Saturday, August 1, 2020

Hope: A Necessary Evil?

This week I got jealous of a whale. Not just jealous: angry. I got angry and pissed at a whale. If you aren’t in pregnancy/infant loss world, you may not know about Tahlequah, the orca whale. Tahlequah has a heartbreakingly beautiful story. In the summer of 2018, Tahlequah’s newborn calf died. Rather than allow the body to sink or be carried away from her by her ocean home, Tahlequah spent 17 days carrying her sweet baby around the ocean. Her pod swam with her, providing an amazing level of support. Like many loss Moms, I felt Tahlequah’s pain. I felt validated in my own pain. That whale got support so I certainly could expect some too. She was loved and her pain honored so mine must matter too. Now, two years later, Tahlequah is pregnant again. The loss pages I follow shared the news excitedly. Tahlequah is having a rainbow baby! What wonderful news for her! (

The loss world celebrates rainbow babies like nothing else. They talk of rainbows and the joy after the storm often. Keep the faith. Have hope. The happy ending will come. The story of the whale seemed to reinforce this. I admit when I saw the story, I didn’t immediately feel happy for the whale, I was jealous. I was frustrated when I noticed that feeling. I honestly haven’t struggled with jealousy often since Mira died, but infertility treatments seem to be bringing it out. It is usually a short-lived flash, but it is there. With Tahlequah the whale though, it was a deep painful rage of jealousy. Maybe because it Tahlequah isn’t a person, and not someone I know personally, my heart felt a little safer feeling angry and jealous. My first, shameful, though was, “Seriously, the f’ing WHALE gets another chance at a baby before me?!”

The loss community loves rainbow stories, human and whale, because they give them hope. This blind hope has never been my thing. It honestly doesn’t give me hope to hear stories about other people getting their happy ending. I mean, so many of them start with “After 7 years of infertility and 6 pregnancy losses...” but then they get the healthy baby and it is supposed to give me hope. Really, what the hell? Years of pain and suffering until, finally, finally, they get to love a baby on Earth. That doesn’t give me hope. That scares the crap out of me. And even the really good stories, like, “She got pregnant on her first IUI even though there is only a 15% chance of it!” That honestly doesn’t give me hope. The chance for me is still 15%. Other people (or whales) getting babies doesn’t make me any more or less likely to get a baby. Hearing other people’s stories about how they got through the hard times, stories I can take something from to learn how to get by, that inspires me, that teaches, that give some hope. But just knowing everything works out for some, knowing that a beautiful whale is getting another chance to mother a calf, that doesn’t change my hope.

The dirty secret of the loss community, the unwelcome, brutally honest truth is that not everyone gets a healthy baby in the end. Not every loss Mom gets a living baby. Tons of storms do not end with rainbows. “After every storm there is a rainbow.” It’s factually inaccurate. Have you seen a rainbow after every single thunderstorm? I certainly haven’t. And there isn’t a rainbow baby after every loss. The hard truth? I could be one of those loss Moms. It is possible Mira is my only child. It is possible I am one of the Mom’s that don’t get another baby.

It is also possible that Mira is only my first child. My perfect, loved beyond measure, oldest child that could have a little brother or sister someday. And then that little word comes back again, hope. I know all the above may have sounded pretty bitter. You’ll have to forgive me, I am truly not a bitter person. But infertility treatments, well, you get a lot of hormones running through you that combine with the stress of it all, and a lot of emotions come with that. Combine that with the ongoing grief that is sewn into the threads of the life of a loss Mom? And well, my emotions can be a little all over.

But I am not a bitter mess. I have hope. I really do. I talk about what theme the next nursery will have. We never got to actually create the woodlands/fox nursery, but that will always be Mira’s, so we talk about what theme we could have next time. I give myself shots, I take my pills and supplements, I dutifully go in several times a month to be probed, stabbed, and tested at the doctor’s, I pay them huge chunks of our pay checks. Let me tell you, you have to have a ton of hope to be willing to do these things to your body. In fact, I have found it absolutely amazing what women (including myself!) do to our bodies and put ourselves through just for a sliver of hope.

