This season, the holidays, grief, and me.
Something new has been happening a lot over the last few days, and it always catches me off guard. I’ll start talking about Aria and I have so many things I want to say, many of which I’ve said without difficulty time and time again. But something has changed, and I keep choking up before I can get the words out. This ultimately forces me to clam up to stop the tears, and it’s very frustrating. I know grief changes and is never linear, but this is so strange to me. I’ve been speaking proudly about Aria for months, why am I suddenly choking on my words and unable to hold back tears? It feels like I’m back at the beginning.
I also seem to be more triggered by random moments than I was just a few weeks ago. I’m fighting the urge to crawl back into my shell, because I know it’s important to work through this, but hiding always sounds so much safer.
I wonder if it’s because I know where I was just one year ago, deeply entrenched in an intense battle to save my unborn daughter’s life, and knowing the one year anniversary of her birth and death is just six weeks away. Walking through this time of year all over again, only without my little girl, brings me a feeling I can’t really explain in words.
And maybe the upcoming holidays have something to do with it as well. I have always adored this time of year. The lights, the glittering trees covered in ornaments, the Christmas music that’s always playing in the background. But there’s a bitterness to it now, and while I understand it, I also resent that grief has taken the innocence from so many of the things I once loved.
The strange thing is that despite all of this, life has still been so wonderfully good. Brian and I had such a joyous weekend together, despite spending a few moments in tears on Saturday. I’m also very excited to see my family for Thanksgiving this week. I have so much to look forward to, and that is such a gift. So while it feels like I’ve taken steps back in some places, I can still feel this slight forward shift in my life.
I often hear that even though you will grieve for the rest of your life, the first year is usually the hardest. We’re nearing the end of that first year, and I can’t help but wonder how the second year of grief will feel. Will it be lighter? Will it bring joy without guilt? Time will only tell.