In the days, weeks and months to follow, ever so slowly you allow yourself to relive those initial moments over and over again - each time allowing yourself to "stay in those initial moments - just a little longer".. Initially it's as though we are dreaming and if we can just dream a little longer we can change the outcome... With time, we stay there a little longer trying to absorb our surroundings and what we are hearing - eventually we stay there as long as we do, not wanting to let go - for fear if we accept what we are being told - we will begin to let go of them and all that they were to us... I think all of these moments are simply a way of our brain "bracing us" for the horrible truth & facts, yes our brain fortunately will only allow it in, in very small doses, bits and pieces at a time..
The first year after my 3 children died I think we are always preparing for the next "first" very much like a new parent - only these firsts are all so frightening... Those "first" holidays - birthdays, anniversaries, milestones.. And then of course all the every day things that can knock the wind out of us as though we've been punched! The pictures, songs, foods, smells, opening of closets & bureau drawers or even the door to their room or home, all of the simplest of things that we will eventually recognize and call "grief triggers" - those things that can catapult us without any warning back into the depths of that black hole... Finally, just as we begin to prepare ourselves for the first anniversary of our child going home to heaven, to earning their wings, yes, it's 365 days later and so many of us have this misconception that we will finally begin to feel just a little better, and then we realize - we won't.. Not yet - we still have a long way to go on the journey..
In the second and subsequent years, the reality really sets in with a piercing, almost "stop your breath" intensity. Be prepared - this is normal - no you aren't going crazy - your heart is continuing to heal, it just takes time.. This pain of grief is simply the price we pay for loving our children as much as we do...
Continue to be patient, loving and gentle with yourself as you stay the course and continue on your unique journey - it is a journey from mourning to joy and yes, eventually you will find peace and joy and a new normal that works for you.... In the meantime, know that you are in the thoughts and prayers of all your sisters in grief.. ~ Cherie Houston