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.