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There’s this storm that keeps hitting. Over. And over. And over.
Each time it feels different and raw. Each time it feels harder and I feel weak.
It’s been 2.5 months since we held our daughter in our arms. 2.5 months since we had to say goodbye forever.
In those 2.5 months there have been tears, frustration, and anger. I felt the anger slip away and I felt numb. I felt like it had all just been a bad dream. School started, gymnastics started back up… life resumed.
We focused on our older daughter, Caroline, and our beautiful little family. We focused on the good and kept busy.
We focused on making sure Caroline was ok. We talked. We checked in with one another. We tried to find our footing together and make our new path.
We’ve put a lot of hard work in over the last couple of months. It’s been hard and draining. We made it though. We made our path. We got Caroline on it. We made sure she was ok. We kept moving. Slowly but surely we trudged on.
Just as we seem to finally see the light shining on our path, my feet seem to have stopped.
The tears are coming again. Pouring down.
Everything around me is “normal”. But I’m not. Friends and family are back to their normal lives. I feel stuck. I don’t want to move forward without April in my arms. I want to move back in time and make her better. I want her here and healthy. I want Caroline to have her sister at home.
I watch Caroline play at home- alone. I watch her interact with other children when I drop her off at school. She loves it. She thrives with the interactions. But at home she’s alone. Yes, she has me and daddy- but it’s far from the same as another companion close to your age.
The crib is empty, but it’s there- waiting. I remember Caroline begging to put it up. I held her off for a little bit, but we ended up putting the crib together in my first trimester. We were all just so thrilled to be welcoming another child into our family. And now it just sits there- empty.
I ask Caroline if she wants us to take it down and out of her room. Her response is always “no”, that we’ll “have another baby.”
I want to give Caroline a sibling so badly. But at the same time I can’t stand the thought of being pregnant right now. I’m terrified that I won’t be excited. I’m worried that I’ll just be scared the entire pregnancy, and that I won’t let myself enjoy it. But at the same time, I’m also scared that we won’t be able to get pregnant again. I’m scared that we’ll have fertility issues like we did when we were trying to conceive the first time.
Caroline turns 3 next month. April was supposed to be born the month after. It was all so perfect. The age difference was exactly what we’d hoped for.
As the date approaches, my heart is heavy and the tears are flowing more and more.
We have our evening walks out at the golf course. I always enjoy these walks. Now I feel so at home when we walk. I wish we could be there every night. I long for the peacefulness that I find there. Moose is happy and running around. Caroline is happy and chasing him. I feel clarity as I walk by my husband’s side. I feel close to April and Chelsea. I want time to stop when we are out there. It feels like our whole family is finally in one place and all together.
Caroline stops on occasion to look up at the stars. We lay in the grass together and she snuggles in. It’s my happy place. My husband on one side, Caroline on the other, and April all around us in the beautiful, dark, starry night.
Tonight I sat in Caroline’s room as she played. As I watched her, my heart ached. My heart wants so badly for her to have her sister at home. My heart breaks when I see our empty crib. I cried. The tears just wouldn’t stop. There’s no stopping the tears lately- no hiding them for later and pushing through. The tears push through harder when they happen.
“Oh, Mama. You’re so strong. You’ll be ok.” These are the words Caroline said, as she hugged me and offered me tissues.
There is no right way to grieve. There is no right path. No right answers. No right emotions or path to healing. There is just the blind leading the blind. No one knows how to get through the stages or what to expect. No one knows how to navigate the storm for themselves. All we know is that we’ll keep leading each other through. We’ll keep encouraging each other to talk, cry, and heal.
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