Sunday, October 18, 2015

Seasons and Symbols

10-18-2015, Capture Your Grief - Day 18, Seasons and Symbols

I've not posted much this week, it's been a tumultuous week. I've been feeling the need to write, but I don't know how to share what I feel. Sometimes even I can't put the thoughts to words and arrange them on paper. Maybe I can capture some of it with today's topic. Though in some ways as I haven't experienced a year without our daughter, maybe it's too early to say what affects me most.

I have always loved fall, the colors changing, the multitude of trees that all blended together in their green array, suddenly bursting into every shade of red, orange, yellow, and brown imaginable. There is even a tree down the road, that almost looks purple. And this past week the color in our area has been at it's prime, prettier than last year's pictures; and yet, I feel nothing but a profound sense of grief and loss. I don't see brilliant colors, I see death. The grass turning brown, the flowers' blooms fade away, the leaves drift down and then crumble to dust. I have always loved getting to bring out the sweaters and coats, wearing the boots (that are never out of season in my opinion), and bundling up. But this year those things don't feel cozy or warm. They maternity sweaters remain in a bag in the closet floor, and I am never warm enough. The temperature today felt about the same as the April day I found out I was pregnant again. But instead of spring bringing the promise of new life, fall just brings a remembrance of death. She silently slipped away, without anyone knowing somewhere as the Pennsylvania summer was fading toward fall...

Many of the women I've read or met on this journey see symbols of their child everywhere They are certain that their baby is there, manifesting themselves in someway. They feel they are signs or gifts from Heaven. I don't believe that. I think that Heaven as a wonderful place, and that when we get there, this world no longer holds any concern or allure for us. Afterall it would sadden and grieve us to see how the world continues to spin, and we no there is no sorrow or weeping there. I don't think that feathers are a sign that my angel has visited, or that butterflies are sent by my child. I believe the feathers in my yard have blown across the pasture from the duck and chicken barns our Amish neighbors keep, and that the butterflies come from caterpillars as they always have. It's hard to be reminded of someone that is always on your mind, but in the last two weeks, I have finally begun to have some relief from her constant presences in my mind. Short stretches, 10-15 minutes, where she isn't even on the backburner of my mind. A few things always bring her memory back - red leaves and dark starry nights.

Three weeks after her birth, we went to Niagara Falls, and there was one tree changing colors a month ahead of its counterparts. It was a vibrant red. I picked up one from the ground and immediately thought of her. Perhaps it was because it was red, as I often imagine her hair is. Perhaps it was because it was beautiful, yet out of place like her untimely death and birth. I carried it around in my purse till it was nothing but crumbles. Last weekend I found another very tiny one as I walked between Sis. Bonnie and Bro. Jonathan's house, it was so smooth and it is now riding around in my purse.

We often have amazingly clear and starry nights here. We live in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by the Amish, so there is basically no light pollution. To watch as the Milky Way changes position in the sky over the course of the year is really something. I had never seen stars like I do here, not even out West where there is nothing to obstruct your view for miles and miles and miles. If we end up moving away for work, it will be something I greatly miss. The night after our follow up doctors appointment was such a night. We visited with the Brubakers for a long while afterward, till it was dark. When out of nowhere, we saw a blazingly bright shooting star stream across the sky. It must have been huge, because of how long it burned. But of course it was a shooting star, and as such didn't last more than several seconds. It too made me think of her little life, very bright but far too short.

The very beginning of our fall color, 10-04-2015.

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