Moving Through the Days

She was part of my life for 21 weeks.

watercolor of a young woman with short brown hair wearing a thick winter jacket staring off into the distance
Image created via Midjourney

I finally had one night where I did not cry myself to sleep, and that was Saturday night. That’s not to say that I did not have my share of tears throughout the day, but as I crawled into bed that night, I was able to take a deep breath. 

My uncles arrived from Arizona on Friday afternoon to help us through the weekend. I think it would have been very difficult alone, and they were a perfect “distraction.” We went out to dinner Friday night and I realized that I am not ready to go out in public like that. Too many things reduced me to staring blankly and willing myself not to cry.  

I came home that night and sobbed into my pillow. After that incident, I hung back on Saturday while they, along with Ger, took the kids to the Field Museum. I attempted to be productive by cleaning up our basement playroom — something long overdue since Theo decided to turn the entire thing into a “fort.” 

On Sunday, my uncles took the kids to a movie.  I put my FitBit back on my wrist, something I haven’t done since Before, and that afternoon we took a long walk on a path near our house. I think walks, moving around in the upcoming weeks will be good for me.  

I nearly broke later in the evening, when Theo said some rather blunt things about us no longer having a baby. I try to remind myself that I am glad he is processing this in such a matter-of-fact manner, but it does not make hearing his words any easier. It resulted in another night of me crying myself to sleep. 

Over the weekend I read Brene Brown’s book Rising Strong. I actually found it in the hospital, by accident, while browsing Amazon, during the tumultuous 26-hour wait that we had.  I had a feeling that it would be a good book for me, but couldn’t bring myself to read it at the time.  

Brown writes:  

“I agree with Tennyson, who wrote ‘Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.’

But heartbreak knocks the wind out of you, and the feelings of loss and longing can make getting out of bed a monumental task.  Learning to trust and lean in to love again can feel impossible.”  

The Kindle book is full of my electronic highlights as I try to piece together how to move forward.  I told one of my friends last week that my heart hurts.  I didn’t know it was possible to physically feel emotional pain

I had ordered a trio of frames from Pottery Barn – tiny little frames.  In one frame, I put Nelle’s footprint, taken at the hospital.  So incredibly small.  In the other two frames, I put photos of my two boys, and my three children sit together on a tray in our bedroom.  Hard as it is to look at, I want to remember, because she was part of my life for 21 weeks. 

Today, after dropping my uncles off at the airport, I had to make my final trip to the funeral home to pick up her ashes. As I neared the building, I didn’t think I could go in, but finally willed myself to get out of the car.  I waited until I was back in the car to break down.  

I have a special metal box was a gift a long time ago where I placed the ashes until we have a chance to scatter them in the coulee

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