Friday, April 24, 2009

Over a year.

We made it through last week with many tears, but with the reassurance that we are continuing to "make it." Our grief for Hazel; our awareness of the empty space she left has been woven into our family, into our life, into our day-to-day emotions. We fumbled and fought and grieved and shouted lots of unhelpful things, but we've found our way to a healthy new normal. And for that I'm glad.

This time last year I was overwhelmed all the time with the face that I would NEVER not miss Hazel; that this was one pain that would never heal. That is so true. I have moments when the grief is still that raw, when I can barely breathe, when I'm overcome by jealousy. I still feel as if I'm dancing around depression, sometimes simply incapable of making myself do the things that need to be done.

However, but and even so--I'm also way more likely to get up off the couch and do something, I laugh a lot, I sew and knit a bit, I've been reading fiction again--and signs that I'm balancing out.

This anniversary week hit harder than I expected. I've been so focused on Noah and his treatments, that Hazel was forced in the background (which is how it should be, if you know what I mean--grieving for the dead should not overtake our care of the living!) We found ways to mark the day: weeding her garden, looking through her things, etc...

On Monday, Chris, Noah and I took hats, blankets and a preemie outfit to the hospital to donate in Hazel's memory. My aunt, some friends and I knitted most of the items, but a couple were purchased, as well. We gave over 50 hats, a few blankets, a quilt and a cute preemie outfit. These items will mostly be used for babies who are born still, born straight to heaven, born silent--the rest will be used for NICU babies and other little ones who need a warm hat or a comforting blanket.

The items we were given from the hospital, those few mementos, are all we have to hold of Hazel. The clothes she wore, the hat, the footprints. I hope that the parents whose babies wear these items will feel the love with which they were made.


Jo Ellen Werking Weedman said...

Jeni--what a wonderful idea. Those hats and blankets will be such a special blessing for so many. Peace to you all.

Kimberlee said...

Coming in late. But happy Birthday to Hazel. You are always in my thoughts.

Robin said...

You know those hats and blankets will comfort other families just as your sharing your journey will bring others comfort.

Praying you have a peaceful weekend and that Noah continues to do well.