One afternoon toward the end of February I had noticed these daffodils (please pardon the weeds :) on my way to the mailbox. That they were right in the process of opening! I thought, Awesome! I'm going to sit here and watch until all the petals come out! I thought that would be the coolest thing--a sudden opening, like an umbrella being popped open. I grabbed my camera and lay on the grass in front of them, and started snapping pictures, and waiting. (The neighbors must have been confirmed in their suspicions that I had finally lost it.) As time went by and I could see no noticeable difference I finally gave up and went inside.
I mentioned in my "invincible summer" post that things are clearing emotionally. I want to share now more about that, and especially my gratitude to Heavenly Father for bringing me to this point. I hope that what I share isn't too personal for ya'll! (Just keepin' it real. :))
Since Benjamin's birthday last November I have had this odd inclination to busy myself so that my mind could not revisit the pain so intensely. Where before that I could not help but hurt when I saw or heard other babies, or when I realized that I was doing something I couldn't have done if Benjamin were here, now as soon as I started to hurt I would turn my mind to my nursing school application, to the home improvement projects, to Christmas, anything that would distract my mind.
This seemed like a good idea because there really was a lot I needed to get done and the grief was not helping my productivity! :) But almost immediately there were side-effects: my not allowing the natural emotion to be on the surface applied to other emotions and my relationship with my beloved family. Christmas did not have that same intense beauty that it always has had for me. I didn't want to work on Benjamin's scrapbook. At all. And it seemed for a while, that each week was bringing an experience with a friend or family member whom I had previously leaned on, but who now seemed disinclined to share my grief. I was starting to get comments like, "You need to just try to be happy."
Other changes since November have been physical:
I no longer feel the phantom kicks inside that I had for over a year after he was born.
I have finally lost weight, and now weigh several pounds less than I did when I became pregnant with him.
I don't have the feeling of sheer desperation to be pregnant. It's more of a peaceful "it will happen when it's supposed to happen" feeling.
By February I hardly knew what I was feeling anymore. I haven't wanted to post much. I haven't wanted to delve deeply into my memories. It's odd because I still wanted people to talk about Benjamin but I didn't want to myself much! I know it's completely illogical. I think my brain has been broken, or there's been a major disconnect somewhere. I guess I have just been afraid that I'm not staying close to him, but afraid TO stay close, because of the pain.
It just felt like I was in limbo emotionally--not hot or cold.
I'm not sure what caused the change, but suddenly on February 27, I felt like writing in my journal! I opened it up, and saw that the last time I had written was November 9, 2008. As I wrote. . . .and wrote. . . .and wrote, I started to realize I was moving into a new phase. I could FEEL again without hurting so badly.
Back to the daffodils. THREE HOURS later I suddenly remembered them, and went back out to see them looking now like this.
And the next day, like this .
How long did it take for the whole process, I wonder? At what point did the petals go from being all scrunched up to being open and free and beautiful?
I feel like I am becoming a new person. That I have spent a long time like the bulb, buried in the ground. That I have allowed the sunlight to draw me upward into green shoots with no spectacular beauty. That for the longest time, I have just been waiting for the healing, like the greenish yellow lump that rises to become the blossom. It has been so gradual that others have become frustrated. I have become frustrated! But all the time, that blossom was there, securely tucked away until enough time had passed that it could safely emerge.
I'm not saying it never hurts anymore now. But I am finally, finally beginning to feel that I can miss Benjamin and hurt that he's not with me, without sinking into the previous depths. I can talk about him with a feeling of happiness, at how adorable he was, and that he is mine, without the crushing pain of the separation.
I want to work on his book again. I want to be a better companion to my Darling Cutie, and a more emotionally engaged mom for my living sons. I want to spend more time writing and less time reading. I want to focus less on this trial and more on others' pains. And I want to think of Benjamin often with the sweet love I have for him and less often with the angry hurt that he is not here.
Thanks to my Heavenly Father and His Son, my great Healer! I cannot praise Them enough!
Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all.