I kind of fell behind on this, but here are a few more days of this project. I wish I could be better at balancing time for grief and time for everything else. It feels like something is always getting forgotten.
Day 16: Rest from Grief
A loves looking at our scrapbooks and pictures. He knows almost everyone in the family by name (not just the four of us, but also aunts, uncles, etc.). It’s a lot of fun to sit with him and flip through the pages. When he sees a picture of him having fun (so, like every picture. Lol), he asks to go back and do that again. It’s very cute.
Day 17: Treasured
I think about fires a lot (I mean, I live in Northern California. We all think about fires a lot). The PG&E blackouts have forced us to bump up our emergency supplies and know our evacuation plan. And we’ve talked about what we would grab first if we had to leave due to a fire. We have our box of Theo’s things, which we actually moved into a bigger box as it is now a box of Theo’s and A’s things. Our most beloved keepsakes, that we would probably run into a burning house to rescue. A’s things out number Theo’s, but we love each and every one equally.
Day 18: Grief Lessons
I’ve learned a lot from grief the last almost 4 years, so much that I can’t sum it up in just a few sentences. But my number one lesson is how intertwined joy and pain are. It’s not one or the other, like so many people would like you to believe (“Choose joy!” “Just decide to be happy!”). It’s very possible to feel a great amount of pain and joy at the same time. For joyful situations to be quite painful. To have seemingly conflicting emotions at once. To be crying tears of pain, happiness, anger, resentment, joy, and gratitude all at once. Emotions aren’t black and white.
Day 19: What Heals You
Reading about other parents who have lost a child. (But fake stories about people who have lost a child don’t help. Like the book/movie “The Shack”. I’m sure it’s a great book/movie, but I just don’t find non-true stories helpful.) Helping others in their grief. Taking time for art (pre-Theo me is shocked I said that. Lol.) Exercising. Parenting A. Taking care of the (tiny) garden I’ve started (again, pre-Theo me is shocked).
Thinking about Theo and creating keepsakes of him.
Day 20: Music
I go through a lot of phases with music. There have been times I was able to listen to a very small selection of songs, because anything else hurt too much. Lindsey Sterling usually brings back happy memories, but even her music sometimes hurts if I’m not in the right frame of mind.
Day 21: Creative Heart
I decided to make the Christmas ornament for Theo this year. It’s not done yet, but it will be soon!
Day 22: Love Letter
I wrote a letter to Theo, but I’m keeping this one private.
Day 23: Retreat
There are a few places I can go when I need some space away from triggers/the real world/grief etc. I’m so grateful I have these spaces, as it was really hard to find safe spaces when Theo died. As time goes on I find myself needing these places less, but knowing I still have them brings me a lot of comfort.