Friday, August 16, 2013

Slowly, Ever Slowly

You, the one sitting stone still, staring at nothing . . .

You, the one who feels like you have aged a 100 years . . .

You, the one with swollen, red eyes . . .

You, the one who wonders if you will ever be able to truly live again . . .

Slowly, ever slowly, you start waking in the morning and that overwhelming dread of having to live out another day starts to lift.

Slowly, ever slowly, you find that you have smiled at some one or over something and it wasn't forced.

Slowly, ever slowly, you find that you are looking forward to one thing . . . one event.

Slowly, ever slowly, the darkness lifts.

The grief and sadness never go away, they just change form . . . you learn how to live with it . . . how to cope. Just like someone learning to walk again after they lost a limb, you learn how to live with the grief, how to reign in the tears when they dare to consume you in the middle of the grocery store or while picking up your other child from preschool. The walking doesn't negate the loss of the leg nor do the smiles and the living negate the area of your heart that is empty and torn.

It isn't something you ever get over. You are not suppose to because you can't. You can't get over something that defies nature.

It isn't something you ever get over, it is something you go through. Everyday you will walk through this. Every. Day. Right now, though, it is thick and heavy. Ever slowly that fog will lift and it won't consume every part of you.

You get through it by slowly, ever slowly going through it. There is no other way.

Don't let anyone tell you how to grieve.

Don't let anyone tell you how to cope. 

Don't let anyone tell you enough time has passed. You don't know when enough time has passed to smile again. You don't know until you feel that foreign motion of the lips curving up. And even then, there are still soul-crushing, take-your-breath-away, bring-you-to-your-knees moments and days. 

Don't let anyone tell you to be thankful for the child(ren) who are living.

Don't let anyone tell you that having another baby will fix it.

Nothing can fix this. Nothing can make this better. 

Give yourself grace. There is no blueprint for this. Everyone does this differently. Don't let anyone tell you that you are grieving wrong because so-and-so had a similar experience and it didn't affect them like it's affecting you. 

Don't let anyone tell you that things could have been a lot worse. The ones who say that, never buried a child so they don't have a right to define worse for you. They don't know what worse is. When it comes to your child dying before you, that encompasses worse. Worse is worse.

Slowly, ever slowly, you realize you are alive.

Slowly, ever slowly, you enjoy living.

Slowly, ever slowly, you find hope. And you find that you hope in hope again.

There is, I’m convinced, no picture that conveys in all its dreadfulness, a vision of sorrow, despairing, remediless, supreme. If I could paint such a picture, the canvas would show only a woman looking down at her empty arms.
~Charlotte Bronte~


Saturday, August 10, 2013

To Age Is To Be Beautiful

I'm really starting to feel the effects of aging. I don't know if it's due to the littles I am caring for and the energy and time they consume, if it's from everything that these last two years have thrown at us, my age or a mixture of all of the above.

I'm starting to really feel the affect of the years gone by and it's crazy because wasn't it just a few days ago that I was a teenager thinking those teenage years would last a lot longer than they actually did?

I'm in my thirties and those lines are creeping in and creeping deep, a white hair has sprouted and the pounds don't drop as easy as they used to and the energy I had ten years ago has disappeared and I'm left wondering where I lost it.

Some days I look in the mirror and feel so much older than the reflection says and other days, I stare back and wonder how so much time has already been spent.

Everywhere I look, I'm reminded that this world I live in prioritizes beauty and youth over everything else. Over wisdom that only years spent living can bring and beauty . . . the true kind of deep beauty. The beauty that can't be bought, applied or worn. The kind of beauty you get from only be worn from years spent living and being loved. 

I grieve those years that are already gone . . . never to be had again. I grieve the person I was then and wish I would have appreciated that time more when I was in it rather than now that it is gone. I need to live in the moment but I am human and at times, I just miss the times that became memories. 

I look at my children and I grieve how fast the time is speeding by. I want to slow it down.

I flash forward to ten . . . fifteen . . .  twenty years from now and I can already feel myself aching for this time that will soon be gone.

I want them to stay sweet and innocent and pure. I want to always have energy to run miles and run after them. I want my skin to stay smooth and my hair to stay the color it is now.

And then I remember a friend who will never grow old.

And I remember two of my babies that I don't get to hold anymore. I think of them and all I'm left with is to wonder who they would have become . . . what they would look like now and at five . . . sixteen . . . twenty-five.

I think of a quote I have seen many times:

Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many. 

I realize that decreased energy and those lines do not deny me anything. They are proof that I have been given a lot and I have had the privilege to live a lot.

I realize the years spent, the children growing, the creeping lines and the color changing hair is all a gift.

I am not promised tomorrow. I am not promised my next breath. I am not promised that my children will out-live me.

The ever ticking of the clock, the ever changing me and my children are a gift I need to embrace now . . . in this moment.

Those glossy magazines, those reality TV shows that claim to reflect real life are all an illusion. You can't compare yourself or your life to an illusion because an illusion doesn't exist. Years gone by, gray hair, those lines that creep and rest around your eyes and mouth are real. They reflect memories, smiles, laughter and years of loving and living. 



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