Monday, September 7, 2009

An Update

First, let me correct my last entry. I said that Jon had found a tooth. That was correct. But when I checked Noble's mouth this morning I found not just one but three teeth poking through his gums. He has been chewing on his hands all day.

Today Noble turned 4 months. I usually try to wait till 6 months before starting solids. I hate feeding solids to babies. It is so messy. But I have found that some of my kids are ready for them sooner. So with Jon pushing to start as soon as possible we tested out a bit of oatmeal baby cereal this morning. It was a hit. We sang Happy Birthday to Noble as he had his 4 month birthday cereal. It was sweet. The only down side was that now we have confused Lauren because she thinks Noble is one now. Well, I guess we can correct that as we go.

We got the whole thing on video and Jon did video interviews with each girl to get a video update on each of them. I really am trying to be better about documenting my family on film and in photos. I wish so much I had a million more pictures of Camille and hours upon hours of video. On the other hand, I am incredibly grateful for the video and photos we do have. Word just can't express how humbled I am to be fortunate enough to have such great photos taken by such talented people and at least one or two really cute videos.

With all this "updating" I thought I would give an update on me. I like to give a "reality check" every once in a while here. This is a time when I pull back my focus lens and give the fuller picture of where I am in my journey through grief now.

I am almost to the 15 month mark. Most of the time I feel very strong. I would venture to say that 97% of the time I feel -- well adjusted. I choose that word carefully because I don't want to say "normal" because really what is "normal" anyway? I don't want to say I feel whole or back to the way I was because I am different now. I chose "well adjusted" because I am feeling more comfortable with the new me.

I still have sore spots. There are still triggers that can bring my grief to the surface in a heartbeat. I still have paranoia to deal with. I can easily remember all the pain and anguish of fresh grief. But I do not feel it very often anymore. I am more used to my sore spots. I am developing strategies for dealing with my grief when it comes to the surface. I am adjusting.

I have more peace when I think of Camille now. I am sometimes able to think of her without thinking of her passing. I do have days now and then that I don't see the image of finding her. When I do see it I am much more able to replace the image with a more pleasant one.

I feel like I am finding a good balance between having my heart split between heaven and earth. I live most of my day with my heart fully here. And in the night hours (and often when I am posting) I allow my heart to roam beyond the realm of this existence and send its love and joys and sorrows to a place beyond the sight of my natural eyes.

I still think about Camille lots, but no more than I think about any of my other kids. I still have down days but they are rare lately. It is almost as if the waves are evening out some for me. I do not have such intense lows now. Or at least I haven't for a long time. But the tides do still rise and fall. It is just slow and less extreme now. I will have a hard month where I will be just missing her all month but the intensity is even and mild. Then I will see a turn in the tide and I will have a couple months where I feel strong and "well adjusted."

Lately I have been feeling mostly good (knock on wood.) I am grateful for that. And I feel like Camille is happy about that too.


Anonymous said...

Hi Stephanie,

Sending my love, as always.


Diana...aka...MeMe said...

Happy to hear your update. Wishing you peace and only good thoughts of your baby Camille. Can't believe it's been 4 months since Noble was born. Hope the rest of the teething goes well. We are a mess here with drool as well. Cayden is working on 4 teeth on top at a year old! Have a great day!

The Cox Family said...

I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now. I lost my daughter to cancer 2 1/2 years ago. She was 4. I love to read what you are feeling because it makes me feel more normal. I call the "well adjusted" my "New Normal", because life will never be what it was before. My loss has changed my very personality, but I love that we can find a new normal and cope that way.

Thanks for your posts!!

Kr!sty said...

WOW! how sad that your baby is "growing up" so fast! Teeth are no fun for them (tears, boogers, pain) but he will LOVE all the newness in mealtime :) Glad you're doing well today!

Catherine and clan said...

Hello Stephanie, I can relate to your comments today as I almost lost my then 15 month old daughter to drowning but she is still with us today about to turn 9. The image is still so strong with me too and one that I relive every New Years Eve which was when it happened. Pleased to hear the healing process continues with you and that over time you are getting to where you want to be. Catherine from New Zealand

DeANNA said...

Wow, reading how you are handling your life day to day helps me understand so much of what I feel. I have struggled for 7 years after a loss as well. Not a child but a crippling loss that damaged my own body forever. While I choose to make the most of every second I have and to live with passion, there are those days that the waves of grief and self pity hit me like a truck. Then I stop and hold my breath and regain myself and start to breathe again. Because no matter what the reason is for all the losses in the world, or for anyone, we are all only given what the Lord knows we can shoulder.

Thank you for pouring it all out day in and day out!

The Queen said...

Every time I read your blog I am struck with an almost overwhelming desire to go hold my children. I say "almost" because I always read it at night and while I do want to hug them I don't want them to wake up and be up for hours afterward. :) I am happy for you, that you are able to feel more joy, and to have better days more often. I hope the good days will continue and stretch on and on. I hope that your husband is also doing well.

beth said...

What a beautiful description of the process of grief. As a grief counselor and therapist, I tell my clients that grief is not something to "get over" but to go through, and it is never "over." Rather, the pain diminishes in time, although there will always be moments of grief. Best wishes to you as you continue to heal and grow.
Beth Patterson, MA, LPC

Anonymous said...

Would you say the whole process has been easier to bear since you have Noble or would it all "feel" the same?

Ashley said...

Your blog is so beautiful! I found it from a friend, and I'm so glad I did. Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts and feelings. I have a 4 month old baby as well. :)