Since we’re breaking comfort zones this year, the blog’s first guest poster comes from the other end of the couch. Becky, Doria’s mom, has been reflecting on this crazy year……..
It always surprises me how fast emotions can change. One moment you can be laughing and the next your world just shatters. The moment our Doctor bit his lip I knew something had to be wrong. Some of the mourning starts at the moment it happens, yet you can be in shock for awhile. It was such a strange couple of days in the hospital while waiting to deliver our daughter. We would switch from crying to trying to cheer each other up. I am sure that the nurses and delivery doctor thought we were strange with being able to have moments of laughter or small smiles. After Doria’s funeral we both felt the loss was more real. Grief changes everything. You never know what will be a trigger. I have been staring at the calendar a lot more the last few days. Has it really been almost a year?
I cannot be more thankful for my husband. He’s always been there for me, but seeing him grieve while also clearly putting me first is extremely humbling. Along with the question, “why did she die,” I asked, “why now?” “Why right before his birthday and before our anniversary?”
For me it was a strange time of hurting not only in my own grief, but for him as well. I was thankful that we did spend some time looking at books and blogs right away that reminded us that everyone (EVERYONE) grieves differently. We took that to heart. The two weeks. I stayed home, which was odd. We both were hurting and both wanted the other to feel free to talk or not talk or whatever would help whether it was a look, smile, or discussion. The ability to be there for each other and to accept the differences in grieving was a blessing. Where Erik struggled with school and focus, I became more closed off. I didn’t avoid everyone, but I took a step back from things I normally enjoyed doing or the small encouraging things I try to do. Even trying to think of others was a struggle. I know crying can be healing and relieving, but I dislike the fact that I will cry at almost anything now.
If you’ve read the blog before, you know that we believe in God and the Bible. I knew that the only way to get through the first days and weeks was to cling to the promises that I knew. I knew that for me to have any sort of peace I had to decide not to dwell on why. I decided to remind myself of whom I trusted in and why I trusted. I kept reminding myself that God loves me, Erik, and Doria. He sent His son to die for us. I have seen God provide for us before and He would continue to do so. Sure, I still wondered why she died. I sometimes wished I could understand what the big picture was, but those questions didn’t help.
Even while missing Doria, I am thankful that there have been things to be happy about, to celebrate, to just be thankful for something. The first few months after Doria died, it was hard to see babies anywhere. It just hurt. Yet, within two or three months after her death a close friend gave birth to her second child. I was offered to go with another friend to the hospital and visit. I hesitated, but decided to go. I knew she would understand if I started crying. (I don’t recommend doing this unless you are ready for it, though!) So I got to see their cute baby girl. I also got to hold her. Months later, I realized how good for me it was that she made me hold her. It helped me to be around other infants. I am thankful a friend took pictures of Doria for us. We have a nice family picture to remember her by. The blessing that Zoe came along so soon! The wonderful friends and family that brought us food right after, pray for us, and are there for us. There are smaller things too, the day to day things to be thankful for like the desire to want to encourage or lift someone else up, the desire to just be around others.
With her anniversary coming up, I really want to do something for her. Not sure what yet. I know our default celebration is to eat out, but it would be nice if we found something to do as well.