What is this?

What is this? I don't really know, other then a continuation of my updates and writings that I was sharing previously on Caringbridge of this journey through cancer and now widowhood and single parenting.

Maybe it won't end up being anything at all, or maybe it will be a glimpse into my heart, my life, my current situation, my testimony.

Whatever it becomes, I am touched that you are interested.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

4 month / 6 week Update

So many of you have invested in Aria and I's life that I wanted to try to do a monthly 'lifestyle' update on us. Aria's age is not only her milestone marker, but more or less notes the beginning of our new kind of normal.

4 months on the new path of parenting, and 6 weeks without Brandon-walking it as a young widow and single mother.

But God has blessed me greatly with Aria. Her little baby smiles make my heart melt. Though every smile, giggle and new development is bittersweet. Thankfully what does linger is the sweet part.

I believe God knows that I need rest at this time for my physical and emotional well being, and He has given me the gift of a baby who has been sleeping through the night since 7 weeks old. She continues to put herself to sleep in the evening, rest for 8 hours, wake to feed, then sleep again for 3 more hours before starting her day around 10am. And my goodness, she must be a lot like me and thrive in structure. During the day she tells me she's hungry within minutes of the 3 hour feeding schedule. It's unbelievable.

I am still nursing and have not had to supplement formula yet, though I have been given some breast milk from a dear friend whom I trust to help fill in the gaps.

Aria loves her bumbo style seat and really enjoys standing, with support of course. I'm afraid she is going to be an early walker! She reaches for and grabs things and is putting her pacifier in her mouth on her own now too.

I have to say that this part, from 3 months on, has been so amazing to watch her learning. I wish with every fiber in me that Brandon was with me to share in this joy. I find myself wanting to send him pictures of what she just did as if he was just out golfing and missed a brief moment of her cuteness.

As for me, I'm getting by. Surviving I guess.

Brandon was really the only person I broke down with. He was my support and my counselor, and now when I need him the most, he's gone. So all the times that I normally would take my thoughts to him instead I pray and write. I am learning to lean on God in a way I never have before. I know this is supposed to be a beautiful thing, and at times it truly is, but to be honest I'm not quite there yet. I'm human. I want the physical arms of my husband, but am learning to seek the spiritual arms of my Savior.

I find that I spend most my day in constant communication with God. Most often it's just asking Him to get me through the next part of the day. Give me the strength to keep going. Help me find true joy in my daughter. Thanking Him for each blessing I see. Telling Him I trust His plan for my life, even though right now I don't like it. Asking Him to help me believe when fear overtakes me. Thanking Him for loving me so much despite my sin. Asking for forgiveness for the horrible thoughts that cross your mind when in deep grief. Telling Him my fears and sharing with Him my sadness. I try so hard to remain in praise of Him. Keep my heart focused on His promises and on Heaven, and that this is just a small stroke in the big picture.

Then, when I have moments where I can get it out, I write. It seems to be the only way I can process reality and have an outlet for my thoughts. I found a journaling app for my phone that has been a great tool.

In it I write notes to Brandon. I tell him how much I miss him and of all the things that remind me of him. I tell him all about Aria, and how he would have been such a great dad.

I jot down the random mindless trails of thought that otherwise just spin in my head, gathering speed and intensity until I release them, an explosion of thoughts, fears, anxieties, what-if's and desperate prayers.

I write down memories. Now that we are not making new memories together, I am terrified to loose the old ones. It's a strange, strange feeling. Searching my memory for little details, trying to remember the sounds and smells. Like if I don't replay them over and over in my head, burn them into my memory and write them down, that they will be lost forever.

I think I will be what is called an 'active' griever. Soon I will be attempting to get involved with support groups of many kinds, if available child care allows. Most group settings are encouraged after your first 3 months of grief, once the initial 'shock' has set in.

I hear that 3-9 months after is often the hardest and loneliest for a widow. Reality sets in and you have to figure out how to navigate a world on your own that you once shared nearly 24/7 with another person. The bed is empty, the house is quiet. There is no scent of their soap and no arms to hold you tight anymore. It's all just gone.

I will continue therapy, hopefully both regular and grief specific. Being an introvert, I feel I have to figure out how I am grieving on my own first, then seek the help I think I need.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated for daily strength and peace, and that God directs me and makes possible for me to get the help I need. Of course prayers for Brandon's parents and brother in these matters as well, who are deep in their unique grief of this loss in which I can not put my own words to. And prayers for my parents who grieve the loss of a 'son' and grieve for the pain and the difficult road ahead for their daughter and granddaughter.

Whew, this post feels like a heavy one. But this is the truth of it. Some days are ok, most just plain suck. It will be a while before things will feel good again. But God is good. He never said it would be easy, just that He would be there. And He has not failed me.

Thank you for bearing the weight of my words and helping to carry me through this journey ahead. God bless you.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing your thoughts!