I've been letting myself heal and grieve in whatever way feels the most helpful, and for the most part its been distraction, distraction, distraction with small sprinklings of facing reality when I feel strong enough to do it or when I can't avoid it. I've been trying to stay busy, busy, busy and thanks to the warmer weather it's been easier to do. A lot of our healing is just going to take time.
A dear friend wrote a sweet message to me about a week after Noah's passing and in it he said "keep busy with projects, go for walks, the park, do projects and constantly be concentrating on a task. The idle mind is the mourners playground." I've clung to that and it's been the best way to handle things right now. It feels kind of weird basically avoiding things but for now it's what we need. We face it in small pieces rather than drowning in the heartache all at once.
There are still things that we need to do (packing all his toys and clothes away into storage, taking care of some loose adoption ends that a friend is helping us with, etc.) and when we feel strong and in a good place emotionally then Daniel and I tackle them a little bit at a time. A lot of the things we need to take care of just bring a lot of pain with them.
Once the numbness of shock wears off you're left with the heavy, crushing, smothering pain of the new reality. Some of my hardest times are when I'm already feeling fragile, I can't distract myself and I find myself overwhelmed with everything from the past few months.
Pouring my heart out
So, distraction has been our friend for sure. Sometimes what I want though is to feel it all, to let it fill and ravage me, and spill my heavy, bursting heart to whoever wants to hear it. Most of the time I vent it all to a friend who asks, sometimes though it ends up being me blindsiding whoever asks "how are you?" first :) A few people have been caught off guard when they say "Hey! How are you?" and I respond with "Pretty awful. How are you??"
The other day I went to return a dish to a friend who had made dinner for us. She asked if I had time to stay and talk, so I sat down on the couch with her and poured out every painful detail of the last few months. Every last horrifying, unbelievable detail. I felt so much better leaving her home. She took and carried part of my heartbreak.
We have a pretty fantastic family doctor's office. The other day I called their nurse with a question about Aurelia, and after she helped me with that she asked how Daniel and I were really doing with everything, with grieving, with healing from all that had happened. She stayed on the phone with me and helped strengthen and encourage me.
I'm so thankful to everyone who is there to listen to me pour my broken, often angry heart out, and thankful to those who so gracefully handle being blindsided by a dam burst of heartache :)
This is the advice I've learned and been telling myself for our grieving:
Face what you can, when you can.
Spill your heart when you want to, keep it inside when you don't.