Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Missing Sadie's Grandma.

Maternity leave has afforded me the luxury to slow down. To breathe. And to become very aware that my mom hasn't arrived at my doorstep to meet our sweet baby. Her granddaughter.  

Just last week, in true Owen fashion (read: out of the blue), he pops this on me during our drive home from school.

"I wish Grandma didn't pass away before Sadie was born. But I know she can still see her because she's looking down at her from heaven. I just wish that I could look up there and see her, too. I miss Grandma. "

I posted this conversation to my Facebook wall, and my cousin posted this in response: "She was someone who just found joy that bubbled from deep down when she was holding a baby. She had so much love."

There is a lot that I miss about having her around. But one of my most favorite things has been sharing my children with her. Being a grandma was undoubtedly one of her greatest joys. Being her daughter is one of mine.

I can't tell you how hard it is missing my mom as I've made my way through these first months of sweet Sadie's life. I have been hit with some moments of grief, sadness, and self-pity so intense that I am not certain I will ever recover from the void that losing her has created.

The missing her, the wanting her and wishing she were here.. or at least, only a phone call away.. that will never end. But I'd imagine, with time, those moments will come less frequently.

There's an author, Hope Edelman, who has written a couple of books on the subject of losing a mother - Motherless Daughters and Motherless Mothers. I haven't read the books - only excerpts online. She describes the books as being written during a time that grief was only recognized as an X-step process. With stages. And an end point. A right way to grieve. And anything outside of those steps would be considered unhealthy.

I think there's a part of people who are close to those who have lost someone who want there to be an end point. They want to know you're going to be okay, that you have survived it, and that the hurt is gone. And I certainly get that. Heck, I even want that for my dad and brother. But as someone who is living in it, right in the thick of it, I know that's not realistic.

Here's a quote from the book:

"When a daughter loses a mother, the intervals between grief responses lengthen over time, but her longing never disappears. It always hovers at the edge of her awareness, prepared to surface at any time, in any place, in the least expected way. This isn't pathological. It's normal. It's why you find yourself, at 24, or 35, or 43, unwrapping a present, or walking down an aisle, or crossing a busy street, doubled over and missing your mother, because she died when you were 17."

I was 29. My mom was there to see me walk down the aisle. And I am so thankful she was. But that doesn't make it any less painful that she wasn't here for the birth of my baby girl. She was supposed to be here for that.

She was suppose to arrive to the hospital to hold her newest grandchild. To stay as long as her work schedule would allow. To hold her while I showered. And then she was supposed to make it to retirement so that work didn't get in the way with the frequency of her visits. She was supposed to be around as my children grew. To further deepen the special bond she shared with my oldest. To laugh with me about the toddler antics yet to come from my middle child. And to not be able to leave a store without picking up a little girly outfit for the granddaughter she'd always wanted. And she's not going to be.

It's so damn hard.

I have 4 weeks remaining of this maternity leave. Before I know it, life's pace will pick up again. And the days of maternity leaves and babies will be gone. I have come to really appreciate the time I've had to reflect and to mourn. But I have only 4 weeks remaining at home with our little Sadie.

God's plan trumped my own last July when we discovered a surprise on the way. Out of death comes new life. A precious life that has allowed me this time to breathe.. and oh how I thank God for the life of Sadie Elizabeth. And for the life of Dianne Elizabeth, Sadie's Grandma who "can still see her because she's looking down at her from heaven."

1 comment:

Amber Lee said...

You are a beautiful writer with a beautiful family and an even more beautiful heart. Although I never met your mother and do not know you very well, I am in awe at your relationship with her. I think of your loss often and pray for a comfort and peace that, while it won't take away the pain, will hopefully hold you through until you are reunited with her again.