After we got home, I noticed how still our house was, and how loud the silence was. I slept at night, but woke up every three hours on the dot, looking for a baby to need me to take of her. I started lactating, and spend miserable days waiting for the engorgement to ease; waiting for the physical pain to ebb and stop reminding me every second of how there was no Cora to feed. We made a visit to the funeral home, to finalize the arrangements for her remains.
My body healed well. My ability to work and to do physical labor returned slowly. I slept as much as I could, and we had a steady stream of visitors blessing us with their time, gifts, and food. On more than one occasion, I hid in the bathroom off of our bedroom and cried while there were people at our house, because I was so overwhelmed. I cried so much that I had an almost constant headache from being dehydrated. We started keeping tissues in each room of the house for all of the crying that happened seemingly at random.
I spent time listening to music, studying my Bible, and praying. I spent as much time as I could. I felt like the moment that I took my eyes off of Christ, I would drown like Peter when Jesus called him to walk on the stormy waters towards him.
We spent every day focusing on making it through the day, and waited to think about tomorrow until it arrived. Husbandman spent one week at home with me, and went back to work the week after. I was alone in the house, but got daily visitors from work or church with food and a hug just when I needed it.
Along with the redefinition of myself, my home had to be redefined in my mind. The room that had been the guest room and was intending to be the nursery was the guest room again. The space in our bedroom where she was supposed to sleep is just a space on the floor now. It took a long time before I could walk past the guest room and not cry every time. Sometimes, I go and sit in that room and still cry, remembering what was planned that won’t occur.
Being home was a lovely, painful refuge. I couldn’t do much because I was physically and mentally too weak, but God brought people to me. He brought beautiful days when I could walk up and down our little street and build my strength. He provided my neighbor’s dog when I just need to pet something fluffy, and my neighbors when I needed a friendly face and to know that someone was physically near. He provided what I needed every day, even when I didn’t know how to handle my grief. He carried me as I learned how to live with the grief that I will carry to my grave.
Throughout the month of October, I’m writing a series titled “Hopeful Grief” with a fabulous group of writers, doing the Write31Days challenge. To catch up, or see new posts, click here. Interested in last year’s Write31Days posts? Click here. Know someone that this series may touch? Share as you see fit.
You can also sign up to receive notifications when I post something new, using the link to the right. If you’d like, you can sign up for extras too, such as exclusive newsletters and personal updates, by using the “Click Here” button to the right. Want even more? Connect with me on social media.