Its 2015 which means that we have officially entered another year without our sweet Naomi in our arms. It's had been one heck of a year. We've had everything break on us, lots of things to fix and not much happiness. Through it all. God has given us joy in the midst and taught us lots of lessons. I have not come out from 2014 unscathed and I'm okay with that. I'm glad for my war wounds it means that she has made an impression on my life. Those little feet have touched this world even if they never did physically.
We've learned a lot, at some point I'll be able to hopefully share it all but for now I figured I would share the biggest lesson that we've learned in a multi-part blog. What is that lesson you say? Grief. We got thrown into the depths of those muddy waters and are starting to come out. We've learned what it means but also what it means to those around us and how others can walk the path alongside those in grief.
What does Grief even mean? The dictionary defines it as:
1. keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.
2) a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow
However, each and every person has a different experience and that what makes it so intangible. No-one really knows what to do especially when a child leaves this earth. It becomes a taboo subject and causes more insult to the injury. There are common threads in grief though and that is what we should keep in mind. Here are some:
1) Everyone grieves differently. Allow them to. We learned this with my husband and I... But I also see it as I interact with other people who have lost loved ones especially little ones.
2) Grief doesn't just end/ You don't just "get over it". You get through it and learn how your life is going to be "after". The before is gone. Although I feel pretty good these days, I know that my thought process and daily life is very different after my daughter went to heaven.
3) Grief can hit you in ways you can't expect at times you can't expect AND it's okay! There are times where I don't even know what triggered it. I just feel flat lined emotionally and know I need to give myself extra grace.
4) There are things that can cause grief to be worse. I only want to lightly tough on this now, because I will be talking about alleviating and helping someone through grief in part 2. The biggest thing one can do is just to ignore that the child died. And no I'm not talking about talking about that day in the hospital. I'm talking about saying her name.(please! Say it!) Thinking with me often about how she may be... (Would she be annoying her big sister these days?) and so on. Do you know someone that haven't been able to bring a baby home? Make sure to tell them Happy Mother/Fathers Day! It's hard when someone forgets they are a parent even if they are doing a different model of parenting than we may think.
I may need to add to this as we continue to walk the grief journey... It's just one step a day, one day at a time...