Mothering Caroline Grace

learning how to be the mom of an angel


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Grief Caught Up

I had big plans this weekend, starting Friday afternoon, so although I knew Friday was Caroline’s half birthday, it didn’t really hit me then.  Instead, Monday was so hard.

I felt it from the moment I woke up.  That pressure on your chest that goes along with the greatest grief a person can come to know.  I packed the stuffed bear that the funeral home gave me in my bag to take to work, because I knew it was going to be one of those tough days where I need to hold something in my arms.  I really don’t care if anyone thinks I’m crazy.  I’m not, I’m just grieving in my own way and if I feel like I need a bear in my arms, I will take it.

During my drive in to work, some song that was a little bit sappy but had nothing to do with Caroline brought me to tears.  I had a grief explosion of ugly crying in the car.  There is no controlling those explosions of grief; when it happens, you just have to feel it and try to get through it.

I left work early because I had reached my capacity of getting work done for the day.  I didn’t have any more in me left to give.

Thank goodness for my husband who was there for me when he got home.  His hugs and the way that he is happy to bring up Caroline in conversation help to keep me going.

Missing you, peanut.

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Back to School

Although I have been back to work for some time, the fall semester has now arrived.  I am a graduate student and taking a few courses this fall, but getting back into the class routine has been harder than I thought it would be.

The demand to concentrate has certainly increased.  I am now responsible for learning a lot of material.  Even though I really don’t care what grades I end up with, I want to do well.  I just don’t know how possible that is right now.  I have a light course load so that I can hopefully keep up.  However, the fact that I have now taken 3 light semesters (spring and summer were light too) means that I will be stuck here even longer, when all I want to do is leave.  I want to take my degree and run.  In fact, I seriously considered quitting right after Caroline died, but my husband wouldn’t let me.

When I walk into a classroom, it is bizarre to think that no one else there knows what I’ve been through this year.  Caroline is in every thought, but other students and professors outside my department have no idea how amazing her life was.  They don’t know that every topic winds up relating back to her.  In one class we were learning about blood and its properties, and all I could think about was Caroline’s heart.

The wave of grief is with me this week and lingering.  A friend of mine left town for a new job, and it hit me harder than I thought it would.  Now that I’ve experienced the greatest loss imaginable, other losses are harder to bear than before.

For now, I am taking it one moment at a time and trying to survive this week.  Back to school is hard.

 


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It Comes in Waves

As I have been grieving, I have come to know that there is nothing linear about grief.  There are good days and there are bad days, sometimes with no rhyme or reason to them; you just have to ride the wave until it passes.  Yesterday was one of the bad days.

I woke up and had zero desire to get up.  I kept trying to will my muscles to move, but to no avail.  So I lay in bed, thinking about my little girl instead.

When I finally was able to get up, I still did not have the energy to do what I needed to do.  I had set a goal of cleaning my house from top to bottom, but that clearly was not going to happen.  I also had planned on doing my exercises for the day as I try to get healthy and lose my baby weight.  Instead, I watched some television and took a nap.  My husband soon came home, which helped to improve my mood, but I still had a dark cloud hanging over me.

Then I made the mistake of going on Facebook.  I saw the first pregnancy announcement since I lost my daughter.  What a swirl of emotions!  I’ll admit I ran upstairs to my bedroom to cry.  Rationally I was happy for them and worried because I know what can go wrong.  Irrationally I was jealous and sad.  Why does everyone else get their happy ending when I don’t?  If all had been well, my sweet Caroline would be starting to babble and maybe crawling and everyone would be asking how she’s doing.  Instead, I have the same desire to talk about her but talking about my angel makes everyone uncomfortable.  I hate it.  I miss her.

When we went to bed, I had my husband bring me the Caroline bunny that we made.  We went to a Build-A-Bear store after Caroline passed away and built her a bunny with rainbow-colored flowers printed on its fur.  It was something that my husband had talked about doing for her before she passed on, and it felt right to still get it for her.  We have it dressed in one of Caroline’s dresses and it is the most huggable bunny – perfect for parents with empty arms.

I was holding the bunny and trying to fall asleep, when suddenly I became aware of the song that was playing in my head.  Call me crazy, but I think Caroline put it there.  There was no reason it should have popped into my head.

I think my daughter was trying to tell me that she’s not in pain and she’s happy now.  I will never think of this song or this scene the same way again.

I love you, Caroline.