Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A different child

I've been thinking about Olivia a lot lately. I think her birthday coming up is starting to weigh on me. How have we survived two whole years. There are moments when I flashback and am right there in those dark moments again. I hate that our very brief time with our daughter was overshadowed by the worst moments of my life. But then, I guess we are lucky we had any time with her at all. Blech. Most of the time, I'm okay. I can talk about her and what happened without getting the slightest bit teary eyed (usually). But every once in awhile, more often lately, there are moments when a flashback hits me and it's like those early days when it was so hard to even breathe, to even want to breathe.
I found this description on this blog explains it so well:

So does having a healthy baby help the grief? Yes, it does, but not quite in the way you might think. You hold your baby close, and as she does something, or looks like the baby you lost, oh so vividly, you remember your lost little angel again, and you feel that pain afresh.

I realized after a while, that we still have so much grief inside us that we couldn't let go of, until we had Madoka. It is not so much that the empty space in your heart is filled, for one child can never replace another, but that you can grieve a little more, and in grieving, experience a relief from all that pent-up pain that you didn't even realize was still there.

When I put Madoka in some of the sleepers Rhiannon had worn, it was a bittersweet experience. It felt good to see a live baby in them, after all, and yet, I found myself asking, "Why couldn't I keep them both? Why couldn't Rhiannon be a sweet toddler now, watching her new sister with awe?" When yesterday, Madoka grew out of the smallest sleeper, the only one which fitted Rhiannon's tiny birdlike body perfectly, I felt good--it was a rite of passage--now I know Madoka's going to make it. And yet, I was sad...Rhiannon will never, never grow bigger. And I know I'll keep that sleeper, always, in remembrance of Rhiannon. 

Lucas is getting so big, so fast. I am loving every second with him, I know how quickly and easily it could be gone. I wish I could slow down time, just a little bit. You would think that being home with him all day, every day, I would have my fill of him....but no, not really. He sleeps through the night now consistently, and I really miss our 3 am feedings. (I won't live to regret saying/thinking that. And I expect that he won't sleep through the night forever. I would have done anything to get up in the middle of the night with Olivia. So even when I'm really tired and don't feel like getting up, it's pretty easy to suck it up and cuddle the baby that we are lucky enough to have.

The same person who wrote the excerpt I quoted also wrote this poem which has been published in a book and a few other places:

A different child

People notice
There's a special glow around you.
You grow
Surrounded by love,
Never doubting you are wanted;
Only look at the pride and joy
In your mother and father's eyes.

And if sometimes
Between the smiles
There's a trace of tears,
One day
You'll understand.

You'll understand
There was once another child
A different child
Who was in their hopes and dreams.

That child will never outgrow the baby clothes
That child will never keep them up at night
In fact, that child will never be any trouble at all.

Except sometimes, in a silent moment,
When mother and father miss so much
That different child.

May hope and love wrap you warmly
And may you learn the lesson forever
How infinitely precious
How infinitely fragile
Is this life on earth.

One day, as a young man or woman
You may see another mother's tears
Another father's silent grief
Then you, and you alone
Will understand
And offer the greatest comfort.

When all hope seems lost,
You will tell them
With great compassion,
"I know how you feel.
I'm only here
Because my mother tried again."

-Pandora Diane MacMillan


*Laura Angel said...

Beautiful post. I know how you are feeling as I am coming up on Cara's 2 yr as well. Seems so close yet so far!

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