The Path to Healing: My Grief Journal

I am continuing this journal in blog format so from this point forward the NEWEST entries will be at the TOP.

Use the links at left for the older entries:
Month 21 = May 2004,
Month 22 = June 2004, etc.

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Sunday, July 25, 2004

I haven't had time to write in here for a while, but I have several things I want to mention.
I've really been doing pretty well. I think backing off on the medication is helping some. I am more effective at work: thinking about and handling the details like I used to instead of not being interested in the details and not caring.
I've also found another opportunity that I am pursuing. Oddly enough, it has made me realize what I do like about my current job: teamwork, crossfunctional involvement, etc. And so I am feeling more content in either situation and am simply asking God to clearly show me where He wants me to be. If I do change jobs, it will involve more hassle with changing Nathan's school, possibly moving, longer commute, etc. But I'm not concerned about those things like I would have been. Result of the low-dose Lexapro? Result of learning not to sweat everything? Combination of both? I don't know, but I'm glad for it.

Last Sunday, Steve was preaching and said that he has been blessed by what his kids have taught him about stubbornness. Then he went on to mention Nathan, and then Sarah. Of course it wasn't logical to mention Abigail, but previously I would have been devastated that she couldn't be included with our other children. But I noticed that I was smiling with Steve, enjoying him talking about our children, and not being sad that Abigail wasn't part of it. I am learning to be OK with it. And it feels good.

Yesterday we went to the "cousins" reunion for Steve's mom's side of the family. Last year I didn't go since it was the same day A. and I went to Sandusky to talk about our babies. I was remembering it and what an incredible, healing time it was. And I was realizing how much I needed to be with her last year, and that this year it was fine to be here at the reunion.
This kind of anniversary is encouraging because it helps me see how much I have healed.

I have almost completely disconnected from the T18 site. That is, from the business side. I still read and reply to some posts as a community member. But I finally went through and sent some instructions to the other staff members so I think I've "passed" it all on. And the amazing thing is that I really don't miss it at all.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Yesterday I cried all the way to work. I haven't done that for a long time. I started thinking about Abigail's birthday and watching her video and the sadness just washed over me again. But it feels - not good exactly - but it feels right to be sad and cry. I had become so focused on using what I have learned from this - and I still am - but I overlooked the fact that I am still grieving myself too.

I have become more emotional more easily lately. The other night I was playing with L's baby who's 3 months old. And the enjoyment turned into the thought "I really miss this". And then Steve walked up and started playing with him. And that's when I lost it and began to cry and had to leave. It's so hard to see the kids or Steve with babies.

Of course I am wondering if it's related to backing off on the medication, but I don't think so. I'm not feeling depression, just sadness. And it is the time of year where the sadness is likely to return more fully. And if the medication has been suppressing the sadness, then I still think it's right to back off - I need to feel the sadness.

I really am doing OK, I just miss my daughter sometimes; moreso lately. And that's OK.

Friday, July 09, 2004

I took the plunge and told V and C that I am going to need to resign from my staff position on the T18 site. Not that I won't be involved; I just have too much else going to continue with the time and energy commitment that the staff role requires. We haven't transitioned anything yet, so a lot of work is still to be done.

I also talked to the doctor and went on half doses of Lexapro. I'm feeling kind of blah today - obviously I am more aware of it because of the reduced dose. But I have been feeling closer to the grief lately anyway. And work has just been ridiculous with the unreasonable demands and lack of resources to do anything. It's laughable (when I'm in a good mood) that we couldn't spend the money on a pack of steno notebooks last month because it was the end of the quarter.

So I will pay attention and see if I think this melancholy is from the Lexapro. Also, it may smooth out after I get used to this dose. The reason I got on the medication to begin with wasn't a depressed feeling but the great irritability and inability to cope with things. So I am watching for that as well. Time will tell.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

It is strange how grief works. The weather, anniversaries, memories seem to trigger it without me even being consciously aware of it. Last night, for the first time in months, I was sobbing! It was right before VBS and we had put up some canopies outside to use for the picnic today. The canopies and the weather took me back to last year when we had the dedication for Abigail's Playground.

The dedication was a wonderful time, so it confused me why that memory made me kind of sad. But maybe it's because last year it was all about Abigail and this year it isn't? But for whatever reason that set the tone, and then seeing all the little kids, the toddlers enjoying VBS made me think that I should have a toddler here at VBS this year. That was all it took. The sadness was deeper and more overpowering than it had been in some time.

And one sweet lady asked me how I was doing and I told her it was a tough night and she replied, "I thought so." We talked for quite a while, and it was then that I realized that yesterday was also the anniversary of when we got the diagnosis. I had been vaguely aware that it was around that time, but I didn't connect it until I was speaking with her. Was that part of it, too? Was that contributing to the sadness without me being consciously aware of it? Who knows.

Anyway, speaking with her helped a lot, and the grief passed. Although it was deeper and stronger and longer than it had been for some time, it still passed rather quickly and the rest of the evening became enjoyable. Will I be subject to this sort of "grief attack" for the rest of my life, coming apparently out of the blue? I wonder.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

I cried last night.

It was after VBS, and all the kids were playing on Abigail's Playground. I really love to see so many kids on the playground. And I was playing with K.'s 2 1/2 year-old son on the swings, making him laugh and laugh. And I just started to cry.

This playground wouldn't even be here if Abigail hadn't died.

I should be playing with my own toddler on the swings.

I miss my daughter.

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