Yesterday was a difficult day. You know what, difficult doesn’t begin to describe it.
Yesterday was one year since Heath died.
After we lost Zoe, Jimmy and I dealt with it differently. Others may have looked at it as we were not on the same page, but it really didn’t (and doesn’t) matter what other people thought about it. We were getting through it the best way we could. Our marriage never seemed to suffer (although it probably should have, if I’m being honest) and we worked through it at our own pace separately but together. Does that make sense? Maybe not, but it worked for us.
Over the years, I’ve probably been the one to visit her grave more. He said that he visits when “the mood strikes” but not necessarily because it’s a certain date on a calendar. I was talking to a friend and she said that it’s the opposite for her and her husband. He visits more often than she does. Guess what? That’s okay too. We are all just trying to survive this exhausting, draining life as parents of lost children.
It’s been the same way as far as us dealing with it differently with Heath. I cope completely differently than Jimmy does. I tend to wallow in it, while he drowns it out with work and busy-ness.
Yesterday, I didn’t go to the cemetery. I barely left the house (the only reason I did was because I had a mandatory class at work). After that, I came home and climbed in bed and that’s where I stayed until this morning. I laid there and watch crappy reality TV and played the NICU movie over and over in my head and remembered every single moment of that last night in my head. Probably not the “healthiest” way to spend my time, but that’s what I did.
Jimmy, on the other hand, would prefer to stay busy on these milestone days. He works and keeps moving. I don’t even want to be that motivated on my good days, haha.
I think the most important thing that I’ve learned from this whole horrible nightmare is that you have to take care of yourself. As far as how you are going to grieve for your child (or anyone, for that matter), you do what you need to do. Take care of yourself. Who cares if your sister, cousin or neighbor 2 doors down thinks you should be “better by now.” Not me. You shouldn’t either. I’m just trying to keep my head above water. I’m trying to keep my sanity when I feel like my heart should have stopped by now. I’m living the worst nightmare that even my imagination couldn’t have come up with. I really don’t care what anyone else thinks and neither should you.
Be gentle with yourself.
Give yourself time.
I’m not talking about time in regards to a clock or calendar. I’m talking about listening to your heart and your head and if it feels like it’s too much, then maybe it is. Maybe after a while, make a goal for yourself. It doesn’t have to be something huge. For a while after I went back to work, I quietly made one to myself that was out of the 4 days that I was off work, I was going to get out of bed at least 2 of those. I didn’t have to leave the house, but I had to get out of my bed and come downstairs. That was a huge step for me. I didn’t always succeed, but at least I was trying.
Relax. Rest. Listen. Be Patient. I’m working on taking my own advice… Seriously, like every day.