I feel I’ve been unraveling the past few weeks. And I’m left wondering if there’s something I’ve done wrong somewhere in this process. I’ve never been one to cry easily, but that’s changed. I’ve obviously cried over Zoey many times. But these are different tears. Irrational tears. My cellphone decided to vibrate itself into a pool of water in my bathroom sink. I came out of the shower to find it floating facedown, the alarm I’d failed to turn off still buzzing. But it soon gave up and was fried. And I cried. Over a phone. It all seemed like too much. That the universe was conspiring against me. Why couldn’t life just be easy for awhile?
Training for the race has unraveled too. I did so well for so long. But in the last few weeks I’ve missed many runs and cut others very short. I’ve been fighting foot pain. I cried after I Ieft my training partners on the trail on our last run together. And I cried again when I pulled my phone from the pouch I wore and a penny fell out (I’ve been saving the “pennies from heaven” I’ve found over the last week to press at Disney.
I lost it again when I woke up the other day, checked in for my flight to Florida and then saw they’d updated the forecast to snow– lots of it. I was overwhelmed with anxiety. I knew I’d spend the next 24 hours constantly checking the weather and then freaking out over someone driving me to the airport in the morning. And so I cried as I gave a credit card number to the airline and moved up my flight.
And I welled up again when Joe dropped me off at the airport. We’re often apart so why was I feeling this way? I knew I’d miss seeing Zoey’s pictures around the house. Going ten days without cuddling Clyde or Zoey bear.
And the sunset. I heard once that sunsets are created when all the babies in heaven get together to paint the sky. So I tell her what a beautiful job they are doing and I cry.
But why now? Why after five months of keeping it together–of going to work and the gym. Of training and being alone. Of keeping my tears to the moments that at least kind of make sense. And so I wonder if I’ve done this grief thing all wrong. What if I should have stayed off work a little longer. If I should have stayed in bed some of the days I wanted to. Should I have screamed or raged a little more? But you don’t get a guide book. Nobody really wanted to tell you about the ugly truth. They don’t tell you about the moments you pull into the garage and consider leaving on the ignition (please don’t call a hotline on me– thankfully these moments have been fleeting. But I know for some moms and dads they linger). That you’ll look at your husband and wonder if your marriage will survive (I believe it will– but it isn’t always easy). You’ll wonder who your real friends are and who is there to be part of the story.
They don’t tell you that you’ll wonder if all your friends have to be child loss moms too– because you can be completely honest with them without getting “the look”. And you’ll wonder if you can or should have another child. That you’ll wonder if you’re just trying to replace your lost child.
They don’t tell you that you can’t turn off your wandering mind. And maybe that’s why I feel like I’m unraveling now. That I’ve kept everything knitted together but the nagging thoughts and sleepless nights wear on you. And I’m tired. Physically and emotionally spent.
I visited the beach when I made it to Jupiter. I told my sweet baby hello. I hope to stop by the water again tomorrow before heading to Disney for the race. Feel the peace of the waves, re-center, pull myself together again and then get ready for the run I’m doing for my little princess. And I’ll tell myself it’s okay to cry. Because it is.
P.s. Please don’t think this means you need to worry about me on race day. You don’t. I have no doubts. If I can survive the last few months, 13.1 miles is nothing.
3 thoughts on “Unraveling”
I’ll be praying for you Sunday as you run for Zoey.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve. Everyone who has lost a loved one grieves in their own way. There is no set time limit. But someday the time will come when the pain may lessen and the treasured memories of your sweet Zoey will bring a smile to your face. I have never experienced what you are going through, but I want to believe the pain in your heart will lessen, because the joy of Zoey’s brief life is stronger than the pain.
Someone told me after my parents died in 2002 – May we live our lives to make them proud.
So I tell you…Live your life to make her proud.”
United with you in prayer,
Karen (Kim Iberg’s mom)
Dawn, we both know I can’t fathom the pain and sorrow you and Joe, and now many of your friends, are going through. What I do think I know is that it’s ok to cry, anywhere, any time, and as much as you need. I hope you are able to let yourself be and not judge yourself for crying, not ask why.
Anyway, I’ll be anxious to hear about the run! You truly are a rock star Dawn!