As 6 months since Lilee’s passing approaches, I start to prepare myself for the days ahead. I clean my house, go to the gym go grocery shopping and see family and friends. I prepare myself for the possibility of locking myself in side, turning the lights off, spending the day in darkness and just remembering. It helps that I can prepare for it, it’s less daunting that way. I always have the option of NOT secluding myself, but making sure I am prepared to do just that helps me feel more in control of the uncontrollable and inevitable sadness. Unfortunately, I realized yesterday that I have no way of dealing with the unanticipated bad days. The ones that just are, with no (obvious) trigger, just a punch-everyone-in-the-throat-or-stay-in-bed kind of day. Yesterday was that kind of day. Its so frustrating. Do I always anticipate a bad day and be pleasantly surprised when it’s a good one? Or do I hope for a good day and stay positive then get knocked on my ass when the day doesn’t turn out so well? And do the good days make the bad days worse? I know the bad days make the good days feel more important, so why wouldn’t it do the same on the opposite side? My brain is a shit mix of contradicting thoughts and feelings and the moment I think I have it all figured out I’m thrown a curve ball. I think that’s where my desperation to find some inner stillness comes from. I just want my brain to shut the hell up for 5 minutes so I can ACTUALLY take a look at what is going on around me and not let my thoughts control me. But it’s so hard. it’s so hard to stop thinking about Lilee not being here. It’s so hard to stop thinking about the loneliness of being a mother without a baby. It’s so hard to keep my head above water knowing the silence that comes with drowning.
At this point in my life I’m constantly re evaluation things, especially relationships. There are 3 kinds of relationships we have: ones that increase our well being, ones that maintain our wellbeing and ones that decrease our wellbeing. Fortunately for me I’ve been able to cut out people who take value away from my life. There hasn’t been many, but the ones that were there, were easy to remove. The difficultly I’ve been having is determining when it’s time to start increasing instead of maintaining when it comes to the people around me. Don’t get me wrong, maintaining your wellbeing is great.. if your wellbeing is great. I’d say mine could use a little work. So I constantly wonder how to move forward, how to keep my sanity and how to increase my wellbeing. It’s not just relationships with others, I’m also re evaluating the one with myself. But the two go hand in hand. If I’m keeping company that’s keeping me stagnant, I wont be motivated to push myself to find things that truly move me forward.
I’ve been having a hard time connecting to people since I went to the bereaved parents group at Canuck Place. At first I thought it would be a good fit, some people to connect with and relate to. But the more I thought about going back, the more alone I felt. Every couple in that room, including Lilee’s dad, had other children, and even though Andrew and I aren’t a couple, it was confusing and painful to feel alone in a room full of people I was suppose to feel connected with. It didn’t stop me from feeling connected in grief, but I couldn’t get past being the only one going home to nothing and waking up to nothing. The more I think about it, the more isolated I feel.
Throughout Lilee-Jean’s treatment I spent countless nights on hospital cots next to her crib, or at RMH curled up in bed breathing her in. I curled up on the floor at home next to her bed when she couldn’t fall asleep, and when nothing else but closeness mattered, I brought her into my bed to sleep for the rest of her nights. I felt alone a lot of the time, because of external decisions and choices. But no matter what, I could always wake up next to her crib, on the floor or in my bed and watch as she softly slept, so peaceful, so innocent. Any loneliness would dissipate and my heart would be full again with pride and love. I created an isolation that included only myself and my girl because she was the only one to pull me out. For the last 6 months, as I try and find my place in this world, I feel more and more alone in finding understanding, and honestly, less desire to. I use to feel the need to find someone who was where I was in life, someone who could tell me it will be okay, someone who has been exactly where I am. But as I sit here, in my unanticipated bad day I realized (as many parents in similar spots have said) it will never be “okay”, my path is my own, and everyone deals with things differently. So instead of dwelling on the support I don’t have or didn’t have, instead of thinking “is there no other single parent with no other children who have lost a child?” I just have to embrace my path, whatever form it may take, no matter how lonely, and remember that for a brief moment in time, I had the honour of being Lilee-Jean’s Mother, here on earth. And wish on every star that it will keep me warm and bring me comfort on the dark days I couldn’t plan for.
with hope of moving forward,