Late at night, I came across this picture on Instagram and thought it resembled how I’ve been feeling this past year. It’s been 5 1/2 years since I last held my only son, Kadan and told him how much I loved him. Every year, I have different emotions. The 1st year was complete chaos, nothing made any sense. I would just stay in bed all day and cry. To vent, I wrote a 7 page letter to my friends expressing my feelings, attended therapy and support groups to keep myself together. That 1st year, I will never forget. The 2nd year, I wasn’t in denial anymore and became bitter and angry because reality set in that I’m living here on earth without my son. I basically “let myself go” and ate everything in sight. I was just physically and emotionally exhausted. The 3rd year, I said to myself, “How did I survive all those years?” I was adjusting to living as a “new” Katelyn. The 4th year, I had a sense of peace and found myself crying less and started listening to my gut. My best advice is to listen to your gut. I don’t push myself too much. I still find it really difficult to attend kids birthday parties and baby showers, so if I’m not in the mood, I just don’t go. Trust me, it’s okay to let yourself feel a certain way, such as bitterness or sadness at that time. Take your time, and do what you feel is best for you. But, if a mom has had a baby loss in the past, without a doubt I’m totally on board and happy to celebrate their child than someone who hasn’t gone through a loss. Now, I am just so cautious of my emotions and tend to always ask, “Who’s babies are going to be there?” For instance, I attended my best friend’s New Year’s party, but left before those with babies had arrived. To be “happy” and celebrate the new year is still such a struggle. I’m upfront with my best friend’s and thankful they understand me without asking questions.
During the 5th year of my journey, it seems to be the year that friend’s are getting pregnant or just had their 1st baby. Preparing myself mentally and seeing them with their babies just gives me two perspectives on how I “look at things different”-just as the image above. The upright city view is an image of a “normal life” -bringing your baby into this world and raising that baby. And the upside down city view is an image of the “beyond tough life” of moving forward in life without your child. I’m not going to lie, it’s the 1st time mother’s who make me jealous. There are times when I get so irritated by people’s comments, such as, “I’m going back to work, I miss my baby so much.” And I say to myself, “Well, at least you get to go home to your baby. How about missing your child for a lifetime.” But, then I pick myself up and remind myself these 1st time mother’s are living the “normal life” and it’s only natural for them to be saying those types of comments. When I hear a parent complain about how much their child cries, I would say, “My boyfriend and I would be happy to be sleep deprived and would cherish those moments that you may take for granted. You may not see the pain on our face, but we feel it everyday. You should be so grateful your child is here.” Lately, seeing friend’s with their own babies sets my mood off because that’s how I imagined my life to be. But, it’s not.
“What a different place this world would be if people remembered that grief is born of love and all acts of grief are normal, healthy, and expected.”
Here are some photos along my journey…
If you would like to share your journey of grief, leave a comment here below. You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org