It’s been quite a while since I last wrote. The holidays have come and gone and frankly I am glad to see them go. They were hard this year. I knew it would be hard but I didn’t know how hard. Leading up to the holidays and just after, in the last five weeks, there have been five babies born that I personally know, including my nephew. I am over the moon happy for these mama’s, but I am sad for me. It’s hard. I should be about a month away from delivery, but I’m not. That’s hard.
On Christmas day I went to church with my family. I spent most of the service in the nursery with my youngest three kids because there wasn’t any childcare and our two year old was not about to sit for an hour in church and behave himself. Honestly, I was fine with it. I needed to get away. A new baby was being presented at church and it was better for me to just not be that close to that on that day. So, I sat in the nursery and friend came to check on me. She is another baby loss mama and I am sure she new I was having a hard time. We started talking about how hard Christmas is and feeling guilty because we don’t visit our babies graves as often as we should. I had been feeling this way for a while but not really expressed it to anyone. It was such a relief to know someone else feels guilty too. Then as I thought about it I realized that it’s crazy to feel guilty. Other people go visit their loved ones graves on a regular basis, because of that I felt guilty for not visiting Andrew’s grave much at all. I just can’t bring myself to go over there. It’s just next door at my in laws house, but to me it might as well be a million miles away. For one thing I know Andrew is not there, he’s in heaven. Other than that, I just can’t even tell you why I find it difficult to make myself go over there. But I do.
Christmas night we had a large family gathering at our house, like 40 people large. I was doing pretty well with it all, but then in the midst of everyone opening gifts I just couldn’t take it anymore. I went outside to take out the trash, but I just needed to get out. I stood out there for a while, and just soaked in the quiet. Then something drew me to walk over to Andrew’s grave. I went and sat for a while and cried. It was a good thing. It was healthy. I was able to let go of this guilt I feel for not being a good mom to him. I know that sounds absurd that I would worry about being a good mom to a baby who is not even here, but I do. I would bet if you have lost someone you love, you might feel the same way. I do believe that those who are in heaven can on some level see what goes on down here on earth and I so I think Andrew can see us here. I think he knows we love him and sees us struggle with him gone. But I also know that anything I do down here to deal with my grief, like whether or not I visit his grave weekly or not, is for myself, not for him. He is in heaven and while I think he has knowledge of us down here, I don’t think he really cares, if that makes sense. He isn’t upset if I don’t visit his grave every week, he is in a place with no more tears and so wouldn’t feel any kind of upset or pain. Don’t ask me how all that works, I don’t know. Anyway,the point is whether I go to visit his grave or whatever I do or don’t do to remember him is all for my sake, not his. That is freeing. I need to do what is best for me to feel better. If visiting him brings me peace, than I will do it. If it doesn’t then I won’t. Right now wearing a necklace that was given to me after he passed helps me feel like he is always with me and brings me comfort. So I wear it.
If you have lost someone in your life, don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for the way you grieve. You have to do what feels best to you. It’s your grieving journey and no one else’s. Even Glenn and I, though we both lost our son, are on very different grieving journeys. Glenn goes to visit Andrew much more regularly than I do, that brings him comfort. You have to do what brings you comfort and not compare yourself to other people who grieve around you.