a : deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement
b : a cause of such suffering
|Audrey's 1st Beach Trip|
This is grief as defined by the Merriam Webster dictionary. I'm sure everyone has heard of the "stages of grief" and all of that psychology on how people grieve. I'm very familiar, as I loved psychology in college and stored a lot of the information. Since losing Barrett, I have felt pressure from different people to grieve a certain way to or to just "be ok" after what they considered enough time.
The Five Stages of Grief:
Grief is your own. No one can tell you how to grieve and no two people will grieve the same. I find that the stages of grief are very true, but not necessarily in that order. Moving on to stage 2 of grief does not necessarily mean that stage 1 is over. I find myself going back and forth quite often. Three months later, I still have days where I am in denial of what happened. There is no way my baby died. There is no way that I buried my little boy. I couldn't have buried that little boy I carried, loved, held, and rocked. It can't be possible. But then I look at his pictures or visit his grave--I see the picture of us holding Barrett and crying from pain instead of joy. I bounce around between all stages of 1-5.
Some people will make you feel like that's not normal or not ok, but it is. However you grieve is normal. That is something I've had to learn no matter what anyone says.
Sometimes I hold his things and imagine what he might look like today. There are still days when I think How could this be my life? My arms still ache daily. My heart aches daily. I have a peace about what happened, but at the same time I desperately want Barrett here with me. One day I am ok and then some days I feel lost without him. Burying a child is something no parent should ever have to do. It is a heavy weight to carry. I am so thankful that I have never been alone in this journey. My Jesus has been with me every step of the way. There is no way I could live this new life without Him. I am not that strong.
So much has changed. There are people who no longer talk to me because they don't know what to say. There are so many new people in my life who I am so grateful for. The people who love me most speak Barrett's name to me often and aren't afraid to talk about him with me. I am so, so grateful for those people. They have no idea the joy that brings to me. I want to talk about him as much as I want to talk about Audrey (Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE talking about my kids!). I'm that annoying parent who constantly talks about their children.
When Barrett first died, I fell into the pattern of not speaking his name around certain people because I didn't want to make them uncomfortable. But I have to be honest--it doesn't bother me anymore. If it makes you uncomfortable for me to talk about Barrett, it doesn't bother me at all. I am still going to talk about him. That is the entire reason the subject of pregnancy loss, still birth, and infant loss are so taboo. People who have lost a child must find the strength to be bold and speak out if they want to talk about it. People who haven't must find the strength to just listen. Don't worry about what to say. Just listen.
The thing that has helped me most in my journey of grief thus far is talking about Barrett. It is therapeutic. He is gone and I understand the world doesn't miss him like I do because they didn't get to meet him like I did. It's easy for the world to forget a soul they never met. It's easy for a world to forget those tiny hands they never held or those tiny cheeks they never kissed. It's easy for the world to forget a miscarried or still born baby. But I am his mommy. I will never forget. I will never be over the loss, and like any mom I am PROUD of my baby and I love to talk about him.
Grief is what you make it. Grief is how you live through it. I don't think grief can be defined across the board. It is an individual definition.
Love you Barrett and I can't wait to hold you in my arms again--
I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy.