We set the date for two baby showers the day before I was rushed to the emergency room. One was set for February 27, which ended up being the day after Sam’s funeral. The other was set for March 27, which will be the day before his memorial service. This Saturday, I would have been rolly polly pregnant, opening gifts, anticipating a baby boy.
Instead, we’ve made plans to meet my good friend’s baby girl. She was born just a couple of weeks after Sam, named after my middle name. I’ve heard her noises over the phone (so cute). I’ve heard her birth story. My heart and her mother’s heart have been close since before we were pregnant together. And when we were pregnant, our pregnancies seemed knit together. Even as they branched into two very opposite directions in so many ways, our pregnancies pulled at each other.
I’ve anticipated my friends’ baby, and I grieve that I wasn’t able to celebrate with them as freely as I would have without my grief. Until now, meeting her face to face has been too much to fathom. I’d like to say I’m ready. I don’t know if I’ll ever be ready. Just like when we had to let Sam go… I still cry when I think about it (will tears ruin my laptop?)… I never would have been ready. It’s just time. It’s time to meet baby Celia.
My friend wrote today that she’s praying that meeting Celia “will not accentuate what is not so for you on this earth,” but that meeting her will be healing. I hope it can be. I think it could be.
I am redecorating our living room. This project has been a welcome distraction, a chance to burrow out some space in this stifling grief so I can breathe in and out while I’m buried down here in the hardest part. Fabric samples are draped over the arm of the couch, and measurements jotted down on post-it notes are strewn here and there. I’m surprised at how different my preferences have been as I’ve made selections. A little more silver, a little bit of gold, a little more glass, darker neutrals, richer accent colors, more intentional placement… in a way, it feels like figuring out who I am becoming because of this.
Identity and purpose are so important to me. They help me line up my days. I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what my purpose is… I’m not the same girl I was before. An innocence was stripped from me when Sam was taken away. How do I gain this strength I need in order to walk in grief? And how do I gain that strength without hardening my heart? If I harden my heart, death won’t sting as deeply, but joy will hardly meet my heart.
I do hope that some day joy will come to me again.
I tell myself, one day at a time, and maybe something good could happen, but it feels like nothing good could ever happen for me again. Maybe, I hope, every day I walk down this path might bring me closer to emerging from this valley. Today, I redecorate the living room. Tomorrow, we celebrate Steven’s birthday with friends. Saturday, I meet Celia. Sunday, we remember Sam. One day at a time.