I know its been a while. First we were out of town, then I was reorganizing the house, and then I was just avoiding you. There is both too much and too little to say about the last 4 weeks. Where do I begin?
Everyone knows the Kubler-Ross stages of grief:
I know grief is not a linear thing. We have been grieving Liv's health for three plus years. I have learned a few things about grieving. Let me tell you my 4 stages of grieving her death over the past 4 weeks.
1. shock (which actually lasts through stages 2 and 3 and probably comes back again and again)
Shock is how you stand next to your child's casket during the visitation for two hours without losing your mind, how you decide you might get up in the morning-- like it may all be untrue, and how you seem literally surprised everytime you see their name next to a birthdate and a date of death. You did, in fact, go to the funeral and bury her, but its like going to your own wedding-- you remember almost none of it.
2. public crying. Public crying is allowed to happen for two reasons: 1. you're beyond consolation, so you're going to cry all the time anyway 2. people let you cry in public because you just started doing it, and its still pretty with tears
3. private crying. This is the WORST stage. Private crying HAS to happen in private because its been a few weeks since the death and people are tired of you being sad. But mostly, it has to be done in private because its the "ugly crying". Your face contorts, there are no tears left, and you do this hiccuping/ gasping thing neither you nor other people appreciate. Yuck.
4. melancholy. I think this stage is partly due to, finally, the exit of adrenaline. The only way you can physically get through stages 1, 2, and 3 is adrenaline. Instead of exhibiting your grief by tears, which is exhausting, you just "feel sad" a lot and look tired. Seriously, I had to start wearing mascara again for the first time since January because I looked so horrible (and I wasn't really crying much anyway).
If you think I have dark humor you should read C.S. Lewis on grief. He makes me look like Mother Goose.
Honestly, there has been a lot of crying, and just tiredness and sadness, a lot of avoiding you, both on the Internet and in person. There have also been some (and increasing) laughs about memories of Liv, and laughs at Gabby. When I need a gut check I read the blog I wrote about her last few days, or look over her memory book from the visitation/funeral (thanks jami), or watch a video our amazing photographer friends put together and we will be sharing some time (thanks parsons), or I just pack up in the car, drive 5 minutes down the road and sit on the ground next to where she is buried and we have a chat. Almost every time it results in ugly, private crying. But, at the end, I mostly feel resolved.
I think I thought the grieving part would be easier if I believed she was in heaven, that grieving just for me losing her (and not having to grieve her pain any more) would make the whole thing "tolerable". I tell you what, if you have to grieve for yourself AND the deceased, you might just whither away to nothing.
Most days now are fine. We are functioning. Brian is back at work. We are sleeping and eating fine. We are actually exercising for the first time in 3 years. We cry some. Some days we cry alot. We are so thankful for many things: your prayers and support, the many ways we have of remembering our time with Olivia, and the HUGE distraction that Gabs is--she is doing something new every day. If you want pictures of her recently you might check out Brian's instagram feed on "follow us". You were lucky to get words from me today!