Today is the one month anniversary of Samantha’s death, and she would have been five months old today. In many ways I’m glad that the two coincide, because having multiple dates that are difficult would be harder. But on the 10th of any given month, I will probably pause and think of her birth and death, at least for a while. It’s also been four weeks since the funeral today.
We’re going to the cemetery today. Travis went a week or two ago, with a member from our church who was out of town during the funeral. I haven’t been out there yet, but I would really like to make this a part of our routine. If I’m home on the 10th, I will be at the cemetery at some point. I’m really glad that it is in the same town as us, unlike when we buried Jonah.
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe we made the right choice originally with Jonah. We knew we wouldn’t be staying in Buffalo for long (at the time Travis was a mission developer, and his call was temporary at best). We didn’t know it would be for as long as it ended up being, since we did end up at a congregation in the area. But we just knew that it wasn’t a permanent home. Is Texas more permanent? We can’t see into the future to know, but it feels much more like we’re staying put. Much of that I think is due to the events of the last year. In so many ways we’re only just beginning to do ministry in this place. Life takes a slower pace here, so changes aren’t necessarily happening at the lightning speed that we took in other calls. And that’s ok.
It’s funny how our emotions aren’t tied to the calendar. They come and go at will. Travis was much more in tuned with Sunday being the four week anniversary of her death. I was paying more attention looking ahead to today. Yet for me, Sunday was awful. I was an emotional basket case all day, without any kind of specific trigger. Today I feel a sense of peace, while Travis seems to be having a rough day (from what I can see). I can’t promise that I won’t have a difficult time going to the cemetery though. Monday we went to the funeral home to finalize the design on the headstone and to pay our bill, which was difficult for me. I have only been there one other time, and it was for Samantha’s visitation. Travis had less trouble because he has many memories of meeting families there. Yesterday I watched a television show with a sad ending and cried, something I never used to do. Yes, I’d feel sad or get choked up, but crying actual tears during a movie or t.v. is out of character for me.
I don’t know a lot about development in babies. One of the difficult things for me is wondering what would have been happening if Samantha hadn’t gotten sick. Would she be starting to crawl yet? Trying out solid foods? Or is that later? When I see babies, I can’t figure out how old they are, but I wonder how they compare to what Samantha would have been. I haven’t figured out yet if my not knowing is better than knowing would be.
The infant room for our school/preschool/daycare is in the church nursery, so it’s right by the bathrooms that I use when I’m in the office. Each day I walk by and look in and think about going in to just hold a baby. I miss doing that so much. But I’m not ready to do that, and I think it would just be harder holding a baby who is not mine. I would be instantly aware of all the ways that child is different from our Samantha, and miss her all the more.
I keep thinking in the back of my head that I should make an appointment with my obgyn. I tell myself that it’s to discuss with her the dangers of having another kid, but the truth is I think I just need to see her as a piece of closure on this whole ordeal. I had my six-week followup while Samantha was still in the ICU, but things have changed so much since then. I don’t think it’s safe for me to attempt having other kids, which is why we’re talking about adopting when we’re ready (not any time soon). My blood pressure is too touchy with pregnancy and requires medication that isn’t safe for pregnancy. And this whole GBS thing is so unknown, since I had EVERY normal precaution and she still got sick. I think I’d go out of my mind with worry during the entire pregnancy. I nearly did this last time around, and I told myself the whole time that I was done.
But the idea of having another baby or even adopting is impossible to think about. Right now what I want is HER, not some other baby. And I can’t have her back. Having another child right now would just be an attempt to replace her, which I can’t do. I just miss her, and I keep hoping that one of these days it won’t hurt so much, while at the same time I realize that hurting is normal and I need to let myself do it.
Mary Jo Goodale said:
Remember her days of joyful noises and open eyes. You are the whole world to her. It will be hard, but I hope you do remember to miss her and go through the stages of grief knowing you did everything you could. I truly hope you and Travis will be stronger having known Samantha. I think about Samantha everyday, even though you and I or Samantha and I have never met. (I went to high school with Travis). I am glad you have both of your babies close to you now, it would be harder to me to have them separated. I am sure they are dancing in heaven and playing joyfully.
God bless you both and your families.
Happy Birthday Sammy!! You are dearly missed.
Miriran Maas said:
Grief dosen’t work in any bounderies. Just because you have had one of the stages doesn’t mean it won’t come back. Grief dosen’t work in any order. You will both have bad days or good days and seldom will they be on the same day. You will come thru this shadow place, this place that is so dark. Everyone does it different, there is no right way or wrong way. It feels like it will never end and then one day you realize that the feeling has changed and you can see a light at the end of a tunnel and somehow you feel alittle better. You will immeadiatly feel a sense of quilt that you felt better for a little time. That is part of it also. I know you have heard a million times “just allow yourself to feel this experience” and you want to say “I don’t want to feel like this somebody else can do this”. That is ok also. It all comes down to that acceptance thing. Don’t look at the whole picture at one time take just this day or hour or week, whatever you can deal with at that time and the rest will come. Hold on to the fact that you are loved and cared for and you are held in the Good Lords hands even tho it feels pretty shaky right now. Love to All!!
Kristi Partenheimer said:
You are allowed to feel every and any emotion. I can feel your hurt and my heart breaks for you. We have never met but you are one of the strongest women I’ve known. Little Samantha had the most wonderful loving parents. God Bless You!
Tanya Laabs Johnson said:
It is painful now, but God is using this time of grief to move you from where you are now to where He ultimately wants you to be. And trusting in Him, you will know when it is the right time to pursue adoption and hold another sweet baby in your arms.
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