Grief is a funny thing. Even when life has started on a new path, and there are bright happy days ahead, it still lingers there in the background, waiting to reclaim you. I find that milestones often bring it back, rearing it's ugly head. Some would disagree with my description of grief. Some say grief is love, embrace it. And I agree, it comes because of love, but I would rather feel the love and light for Emma than the aching sadness. It's such a hard balance to find. When I am feeling happy it can be hard because I feel like Emma is distant from me. It is easiest to remember her and feel her when the weight of grief is on my shoulders. Of course, I'd rather be happy than sad though. Does that make sense? Do you feel the way I feel?
All of these hard heavy feelings and thoughts are starting to swirl around as Emma's second birthday approaches. Two years. How can that be? It's so hard to imagine having a two year old daughter here, especially as I sit here watching my six month old on the monitor as she sleeps. It's so surreal and confusing.
I also look ahead to our life with Lilah and wonder how it will be parenting both her and Emma. Emma will always be included, and a part of our family, but I also want to make sure that Lilah never feels that she is in Emma's shadow. I guess one look at how Lilah is the center of our hearts and lives, and I don't need to worry about that happening, but then I worry that Emma is not getting enough of my thoughts and attention. Do you see the vicious cycle? I also worry how having a sister in Heaven will be for Lilah. I think about my kindergarten students who talk about their families and brothers and sisters, and I wonder what Lilah will say. Will she say that her sister died? What will the other kids say? Kids can be mean. Will Lilah be "the girl whose sister died"?
I think I've had my head in the sand a little bit lately. I've been living this amazing life every day and I haven't allowed myself to feel too much grief. I've packed it up, neatly stored it in a box in the back of my mind. I struggle with that. I'm a little too good at compartmentalizing things. Now, with Emma's birthday approaching in a few months the box has torn open a bit, and the sadness is creeping back out, along with guilt for boxing up my grief, and in my mind, Emma, in the first place.
So many ups and downs and emotions. It's just another day in the life of a bereaved mama.