Friday, February 18, 2011

Feeling is Healing...



Ella's Famous "Pose" and Lily's paper Lilies

Friday begins my work week. I work Friday, Saturday, and starting this week, Monday. Sunday doesn't really count as a day off as it's soooo much work to get the kids to church and stay for the entire block. But we try.
Today I was feeling good and productive. I was sailing around on my Sketchers Shape up shoes, pounding out paperwork and sipping zip fizz every four minutes. And then suddenly, I thought of Lily laying in her daddy's arms less than two weeks ago. I thought of the hour it took her to stop seizing and breathing and my heart just constricted. Yes, I have peace, but those memories are going to be my "hard moments." With Charlotte it was the night before she passed, sitting in the corner of the hospital room with my husband, sobbing while the doctors worked to get an arterial line in my little girl, seeing her tiny pale hand against the blue sheet, the bright light, the blood. That is the moment that haunted me. I went to counseling a few times after Charlotte died, and talked about those moments. The therapist said "But don't you think Charlotte is watching you struggle with this and just saying 'Oh mom, I'm fine!" And that did it. That moment doesn't haunt me anymore. But Lily's still does. (Granted, it's been just a few days.) I have tried to imagine Lily saying the same words, but it just doesn't ring true. She was just a baby. She didn't say words. Charlotte *almost* did. And she laughed and smiled and had so much joy. Lily didn't. That is hard for me. I feel like I need to hold Lily. And obviously, I can't.
Perhaps I should consider going to a few sessions again, work through it out loud. So far I have done everything, and I do mean everything--to avoid this grief. To keep occupied with other things, my other kids, work, myself. This blog is very cathartic, but maybe I'm going to need a little more help.
I was able to stay at work today. I didn't even cry. I just stood by the drinking fountain clutching my chest for a moment until a coworker walked by, and then I smiled and sailed on my back to the desk. And I was relieved I was able to move forward with my day. And yet I know I need to feel what I need to feel or it's going to continue to attack me at inopportune times. With Charlotte I could replace those hard memories with happy ones, but with Lily, there are relatively few happy memories. She struggled. She seized.She lay in a hospital crib. She cried and slept. Once, maybe, she smiled. And that's hard. I wish I could see her now, happy, and focus on that. Just for a moment, I wish I could see her whole. A dream, a vision, something. Sometimes it feels a bit too dark to walk by faith.

13 comments:

katherine said...

before i read the end of this post, i was thinking, "oh i hope erin has sweet dreams of Lily soon!" and honestly, i do.

be well my friend, and sweet dreams.

Ruth from England said...

Not only is Lily in her perfect eternal home, but she's being cuddled and adored by her big sister, both of them totally healed of all ills, so be assured, Lily is most definitely smiling now, even if she didn't have much of a chance to share her smile with you in this imperfect world.

Linda said...

Just a thought, but grief is a process. As painful as the memories you have are of Lily struggling, seizing and crying, I think they might be a gift in recognizing the resolution of it all when a peaceful, happy, grateful Lily communicates with your soul. Somehow who you recognize as Lily, which is strongly attached to her mortal suffering, will translate into where and who she is now . . . but will be entirely new to you. Maybe you're even feeling glimpses of her reality but they are unrecognized and unknown to you as of yet.

I believe you'll recognize the joy of Lily in some way that you'll know for SURE can only be Lily, but I just don't know how it can connect with what you now know as Lily, which is currently painful. Anyway, this is sounding very confused, but I think the painful part of your memory is what will lead you through to the hope & joy part. My prayer is that it doesn't take one minute longer than is necessary for that resolution to be its most meaningful to you.

Meanwhile, lots of love and comfort to you as you bravely forge into the unknown. Thankfully it's only unknown to us, and you are DEARLY loved and very well-known on the other side.

Tifanie said...

linda said it so very beautifully. I echo the "My prayer is that it doesn't take one minute longer than is necessary for that resolution to be its most meaningful to you." It's sure to come, just as Charlottes life was different I'm sure your comfort will come differently too!! This must just be so heartwrenching. Your girls are so beautiful how could you not miss any one of them, right? Love and more love your way.

Cristina said...

Extra therapy sounds like a good idea. As you know, setting apart that time dedicated to hashing out your thoughts and feelings, and having someone there to prompt you through it, can really assist the healing process. And, Lily, as her mother's daughter, would definitely want you healed and happy. :)

Becky said...

I'm emailing you something I want to share with you, but not in a public forum. xo

Tara said...

I pray you feel Lily near because I feel certain that she is. I pray you understand/remember that although she wasn't visibly smiling and giggling, that she was feeling pure joy simply by being around you and her dad and her sisters, and what pure joy she has in heaven now with Charlotte by her side. And I pray you find peace in knowing that someday you will get to visibly see Lily's smiles and hear her sweet giggles as you raise her and Charlotte in a perfect world with their perfect bodies. My heart aches for you, sweet friend. xo

Anonymous said...

My dear Erin, I am feeling very guilty too. I knew that Lily would have a short stay on this earth but I did not get there to see her before she died. I ached to hold her and thought about going to Larkin when no one else was there just to hold her. I held Charlotte and played with her and am so grateful for that memory. How frightening it must have been for Lily to seizure while you were holding her. As mothers we ache when our children grow up too fast, make poor decisions, leave our homes too early (and it's always too early no matter how old they are). Its hard to see them rehabilitated whether for physical or psychological or other reasons. You have been through so much at your young age. You will be and have been such a major source of strength to others and will continue to be all throughout your life. When I count the things in life that I am most grateful for, you are right up there at the top. Love to you forever.

Stefanie Miller said...

Having my own baby to hold helped me understand just a little how hard it would be to not be able to hold her anymore. Man, even though you have already been through this before I guess it doesn't make it any easier. This was a different baby, a different loss, new grief. Thank you for sharing your journey, and the feelings and healing, with us (me), so that I can have more courage to live my own life.

Emily B. said...

Oh Erin! I can't imagine the pain those "hard moments" are causing. However, I know that the Lord is more intimately aware of us than we can fathom. I KNOW you will have peace if you continue in patience. Thank you for your honest words-I know I've definitely felt what you described in your last line. Much love.

Liz said...

The line that stands out in my head from Lily's service was when Zar said something to the effect of although this situation is hard and difficult, he knows that when he looks back over this life, everything will make sense. I love the sense of perspective that comment conveys, along with so many things you've said on your blog. You've both demonstrated your faith repeatedly, and will experience the eternal effects of that faith, beginning with what you need right now. Even though I'm sure sometimes it feels like 3 steps forward and 2 steps back (or 6).

Celine said...

I'm hoping you'll be dreaming of Lily soon! <3

Carleton & Robyn said...

Oh Erin. Thank you for your thoughts. I hope you feel loved and thought about today.