Eight beautiful roses were bought today, meaning eight months have passed. Today started like every 10th of the month does. I get ready, buy roses from the florist and head over to the cemetery. Typically, I clean off her headstone, put the roses in the vase and I write in my journals. I often wonder at these dates what she would be like, but the imagination can only run so far until reality hits. Tears flow and I grieve again.
I sometimes wonder what goes on in people’s heads when I post blogs about Penelope or articles about loss. I sometimes struggle with words to say when people say ‘you’re so strong’ or ‘I don’t know what I would do if that happened to me.’ I often think of what today would be like if Penelope was alive. I still think about what her personality would be like, what her laugh would sound like, what color her eyes are and if she would still have curls in her hair.
The grief is still very raw. Only today, it’s magnified. 6 months. 6 MONTHS!! How? How has it been 6 months already?! It’s a well-known fact that I’ve been dreading today, mainly because I’ve been sharing it freely. I’ve cried almost every day the past 2 weeks. It’s been a horrible countdown in my head and now it’s here.
As Penelope’s 6 month angel-versary approaches, I can’t believe I have made it this far. It doesn’t mean that the next 6 months will be any easier. No, I have my birthday and holidays to “make it through.” Days I don’t want to celebrate because again, I am reminded that she’s not here and she should be. Those important firsts. And in my mind, since the holidays seem to make time speed up even faster, then her 1st birthday would be approaching faster than I want it to. A day I dread most of all. A day that was supposed to be joyous. A day that means I’ve made it a year without her.
That phrase, encounter, action, or situation that sets into motion tears of sadness. They vary for everyone and sometimes I wish I knew what mine were ahead of time before the tears start. Typically it’s my thoughts and situations that get the tears flowing.
I’m finding this post extremely hard to write. Maybe it’s because I feel the pain my husband feels, or I’m trying to keep myself together for him so he can “enjoy” his Father’s Day or it’s another holiday without Penelope. Most likely, all the above.
As some of you know, I’m participating the in the #100happydays challenge. For me, it’s finding the joy while I grieve. Yes, I still grieve. It will be three months tomorrow since Penelope was born. Three months!! Each month passing quicker than the previous one. That in itself makes me cry, knowing it’s been that long since I last held her. However, this post is not about how much time has passed and wondering what Penelope’s emerging personality would be like…I think about that all the time anyway. This post is about finding the joys of each day, even on the days I’m filled with sadness. Granted, I’m only on Day 6 and I have another 94 days to go, but God moves in many ways. Whether it’s the peace after a much needed cry, laughing at Lucy for just being Lucy, or being silly with Camden. There are little joys all around.
As with any change in life, whether it’s joyous or tragic, it brings a new normal. Not every event in life causes there to be a tremendous change, but there are certainly adjustments. Whether it’s moving into your own space, getting married, adopting a pet, or having a baby. To getting a divorce, filing for bankruptcy, losing a child, spouse or parent, or getting fired from a job. While some of these events may seem more extreme than others, they still happen every day.
I started writing this shortly after we received Penelope’s final autopsy report. However, I still struggle with whether or not to share our ‘why’…the cause of death. I say that because there was no peace in the answer we received. I’m upset with the doctors that didn’t detect her cause of death. There will probably be bitterness in this post as I write, but that's how I feel. Yes, there is a medical explanation, but it just becomes a frustrating conversation in my head when I think about it:
Why wasn’t this detected sooner?
Why wasn’t this detected at all?
Could we have done anything different?
Did medicine fail us?
All of these questions have been answered, just not with any answer I wanted.
It pours and I’m not just talking about the weather today.