Surviving

I can’t believe it’s November already. October was super busy, and I don’t think November and December will be any different. We had some big family events in October. Our oldest niece made her first holy communion and confirmation, our youngest niece was baptized, and my family threw a baby shower for my cousin. You’re probably wondering if we went to all of these events. Yes, we did.

That’s a lot for the average person to handle in one month. As you can probably imagine, it was a long, emotional month for us. But we survived. I’m glad we attended all three events. It was so hard doing these things without Elliot. But we do everything without Elliot, so life is always hard. We wanted to at least try to be there with our family on such special occasions. We were surrounded by love and support, and we were able to be there for our family as they’ve been there for us. We had a nice time at each celebration and felt that Elliot was there with us. Plus, we were glad not to miss out on celebrating the other children in our lives, who we love very much.

We could have opted out of these events if we wanted to. Not going would have been okay, in my mind at least. I think our family would have understood. When it comes down to it, we have to do what’s best for us at this point in our lives. Many bereaved parents are unable to attend family events so early in their grief. And yes, seven months is VERY early. It is still so raw. We are living one day at a time, and will for a while longer. The important thing is that we did not feel pressured into attending the events. Our loved ones asked how we were feeling about each event in advance. It helped to know people were considering our feelings and understood it would be difficult for us to attend big family events.

October was also Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. I participated in CarlyMarie’s Capture Your Grief event. My intention was to complete every subject, one for each day of PAIL Awareness. However, half way through the month, I had to take a step back. At first, I was disappointed I wasn’t going to finish the project. But I felt so overwhelmed and vulnerable, more than usual, once Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day rolled around. Up until, and including, that day, it felt good to write a daily post. I think my post on Oct. 15 was so emotionally charged that I had reached my limit, and was unable to put any more energy into it.

The Wave of Light was such a beautiful way to remember all the babies who have left this world too soon. Ben and I were deeply touched to see so many candles lit for Elliot. We were also touched that so many books were donated to the Elliot Kathryn Davis Book Drive for Room to Grow in Boston. The outpouring of support has been absolutely amazing. We’re still receiving cards, gifts, emails, and texts from people who want us to know they are thinking of us. It has made such an impact on our lives. We feel loved, as a family. We feel the love for us, and for Elliot. Thank you.

As we move into November, we are faced with the dreaded holiday season. I hate saying it like that. But in all honestly, I’m dreading it. I’m looking forward to celebrating the holidays with our loved ones. But obviously, one important person is missing from our celebration, and she will always be missing. I have no idea what this first year will be like. I am trying to stay positive for Thanksgiving and remind myself of everything that I am thankful for. I have a long list. But I also have a long list of things I’m not thankful for. The highlight of my Christmas celebration has always been family. We’re grateful that we will be surrounded by family and friends for the holidays, but a huge part of our family is missing now. Ben and I have a fantastic trip to Ireland planned. We’ve always wanted to go, but we also need to get away and do something different this year. It’s all very bittersweet. We’re living in a world of conflicting feelings. But you know what? That’s okay. We will survive. Together, and with Elliot, we will survive. I know she’ll be with us. She’s always here with us.

Boy, this is a long update. Almost done, I promise.

I also want to share that I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to write several guest posts for Still Mothers, and recently became a regular contributor. You can find my posts on the Still Mothers Website and right here on Walking With Elliot.

Lastly, at the beginning of my journey, I found a story from another bereaved mom, whose son was stillborn just a few days after Elliot. Reading her blog helped me so much in the early days of my grief. So much of her experience mirrored mine. I read each of her posts several dozen times because they brought me so much comfort. Through her posts, I realized I wasn’t alone. She recently redesigned her blog, that now includes a section for mothers to share their stories. By now, you may already know Elliot’s story quite well. It is also available on Sincerely, Mama, if you’re interested. If you have been wanting to share your story with the world, this is a wonderful place to start.

Thank you very much for following along.

xoxoxo

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