Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Reisterstown, Maryland
Monday, May 10, 2010 1:01 PM, CDT
First, I'd like to wish all women a late “Happy Mother's Day.” I don't think you have to be an actual mother to celebrate the honor. We have been blessed with the maternal aspect of the female persona through so many women in our lives...grandmas, aunts, friends, teachers...so many have personally helped us “mother” our children and it became very apparent to us of their importance and their presence during our journey with Sicily's cancer. Thank you for helping us and for sharing with them your love!
It is no secret that these past two weeks have been very hard for me, personally. Patrick and the kids are doing okay...good but not great, yet. Patrick has such an even keeled personality, yet he is no where near running through the finish line on this marathon of grief yet. He has miles yet to log. The thing about him is that he doesn't let himself climb too high or fall too low in this grieving process, yet he will still admit that the happiness we tell ourselves we are responsible for acquiring is still not in his grasp. We have for so long both believed that we should be responsible for our own happiness, in other words, other people or materialistic objects should not be what makes us happy. We should be able to decide that no matter what our circumstances, we can find happiness in life somewhere. God wants us to be happy!
I think in our current situation we tend to feel guilty if we let ourselves feel happy right now, like the act of personal happiness diminishes how much Sicily meant to us or that her death really didn't affect us as much as it should have. It is quite the opposite, but like I have written before, Sicily was not our only source that we allowed to help us be happy...we have three other incredible gifts named Corinthian, Isabella and Elias, that do everything in their power to help us quench our thirst for that much desired and needed happiness!
I recently read literature sent to me by our Hospice providers that explains and divides grief into seasons. The first season of grief listed is Fall...”disbelief prevents the person from accepting what is true.” It continues to list the various possibilities that a person may feel or experience. Some of it I related to, but for the most part, when I first read this I did not see myself fitting into this description. During the first four or five weeks after Sicily's death, I think I was more like in a honeymoon stage. I was truly doing good. I did not feel like I was in any sort of denial. I did, in fact, question why was I doing so good? I talked with our church nurse over the phone and expressed my own concern as to why did I not feel the need to cry? Why was I so accepting of Sicily's passing and all that had happened? Why did I feel like I was passing by so many of the grieving milestones that everybody else seemed to be experiencing? She did make a comment that did make sense to me at the time. She said, “Kerry, you have basically been in a state of mourning for the past nineteen months since Sicily's diagnosis.”
Even though we consciously made every effort to not mourn Sicily while she lived and breathed every one of those five hundred and seventy-seven days between diagnosis and death, the unconscious mind still held tight to the thought of her mortality. So, as I thought to myself, “Maybe I will not experience what others do at a time like this.” I was glad I had held onto that article so that when the other shoe fell...the bottom dropped out...I came tumbling down that mountain...all of the above and more, then I would understand that I wasn't' going crazy. I wasn't losing it and I was truly in the midst of the most difficult stage of the grieving process.
The next season to hit, and I mean HIT, is winter. The words under this title are longer in description than all the other three seasons put together. It begins with, “When the reality of the death sets in, you may feel that you are worsening because you acknowledge that the death really did happen...” It continues to explain that, “Confusion tampers with your sanity...you are disorganized and impatient with yourself.” I actually felt alarmed when I woke up one morning and the tears began to flow, and they would not stop. They would not let up for anything. Every single thought, picture or memory I would have, see or feel of Sicily would crush me like a two ton asphalt roller. I felt complete frustration with myself that I could not figure out a way to be consoled. I couldn't do it and if I couldn't, surely no one else could, either. I did not want to talk to or see very many people. I did not shut out everyone, but I did many. I know, or at least I hope I know, that others did not take my avoidance or absence personally.
Grieving takes on such a personal identity...as we are all so unique in our own way, the way we grieve is unique, too. I put on a good front if I needed to. I might have been up for an academy award if others around me truly knew how good my acting skills were. I finally stopped trying to hold onto the idea that I was okay...as I truly was for awhile, but when I wasn't, it was time to come clean. Part of my personality is to not want to bring others down. I wanted to spare and hide my sadness so others would not feel what I felt. I didn't want anyone to have to feel what I was feeling. It was a very painful place!
Truth be known, I found out that others were already there with me in this struggle, like my mom, for instance. She admitted, like myself, that she felt like she was taking steps backwards in her own grieving journey. It helped knowing I wasn't the only one who came tumbling down...and it wasn't like I grabbed her in the midst of my fall and brought her down with me. She hadn't climbed as high as I had, yet, but she still found herself losing her footing. I read her the “winter season of grief” and we both agreed to be somewhere on that leg of the journey where we feel the coldest and bluest.
I know the seasons of spring and summer, both figuratively and realistically speaking, are near and shortly around the corner for all of us. I have to try very hard to let go of the desire to find the “fast forward” button for this time in our lives as I want so much to feel more happiness in my coming days than sadness, but I also know I need to experience every bit of this journey to heal properly...the bad, the ugly and the down right darkest that grieving tends to drag our tired and worn out minds and hearts through. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I know that the sun still shines brightly even though it is deeply hidden behind the severe weather threatening skies.
I know that God has not forsaken me. Maybe He decided that since I was doing so well, He would put me down and let me try out my weak and wobbly legs. He was there when I tripped and feel down that mountain. He caught me so I am not as injured or hurt as what I could have been if I had not asked Him to be with me every day! And even though I feel as if I am crawling on my hands and knees, He is here beside me every second cheering me on and telling me, “You can do this!” I will not let Him down. I feel humbled when I am told that I am brave and strong and that I have set a good example. In all honesty, I am so very broken. I just love God so much and am so thankful for everything He has given me and done for me that I am just trying to do the best that I can. I know that is all He asks of me right now. He is just so patient with me...I need to be just as patient with myself. He will take all the hurt and all the pain and turn it into something good someday. That could happen next week, next year or years from now during my lifetime. All I need to do is trust in Him...and I do! He will provide! ; )
One of these days I will be able to sit down and share all the wonderful things that have happened and continue to be shared with me. Though these past two weeks have been rough, so many beautiful things have occurred. Even though I may be crawling around and feeling low to the ground, I have at least tried to keep my head looking up and my eyes forward as to not miss out on what is inevitably aiding me in my healing.
Last week something was shared with me that truly began to pull me back up. God extended His hand through someone when they shared a beautiful gift with me. It is not the right time for me to write about it, but rest assured I will. It is nothing short of beautiful! I had actually begun to feel weighted down with my own desires to write a book. I second guessed the need and the purpose, as I often do when I strive to do something. The sharing of an incredible story changed all that and I am more excited than ever. I am also beginning to feel bolts of happiness striking my heart from time to time. I will continue to be patient for it's full return, but will take what I can get when I can get it!
I'm going to go ahead and sign off for now, but plan on writing as much as time will allow me this week so I can get caught up on all the recent occurrences. I will try not to bombard with too much all at once, but that's sometimes the only way I'm able to conquer.
“Sicily, we love you all the way to heaven!!!”
Love and blessing to you all!