The time is coming....again....too quickly. I looked at the date on my computer and noticed, of course...it's the 20th. **sigh** So, I counted. Not that I had to. I never have to. We just don't....
Parents who have had to say their absolute final farewells to their children never have to count. We always know. We know how long it's been since and how long until the next milestone/anniversary. We just know.
Eight weeks. Exactly. Eight weeks from today will mark a decade. It will mark ten years since the very last time I felt my daughters move within my ever expanding abdomen. Ten years since I walked into a doctor's office and heard those words that have echoed in my ears so many times since....." I'm so sorry." A decade without them. Eight weeks. Five days after that I will mark the ten year mark for the day I delivered my daughters. So incredibly tiny, perfect and beautiful....and silent. How is it possible? Have I really survived ten years since that day? Ten years ago I wasn't sure I would survive the moment, the next day, the week.....and yet-I have.
Sunday was father's day....and I read and smiled at so many posts and comments about fathers both living and no longer with us. And it struck me as it often does that while we (the loss community) have made incredible strides in raising awareness and helping some to understand just what our loss entails-we still have major mountains to move.
How many postings did you see expressing love and longing for fathers long passed? People who genuinely wish they had more time with their father to create just one more memory, give one more hug, express one last I love you. Many I am sure and you likely expressed your loving thoughts to them on such a difficult day to be without their father. You held out some supportive comment on how lucky they were to have had time with their father and how you're certain daddy is watching over them and proud, etc. And not once did you (no matter how much time has passed since their loss) question their state of mind, their sanity, their ability to function in life or suggest they seek help, stop living in the past or move on because sweet Lord this "hanging on" just isn't healthy or normal. (I loathe that word almost as much as the other n word, BTW).
And yet.....here I sit....almost ten years after giving birth to two children whose every moment I had planned in my head. Two little girls whose siblings had already determined who would wear which color and what their likes/dislikes and personalities would be. Two little girls who I instead held against me, lifeless as I drank in every detail of their appearance, inhaled their scent and kissed their little faces and fingers over and over wishing desperately to awake from this nightmare. Two little girls whose siblings have grown/aged and become ten years older without them. Two little girls who instead of having toys shoved under couches and clothes strewn around the house have two tiny urns on a shelf.
Ten years of pain and daily grief that I am not supposed to talk about. It's not normal. It just isn't healthy to relive it. It's funny.....there was a time ten years ago when I couldn't get through a thought of them without losing any semblance of emotional strength or control. I cried. Daily. I sobbed every night. And I prayed often to join them because the pain of living without them outweighed every single other emotion/feeling I possessed. But now...a decade later....I am able to smile. To think of them and remember how amazing it felt when they would toss and turn and kick inside of me. To revel in the joy of those weekly appointments when I could listen to the music of their heartbeats and stare in awe at their growing bodies and beautiful faces on the ultrasound machine. If I close my eyes I can see them. I can feel them. And I can still smell the scent of their bodies as I clung to them.
But...it never fails....people don't see my loss as a true/real loss. When I talk about my daughters I get messages. People are concerned for my well being. They question my state of mind and whether or not I need to seek help. Should I maybe consider medicating to level out my emotional state? Is it really healthy for my OTHER children (who I really should be thankful for) to see me "this way" ALL the time?? **sigh**
Would you ask your best friend whose father died 30 years ago if she needs help because she STILL misses him? No. Of course you wouldn't. Because their is absolutely nothing abnormal/wrong/unhealthy with the fact that someone misses their father once they are gone from this life. Guess what? There is EQUALLY nothing abnormal/wrong/unhealthy with my STILL missing my CHILDREN who DIED. Why can we not seem to balance those two situations in our minds?
So....please consider this a REALLY long disclaimer for the posts that will no doubt start popping up on my social media. Because I miss them. Every moment of every second of every hour of every single day. I think of them all the time. And in eight weeks I will be marking a very big passage of time that has been spent missing them. But it doesn't mean I am unhealthy. It doesn't mean I am depressed, suicidal or holding onto the past. It simply means....I miss my children.