I have nearly filled my first journal since I began keeping one in November. I've been a diary-writer, journal-keeper my whole life, but a sporadic one at that. Until now, I don't think I've ever hit the milestone of filling a journal and needing to move on to another one out of necessity. It seemed worth commemorating to me. So, I went back and skimmed some, or all, of the entries since November 2nd, 2015.
Though most of it remains for my eyes only, there are parts of some entries worth sharing:
November 3 - 2:40pm
Today I have felt okay. I don't want to fall into the trap of only acknowledging my hurt and pain. I need to also recognize the days I feel like I'm doing alright. Like I am going to come out of this okay. But it's scary to focus on the good sometimes. I fear the good in some ways because I know there's likely a storm around the corner.
November 21 - 6:38pm
Put up the Christmas tree today... Sometimes it feels really good to do "happy" things. But almost always it pops into my head that you should be here, and then it starts to hurt.
November 23 - 3:23pm
Today has been one of those days I promised I would write about. A day where my sadness isn't all I can feel... Today my grief was manageable and I must remember to celebrate these days. But I still miss you, Ryan.
December 1 - 3:05pm
I don't think you could ever really know how you're going to respond when trauma or disaster hit. I expected to be swallowed whole by it. To be destroyed and never fully recover. But I found out I am much stronger than I ever dreamed. I feel horribly guilty sometimes -- when I'm not crying. But I don't have to search too hard inside myself for the aching, sad piece of my heart.
December 5 - 10:07am
It's been a little while that I've woken up with sadness in my belly, but there it was this morning.
December 9 - 6:25pm
Had a really tough one today. Retreated to your room to have some alone time with you. That's all I really wanted today. Time with you.
December 12 - 4:35pm
The ups and downs can be pretty challenging to keep up with. Yesterday was tough. Today was pretty manageable...
And on it goes. Back and forth. Up and down. Those waves of grief roll in and out.
I have noticed recently that the tears come less and less. More days pass between the small crying jags that I've come to count on. But like the waves of grief, I never know when they'll hit, or what will trigger them.
It seems that unlike the pretty colours and patterns on my journals, there is no pattern to my grief. But it's always there. As much a part of me as the baby I grieve.