Thursday, May 10, 2012

Anticipation, a grieving mother's enemy

You know how anticipation feels. There is that little flutter in your stomach, maybe the shaking of hands...adrenaline pumping, heart racing, voice shaking. I used to associate it with the excitement of an upcoming trip or the nervousness of a public speaking event. But now I have to add Ellie's birth and death dates, her original due date and Mother's Day to the list. My heart has been hurting as I anticipate another Mother's Day without all my children.

Last year, I posted a brief history of Mother's Day. Many don't know its true origins. We think of it now as a day to celebrate mothers, a justifiable celebration on the awesomeness of mommyhood. But it began as a day for bereaved mothers to mourn their lost children. Now there is a day for those like me called International Bereaved Mother's Day. It was last Sunday, May 6.

The week between these two special days mirrors my mood of late; transitioning between dark and light. One moment I am honoring and crying tears of pain for my first daughter, the next laughing and thanking my son and daughter while opening their early Mother's Day gift. The pain of Ellie's death and trauma of watching her last few hours still haunt me. I can smell, hear, and see everything when I close my eyes. I know the pain will never go away. These moments are sprinkled throughout my days in between the hugs and kisses given to Ellie's siblings.

Of course I am beyond thankful for my surviving children. I am tired of having that constant caveat. It's like I cannot grieve Ellie without saying I am thankful for what I have. "It could always be worse," right? But there is some truth to that. It could be worse. I know that. I don't even want to imagine what could happen to my loved ones. And as I have written many times in this blog, I don't ever want another child to suffer, be sick or die.

Sorry, I am getting off topic. This blog serves as one of my coping mechanisms and honestly helps me make it through the tough times. One thing my mind does when I am anxious is wonder. I can't seem to focus. All these thoughts and memories and what-ifs run through my head. But like most anticipated events, the time leading up to it are seemingly much worse than the actual event. I just have to keep telling myself that as I prepare for another day without Ellie.