To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
Today is Saturday and I start my day with my usual cry before getting out bed. I do a T25 routine before meeting a friend for a walk. Ty has plans with friends for today, a walk, then shopping downtown at Findlay Market. This is our time for mourning, but we are trying to stay healthy while we go through this process. We are taking time to take care of our bodies, minds and spirits. There are no shortcuts. There are no instant cures. It’s been just over a month since we found our baby dead in her bed and it hurts like hell. It’s going to hurt like hell. It’s supposed to hurt like hell.
Ty returns from her shopping trip. I’ve been watching TV, but nothing is catching my attention. I’m just bored. Suddenly, I feel the grief rolling in like a black fog over me. I can’t help it. I can only watch as my mood turns from being OK, to being bored, to suddenly being in the midst of absolute despair. I miss Shayna so badly right now and nothing can take my mind off it. We decide to go out and do some shopping we needed to get done. Maybe that will distract me. As I’m getting dressed to go out, I just can’t move any more. I fall onto the bed and start crying. I cover my face with a pillow to keep the dogs from licking my tears. The grief is more than I can bear at this moment. I’m spent. I’m done. I gather myself together to go out and we head out for shopping. When we get to the store, we are looking through the juniors section. I love buying unexpected gifts for the girls. I find a top that is absolutely perfect for Kayla. It’s like it was made just for her. But…. then I realize I can’t buy anything for Shayna. The grief rolls over me again. The missing her is like a giant hole in my chest that nothing can fill. Knowing that this is permanent is more than I can stand to think about. I sob in the dressing room so no one will see.
I post on Facebook my mood, which is pretty much I feel old, tired, depressed, in despair, etc. My friends immediately rush to my aid offering all kinds of advice. Everyone wants me to feel better. People are saying I should take vitamins, herbs, medication, etc. This is the way I look at it though. Grief hurts. Grief is supposed to hurt. There is no way to avoid the pain. I have to go through the pain. My plan is to do everything I can do stay healthy while I take this long and difficult journey. If the pain becomes overwhelming, well I’ll have to adjust then. But no counseling is going to take it away. No drug is going to replace Shayna. The only way is to deal with it. So, here is my plan.
1.) Keep my exercise routine and eat right- fortunately for me about 7 months ago I got serious about exercise and nutrition. I’ve been working out regularly and it’s become a habit. I typically walk 4.5 miles a day (or more) and either cut the grass or do a T25 program. This helps my body and my brain by releasing chemicals that I’m depleted of right now. Also being tired helps me to sleep.
2.) Counseling- I’ve been taking advantage of some professional counseling, but more important than professional counseling for me is the counsel of friends. I have been blessed with amazing friends both on-line and in person. Counseling is, for the most part, just talking things out. I’m the kind of person who needs to process, to talk it out. I find myself saying the same things over and over again. Having so many people I can dump this stuff on has been a tremendous help for me, so I don’t overwhelm any one person. Professional counselors have helped me by validating what I’m doing and by telling me that my feelings are normal for where I am in the process. Friends want me to feel better. The counselors know it’s just too soon for that right now. I just need to survive the feeling bad.
3.) Externalizing the pain- I was listening to a professional counselor this morning and she suggested journaling, blogging, dancing, any kind of creative outlet during the period of grief. For me, blogging is therapeutic. This helps me analyze my own feelings, see patterns and I love getting feedback from people on what I’m doing.
4.) Helping others- even while I am going through this, I find it healing to try to help others. I’ve been told my blog is helping some people. There is a friend I know who just suffered a loss of someone very close. I’m trying to remember to reach out to him. Ty and I know that others have been hurt by the loss of Shayna and have been trying to help them go through their own processes. Helping them helps me.
5.) Learning- I was speaking with my mother last night and she is concerned I think about me overanalyzing this. Well, analyzing is what I do. Looking for answers is who I am. This has set me off on a whole new level of learning, seeking, analyzing. She said analyzing this wouldn’t help or fix it (I can’t recall her exact words). I asked “Well, what will?” “I don’t know.” she replied “I guess just time.” Well, I can’t make time go any faster. So, in the meantime, I’ve got to do something. For me. I find it helpful to try to learn, to take this as an opportunity to grow, to reassess. I’ve found my focus in life has shifted in a difficult to describe way. As for this earthly existence, I am more short term focused. I can hardly think past next week (at least right now). I’m much more attuned to living in the moment. At the same time the importance of this existence has faded for me. I have a more eternal point of view now. I am thinking about the growth of my soul. I am thinking of this life as just one in a series of lessons. I am re-evaluating my impact on the world.
This is my time for mourning. This is my time to feel the pain of the loss of someone in my life who cannot be replaced by anyone or anything. This is my time to contrast the utter joy that Shayna brought to me with the absolute devastation of having her snatched away. I imagine Shayna (who is probably a more advanced soul than I am) sitting, watching and cheering me on. I’m determined to do her proud. But, for now, it’s my time to mourn and I just have to deal with the pain.