5 Months Gone...But Not Forgotten

Friday, June 26, 2015

Today marks the 5 month angelversary of our sweet pea. 

Five months without snuggles, smiles and kisses.  Five months without searching for just the right outfit, headband to dress up my little princess.  Five long months without waking up to see her expressions, hear her sounds.  Five months without tubes, oxygen and doctors. 

It feels like an eternity has passed. 

Our hearts are forever broken and the passing time has not done one thing to mend it.  That old adage "Time heals all wounds" is just not so.  It's just not.  Don't let that saying fool you. 
Time might eventually change how you feel but nothing on this side of the veil can heal you from losing your child. 

In the five months since sissy has been gone, our family has had numerous "firsts" without her.  Each one with its own set of challenges and emotions.  There's a bit of mental prep that takes place prior to heading out for these.  A kind of like steeling of the heart so to speak. 

We, the adults, each go through cycles of floods of emotions.  It strikes us at varying times.  Then it's like the walls holding back an ocean of tears breaks free.  Then it passes only to return again at another unsuspecting moment in time.

We continue as a family to choose joy every day.  Some days it's a much harder task than on other days. 
Like today for instance.  It's such a bittersweet day.  Five months without her but also five months for her without all the "medical" stuff.  We all want the best for our children and we try to convince ourselves that because she lives in perfection now that this is what we want for her. 

While cognitively this may be the case, our hearts break with each passing day that we are separated from her.  The intensity of the pain ebbs and flows, unique to each of us.
Some days I wonder how I can go the rest of my life apart from Everly.  The thought is so maddening, so unthinkable, that I have to divert my attention from the concept.  It doesn't seem possible. 

I've been so surprised to learn what life is like as a grieving mother, father, grandparent.  Looking back at the five months, I thought I would share with you some of the eye openers I've experienced.
  • Choosing joy each day is hard work.  Physically and mentally it is a challenge.  Grief is like a cloth that completely enshrouds us and can make you feel as if you are watching your life from afar.  Making a conscious choice to "be happy" is one that most do not realize is the hardest of all choices for grieving loved ones. 
  • Social events are physically and emotionally draining for us.  While we enjoy the company and the activity, putting effort into socializing is hard work.  This has probably been the most surprising for me...learning how exhausting grief can be.  We thought we were tired from caring for Everly 24/7 but that doesn't hold a candle to the impact left by grief.  Even day to day events take a lot of energy but then compound it with a whole social event and it's like a marathon for us. 
  • We aren't the same people.  Nope.  Not in the least.  Every single thing we knew about the world, others around us and ourselves has become skewed.  No longer the same, we have to work diligently to redefine this new place, new understanding. 
  • Still at 5 months out we struggle with mindlessness, fighting forgetfulness and the inability to concentrate.  Simple tasks aren't so simple.  I've made more mistakes and forgotten more in the last five months than I have in all 42 years of my life.  It's truly disconcerting and as much as I work to combat it by making lists, leaving reminder notes, planning ahead...mistakes and forgetfulness still plague me. 
  • Difficult moments can strike when you least expect it.  A baby that resembles your angel, finding a lost sock under the bed, discovering leaves hidden in a book from a trip you took together, adorable outfits that would have been perfect for your angel, running into someone who doesn't know you've lost your child.  These are all reality and all have happened.  Some days, they are sweet reminders and other days they just sting.

  • Don't let our smiles fool you.  We still hurt deeply underneath the smiles, the laughs.  We put on our daily armor as much for everyone we encounter as for ourselves. We try to not be sad and forlorn when we are out so we get geared up.  Please know how valuable your hugs, inquiries and smiles are to us.  They mean the world...so thank you!

  • Speak her name...Everly's name.  The greatest gift you can give our family is to continue to speak her name.  Let us know you still think of her, us.  As the days get farther out, our single greatest fear is that she will be forgotten.  Please let us know she will not, that her name and her memory are important to you, too.  We love and thank you for that gift!

As we approach tomorrow, we will continue to forge ahead working to keep Everly's name alive and all that we've learned from our beautiful almost-year with her.  We want everyone to know how important it is to grab a hold of your life and live each day in the present, not letting obstacles be deterrents. 

Every day is a gift. 
As we learn how to live again without Everly, we are keeping this idea close to our hearts. 
We have two boys that continue to need us in the present and while we continue to mourn, we will continue to choose joy, too.

With love,


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