Today, while reading posts from some of the members of my online Infant Loss support group, I came across a post that reminded me of something Greg’s Grandma Doris told me a couple of weeks ago. It made me smile through my usual evening round of tears.
The post was by a mom whose baby passed away a couple of weeks ago. She has other children and today she found herself laughing at something one of her kids was doing. Her immediate reaction was to stop laughing because she was scared that she was losing the sadness she felt at the loss of her baby. I passed on Grandma D’s words of wisdom to her and I thought I should share them with all of you.
Grandma Doris is 91. Many years ago she had two full term stillborn babies. She also lost a daughter to cancer at the age of 8. She also lived through the deaths of two beloved husbands. And yet, yet, she still knows how to smile and laugh and enjoy life.
A few weeks ago we had a small family gathering to honor Cora and I had an opportunity to talk to her about her lost children. I asked her, “How did you get through it? It is such an all-consuming, devastating feeling to lose a baby or a child. How did you get over the pain? How did you keep going?” Grandma D got a sort of far off look in her eyes (she seems to get that a lot these days, 😉 and she said, “I didn’t get over the pain. You never get over the pain. I still feel it every day. It stays with you for the rest of your days, but over time the pain sort of fuzzes over and you learn to live with it. You can’t just sit in a corner crying when you have a life you are meant to be living. You have to pick yourself up and carry the pain around with you. It’s heavy at first and you’ll feel tired and worn out, but you have to keep going and steadily lighten its load by enjoying your life enough for your lost loved ones too. The more you laugh – the more you live – the fuzzier the pain gets and the lighter its load becomes.”
Grandma D is one smart geriatric!!! I’ve recently been heeding her words and I have started to carry my pain around while I get on with living my life. And she’s right. It’s very heavy and I feel exhausted, mentally and physically. But, every time I smile, my heart hurts a bit less and every time I laugh, the load lightens. Therefore, despite the weight of the pain of our loss, I’m going to continue to smile and laugh and keep moving forward and living my life because, like the lady said, I can’t sit in a corner and cry when I have a life that’s meant to be lived.
And, just to make you all smile (and, admittedly, to brag about my little agility dog), here are a few shots I took of Greg and Juno playing frisbee last night.
Good night my friends. I wish you all enough…