Well, I figured it was time to upgrade the ol' blog. After all, Joshua is a big part of my new life. Thank you so much to Franchesca from Small Bird Studio for her beautiful work once again. Check her out. She does much more than blog design as well! A fellow baby loss mom, she has made a huge impact on the community that I call home. Love her!
Survive...it's a word you hear often in the baby loss community. When you lose a child, life becomes a battle to simply survive. That's what I did at the very beginning. I didn't live, I simply survived. Some days, I didn't even do that. Some days, I couldn't get myself out of bed. But I DID survive. My heart continued to beat, yet my soul was left behind. Grief consumed everything; my life, my home, my family.
Grief is a bitch...sorry about the language but it is. Grief is selfish. Grief is all encompassing. Grief is relentless. And, perhaps the worst of all, grief hits at the most unexpected times. In those first days and weeks, all I could do was grieve. I rarely saw anything around me. It was as if I had blinders on...all I could think about was me. I never saw the effects grief had on my husband and the rest of my family.
I remember making the decision to not allow grief to take over my life. I made the choice to survive, not to die with her. But it was just that...survive. Not LIVE. There is a difference. Surviving to me meant the ability to function, the ability to get out of bed every day and go about my normal routine. But it was difficult to enjoy life.
The first time I felt alive again was at her memorial. We were surrounded by family and friends. It was a celebration of her short life and a gathering of many of the people who supported us. I remember breaking out my camera for the first time since she died and capturing life as it happened. Gradually, as time passed, I found myself living, not just surviving. It's a journey we all take. There are good days and there are bad days, but eventually, we do learn to live again.
Having a rainbow certainly makes it easier. I have someone to care for and to shower with love. Everything I wanted to do with Addison I get to do with Joshua. But that doesn't mean I miss her any less. Those milestones still hurt. She should be two and half right now. February 27th was not a good day for me. My smile, my laugh that day was forced. My heart ached for her more than it has in a long time.
Two and a half years later, I can say I live more now than ever. She taught me to be a better person and a better mother. I've finally learned how to enjoy the world I'm in and to truly LIVE. I'm grateful for everything that I've been given, living and surviving one day at a time.