Something I'm noticing more and more as I go through my life now is how much this grief has revealed who I am.
Grief has a way of stripping me down, and rubbing my heart and soul down until I am raw, until all that remains is the very core of who I am. It is both motivating and terrifying. I didn't realize this was happening until I took ownership of my grief.
You have to own it. You can't expect "time to heal" you, you can't expect others to help you, you have to own it. At first, early on in my grief, I just couldn't own it. That meant I had to be "ok" with what happened to me. I had to acknowledge it happened too. It was hard to say, "yes our baby died." I couldn't speak it back into existence. It is so much easier not to heal at all.
But, of course, after a while, I got over that. I started to face the grief, and try to understand it and what it meant to me and what it meant for me. I started to investigate it. When I started doing that, I starting learning so much about myself.
The good, bad, and the very ugly.
First, I realized how awful I really am. No, seriously. I am. I am bitter, and jealous, and mean, and so vicious, and vengeful, and controlling, and full of shame, and so, so, so afraid.
I had been walking through life thinking I know what I am doing, and that I am doing ok. Oh I was so wrong. I was ignoring that God is in complete control, not me. I was thinking I had to put on this face that everything is always GOOD and RIGHT in the world, but that really isn't true, is it? This world can be a terrible and terrifying place, and it's ok to acknowledge that. Jesus doesn't want us to be comfortable here.
But, just because this world is not for us, doesn't mean we can't find the good and focus on it. I'm trying to focus on the good now that I am over the huge hump of our loss and on my way to healing.
Grief has also revealed that I can be peaceful, and grateful, and blessed, and beautiful. Yes, I can be grateful even though Jackson is gone. Even though Lily never had a chance. Because look at what they have done for me? Look at how my life is changing into something beautiful (hopefully) in honor of them? Grief is shaping me. They are shaping me. As I walk through grief, yes it rubs me down but it also eventually started to polish me.
So, I've started asking myself, "What do I want?" Do I want to walk through life sad and bitter and afraid and all those other things? Do I want my sadness to define me? Grief is so overbearing, but it's not something that I can't bear. I can do it. I have help with it too. God helps me through every day. My family and friends help me through every day.
I want a beautiful life. I want my life to mean something. I want my babies lives to mean something. I want to be good wife, and stepmom, and hopefully one day, a mom to a baby of mine and Dave's. I don't want to be afraid! I want a good life, full of love and laughter and GRATITUDE no matter what happens. I want to stop thinking that the world or God OWE me something. That is so terribly selfish.
I want purpose too. It's so soon after all of this mess to see where my life is going, or what my purpose may be, but I'm going to find it.
Until then, I'm going to continue working on my grief. It's such hard work. It's tiring, and it's so heavy. But it's mine. Its my responsibility to figure out how to integrate this grief into my life story and live with it. My grief = my love for Jackson. My grief = Jacksons story. I have to integrate that into my life and who I am, because that love and sadness and Jackson and even Lily, they will BE with me forever. Do I want to push it all down and ignore it and be miserable? Or, do I want to embrace it and grow from it and find a beautiful purpose in it all?
Choice B please.
Starting this week, when October begins, I am participating in a project with CarlyMarie. Her story and her life after loss are such an inspiration to me. In October, I need something to focus on that will help me work through my grief. It's not only Jackson's due date, but it's National Pregnancy Loss Awareness month. All at once. It's not going to be an easy month. We have a celebration of life at the hospital on the 15th for babies lost this year, as well as Jackson's memorial coming up on the 21st.
So, I'm facing it head on and head up, hopefully able to get through it and learn some amazing things about love and life and loss. To see what else grief is revealing in me. So check back lots to see my #Captureyourgrief project, along with thousands of other moms and families that are participating in this special event as well.