Sarah Rieke » Living. Loving. Pressing on.

What Grief Looks Like Now

At the end of January, almost three months after losing Evie, I wrote a post called What Grief Looks Like.  I wanted to show the very practical side of grief and, even more importantly in my opinion, show that even grieving as a committed Christian with the hope of Heaven isn’t as neat and tidy as one might think.  I thought it might be a good follow-up to document what grief looks like for me now.  

Almost ten months have passed since Evie left us for Heaven.  Ten months.  It’s interesting to note that I have now lived more of my life without her than with her.  Time has passed and I really am feeling much more “normal” these days.  But I read this quote from a babyloss site the other day:

And my heart knows it’s true.  Although grief is no longer my primary emotion (thank the Lord!), it’s still always there.  Scripture testifies that a mother will not surely forget her nursing child.  I never nursed Evie a day in my life, maybe it’s the same with your precious one(s), but I know I will never forget her, never stop loving her.  There is no way I can forget about and stop loving a heart that beat inside of me.  Ever.

So what is it like, ten months later?  

I still miss Evie.  Terribly so.  But I don’t feel so consumed by the missing.  

I still often think of what might have been.  And, I imagine that too will never really go away. As Evie’s peers start walking, talking, going to school, losing baby teeth, and experiencing all of life’s precious milestones, I will be left to wonder how these grand events would have transpired in the life of one special, chubby-faced girl.  

I function pretty much as I did before learning of Evie’s diagnosis.  My days are filled with normal and I, for the most part, succeed in the normality of life.  And …

The feeling that I can give back to people is coming back.  Up until about three months or so ago, I could hardly think outside my own world, my brain too filled with my own heavy thoughts to carry anything else.  But now, I can.  And that feels good.

I’ve mentioned it before, but a sweet cousin of mine sent me a very touching letter in which she described how she views her grief from two late first trimester miscarriages.  She said, just like when you hold a child, comfortably positioning them on your hip so that your body isn’t completely overwhelmed with their weight, as time passes you learn to carry grief in a more comfortable, functional way.  I am always aware of my loss and the would-be ten-month old cruiser that should be filling my house with giggles and screams of excitement, but it’s not as burdensome as it once was.

That being said, I still do have moments.  There are times when something will spark a memory, a feeling, a picture in my mind and it takes me right back.  Right back.  And I am the same person I was ten months ago, sobbing uncontrollably and wondering how life can possibly go on when such an important person is missing.  These times are fewer and farther in between, but they still happen.  And they still hurt so much.  I’m surprised how raw the grief can still feel in those moments.

But God is good.  He remains faithful to me.  And I have so much to be thankful for.  Life today may not look like I would have wanted it to, but I know this was His plan and I can call it good.  And I can be thankful for all the pain and all the hardship because He is working it for the good of His kingdom.  

And I get to be a part of it.  

It’s been over a year since this photo shoot.  I am so thankful for my dear friend who did this for us.  To see more photos, click here.

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