Several people have said that we're really calm but it's more like we're vaguely disbelieving. For example, Autumn has asked for a big sister shirt. I meant to get her one, I did. But I didn't. So, I'm off to Hobby Lobby after kickboxing tomorrow to get a shirt and an iron on.
|She totally needs this one, though.|
Even the blog feels weird. I'm not entirely certain what I'm writing about anymore. Evolution is to be expected and is a good thing. I'm not sure where this will end up but we'll see. I've had more than one crisis of belief over maintaining the blog and I'm sure this one will pass.
Although my subheading is Life after Loss and my life is, in fact, one existing after many losses (biological baby, adopted baby, health, future biological children, heck, Autumn's life-is-hard-innocence), I think the blog might be more about getting life back. I've written a lot about coping and hard days and the things I have done to survive mentally and emotionally and the things I have done to get physically healthy again.
I feel like the transition is that these aren't just things I'm doing to survive. They are simply my life now and have been since before the adoption. So, what does that mean for Passing Pinwheels? I don't know. I think this is part of the grief journey, my life journey. I guess we'll all see where it goes from here. In the meantime, here are some articles I have come across in the last month or so. I hope they are as encouraging to you as they were to me.
It's interesting because an artist and writer I have been repeatedly blessed by is going through similar thoughts and feelings. She wrote an intense piece about her recent pregnancy and how she isn't sure where she fits in the grief world, if anywhere. I'm not even remotely in the same atmosphere as Francesca so I can imagine that if I've thought and prayed about how much joy to share here and how to branch out from "coping" to "living" then she must have truly agonized. For a while, I was afraid of not being known as a baby loss mom, but I never wanted the death of my first daughter to define me. I just didn’t want to lose her anymore than I already had, if that makes any sense at all.
|I totally bought this from her shop.|
Some time ago I came across an article from NPR about Allie Brosh. I have linked the posts about depression from Hyperbole and a Half and I'd like to get her book (Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened) but haven't done it yet. There is a developing candor about depression, addiction, and ordinary day-to-day struggles that can feel uncomfortably intimate to people who either are very private themselves or prefer other people to be very private.
An article has been making the rounds on some of the grief pages and blogs I keep up with: The Myth of Parenting after Losing a Child. We haven't parented perfectly since Garrett died. And Autumn seems to be a super awesome kid which has way too little to do with us, I think. While I kind of see some of the issues here, I haven't dealt with them much and it might be because we got to talk to people, read other people's stories, and basically have way more openness than most people have the luxury of experiencing. Not to mention the luxury of a solid support network. That being said, it's still an excellent article. Living a life without a child is hard. It’s an unnatural order of things. Since very few people want to talk about death, and even less want to know anything about what this is like, we’re all thrust into this giant tunnel of darkness with no idea what to do or where to turn.
My friend Mimi sent me a great article called 5 Lies You Were Told about Grief. If you or someone you know needs permission to feel whatever they are feeling, this is a great one to send to them. I'd also send this to anyone who'd like to learn how to talk to someone who has had a loss. Any kind of loss, really. Because grief, as most of you know, encompasses so much more than death. You are a character in a story that is over, and since this never happens in the fairy tales you were fed in your most formative years, you are lost. You no longer fit in the world, and there is no star that can grant your truest wish.
I love how I keep finding fabulous writers. Since joining Twitter, which I resisted for a long time, I've discovered some of the best, most open and honest writers I have ever read. I hear often that men don't have a voice when it comes to child loss or infertility. I think that could be changing though. Or maybe they were always out there and I wasn't looking. I don't know. But Nate Pyle, whose blog I have linked before, recently wrote a lovely and raw post about the Disgrace of Infertility. I have some wonderful friends who have endured and are enduring the sting of infertility. My situation is different but even I had to come to terms with the fact that I can't have any more biological children. I don't know why it's so hard. I don't know why it hurt so much that my body wouldn't function in the way I was always told God intended. But it did. Does. As I held my crying wife, I didn’t cry, but quietly grieved and pulling back from hope. The grieving brought on by infertility is different than other grief I have experienced because you do not grieve what was lost, but what never was. At some point you start grieving for what never will be.
Tomorrow or Wednesday I think I'll wrap up our Disney trip before we, hopefully, change gears a little here at home! Please continue to pray. The placement ceremony is Wednesday afternoon.