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.
Many women have told me various things when it came to grieving: you’ll grieve longer, you had a closer attachment, you carried her for 9 months, etc. Yes, they are true, but just because Camden doesn’t cry every day like I do, doesn’t mean he still doesn’t hurt and feel the pain of our loss. However, today reminded me that even more that he still grieves Penelope. Whether it’s outward with tears or fervently working on his songs, he’s sad too. I wasn’t sure what to expect this morning other than I already had tears streaming down my face as we “celebrated” his first Father’s Day. He had tears too.
Camden was so excited to be a dad. Yes, it’s true, men have a different attachment to babies in utero than women, but that doesn’t mean that the love they have for them is any different. Every time he prayed, sang, read or talked to her, she would move around so much. He loved to feel her moving around and encouraged her to do more. His first moments as a dad crush me every time I think about it. I was still under anesthesia, the nurses handed Penelope to him and he cried…alone. I can’t help but be heartbroken at that image in my head.
I can only imagine what life would be like if she was here today. The giggles he would make her laugh, the smiles they would share, and the special bond they would have between a daddy and a daughter.
I know he tries to be strong for me, and I vice versa for him. We become closer when neither of us can be strong and we cry together. That doesn’t happen often, but the closeness I feel from him is unspeakable. Our love becomes stronger and we keep moving along in life together. We would still give everything “good” back just to have her in our arms, but we know that’s not how it works and we look to God for thanks. Thanks for the chance to be pregnant. Thanks to hold our baby girl for the little time we had with her. Thanks that we hold tight to each other for comfort. Thanks for the “good” that has come from this painful and tragic moment in life.
As I write, I can’t help but think of my dad too at this time. The sadness he must feel about the loss of his granddaughter and for his daughters losses. We’ve hardly talked since Penelope was buried. I also think about Camden's family, his parents who are sad for their son and the father that he would be to Penelope.
We are not the same people we were before Penelope was born. I struggle to want to talk to people in general. Camden struggles to "catch up" with life as he puts it. It can be easier to put up a front and keep the sadness to yourself when you see people return back to their normal lives, but your life still feels chaotic.