Hope can raise you up. It can make you excited for this next cycle- it could be the one! Hope can give you strength. It can make you push the needle through your skin- it will all be worth it! Hope can give you resilience. It can make you push through the pain- maybe you are in the ER with a giant ovary covered in cysts, but you keep going because Moms can do anything. The thing is hope can crush you too. You have to hope to keep doing the treatments, you have to hope this month is the month or you would quit. But when you have hope that this month is the month, and the stick has one damn line again day after day, way past when there should have been two, the hope that got you through the last 28 days, crushes you now. It makes you want to crawl into bed and never get back out. It makes you want to throw out the bulk box of pregnancy tests and burn the folic acid pills. If there had been no hope these past 28 days, it wouldn’t have hurt like this.

Like I said though, hope is resilient, so a few days later, it shows up again as your period starts and you pick up the phone and schedule the next set of tests to do it all over again for the next 28 days.

For me, hope is trickiest in the waiting time. I am sure I am not pregnant. I think this is the month! I’m sure! But then, there is no way this is the month. A cramp means the embryo is implanting! Nah, that was my period coming on. It goes back and forth, back and forth. I know I need the hope to keep going. But, I know I have to stay realistic too. It is such a delicate balance.

My deepest hope comes from knowing, no matter what this cycle holds, or the next, or the next, I can get through this. It might break my heart, but I can keep going. I can try again. And if some day, there is no try in me left, Joe and I can get through that too. That is hope that is also realistic. I know we can do it. On the hardest days, Joe reminds me of this. We can get through this; we have already gotten through worse. I can keep going. I can get a 50th ultrasound. I can get another blood draw, right where the bruise still is from last time. I can do it. I can keep physically and emotionally healthy as we go through all this. I can take care of myself and support my husband. That is the ultimate kind of hope, it is faith even. And the big faith is there of course too, the most important faith. The faith that I know, I KNOW, that God is holding us through all this. I know that He hates seeing our pain. I know He is hurting to see us go through this. I don’t know why we are facing this pain, but I do know God loves me through it. And I know He is holding my daughter while she waits for me.

Hope may end up breaking my heart over and over, but I still need it. I will cling to it and pray one day I can say, “it was all worth it” as I look into the eyes of my healthy baby. I will always have the faith that Joe and I will survive, even if that hope is crushed.

Bianca JuarezOlthoff on Twitter: "Forget all the reasons it won't ...

Sunday, April 12, 2020

You've Got Me in the Palm of Your Hand

Dear Mira,

My third Easter without you arrived this morning. It was a different kind of Easter than I ever experienced. I have never spent even one Easter anywhere but Dimock with your Grandparents. This year, everyone must stay home to help keep the world safe from the virus, so your father and I prepared for an Easter here in our own home for the first time. We still wanted some of the usual tradition and a little celebration for the holiday, so we planned a meal with some of our favorites from the usual big family meal and I planned an Easter Egg hunt for just Daddy and me. It was different, but it worked, and we know we will have a big family celebration when the quarantine is over.

With all the changes, and not quite feeling like a usual holiday I stayed pretty well put together this morning. I thought of you, of course, I always do, every day (and that is not an exaggeration). I had fun hiding Easter Eggs for Daddy and looking for the ones he hid for me. We had a contest to see who could find theirs first. Mommy won by 9 seconds! It was a welcome, fun,and silly distraction. Of course, I wished I was hiding them for you too. I got dressed a little nicer than usual, it just seemed respectful to honor God today with a nice dress still. That ache of wishing I was picking out a cute little dress for you too was there.

As I started making dinner, I put on some music. I was really missing you now. I wish you are here all the time, but sometimes missing you gets too big. When you were still alive and we went to CHOP for ultrasounds to see you every week, Daddy and I met with an amazing psychologist who helped us get ready to meet you and say goodbye to you all at once. On our last visit with her before your birthday, I told her how scared I was for you to leave us. She told me the grief that was coming was like being in an ocean. This is a common metaphor, but she explained it so well.

She said the grief was like the ocean because you are always in it, and it is always there. Our grief will always be there. But it changes because there are waves too. She told us in the beginning, the first weeks, or months, we would not believe her. We would think she was a liar, because the waves would be so constant there would be no air between them. We would be sure we would not survive and would drown. She was so right, Mira. Even though she warned us, I still told Daddy she must have been lying about the waves, because this drowning feeling would never change. But, she said after time, we would start to breathe again, between the waves. The waves would come often and be over our heads, but there would be glimpse of sky and air to breathe in between. She was right, that part came in time. She told us as years passed, we would learn to predict the waves sometimes, but some would surprise us. We would learn how to swim through them and learn to feel confident we could survive each one. There would be more calm in between the waves as time went on. We would always be in the ocean, but we would learn to swim well.

