Day 30 of 100 Days of Grief


"The Western mind is obsessed by doing more and more, restless and constantly on the run ,just cannot sit still into being the grace that descends...just by being...still, being leads to being."
-Swami Rajneesh


After having my miscarriage in this weird period of peace before the storm moment I had this simplified look at my life of things that really mattered.  I remember sitting with my notebook and writing this:  

Priorities: 
1 - My time and relationship with God
2 - Family (Nick, my and babies emotional and physical health)
3 - Everything else

I look back at it and this was before I really dropped into that deep dark hole.  This was right I after I'd had my D&C and I was able to start functioning again.  I was able to get up and move around without assistance.  I was able to help the kids and try to help lift the burden from Nick.  During this time I felt so much gratitude for all those around me and fully saw how blessed I had been throughout everything.  I look back and realize that I was lucky to have those few days of clarity before everything got really dark.  

I look back at this list now though and I realize how out of whack my priorities had been the last couple of years.  Actually let's be honest, it had been almost half of a decade.  I feel like after I had Henry I was really focused on our family and probably had the best balance I can remember.  Nick and I were eating well, we were saving our money, I was exercising, I was finding time for my own spirituality.  We were really happy.  

Then I had Hannah and it became a struggle of just trying to balance life with two kids and I struggled.   But I feel like we got along but the balance was lost.  Nick and I gave up on eating healthy, I figured I got exercise from chasing Hannah, I decided to take on multiple jobs, I stopped reading the scriptures and praying.  

And then the kids got bigger and they didn't need me as much and I became lazy.  I stopped doing things the kids wanted to do and kind of focused on my own self gratification.  I got sucked into social media more.  It just kept getting worse.  Then Nick got baptized.  And I started working my way back up spiritually but it was sporadic.  I wasn't ever consistent with it.  Overall I'd say I was still rather lazy with everything.  

I think this incredibly hard time has been a blessing in a way.  I don't think I'll ever be able to say that I'm grateful I lost my babies.  I would never say I wanted to experience these heartbreaking moments but I feel like it's taken away the fog of my life and I'm able to see what really matters.  Before this last miscarriage I had 15 piano students that I taught all week after 5pm.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays I'd teach from 4:30-8pm and then on Wednesday I had two other students I taught from 5-6pm and then I had young women's from 7-9.  

My week nights were filled with piano and the days were usually filled with me scrolling on social media or wasting my time with tv shows.  The house wasn't really taken care of, I wasn't spending quality time with Hannah, Henry was gone at school.  You get the point.  And I was feeling overwhelmed and just yucky.  I wasn't really doing anything wrong so much as I wasn't taking the time to take care of myself or my family.  

Being really sick with this last pregnancy, it was difficult to watch my kids and husband go about their days struggling.  I couldn't do anything to help them and it was really heartbreaking but I kept telling myself it would be worth it.  And then I lost Hope and it wasn't worth it and then I realized that I didn't want to ignore the needs of my kids and husband anymore.  I wanted to spend every moment I could with me.  It was like a knock on the head that Henry was already gone during the days and I only had a few hours with him each day.  Hannah was going to go to kindergarten next year and my time with her would be even more limited.  My time with it being just me and my kids was disappearing.  

And Nick and I were in bad shape.  We were always sick, Nick was on so many different medicines for blood pressure and anxiety and ADD and it was crazy how much were spending on medical things.  The house was unorganized and cluttered.  Our lives were just in disarray and I could see it so clearly.  And one morning I sat down and wrote down this list.  My life needed to come back to focus and balance.  

I feel like through everything I've been struggling with its helped me really focus in on what's important.  Before I didn't read and study scriptures in the mornings.  I told myself I just didn't have time.  I never read or said prayers with the kids because I was teaching.  I didn't get to spend time with the kids after school because I was teaching lessons.  And I felt horrible because my kids wanted to learn the piano but I never made it a priority.  

