Grief or Self-Pity

No carseat needed. Tomorrow we will go to a birthday party and I suddenly realize that this is part of it too. That you go to a party and that you can’t take your newborn with you.

I’ve dicovered that I had ideas and expectations about how it would have been with her. Memories popped up of how things were when my other children were little: proud granddad and grandma, uncles and aunts and today there are also cousins, who weren’t there yet when my other babies were born. It is so sweet to see how kids try to make contact with a small baby.

And you know, just feeding, cuddling, cherishing. I just miss it so much. I miss her so much.

For a few weeks, I was doing so well! Last Sunday a pastor in a church we visited said to me that I should thank God that she is with Him and that she doesn’t have to suffer, doesn’t have to make a choice and that she is doing so great now. I did what he said. I thanked God and meant it. I came out of that church a lot lighter then I came in.

I had made a bracelet with her name and wore it every day, until it broke last week. When that happened, I wanted to cry and felt so childish. I started to browse the internet to find a real, silver bracelet with her name on it. But after that Sunday I didn’t feel the need anymore. I found peace and could accept that she is with Him and that in the eyes of the world I have four children and not five.

Until today. Now the urge is back, the longing for something I can touch, something that is visible, something that helps me to not having to feel that I should ignore or neglect her. Something that helps me to accept that I have five-minus-one children.

Is this self-pity or grief? I am not sure. There is always a danger of being wrapped up in self-pity. I am not immune to that. Grief is love you can’t give away. That is normal, good, maybe even beautiful in a way. So, I go to her room again and cry my heart out. No, let me be honest. First, I texted my husband, than I ate chocolate and only after that I remembered that I could go to God with this and went to a place to be alone. I allowed my tears to come and went to God with this confusion; with my grief and also with my self-pity.

I realize again that what I feel is okay. That I miss her. That she was so wanted and precious and unique. And while I am telling all this to God, I find I receive new rest. Although I don’t need the maxi cosi anymore.

First published in Dutch on 18 August 2017

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