It really did turn out that she was right about all of it. I can predict many of the waves. I knew there would be a big wave at your birthday and another one at Christmas this past year. I was wrong about how bad the wave would be. I started to question again if I could survive, but I did. I knew there would be a wave today. This morning I thought maybe it would end up being small and manageable, because Easter was different this year, and I was loving you and missing you in a bumpy ocean of grief, but one I could swim in. Then I put some music on. And like I said, I really started to miss you and I stopped and let my feelings out as I cooked. It turns out the wave wasn’t smaller than I expected, I was just avoiding it. Once I stopped trying to out swim it, it crashed into me. I felt the full force of your absence from our home, from the Easter Egg hunt, from our upcoming dinner, from the Easter outfits, all of it. I felt it so strong.

The song, “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice came on and I remembered dancing with you in my belly to the song and signing the words two and half year ago as I cooked a regular dinner. My heart filled with an ache only a Mom who buried her child knows. I danced to those words again today. As you know, Momma cannot dance. She does not like to either. But I did for you when I was pregnant, because you seemed to like it as you grew in my belly. So, I started dancing to those words now, just like I did back then, “I don't dance, but here I am, spinning you around and around in circles, It ain't my style, but I don't care, I'd do anything with you anywhere. Yes, you got me in the palm of your hand, girl, ‘cause, I don't dance.” I could feel the whole wave then. I forgot how to breathe for a minute.

I’ve been in that wave ever since, sweetie. It is a over five hours later now, and I know I can breathe, but the wave is still carrying me. It is so hard to be without you.

Momma has always loved Easter. When I was little, I liked that it was close to my birthday, so I got to see family that told me “Happy Birthday” even if it was already past or not quite the right day yet. I liked hunting for and finding the gifts the Easter Bunny brought. I always liked games and figuring things out. Easter had perfect traditions for me. Also, my parents, your Grandma and Grampa host Easter, so I got to stay home and not go somewhere else for that day. Momma has always been pretty anxious, especially in crowds, so I liked that too. I could sneak away to my room or go play in the woods if I needed a break. It was a perfect day.

I still like Easter for a lot of the same reasons. I also loved and appreciated as I got older that both my Mom and my Dad’s side of the family came together for the day. So many people I love all in one place! Easter just got better as I got older.

That is part of why Easter is so tough now. You aren’t here with me and I wanted to share all this love and ‘magic’ with you. And I wanted to teach you about why we celebrate Easter. I wanted to teach you about God and let you learn to love Him the way Daddy and I do. I wanted to teach you the stories of the Bible and what Jesus did for us all. Instead, you ran ahead of me and learned it all for yourself and know more now than I do about Heaven and Jesus.

Easter is still special to me. For all the reasons I already said, but now for a new reason too. Well, not new, I just understand the depth of the reason better now. On Easter, we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. It is because of this that I KNOW I will see you again. Of course, Momma has been thankful for Jesus and salvation and sure she will go to Heaven since she accepted Jesus as a little girl. But now, with you waiting for me in Heaven, I have a much deeper understanding about what a gift salvation is. This is a day to thank Jesus, a day to celebrate Him, a day to appreciate our salvation, and a day to remember that I am sure to see you again one day.

It is certainly something I am thankful for beyond words. And it is still hard that you aren’t here so I can celebrate in a different way with you.

Momma will keep swimming tomorrow. Today I can only ride the wave and do my best to keep my head above the water. I know I can’t leave the ocean until I am in Heaven with you, but I will keep learning to swim better and better each day.

I love you, Mira. Thank you for making me a Mommy. Thank you for loving me. I feel the love you send. I see the signs you ask God to give me. I will always include you in everything I do here on Earth until I can be with you in Heaven again. I know you see me finding ways to show you my love and mother you here from Earth, the best I can. You are “my angel, my darling, my star, and my love will find you, wherever you are.”

Love Always,

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Don't Read the Last Page

I usually do not allow myself to daydream about what Mira would be like or let myself fantasize about how things would be if she were here still.  Honestly, I NEVER do.  It hurts too much. I certainly have ‘what ifs’ that fill my mind.  I think “Oh, if Mira were here, I would take her to this place” or “I would buy her that for Christmas.”  But these are just fleeting thoughts, I do not allow myself to really lose myself in an imagined world of her here. 

