The Look Of Grief – Eight Years Later
It’s been eight years. As of the time I’m writing this, it’s been 2991 days. It’s been too long since he took his last breaths in our arms.
I thought those who said “time will heal” after Charlie died were full of it. To a certain extent, they are. It never heals, that gaping wound left by removing life support from your perfect 24 day old son after Group B Strep infected his little body and robbed him of a future of playdates and football games.
But time does heal. How much time? There’s no magic number. I know it’s not six months. It’s not even a year. Maybe it’s two years for someone. It’s probably five years for others.
For me, I’m not sure when I realized I was at a level of healing that I was comfortable with. Maybe at the five year mark. It was a day not marked with bells and fireworks or even an email saying, “It’s all going to be ok.” It just happened.
A friend shared a story with me shortly after Charlie died.
She said grieving was like having a rock in your shoe. At first it cuts, bleeds, hurts like hell and then you figure out how to wiggle it into a spot where you don’t feel it. You know it’s there, it’s just out of the way.
Then one day, when you aren’t expecting it, that rock wiggles out of its hiding place. It cuts your foot, hurts and bleeds. It makes you cry because you weren’t expecting it. But then, just as you did before, you learned to live with it.
This goes on for years, for the rest of your life, even.
I’ve found that in spite of my immediate need to help others right after Charlie’s death, it’s only been lately that I’ve found my place in the world. Late last summer, I hooked up with Aunt Becky from MommyWantsVodka. She had this amazing idea for a site where people could come to share their stories of loss, love, grief, pain, addiction, darkness and light. It would be a place where stigmas don’t exist and we would work together to kick all stigmas to the curb. Because they’re not really stigmas. They’re our stories.
Band Back Together a place with resources and support, in a safe and moderated environment. It would be a place where people could Band Back Together.
It’s been a year since we launched (you can read about our Beginnings) and we never in a million years imagined it would be what it is today. It’s such a place for comfort, love, support and community. The word is spreading and more people are Joining The Band!
We welcome stories from those of you who have lost babies to miscarriage, stillbirth and infant loss. We know, like Devan knows, that talking about it and sharing your story helps you know you are not alone.
We can all work to break down stigmas, to help people open up and to let others know they are not alone by getting the Band Back Together.
We’d love to have you join the conversation!