The shift happened slowly when I wasn't paying attention. First I stopped crying every day, the happy moments crept in then one day was OK, then more good then bad, then my new normal. A term I hated until it was my reality. My grief journey is constantly shifting and keeps evolving. It's slippery and sneaky and drags Andy along too.
Very recently I found myself hysterically crying in the shower, crumbled on the floor, hopeful the water would muffle my sobs. Privately, I let my tears and heartache circle the drain.
In the months following Piper's death I cried everyday, sometimes all day. There was no discrimination, where I was or who I was with I let it happen. It was one of the fears I had early on that I would never stop crying. That I was so very broken that I was actually broken.
I think crying is therapuetic and I thank all of those of you who cried in unison with me. It was an honor and a tribute to my first born. The other night as I sat on the shower floor crying until my face was red I thought about all those things that I feared.
"I have a daughter, she's 6 months" I beamed at a parent of a patients. There is an entire blog post on how I would never not mention Piper in our line up but as my grief matures I find that sometimes I can't rip off the delicate stiches and explain to strangers how my blonde baby died before she even got the chance to leave her mark on this world. I feel awkward or can't cry another tear at work.
But here is a deep seeded fear all of us child loss moms have, people will forget. Time goes on and there's a natural expectation that you'll be alright. Perhaps you have another baby or clean up really good. I finally put a cap on crying in the grocery store but not my car it's free game. And I get it, I've thought to myself shape up Bennett but really deep down I'm scared that people will forget her little life because her physical presence is not here. I like to picture her with sassy pig tails causing a raucous with our tribe. It's why I casually mention that I have had two children and chit-chat about how the first go around I was just as sick. Why I feel weird to take off my Piper necklace and why I let Birdie sleep on my chest and type this blog soaking her head with tears.
Time moves on but there is a big piece of our hearts missing. I'm glad I'm a more presentable and tolerable human. Also, so relieved that I don't cry all the time and I can feel joy. Not force it, really just feel it. Pumped when I go days without Andy.
Do me a favor, don't forget our first girl. Don't forget all those babies who just didn't get their chance. It's sad and horrible and a really hard thing to think about. Time goes on but I still need y'all to hold her in your heart. Time goes on but she is burned in my soul and a part of me can't go on.
Rest easy Piper Kai.