I am actually pretty good about losing myself in other worlds.  When you have insomnia and anxiety it is a pretty effective way to keep your mind from racing at night, so it was my main coping mechanism as a teen and young adult until I got the hang of some healthier ways to cope.  Any avid reader could tell you how real a false reality can seem if you immerse yourself in it. So, to be careful to not let too much pain in, I don’t let myself imagine what my life would be like if Mira had survived.

The last few days have been different though.  I am not quite sure why, I think it is the anxiety and tension all around us combined with all the people getting to be home with their kids right now.  The night before last, my mind went there, and my God, what an amazing life it would have been if it were real.  I could picture Mira, two years old, long brown wavy hair, dark brown eyes, cute button nose and round cheeks asking to sleep with Daddy and I because she could feel the worry we had.  I could feel her between us as Joe slept.  I could hear her sweet voice.  I could feel warmth of her hand on my arm.  I could think about what I would do with her the next day to keep us busy.  We could draw chalk on the sidewalk.  We could swing on the hammock.  We could read books.  We could watch some of the movies from my childhood on Disney+.  We would probably have to watch Frozen II a few times.  It would all have been so beautiful. 

But it was not real. 

She is in Heaven.  Happy. Loved. She doesn’t need to sleep with us because she has no fear.  She is protected from all pain and sickness. And I miss her, I miss her so much.  I miss the infant Mira that I knew.  But I also miss the toddler I never got to meet and learn too.  I miss that life I imagined as soon as the test was positive.  And that will always hurt.

You squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi
I can tell that it's going to be a long road
I'll be there if you're the toast of the town babe
Or if you strike out and you're crawling home
Don't read the last page
But I stay when it's hard or it's wrong or you're making mistakes
I want your midnights
But I'll be cleaning up bottles with you on New Year's Day
Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you
Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you
Hold on to the memories, they will hold on to you
And I will hold on to you
(Taylor Swift)

I think it is healthy to acknowledge all that.  To acknowledge what Joe and I lost.  What our parents lost.  What her aunts, uncles, and cousins lost in knowing her.  I think it is healthy to recognize all that, even though it hurts, and it is scary to let the pain in.  Pushing it away it just another kind of fantasy, except in that one you pretend the pain is not real and the future was never planned.  Refusing to acknowledge that does not make it any more the truth than imagining my toddler in bed next to me makes that the truth.

After acknowledging the pain, there is another step though: recognizing all the good that is still part of this life.  Yes, I would prefer a life with Mira here and that would have been an amazing life.  There is still so much good here in my real life though.  Joe is just an amazing husband.  He does not get enough credit because he does not brag, and I am not the post all about your husband online type.  But he is an amazing father and husband.  He kisses my forehead, wipes tears from my eyes, and whispers “You are an amazing mother” in my ear everything he sees that look on my face.  He takes care of more around the house than any other husband I know, just so I can focus on my second job that I love and the volunteer work I am passionate about.  He quietly stands by me no matter what.  I can be fully myself around him, and he is totally okay with all my weirdness.  Embraces it even.  He is just the best.

We have three perfect pets.  I mean, Albus is probably the most needy and strange dog on the planet, but he quietly lays his head on my lap and sighs when I say that I miss Mira and I know he is thinking, “me too.”  Lexi has somehow managed to remain the head of the household for eight years despite adding a husband, dog, and another cat.  Through all her toughness, she still sat beside me and purred while I decorated Mira’s area for Easter today.  Iris brought light and life back into our home at the most impossibly dark time.  I’ve never met a cat more ditzy, but sometimes I wonder if she just does it to make us all smile.  She loves a good cuddle more than any other cat ever as well.

I have amazing parents.  My Mom and Dad are always there for Joe and I.  They drop things in a second if they are needed.  They exhibit so much love and strength, and I learn from them all the time still.  My in-laws are so, so good as well.  I know so many people who cannot get along with their spouses parents and I know how lucky I am that being close with mine is just so natural, their love for Joe and I is just so clear.  Because of my parents and his we never have to wonder about how we would survive if we lost our footing in the world, we know all four of them would pick us up.  And it is not just Joe’s parents, his whole family has welcomed me as a part of their life since I met them.  His aunt, uncle, cousins, and siblings are always there when we ask, and even if we don’t.

I have people who I get to meet with at least every other week just to learn about God and pray for each other.  These people have stuck by Joe and I through it all and never stopped showing support and never put a timeline on our grief.  I have friends who continue to find ways to express support and love even when we don’t see each other often.  I have met new people I never would have without Mira.  Amazing people, people that make me understand what it is to ‘find your tribe.’  I have reconnected with others that I had lost touch with.  I have some amazing people in my life.