Now with my to-do lists I'm able to prioritize my family and myself.  I've dropped some piano students to make it so I can spend time with them at nights doing scriptures and teaching them piano and reading with them and playing games.  I was worried because it meant less money for us but even with all the crazy financial stuff we're going through right now I've realized that money doesn't really matter.  It's not worth losing time with my own family.  

I've created time in the morning for my own scripture study and prayer.  I've dedicated time to my intellectual development and time for my own creative outlets.  I'm keeping up on house chores and cleaning.  I've made it a goal to never go to bed with a dirty kitchen.  It's helped immensely because I awake not rushed or flustered because my house is dirty, or the Henry doesn't have clean school clothes.  I set alarms so I don't forget my kids.  I really did that all time before.  And the really crazy part is that I wasn't doing anything meaningful.  I was on my phone scrolling or watching dumb videos or tv shows.  

I guess what I'm saying is that I feel like these losses and trials have allowed me to hit the reset and see what really matters.  I'm not sure if anything else could have.  I'm not sure I would have responded to anything else.  I feel like I needed to see and realize that time with loved ones can be short and to cherish the time I have with them.  It's hard to say that in way this has been good for me.  I'm not saying that I'm glad my babies died but I'm glad for the wake up call.  

Anyway,  that really doesn't have anything to do with today's prompt but I think I needed to get that out there.  Today's prompt is about learning to just be.  As I read the first part I kept thinking I am terrible at this.  I have to-do lists that keep me very busy each day but I realized after reading the chapter that I am actually allowing myself time to do this.  I feel like I'm being more intentional in how I'm spending my time so that I can allow myself to just be.

The second paragraph it gives you a challenge of dropping all of your plans and obligations for today and doing nothing.  I don't feel like that is really realistic.  I can understand that during grief you need to let yourself slow down at times but I think you need to realize too that you have responsibilities.  I'd say yes, if you can do that, do it but as the author went on it talked about setting apart time each day to meditate.  

My yoga has been this for me.  I have an amazing friend that has been posting her free yoga classes online and it's been a life saver for me.  From the beginning of December I've been doing yoga almost everyday because it was a time where I could let go of everything else and just focus on my breathing and my bodies movements.  I wasn't thinking about all the pain I was in.  I wasn't thinking about how the next day was going to be exhausting.  I was thinking of my breathing and focusing on what I could do in that moment.  

Each night as I've continued this I've gained strength both physically and mentally.  That time allows me to recharge and I always coming out of it grateful that I was able to set it all aside for a moment.  I've also tried meditations where I sit and listen to someones voice.  I struggle with those more because I get distracted but I feel like with yoga I don't get as distracted because I'm moving my body at the same time.  It doesn't make much sense but I've found what works for me.  

Today's prompt:  Sit down and hold something soft in your hands (such as a teddy bear or a blanket).  Focus on just feeling the object and take 10 deep breaths.  Breath in and fill your belly with your inhale rather than filling your chest.  Then, slightly slower than when you breathed in, let the air out of your belly.

Tonight I'm going to do my yoga because today I've needed it.  Today has been hard.  My balance has been out of whack today and I've been really emotional.  Today I've felt incredibly anxious and worn down.  I've thought a lot about Hope today.  I've been wanting to go and journal to her today but I haven't been able to.  I can't seem to focus and I'm tired and irritable.  Something isn't quite right.  It's a bit hard to go from yesterday where I felt really happy and joyful to coming back down to where I feel like I'm struggling to deal with the dark clouds.  I guess it's just important to remind myself that yes, there are still days where everything hurts but there are also days when I can be joyful.  

Comments

  1. I remember how excited you were when Kevin was born. I wondered if you were even more excited than I was. Your sweet little baby girl is surely a jewel worth the love you feel for her. I loved your post. Your heart is raw but your being present with it. Your doing all that you can to be vulnerable and real with yourself, which puts you in a place of healing, though it's simultaneously so very painful. My heart goes out to you and this grief your feeling. You're not alone Emily. You are doing a beautiful job of being human and appreciating what's here that is joyful. 💜 you

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