This very small event is probably some of the biggest headways that I have made in my mourning process for Zoë, and I attribute much of this to the recent birth of Zoë’s sister Esmée.
From the moment I went into labor with Esmée it reminded me of every second of Zoë’s birth. From the protracted labor, to the experience with the hospital staff, and procedures, to the moment when she was born.
Then here I am a mom all over again…with the phantom pain of a child who is missing. Esmée only makes me think of Zoë more. Every face she makes either looks nothing like Zoë (making me think of Zoë), or exactly like Zoë (making me think of Zoë). There is not a moment when these two sisters are not simultaneously in my thoughts.
People told me that having another child would help with the loss of Zoë. This is true in some ways. I get to be a mom, I get to care and love a child, and do all those things with a child that my body has long ached to do since Zoë’s passing. But what people won’t tell you is that having another child makes you morn harder, stronger, and more on the surface. It makes you confront things that you cannot avoid any longer.
I was able to watch the video of Zoë not because I wanted to see her amazing face, and see just what kind of an amazing spirit she was. But because her sister, animated before me is so strikingly similar to Zoë in some regards that it has created a buffer for me to look again at these videos.
When I was first pregnant and discovered my due date was so close to April first I panicked. I was so worried that Esmée would have to share her birthday with an anniversary that is so difficult. Some thought it would be helpful, some thought it would be karmic, or a sign from the “heavens”.
Now that Esmée is here, and has her very own special day of birth I am relieved. I am relieved because I can mourn her sister on the First of April, full out, however I wish to do so, then on the Eight day of the month I can celebrate the birth of Esmée with the fanfare that it so deserves.
When I started this blog “Laura and Zoë” it was about a journey, and that journey did not end with the passing of Zoë. I believe it has only begun. I know that I have been rather silent in the past few months, mostly because living with functional depression, and pregnancy make for a difficult and emotional time. I will admit to postponing much of my thoughts, and feelings. I am not one for stuffing feelings down, or not confronting them…but boy did I. I believe I did this almost exclusively for survival. I don’t think that I would have been able to function had I really dealt with what was going on in the subterranean levels of my sub consciousness.
Not to mention that as April approached there were so many mini-anniversaries, the date of surgery, the day we went home post operation, the date we brought Zoë back to Children’s Hospital for the last time, the date we went home with a caravan of police leading the way…and so many more… All of these little dates not only add up, but they came so quickly. Almost like contractions. Wave after wave of excruciating pain followed by a moment to breath, then more pain.
In the time that I have been quiet this does not mean that I have not been thinking of things I would like to share on this blog. How I would like it to continue on as my personal journey, and hopefully be a place for others to see that they are not alone, or to share with family who might need to better understand what it is to go through the loss of a child.
There is one thing I can say for sure, it is true that unless you have had this kind of loss you cannot understand it. You cannot compare it to any other kind of loss, and it cannot be felt second hand. Much of the struggle a person goes through after losing a child is with those closest to them. I hope to shed some light on my experience, and intern gives others out there some information to share with their loving family and friends. Who may be trying to do the right thing…but doing all the wrong things instead.
So here I am at the end of this rambling post…and what can I say to sum it up? Mourning…it takes time. It takes a lot of time… and yet there are nights when you make such a huge step forward in progress that you cry joyfully on the phone with your husband as you exclaim, “Honey I watched a video of Zoë!”
Thank you Esmée for getting your mommy to open up and write again…and for sleeping long enough for me to finish this post in one sitting!
Love and Hugs as Always!