Joe has a job he loves. After spending several years in positions he had just to have a job, he now goes to a job he really enjoys with supervisors and coworkers who love and appreciate him and his work.  I started a new job six months ago and have found a level of acceptance and appreciation at my organization that I did not know existed.  I am doing something I love surrounded by people just as, and even more, passionate than I am about helping others, and doing it with significantly less stress than in previous jobs. 

And there is so much more.  I have a good life.  I have heartbreak.  So much heartbreak.  It will always be there, the pain of losing Mira.  I know this goodness will always be there too, and it will carry Joe and I through until we are with Mira again someday.

PS- Happy Easter Mira!  I haven't been able to decorate for Easter since you left us, I've only put a few thing in your area, but today I put decorations for Easter through the whole house.  They are a little musty after all this time, but after some work they are doing better, just like your Mommy.  I love you sweet girl, I hope you like your bunny!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Bereaved Motherhood During a Pandemic

It has been quite a while since I posted anything here.  Partly out of simply being busy.  Busy loving my job, busy being a wife, busy teaching, busy with appointments, busy, busy, like everyone! But more so because it’s been a tough time waiting and hoping for another baby to love while continuing to face the lifelong grief of losing Mira.  I have not been in a place to want to share the pain of waiting, even though I still (and always will) love sharing about Mira and believe sharing about grief is so important

But today, I have so many thoughts that I want to write about.

Let me just start by saying COVID-19 sucks.  It sucks for everyone.  And there are so, so, many specific groups it sucks extra for.  And, yes, my mother taught me not to say ‘sucks.’  But this warrants it, right Mom?  It is terrible for the elderly and those with preexisting conditions for obvious reasons.  It is terrible for those with depression whose symptoms worsen with isolation.  It is terrible for those on the Autism Spectrum who find a disruption in routine more than just inconvenient.  It is terrible for those working in healthcare.  It is terrible for small business owners, hourly service workers, and all of us who live paycheck to paycheck. 

It is terrible for beavered parents though too. You may not have thought of that one, and that is okay. ( I am sure there are many groups of people that I do not realize how this could affect them.) But because you may not realize how this impacts us, I wanted to take some time to talk about how COVID-19 feels as a bereaved mother.  I honestly thought it was just me at first, but then I saw the comments and posts pouring out on the online support groups I am a part of, and though each person’s story and specifics are different, I think I can overwhelmingly say, this is extremely tough for beavered mothers. (Though I want to make it clear I am not trying to say we have it worse than other people, but each group that is struggling has a unique point of view and I want to offer ours, or at least mine.)

The first thing that hit me when the threat of COVID-19 became serious in the US, was that this feels so much like when Mira died.  Not the intense pain and grief, obviously, but the ‘emotional’ atmosphere.  The feeling is so similar in so many ways, but I am not just seeing Joe and I react to it and I am seeing EVERYONE.  The feeling is a PTSD trigger for sure (not in a Millennials overuse the word ‘trigger’ way, in a real way).  When Mira died, my world stopped.  Right there. Everything stopped moving.  There was no going to the store.  People stocked my house up with food. Joe and I didn’t go to work for a time.  Our daily routine stopped.  Everything just stopped.  We stood in amazement that the rest of the world kept moving. It was surreal.  Everything for us had stopped.  When your child dies the dishes don’t matter anymore.  You might not get out of your pj’s the whole day, I mean, who cares?  Your child died. 

All the sudden everything is stopping again, but this time for everyone.  Joe’s work has shut down and he is home.  I am working for home, though with much less work than I would have at the office.  We aren’t going out to eat, no one is.  We made sure we have enough food in the house for a week or two to limit grocery runs.  It feels so similar.  But this time we aren’t dazed at how the rest of the world keeps going, because it stopped too.  Though this ‘stopping’ is not as all-encompassing as when Mira died, it is so similar that it wakens those responses in us loss parents, especially those of us with PTSD.

As loss parents, we know people die all too well.  We don’t find statistics comforting.  A 1-3% death rate for this virus means little to us.  We know what it is to be in the minority statistic.  We know each of those people in the 1-3% had loved ones whose world now stopped in a way that is beyond ‘social distancing.’  We know that pain.  We don’t want anyone to feel it.  We don’t want to feel it again.  Statistics hold little to no weight when your infant died, which has a less than one percent chance of happening (America’s infant mortality rate is 5.8 per 1000 live births).

