How do you define grief? You lose someone so dear to you that you would give anything to have just one more minute with them, one more chance to touch them, to see them. People ask, “How are you doing?” and you try to figure out how to answer that.
Grief is walking into the doctor’s office waiting room and trying to to tell the new mother nursing her beautiful baby girl exactly how lucky she is while stifling your tears.
Grief is realizing you’ll never smell their skin again and the only thing you had that still smelled like them doesn’t anymore. YOu’ve held it too many times and now it just smells like you.
Grief is sobbing as bottle after bottle fills on the pump because your heart and brain know, but your body hasn’t figured it out yet. And grief is a bottle no longer filling because your body finally got the message. A two-edge sword.
Grief is discovering that hours have passed by and you didn’t think of her or miss him and it comes crashing down that much harder.
Grief is a husband throwing out 50 bottles of frozen milk, carefully pumped, labelled, and stored for someday, trying to spare his wife the pain.
Grief is watching the clock tick past 7pm and knowing that there won’t be anymore goodnight stories read by the light of the incubator.
Grief is new pants two sizes smaller than before when the original plan had been to get back into shape pushing a big stroller with two laughing babies around the neighborhood on warm spring days.
Grief is the overpowering desire to sit and stare at photographs and the overwhelming fear of how painful that will feel.
Grief is sometimes nothing at all and everything all at once…incoherent and overwhelming. It’s an out of body experience as you go through your day, trying to continue on, watching yourself and screaming silently THIS ISN’T HOW IT SHOULD BE.
Grief is guilt and anger and sadness. It is loss. It is empty, hollow. It tastes bitter and it wraps everything in a layer of cotton, muting sound, smell, and touch. It slips and hides away, only to grab you when you let your guard down. It weighs you down, making legs too heavy to move.
Zoë and Lennox would have been six weeks old today. Last Saturday would have marked their first 30 days, that crucial point we had to get past. I know I need to stop marking the Thursdays like that. Today should be a happy day. Nine years ago this afternoon, I met Shannon for the first time and decided I’d never be without him. We celebrate that day every year and I WANT to celebrate it this year. He deserves that. I deserve that. I just wish we had that much more to celebrate today.