Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year of Pain and Loss

On this, the last day of 2011, I find myself thinking back over the events and emotions of the whole year. Unfortunately if I had to sum up the year it would be a year of pain and of loss. Not all of the year was negative of course, but the recurring theme was loss and the pain that comes with it.

As I face the new year I have decided that after spending the better part of the year avoiding the emotions of the last year, as they threatened to overwhelm me if I looked them in the face, that I would give myself permission to vent and let some of those feelings come up and hopefully be released so that I can carry less of the weight into 2012.

I came into 2011 saddled with the weight of postpartum depression and was still finding my footing after a legal separation from my husband a few months before. To say I was emotionally fragile would likely be true although I was doing my very best to refind myself and rebuild myself.

I can't promise this blog post will make sense, and I'm sure it will be long, and I've chosen to divide it by the various events or people that were major points in this year. They may or may not be in chronological order.

One of the greatest losses of my whole life. On the last Monday in March a part of my world went dark when I found out that you had died. A heart attack. Of course. Although, I say of course but I think those of us who loved you thought that after multiple heart attacks, more than one heart surgery (including quadruple bypass surgery over twenty years earlier), a major stroke, and a TIA, that you would just keep on surviving forever. It was unimaginable that the man who was so full of life and right down on the floor playing with my three babies on Sunday night could possibly be dead Monday at lunchtime. Thank you for loving me so completely. Thank you for your physical and emotional support my whole life. Thank you for stepping up to be a father figure to me as well as a grandfather. Thank you for loving my own babies and being so much more involved in their lives than most great grandparents ever get to be. When I woke up on the morning after your death I couldn't believe the world kept on going without you in it. I couldn't believe I could still breathe, and yet even now, nine months later, somehow I am. You've left a hole that will never be filled. I love you.
Love, Your Girl

I'll never understand how it is fair that I had to endure the loss of both of my beloved grandfathers within such a short period of time. One thing your deaths coming so close together showed me was the stark difference between losing someone you love unexpectedly and never getting a chance to say goodbye but also never having to see them suffer vs watching them slowly die over days and having time to say goodbye but also having to know that they are in pain. I am grateful that I got to help you in your journey towards death as much as it broke my heart to know you were going there. Holding your hand and getting to tell you how I felt about you in the dark as I held your hand and said goodbye to you and getting to share what would ultimately be some of your last lucid moments before your death will always stay with me. Thank you for unconditionally loving me. For loving me even though I wasn't your blood and never ever ever making me feel anything less than your granddaughter through and through. I am so glad my oldest son shares your name and that of the other giant man in my heart that I lost this year. I hope he carries the best of both of you and indeed if he does he will be unstoppable.
Love, One of your Sweethearts

aka January
My friend, my love, my soul sister. I grieve for the loss of our connection. The loss of what we were. What I never thought could be lost has fractured and it still leaves gaping open in parts. I never ever thought there would be a time when something major in my life would happen and you wouldn't be one of the first to be at my side even if only in spirit. I wish you well. I wish that I could figure out how the wheels went so horribly wrong or indeed if they ever were on right to begin with.
Love, Me

My sweet sweet baby it is unthinkable to me how close we came to losing you this year. Thinking back to those days when you couldn't breathe, couldn't eat, couldn't even be touched without your oxygen saturations plummeting. I am so very grateful that I got to keep you. So very grateful that although I lived my life in fear for you a great deal of this year that you are growing and thriving and are still with me every day. I love you so completely my sweet boy.
Love, Mama

Maddie Rose
Oh sweet girl. How loved you were and are by so many people. You were so precious and tiny. You changed lives baby girl in the very short time we got to share this earth. I grieve for your Daddy, my love for him stemming for my love for your Auntie and the bond we share in loving our baby brothers. To watch him lose his baby girl was heartbreaking. I grieve still for the loss that was you for him and for your Mama, for your Auntie and Uncle, for your Nanny and Papa, for your cousins, and indeed for everyone who loved you. For all of us who still love you. Fly high baby girl.
Love, Alison

Baby G
You were the baby I didn't know I wanted. Indeed, learning of you was a loss of it's own as I grieved the loss of my own plans and control over them. Your Daddy and I quickly grieved our loss and adjusted our plans and indeed made new wonderful plans. We wanted you very much. The physical toll that losing you took on my body was nothing compared to the emotional void that came with losing the reality of another precious baby. Another miscarriage. Bleeding not only from my womb but from my very soul. Tears that could have filled a river. I am sorry my body couldn't protect you. I pray you are safe with Jesus and I am glad there is no pain for you.
Love, Mama

Your Mama and I know each other only online. I prayed hard for her and for you during your journey together. Christmas eve was heavy this year with the knowledge that your pain was going to be over but that it came with the price of your leaving this earth far too soon. You touched so many lives sweet boy and you continue to do so. You were such a beautiful boy.
May your peace be deep, TM

This year was a year of rebuilding for us. From our refirst date on Valentine's Day we began to rebuild our relationship and indeed succeeded to a level you and I had never achieved together before. How unfair it seems that at the pinnacle of our healing, as we were reaching such a good place both individually and as a couple that the demon that is stroke had to take a chunk of you from us. Living apart for three months and being torn from hospital to our babies at home was an agony that I never want to endure again. You have made such strides my love and I pray you continue to do so. I am angry at the things the stroke took and still has taken from us. It, like so many things this year, was not fair. But then, as we both know, life isn't meant to be fair. It's meant to be lived. I love you.
Love, Ali

2011 was a year of pain and loss, pain and loss, pain and loss. And yet, in the midst of all of that it was also a year for me of growth. I have grown in myself, in my relationships, and in my faith. 2012 looms large on the horizon and I have no idea what is in store for the next year but I have faith that my God is big enough to carry me if I can't walk on my own. I have my faith, my Love, my kids, my family and my friends. Here we go. I'm going to make it great.