Thursday, April 17, 2008

Joy and Pain

"Whether or not a child had gone through a grief phase immediately after the loss-and most had not- there were predictable trigger points in a woman's life where the grief would be reactivated and the loss would feel fresh and new. The birth of a first child ranked highest on the list." Hope Edelman, Author of Motherless Daughters

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The day we found out we were going to be parents was the best day of my life. But, it was also a terrifying day. On that day, I realized how hard this was really going to be. Mostly, without my mother here to go through it with me.


I feel terribly guilty for wanting her here. I have a fantastic step-mother, who really is like my mom. I love her just the same. But, I still miss my mama. Being pregnant only unleashes those thoughts and feelings. I am learning this now.

My wounds are still bleeding. My heart still aches. And more than ever, I want her here. To reassure me that I will be a great mom, just like she was. To hold me during labor, and to tell me it will be alright. I wish she were here so I could ask questions. What was it like being pregnant with me?? How much weight did you gain?? When did you go into labor?? Were you overdue, was labor tough, what was it like when you first saw me?? My questions for her are endless.

The grief is almost unbearable for the first time in a long time. I suppressed a lot of my feelings about her death a long time ago, and now they are fresh and new again. These are wounds that will never heal. My heart will never be the same again. But, I know that she would not want me to worry or fret. And so I am trying not to.

This baby will know all about his or her grandmother. About how wonderful she truly was. About all the lives she blessed in her 40 years on earth. This grandchild will know all about her radiant smile, and her infectious laugh. About how statuesque and sophisticated she was. How when she walked into a room, everyone stopped to stare. And how her style and taste still seems like it lives on in me and my sisters. This child will know the "Dear Little Dolly" song by heart, just like I do. And they will know what it was like to be in her presence. She was a kind, beautiful soul, and I miss her more than ever. 20 years after her death, my life still seems impossible without her. And more than ever, I feel like I am losing her all over again. Grief is a crazy thing. It really is that pit in your soul that aches and aches. It never goes away. That is what grief and pain are to me. That hole that remains. My hope is that this child will be a reminder to me. A reminder of what I have lost, but also a reminder of what I have gained. And in a way, a small patch for that piece of my soul that aches.




13 comments:

Leslie said...

What a beautiful post and picture Emily!

Keri said...

Em,

This really is a beautifully written post. I can't imagine what you're continuing to go through, but it must be incredibly difficult. Don't feel guilty or try to suppress your feelings. These stories that you share are a beautiful tribute to your mother.

*hugs*

Heather said...

Beautiful entry

Mandy said...

Emily - what a profound entry. I can somewhat understand your heartache but only to a point. Knowing that my own mother is slipping away has prompted me to ask her so many questions about my childhood and I am truly truly sorry for your loss. 20 years doesn't make the loss any less.

Know you have many people praying for you!

The Loucks Family said...

Beautiful Emily. I actually was talking about you last night. My mom mentioned my Grandma went in to see your dad the other day and I said that I saw you at the play date and when I saw you there, I remembered about your mom and it broke my heart that you won't have your real mom here to share this special time with. But at least you do have a fabulous stepmom and your mom will be guiding you through the joys of pregnancy and motherhood from a special place, you know that. :-)

Christina said...

I love this post! I don't think you should feel guilty for feeling this way. I think it is great that you can express yourself and not repress it and bottle it all up. So much better. Thanks for sharing this.

Amanda said...

Beautiful Emily.

apt said...

I am certain that when your child is born, you will regain a piece of your mom, and an understanding of her that you can not have just yet.
Mourning is an ongoing, terrible and beautiful process. Allow that for yourself.
Lovely photo. Lovely post.

Amanda said...

Ditto Amy. Whenever I see a picture of your mom, I see how much you look like her.

Elizabeth said...

Love you, Emmy.

Beth said...

((hug))

Kerri said...

This is a wonderful post. Thanks for sharing with us. You always talk about how amzing your mother was. I think you are just as amazing! And there's no reason to ever feel guilty about your feelings, hon.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Em. This is a wonderful post and like Christina said you shouldn't feel quilty for feeling this way. Lots of hugs to you

Mia