As you can see, I haven't continued posting the remaining Capture Your Grief posts. I posted on a few other days, but I have chosen not to continue with this project. It is just too much. Grief surrounds us at every angle of our life. We are part of this "club" no one wants to be in and yet we are stuck.
There are 3 people I know and am following, 2 of which are babies, who are fighting for their lives. There are so many hurting people in the world, and I am choosing to focus on the HOPE I cling to--the Hope that one day we will be a complete and united family.
There were days in this journey that the posts were applicable but there were also days that weren't applicable to me. I don't have a "sign" that I associate with Callie. There were posts that I was looking forward to-about birthday/anniversary celebrations and family pictures, but this is the choice I have made.
It isn't that I don't think about Callie or want to think about her--it is quite the opposite--but I cannot force myself to go back and recount every detail. It is too painful. I would rather choose to remember the precious few moments we had with her and not focus on the time I didn't get to have with her.
I hope you understand, but I'm not sure you will, and that's ok. You see--this was a journey for me--and it was part of my grief journey. Of course, I will continue to blog about Callie--but it is going to be on my own terms and in my own time. Maybe I will keep the suggested topics and post now and again.
Please, if you ever have questions for me for yourself personally or a friend, I'm always here.
Friday, October 5, 2012
We have a shelf that is where Callie's things go. Her picture's are on our walls but this is the place where all of the closest reminders of her are kept. A pregnancy journal that I kept full, her latest ultrasound picture, a baby carriage ornament my parents gave me that Christmas I was pregnant, a doorhanger pillow and bear my sister gave me while I was in labor, a bear that came with her casket, some willow tree figurines that have special meaning to me, roses that were part of the funeral flowers. The most important piece to me is the box that the hospital gave me, with her footprints, lock of hair, baby bracelet and other very personal items. I don't open this box very often.
One of the treasured items of mine is this porcelain heart. It isn't anything fancy or costly. In fact, if one didn't know the story it might end up on the shelf of a local thrift store. Yet this heart in irreplacable. One of my labor and delivery nurses, Dianna, gave it to me shortly after I delivered Callie. She had been my nurse most of the time I was in the hospital. She was so kind to us, allowing us time to wrap our heads around what was happening. Though she was kind and compassionate, she never showed much emotion. After Callie was born, Dianna came to me with this small box. She handed it to me and with tears in her eyes, she explained that I could do whatever I wanted with it. I could keep both pieces or give the small heart inside to Callie or I could give her the larger heart. She said it was just a small mememto. We chose to bury Callie with the small heart in her hand. So, you see, she truly has a piece of our hearts. Each member of our family also got a small porcelain stone that has the same small heart on it.
After-Loss Self Portrait
I don't have any pictures of the 3 of us, nor do I have pictures of the burial. I could go on and add to the list of regrets but I won't. So this is the picture that was taken the closest to Callie's birth. It was a week later, my birthday. My grandma wanted to come and "celebrate" with me. We went to the church where Matt was on staff and put on a happy face, listening to all the efforts to console us. Some people were very kind and hugged us and loved on us and there were those who just should have kept quiet. Once I was safe in the car I broke down crying. I had faced the world now. I felt fat, had stretch marks, was milk-engorged and wearing maternity clothes but didn't have my baby, because we had buried her a few days earlier. My grandma was insistent on taking some pictures, which I just wasn't up to--but she was my grandma--so I appeased her. Thankfully the sunglasses hid my swollen eyes.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Day 2-Self Portrait before loss
We went to Hilton Head for a family vacation in May 2007. I remember many things from this trip. It was the first family vacation for my nephew, Owen. Trey celebrated his 2nd birthday and I made a cake shaped like a car for him. It was the first time we felt Callie move. My sister, having already given birth twice, asked if we had felt her move. I wasn't sure that we had. It didn't feel like her moving, it felt like hunger. One time it happened and I grabbed her to feel my stomach. She confirmed that it was the baby moving. We were so excited to finally feel it! (I was 7 months along). I also remember my nephew, Trey, touching my belly and talking to Callie. It was a great trip. Matt and I were enjoying our time together, figuring it would be the last vacation with just the 2 of us. We also celebrated my first mother's day that year.
One evening we went into the mall and I slipped and fell on some slippery tile in a store. I was fine. I got back up and was irritated with the store for not having a "caution sign" up or at least some mats since it had been raining that day. I'm sure it had no relevance to Callie's fate but I'd be lying if I said I didn't wonder. I never brought it up but a few years ago my husband asked me about it. I thought I was the only one who remembered the fall.
I wouldn't say that I would go back to this place in time, because that would mean I wouldn't have the blessing of my son and daughter, here on earth. Yet I look at this picture and my heart hurts. It is the only picture I have of me, while pregnant with Callie. I was so self-conscious that I didn't want any pictures taken. I wish I had celebrated being pregnant more and done all the pregnancy things. But more so my heart hurts for this young woman I see. I don't know her anymore. We are different people but I hurt because I know what she will go through in a few short weeks and she has no clue.
Monday, October 1, 2012
The month of October I have decided to be part of a project called "Capture Your Grief". Each day there is a subject to photograph or post. Today's subject was sunrise, fitting as the project is beginning today.
I didn't have a great view of the sunrise. So I chose to take a picture of daybreak. It reminded me of the song "Morning Has Broken". I remember after losing Callie that nightime was the worst. When I closed my eyes, I re-lived everything. I was so exhausted yet as night drew near, I dreaded getting in bed. It was such a relief when morning arrived. The darkness was gone. A new day had begun.
I don't know what I hope to gain by participating in this project, only that I may continue one day at a time, on this grief journey. Feel free to check out the other people participating:
Morning has broken, like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word.
Sweet the rain's new fall, sunlit from heaven
Like the first dewfall, on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass.
Mine is the sunlight, mine is the morning
Born of the one light, Eden saw play
Praise with elation, praise every morning
God's recreation of the new day.