In some ways, the end of this project, the end of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and Carter's first birthday feel like the end of a chapter. You know that Brandon and I will never forget Carter, but with each passing day, it gets easier to live with the pain, and I know that after his birthday, life will still continue to move forward.
I will in no way be closing the door on the last year of our lives, and not a second will go by that I don't think of our babies, but I am going to work on giving myself permission to feel more of what I feel. If I am sad, I can be sad for as long as I want. But if I don't want to be outwardly sad that day, then I won't be.
There is a common misconception with loss parents. Actually, there are about a million misconceptions, but there is a big one that kind of bothers me. If we are outwardly sad, people think we are "stuck" in our grief. If we are outwardly happy, then people assume that we are over the loss, or that we are terrible parents who don't actually care that we lost our baby. The truth is, it's all wrong. Every single thing a person that hasn't lost a baby assumes about those of us who have is wrong. Only a handful of life circumstances will allow you to feel what we feel, and that is the constant combination of at least two emotions at all time. Where there is sadness, there is joy. With joy, there is anger. With anger, there is jealousy. With jealously there is happiness. With happiness, there is hopelessness. With hopelessness there is isolation. With isolation, there is hope. If you have lost someone you love, you know how easy it is to feel all of those things at one time.
So here's the thing: just because I am sad for a week or two at a time does not mean that I am "stuck" in my grief. I honestly don't even know what that means or why it became a negative thing. My life literally came to a screeching halt the day we lost Carter, so if you think I'm "stuck" it's only because life is not moving forward the way you'd expect it to after having a baby or say, having to clean up something that spilled on the floor. You don't "move on" after losing a child, or a parent, or a spouse, or a friend. You only move forward. Whether you move forward with tears in your eyes or a smile on your face, you are moving forward. Each day we wake up and take a new breath, we are moving forward. By doing so, we are the complete opposite of "stuck" in our grief. If someone tells you that you are stuck in your grief, call me, and I will go cement their feet to the ground to show them what stuck really is.
There might be weeks that my blog shifts away from my grief and more onto other little things that are a part of my life. Even though the sun may be setting on this first year, the sun always rises, and with it, grief and memories of our babies come too. I am so thankful for our children, and for the part they have played in making me who I am. My biggest blessing is that I am able to continue moving forward, and do each and every thing in their honor.