We've had so many people support us and reach out to us since Jackson died. It's amazing how many people came out from the world to show us love and support. We absolutely appreciate each and every ounce of support we have gotten, and we cherish those who are still thinking of us and praying for us and sending us hugs everyday...those who check in on us and ask how we are doing and all that good stuff.
When we first lost Jackson, the support was overwhelming. Everyone wanted in on helping us out. People sent us things, and provided dinner and wine and chocolate, and there were cards and Facebook posts and messages, all in those first few days. Everyone wanted to be a part of it, wanted to know what happened, wanted to talk about it.
As the summer went on, the support, at least that intense kind, slowly dropped away. I don't mean that in a bad way. People move on, naturally, because they have lives and it's not their grief, and it's such a sad and taboo subject that no one wants to talk about it. In my head, I became the girl who everyone was excited for because she was pregnant, to the girl everyone felt sorry for because her baby was stillborn, to the girl who no one wanted to talk to or be around because my baby died and the world doesn't like that. That's how I felt. I'm sure that is true in some ways, and totally not true in others.
Grief is so contradicting too. In the early days, you don't want to see people, or hear from people. At least thats how it was with me. I didn't want the support, I wanted my baby. I wanted to hide. Or, I just wanted to pretend that the pregnancy didn't happen at all, we didn't lose anything! That doesn't mean I didn't appreciate everything people did for us! I was overwhelmed with the love and the attention, but also with my own extreme grief. As time went on, I felt ready to accept support, but in my head, the support was gone and all used up. Plus, in our community - there are very few ways to get support for pregnancy loss. Friends and family move on and may not want to talk about it as much, there aren't a ton of support groups, and it just feels a little lonely.
Grief makes people like me very sensitive, so I feel things acutely. The loneliness and sadness and confusion were magnified and so overwhelming. I can't always see things clearly and I think that was true in those first months. Support was all around me, it just wasn't a physical thing that I could see or touch or hear.
Anyways, I'm rambling. Today is Day 10 of the #captureyourgrief project, and I have to give credit to some very special people.
Day 10: Support. Dave & Ash, Mom & Dad, Me, and God.
As for me, the strongest support in these past few months have been Dave and my mom. I have to thank them because they have seen me at my best and worst in my grieving, and they are still here and still want to help. They were here, physically. I didn't really want to see anyone, but they plowed their way to me anyways and I can't thank them enough for that. They made me get out of bed, or get into bed. They helped me get out of the house. They talk with me about my feelings and calm my fears and anxieties. I can't thank them enough. My dad, he helps in so many ways too, although he doesn't deal with grief very well and to this day will tear up if we talk about Jackson. It's too painful for him, and he is dealing, but very slowly and in his own time. But as for me, he's always checking up on me and making sure I'm doing well. Ash too, in her own teenage way. She doesn't mind talking about her brother and what his life meant and talking about the fact that he is in Heaven.
They are all ok with me talking or not talking about Jackson and Lily and the pregnancy as much as I want, I feel safe with them and know that they want to hear it and care, no matter how painful it is for them. They never think or feel that I should just be over it, or think that I am grieving too much or too little, they accept my grief right where I am, wherever I am. I am so thankful for that.
God is my biggest supporter. Even beyond my family. When I felt lonely, He was there. When I wanted to hide, He made me be noticed. He knows what I need and when I need it, and He taught me that I have to actually support myself during this time more than anyone else can. This is a lonely journey most of the time, because everyone is moving on and the world is still turning, and I have to figure out for myself how to be ok with that and not hate everyone for it! He helps me figure that out. He helps me find my own strength. He has carried me through this, and is still carrying me through, this terrible mess of loss.
Looking back now, I can really see that the beautiful support carried all the way through the summer until right now, it's weaved in and out of my life. I couldn't see it at the time, but it was there. It's still there. Some of the support is physical and I can see it or hear it or touch it, and some of the support is quiet and helping from afar, like with prayers and good thoughts. The fact is, there are a lot of people out there that love us and have been walking this journey with us, even if we don't see it or hear it. Support can be invisible...but we can still feel it.
So thank you, to all of you that have supported us and continue to support us during this tough time. Your love and prayers have been crucial to us healing so well. I really feel that way, we have healed very thoroughly so far, and I feel like we need to thank everyone who is reading this for that!