Lately I have felt a bit disconnected from what I call “the babyloss community.” It has been a while since I have posted here about the pain of our loss and the grief I was feeling. I’d been writing for a few other places about the experience of loss and how to carry the heavy burden that it forces us to bear – how to navigate life in those first few years of heartache.
But of late, the burden has been lighter. Our family has grown and changed. Now I chase around a baby and a toddler and homeschool my school-aged children. I spend my days nurturing their curiosity with piano lessons and knitting and bread baking and chess club and ancient Egypt and lots of reading. Most days it is incredibly rewarding, and some days it drains every ounce of patience that I have, but I’m learning that the only way that I can give them what they need from me is by being in a healthy place myself.
I’ve done a lot of hard work in getting myself to spiritually and emotionally higher ground. I’ve learned that in the aftermath of loss, when my heart and my life lay in pieces all around me, I didn’t have to put them back together exactly the way they were before. I’ve done a lot of letting go – of dysfunctional relationships, of expectations, of “shoulds” I’d put on myself and accepted from others – and a lot of embracing – of my own limitations, of the truths I carried inside my heart but felt afraid to voice, of the blessings that are found even in the chaos and monotony of my everyday life. Part of this growth may have come from entering my forties and finally feeling comfortable in my own skin, aware and accepting of who I am and my strengths and weaknesses. But a lot of it came, I believe, out of our experience of loss. I was buried under the darkest circumstances imaginable, but it is only in hindsight that I can see that I was like a seed being planted.
And now I am growing.
I was surprised to learn recently that I was not the only one feeling these things, and the Uplift project that is coming next week is the work of other people who are finding themselves lighter and stronger after devastating loss. It is a way of sharing the things that helped us to find healing and to encourage others on the same path.
My hope is to continue writing here, but from a place farther on down the road of grief. I still love my babies and always will. They are a part of my heart, a part of our family, and the experience of their loss has changed me forever. My life will always be divided into ‘before” and “after” that experience. But the “after” has been more positive than I ever thought possible. I will be starting a new series here called Taking Flight, and I would love for it to be a place for us to talk about the healing path of life after loss. The things that helped, the things that didn’t, and what areas we are still working on. Life can be rich and fulfilling and wonderful even after the most profound losses, and I’m excited to share with and learn from others the practices and experiences that have helped the healing process. Or just be able to talk about what everyday life is like now that I am not so consumed by grief.
My artwork, too, will be taking on a new theme in the coming months. I love honoring our babies and creating memorial pieces for others to do the same, but I also hope to create some inspirational and uplifting pieces that remind us of our strength and courage and beauty.
Thank you so much for being here with me. Whether you are just emerging from the cocoon of loss, spreading your wings, or already soaring, I’m excited to start Taking Flight with you.
This post was originally published on November 12, 2015 on littlewingedones.com.