I see a few have posted their answers from GLOW at the kitchen table and I thought I would post my answers before I read too many. I loved the "Right Where I am" project, but didn't participate. I think it is great when we all take the time to stop and think where we are and where we have come.
1. How much time has passed since the death of your child(ren)? Do you mark grief in months, weeks or years? Does it seem to be going fast or slow?
It's been 7 months, 3 weeks and 3 days, but really I count the time in months (month/month and a half type status). In the beginning I was counting days, then it changed to weeks and now months. I believe this is the same way I would have counted Addison's age had she lived. Some days I can't believe how much time has passed and others it seems like that day I heard those awful words "I'm sorry there is no heartbeat" seems like a million years ago or at least 10.
2. Do you have an end goal to your grief? How much time do you think that will take? How much time did you think you'd need to get there right after your loss? How much time do you think you need now?
Like when do I think I will be healed?!? How about today? Today would really work well for me (please note sarcasm). I wish I saw an end to my grief to be the normal happy-go-lucky person that believes good things come to those who wait, but now I know that this loss I feel does not hold a time line it is timeless and I will grieve for my daughter FOREVER because there will never be a day that she shouldn't be here in my life. She was supposed to bury me. So I will miss my almost 8 month old, my future 8 year old, 18 year old etc. I try not to wallow in my sadness every second of every day, but I will need certain moments, sometimes hours and sometimes days to grieve with the hard ugly cry kind of grieving whenever it comes up. I have submitted to grief in the sense that when it comes calling, I will answer because answering at the first knock is far easier than answering after ignoring it.
3. Rather than a clear end goal, is there a milestone or marker to indicate that you are feeling grief less acutely, i.e. going to a baby shower, listening to a song that made you cry early in grief, driving past the hospital? How long did it take to get there?
If there is a song on the radio that makes me sad I make myself listen even from the beginning. If I have a sad feeling coming on I let myself be sad in that moment as not to prolong it throughout the day. If I turned the channel it would just make me think about it for the rest of the day. I would much rather listen to it then, deal with it and go about my day then to dwell on any given situation messing up my whole day. I did notice Facebook was making me sad this week so I just stopped checking it. No need to force myself to be sad if I know a way to avoid it. I don't know when I will be able to go to a baby shower. I think I would actually be ok, but I think it would make others uncomfortable about showing their excitement in front of me and I would feel more guilt about sucking the air out of the room for my friend then to cry in the corner. I could handle the crying, but could they?
4. How do you view the time you had with your child, either alive (within or outside) or already deceased? Before you all answer "Too short! Not enough!", did you have time to "bond" or develop a future imagination about what this child would be like? Perhaps depending on whether yours was cut short, how do you now feel about the nine-month period of gestation -- too long or not long enough?
I view it as the most precious and important time of my life that I wouldn't trade for all the money in the world. The 40 weeks I had with Addi in my belly was simply magical. I enjoyed every second of my pregnancy and every movement and hiccup was simply delicious. I love that belly she gave me. Our time together was everything I dreamt it would be and more. The day she was born was separate from the day I was told she died and separate from the day we had to leave her so it was a day that I will count as the best day of my life, while it was bittersweet it was the day that I got to meet my daughter, look into her face kiss her all over and tell her how much I loved her. Our time with her was too short, but that time with her is what I cling to on my hardest day. How all the pain was/is worth it for that beautifully perfect little girl.
5. One grief book suggested that it took 2-5 years to incorporate your grief into your life. Where are you on this timeline, and you do you find that to be true?
I suppose I can see that. I think grief was such a foreign concept to me prior to Addison. I had never even lost a grandparent only great-grandparents who we knew were not long for the world. There are some days I accept that this life of grief is mine and others I still try and fight it. I suppose in 5 years I will have a larger acceptance of grief's presence. It won't make me like it any better it just is what it is.
6. There's a familiar saying, "Time Heals all wounds." Do you think this is true? Or do you subscribe to Edna St. Vincent Milay: "Time does not bring relief, you all have lied"?
Both. Today does not feel as heavy or as painful as those first days without Addison, but then all of the sudden I will get hit with a moment and be right back to where I was in that time. Time can be your friend and your enemy. Not every day feels as soul crushing as the first, but when one comes after a period of good days it knocks me down even harder because I was not as prepared as for it as I was in the beginning.
7. Has your relationship with the future (immediate and far) changed since the death of your child(ren)? How about your relationship with the past?
I had my whole life planned out (it was going according to schedule I might add) now I don't plan anything farther than 1 month out. The rest of the calendar is off limits because a month is the most time I can handle at this moment. I hope for a bright future, but I just can't see it like I used to. It is hard to picture my tomorrow without Addison let alone my next few months/years. As far as the past goes I wish I would have married Brian sooner...why were we engaged for two years, why did we wait so long to start a family. I feel very left behind and yet I wouldn't change a thing because I would never erase Addison from my story...I just wish it had a different ending.
8. How long did it take to answer these questions?
Not really sure, I am trying to get some work done in-between answers...maybe an hour.