know she will thrive and have the time of her life this week. I know we have to encourage her to spread her wings. I know she can not "stay" with us forever. 
In the same breath I also know we are not guaranteed tomorrow.
I have thought a zillion times about how I made Abby stay at vacation Bible school just a few weeks before she died. It was good for her and she ended up loving it and after the first night or two of loud screeching and hiding behind my legs.  I wonder if I had known I was down to just a few more weeks with her if I had not chosen to block off the calendar and spend every single possible moment with her?
I know I have to come to grips with the anxiety that "normal" parents probably face too and balance that with my grief infused life and then turn the whole lump over to the one who has faithfully provided sustenance and hope in this awful journey.
But let me tell you, It ain't easy.
As I sit contemplating the week ahead, I know we will continue actively walking the grief road.
I know we have progressed and made choices that are our families best yes in the yucky. I know we have a wonderful support network who won't forget. (You have no idea the gift that remembering her is to us...)  I know we will most likely shed a few tears as we remember. And I know God is not tired of our tears and continues to give breath when we don't always know where the next one is gonna come from.
For this I am so grateful.
And I am grateful to each of you for continuing to walk this painful journey with us.  Your love and support means more then words can say....
Abby Marie Miller
9/14/10 ~ 7/15/14