Where To Put Grief
This past week, I have been editing some of my own writing. It is writing that I did in the months between losing Nelle and Iris. I found myself tensing up as I read my own words. I was still reeling from the pain of losing Nelle, pregnant again, terrified. And looking back, I know what is coming. That unfathomable doctor’s appointment where I learned that I had lost Iris too. I have to read through all of my fears that, in the end, proved to be true.Just passed two years since losing Nelle on September 4th. Headed toward that February 13th date of losing Iris. Knowing where I was at this time last year… lots of anticipation and anxiety as we contemplated pregnancy again. And two years ago… so completely raw and stricken after my baby died. This time of year will always be “in between.”
I was rocking Autumn to sleep the other night and listening to a playlist that I put together awhile ago. I cradled her while listening to Billy Joel’s “Lullabye.”
Someday your child may cry, and if you sing this lullaby
Then in your heart there will always be a part of me
Someday we’ll all be gone
But lullabies go on and on
They never die
That’s how you and I will be
I started to cry. I squeezed my eyes so tight that they hurt. I thought of Ger, down in the kitchen cooking at the time, knowing he could likely hear my sobs through the baby monitor. The room was darkened, and I stared at the door. For some reason, the door always reminds me that it was Nelle’s room first. Maybe because the door was there when it was her room. The crib is new, the other furniture has been shuffled around from other parts of the house, the walls are a different color, but the door… it hasn’t changed.
It was a culmination of unexpected moments from the week, of thinking about Nelle and Iris even more. Finding a place for grief to “fit” into life with a newborn has been exhausting. Tonight, I find myself tired and aching, and not from the predictable lack of sleep that comes with having an infant. The baby sleeps fine. It is from the emotional exhaustion of trying to manage a complete change in our routine and lives, and still being hit with moments where I need to cry. I cannot contain grief in a box that I put on a shelf and take out when it is convenient. Grief is in the air: surrounding, invisible, sometimes stifling. Breathe in. Breathe out.