Warning: this is a grammatical mess of quickly written words and thoughts…bear with me….I hope you can follow along…
It‘s probably obvious by now, due to my lack of blogging, that posting my feelings is no longer beneficial. Truth be told…it doesn’t help. In fact, it just feels like one more item on my never-ending to-do list. In the beginning, it helped a lot. I needed to express myself and let others know how I was doing and feeling. The pain was fresh and raw, and many people were genuinely concerned with how we were doing. It gave me the outlet to share without returning endless emails and phone calls, but now that has all changed. It has been two years since the accident. Most people have moved on and have expected us to do the same. Unfortunately, people don’t realize that the second year was just as difficult as the first. The only difference is that you become one with the pain and heartache, and you learn to adapt and return to a “normal” life. You once again robotically function and go through the motions of a regular existence. However, there is nothing regular about the way we feel.
During the second year of grief, everyone begins to think you are healed and over it. But you are not! Just because you see us laughing and our kids playing doesn’t mean we are over it. Just because you notice us enjoying the kids’ sports and activities doesn’t mean we are over it. Just because we start volunteering more and taking on new hobbies doesn’t mean we are over it. Just because we started reading books that don’t deal with death and dying doesn’t mean we are over it. We will never be over it, but our family has learned to live with it. The second year of grief was just as difficult as the first. The cards, flowers, and prayers start to disappear, the rest of the world seems to move on, and we are left with a hole in our family and hearts. The holidays during the second year were probably more difficult, because you come face to face with the realization that Macie has been gone for so long. If anyone reading this has a friend or loved one grieving, please don’t forget that they are probably hurting just as badly with each passing holiday.
With so much time passing, we start to forget what she sounds like, and all the smells of her are gone. I could easily remember her voice by playing some home videos, but every time I pick up one of the DVDs, I just stare at it and put it back. For some reason, I am absolutely terrified to watch those videos. I was able to watch them days, weeks, and months after the accident, but it has been over a year since I have watched one. I really can’t explain that one?!? I so desperately want to see her face, hear her laughter, remember her voice, yet I can’t bring myself to watch a memory of her. I want the real thing and a past memory just will not do.
During the past couple months, I have also come to the realization that I am not only grieving my daughter, but I am grieving my identity as well. This was hard for me to admit, and still is. Pride has always been a struggle of mine, and sometimes I think God took Macie from us to humble me. I always felt that Ryan and I did a really good job at raising our children. We protected them the best we could, and tried to control every situation and detail of their life. Yet, our child died in a tragic accident. I guess I’m not in control after all. Anyway, I loved being the young mom with 4 kids. You don’t’ see many 28-31 year olds walking around Walmart with 4 kids in a shopping cart being well behaved. I was always the one pregnant or nursing. I loved having a big family (not big compared to the families on TLC or some within my church, but big compared to the typical American family). We were different, and I liked that. Now, I just look like a typical mom with her 3 kids, and the youngest child is throwing a fit about something. Unfortunately, Carter, our youngest, didn’t receive the same parenting as the older children did. For the past two years, we have been pretty lackadaisical as far a discipline is concerned with him. Normal bedtimes and schedules flew out the window when Macie died. We are now trying the return things to a pre-accident existence. Back to the identity….So now I am the mom raising 3 kids, and everyone around me is either pregnant, just delivered a new baby, or adopting. I now have the small family. I know this shouldn’t bother me, but it does. I’m only sharing this because I know there are other grieving mothers that probably experience the same thing. You not only grieve a child, you grieve who you were.
I know I still have 4 children, but the world does not see that. I have met several new families this year, and they have just assumed everything was normal about me. They just assume I have 3 kids and my life is great, until they ask my kids’ ages. That’s when my pulse races and the internal dialog begins. “Do I tell them, do I not tell them? Will they care? Do I want to explain everything? Do I want to answer questions? Do these people matter to me? How will they react?” Then I say what I always do, “My oldest son is 11, my oldest daughter would be 9, my second daughter is 8, and my youngest son is 5.” When I get to the “oldest daughter would be” part, I either get a confused or shocked look, or the person starts counting my children and asks where the other is. It’s always an interesting situation to say the least.
I am trying really hard to get over that. With Macie, I can’t, won’t, and don’t want to ever get over her…ever! But I can get over my identity crisis. At the beginning of the year, I started working out a lot. I realized that I really enjoy fitness classes, and I have regained my passion for healthy foods and healthy living. The exercise helps with the moods swings a lot and I am sleeping better. When I’m working out, I am able to relieve the stress and anger that builds up throughout the day. It is so easy to want to curl up in a ball and not do anything, but I refuse to let my grief take my body as well. My kids need me to be fit and able to keep up with them, and that’s what I intent to do. God still has work for us to do, and I want to be healthy enough to do it! We are all growing a little stronger physically and emotionally every day.
I still can’t believe 2 years have come and gone. I’m not sure what this 3rd year has in store for us, but I pray it will be filled with healing and closure. I have the promises of Heaven on day, and I know we will be reunited with Macie. I guess we need to just keep pressing forward until that day comes. With that said, I feel I need to put an end to this page and close this chapter of our lives. We are finding a new identity for our family and looking for a new purpose. I want this page to be in memory of our daughter and everything we will miss about her.
We love you so much Macie and can’t wait to hold you again!!!
1 Thessalonians 4:17
- ► 2010 (21)