Though it sucks, I had to get to a point in my life where I had to acknowledge that Matthew is okay where he is. He's actually much better than okay. He's much better than I am. He's happy, and he'd want the same thing for me. I couldn't continue living my life pining for what should have been, because in the midst of that, I was missing what was. I was missing my girls and Brad, and eventually Zane who was right here, still needing me to be present in their lives. With prayer, great family and friends, and a little help from my pal Zoloft, I was able to move forward with my life, believing the lyrics of the song we played at Matthew's funeral.
And we can cry with hope
We can say good-bye with hope
'Cause we know our good-bye is not the end
And we can grieve with hope
'Cause we believe with hope
There's a place where we'll see your face again
It's not betraying your child to move on with your life. It's not betraying your child to be happy and to laugh again. It's honoring to them. I urge you to remember your baby. I urge you to talk about them and keep their memory alive in your home. There is a beautiful, delicate balance to remembering without dwelling and it takes time. Some days are harder than others and like my friend said yesterday, it feels like you've been hit by a truck. It will hit you out of nowhere. On those days, you just have to grieve. Lean into your grief and sit with it.
Last year, on Matthew's birthday, we had a church event for our new church plant. I just couldn't go. It was going to be a fun family event and I wanted no part in it. I wanted my family to go to the family fun day without me, while I sat home, by myself, looking through my memory box of Matthew's things and listened to my Matthew playlist. I had a big pity party. I wanted somebody to come and feel sorry for me, with me, but I didn't know who that would be or how they could really help, so I literally sat in my room, in the dark, all day. I didn't even remind my husband it was his birthday because I wanted him to just remember on his own. He had so many irons in the fire that day because of the event, which were probably multiplied because I wouldn't go to church, so he had to keep up with the kids on top of it all. He had no idea why I was acting like I was, and I didn't feel like I should have to tell him. These days are fewer and further in between now, but when they come, I'm blindsided.
The good news is that you get to a point where you have more good days than bad days, and you have to be okay with that. It is the way it should be. It's a good thing. If you've suffered a loss recently, the thought that everything will be okay might not make you feel better. I remember being annoyed with any thoughts of hope. I didn't want to feel hopeful. I knew there was no hope and I didn't want anyone to try to bring me any. Slowly, as I got further from his birth, I started craving a little hope. Now I want to give it, when you're ready to hear it.
It's so important to remember our babies. Don't push your feelings aside. Grieve, for goodness sake. It's so important. Grieve deeply. You deserve it, your baby deserves it, and you need it. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Take all the time you need for it. Even when you think you're better, and it hits you like a monster truck, let it flow. If you need someone to grieve with you and you don't know who, we've started an online support group on Facebook, called the Sucky Sisterhood.(https://www.facebook.com/groups/195983184223155/) Anyone on that page would understand where you are and can empathize with you, if that's what you need.
Eventually, though, when you're ready, take the steps to keep living. Just because your baby didn't make it, doesn't mean that you can't. We go on with hope. "We wait with hope, And we ache with hope, We hold on with hope, We let go with hope."