It's obvious that the most unexpected loss we have ever faced came when Addie died. No parent ever expects to outlive their child.
But there are other losses that come with a child’s death that are quite unexpected, though not entirely surprising when you think of the grand scheme of things.
The loss of self.
The loss of short-term memory.
The loss of some social graces.
The loss of control, especially when it comes to emotions.
The loss of appetite and subsequent loss of weight. (Or quite the opposite, if food becomes something to occupy time and distract.)
The loss of friendships, and sometimes of close family relationships.
The loss of employment.
The loss of hope.
Thankfully for me, while I am currently acting in a stay-at-home mom role, it was of my own choosing prior to Adelyn’s death. And I have maintained most relationships – some have even grown stronger in these past two years.
I have been spared some of the more earth-shattering losses that others in our community have endured. My heart goes out to them so much, as I know how each additional change/loss can feel ever more heavy and impossible to bear. (Those parents who have endured multiple losses, especially if it’s losing a rainbow baby … that’s something I simply cannot fathom …)
As with just about anything in this life, I’m realizing that it’s HOW you deal with each new hurdle. The pain remains and morphs as time goes on – grief will always be a part of me – but this most unexpected loss is not the end of my journey.
I’m still sorting out coping mechanisms for the emotional fallout. And I still feel completely lost and unsure of who I am now (Lord knows who I was died with my baby girl). All hope is not lost for me, even if it may feel like that in my darkest hours. I can only pray that God and my precious angel baby will continue to guide me as the years go by.
This post originally appeared in the May We All Heal 2019 project on Facebook, based on the writing prompt "Unexpected Losses." For anyone seeking a loss community of like minded moms (and dads), please consider joining that group.