For me, personally, I am not fearful of getting the virus, I am young and healthy.  I take every precaution anyway (as we all should!) to protect our vulnerable, I know the pain of loss, I will not put it on others.  Joe, I know, fears me getting sick.  It is so common for a loss Dad to become over-protective of their spouse, and Joe is for sure.  I tell him I am in no danger even if I get COVID-19 as I have none of the preexisting conditions, the rate of death is less than 1 percent!  But of course, that does not give comfort to someone who lost a child, someone who is already in the less than 1 percent camp.

Us loss parents, we learned that things are not in our control a long time ago.  So, we control what we can.  Our child’s loss was completely out of our control.  We did everything we could to save them.  In the end, it did not matter, we lost them to Heaven.  Things outside of our control are especially tough after that.  It is not in our control if we get the virus, or worse, if our vulnerable loved ones get it.  That is scary.  It is also not currently in our control if we go to work, if we go to the movies, if we go out to eat, or really much of anything else right now.  It is needed.  And I fully support the measures my state has taken to enforce social distancing.  But I think we can all agree it still is not pleasant.  And since last time everything in our world spiraled out our control our baby died, well you might find that us loss parents start holding tight to what we can control as these memories come flooding back.

Last, but certainly not least, to discuss is the jokes about children right now from everyone else in our lives.  The jokes circulating FaceBook about having a ‘baby boom’ in nine months are not funny for us.  As someone who has lost a baby, then waited my due time to be cleared to try to have another, and then got a negative test month, after month, after month, those jokes are little stabs to the heart.  They aren’t meant to be hurtful; I know.  But they are.  Four years ago, Joey and I decided to bring a baby into our home.  There is still no baby here in our house. That sucks.  And 1 out of 8 (infertility stats) of the other couples you know felt a similar stab in their heart when they see those jokes too.  We would LOVE for a couple weeks of forced quality time with our spouse to lead to a baby. 

Beyond the baby boom jokes is all the joking, also sometimes serious, complaints about being home with your children right now.  Parents needing so much wine to get through the time with their children.  They are distracting from work.  They are misbehaving.  The posts are everywhere.  Avoid Facebook?  Doesn’t matter, the jokes are in person too.  At the store.  From friends and family. My coworkers jokingly complain during video meetings that the children are causing chaos.  God, do you know what I would give to have my 2-year-old causing chaos right now?  To have a toddler that I had to balance care for while I worked?  To have the responsibility of caring for my precious little human?  It is okay to complain sometimes, I am sure being a Mom/Dad to living children is especially hard right now.  But don’t forget how lucky and blessed you are to have that child there to annoy you and love you.  Some of us can only dream of that and we are being reminded of that an awful lot right now.

I guess my point is, COVD-19 sucks for everyone.  And there are many specific groups it is pretty terrible for, and one of those groups happens to be beavered parents.  I certainly am not comparing our current struggle to those who are most vulnerable to severe reactions to COVID-19.  I am just hoping we will all remember to think of everyone who this is extra hard for and remember the bereaved Mamas and Daddies when you are praying.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Let Me Be Lighter, I'm Tired of Being a Fighter

Angie Smith says in her book, I Will Carry You (2010), "The truth is that to some degree, every day I have here is another day without her.  I don't know when I will be able to see life any differently."

I have been thinking about this quote a lot over the past 48 hours or so. After getting through Mira's 2nd Birthday, my soul sore and tired, but still okay, Christmas took my breath away.  I guess maybe the typical holiday stress combined with being surrounded by groups of people that Mira was so glaringly missing from, and the pain of trying to be okay in front of others, and then failing miserably lead to my downfall.

I haven't caught my breath since about noon on Christmas and I am not quite sure what to do about it except ride it out and keep trying to go about my days until I get my head above water again. I have been hating feeling this way after getting to an 'okay' place recently. It is completely overwhelming and painful in a way I am at a loss to describe.

Could you beam me up,
Give me a minute, I don't know what I'd say in it
Probably just stare, happy just to be there holding your face
Beam me up,
Let me be lighter, I'm tired of being a fighter, I think,
A minute's enough,
Just beam me up.
(Beam Me Up, P!nk)

So, I went back to this quote just to read Angie's words and feel a little less alone and a little less crazy to be in so much pain 2 years after my loss (as Angie said this further down the loss road).