Yesterday, the first day after Mila's memorial service, Aaron stayed home from work. How was he going to return to work after having just buried his daughter the previous afternoon? So he took the day off of work, and we spent the day home together as a family. We did the most mundane things together, but the point was that we were all together, experiencing life together. We went to the grocery store together, and Tillamook ice-cream happened to be on sale, so we each chose a carton and came home and had an ice-cream party.
There was an incident that had taken place in our home at the dinner reception, an incident that left us feeling violated, disrespected, and deeply wounded at the already lowest point of our lives. It added a layer of complication to the grieving. Aaron and I had a lot to process from everything that had just taken place, but we wanted to make sure our kids had the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings, too, so we did our best to spend intentional time with them. I don't want it to be hard to spend time with my own kids, but it is definitely a struggle right now. The simplest pleasures feel so unwelcome and unnatural. And even though I'm physically home with my kids, I'm not really being present with them. My thoughts are often elsewhere. I'm thinking about Mila, thinking about pumping, thinking about the aftermath of the funeral. It's consuming.
But today, Aaron went back to work, and I was on my own with my thoughts and with my kids. Today was the first time I woke up and had no desire to get out of bed. I really felt no purpose to my day.
Whereas before, I was eager to document our journey with Mila and share her story, now I felt no motivation whatsoever to do it anymore. While I was still pregnant with her, I wanted to make as many meaningful memories with her as possible. I wanted to savor every moment with her, both in the womb and out. And we did. I wanted to remember everything about her. But now that she truly is gone, and her body even is gone, and all I have instead is a heavy, aching, broken heart, I don't want to savor anymore. I don't want to remember this pain. I don't want this to be my life.
It’s now been 14 days since Mila entered our world & then left it. Today was our first day back to real life & it was harder than I thought. I was warned that the first few days after the funeral would be rough, but I didn't know it would be this hard.
The pregnancy was over, the funeral was over, everything was all said & done, Aaron returned to work. Time moves forward, and so do we, somehow. It was time for us to take our first step forward into this new life of ours. But it was so hard to get out of bed, hard to motivate myself to eat breakfast, hard to not walk around the house constantly weeping.
And then I suddenly had such a strong desire to visit Mila’s grave. So I went. Alone. And wept aloud over her grave. I still can’t believe my daughter is buried there underneath that grassy lawn. I touched and smelled the flowers and remembered everyone’s tangible kindness & love toward us all these months.
This cemetery will now be a regular part of our new life. I know it’s supposed to get easier, but right now it’s still so hard. I’m desperately trusting in God’s promise that His mercies are new every morning. I need that mercy anew every single day.