Tuesday, July 6, 2010

On The Wings Of Butterflies


(My friend Carly made this photo in remembrance of Vivian and Annemarie. I am so in love with it.)

On Monday (July 12th), it will be 2 years since we said goodbye to Vivian and Annemarie. Two Years. It really doesn't seem like that long ago.

Last year when the anniversary came, I was so caught up in Ginger's birth that it didn't hit me like it's hitting me right now. I have to admit, I have been so sad the past few weeks. Just a big mess of grief.

July is supposed to be the highlight of the year- a month full of picnics, fireworks, and summer. It used to be my very favorite month of all. And yet, I still haven't turned the calendar from June. I am not ready for it to be July.

Last night I went through my memory chest with all of Vivian and Annemarie's things. I cried harder than I have cried in a long time. Grief is hard, and I don't know how to make it easier. I think it's one of those things you just have to endure.

The thing that made me happier - what cheered me up in the midst of my big cry-fest last night - was reading through all the cards and letters sent to me from friends, family, and acquaintances- both near and far. I have scrapbooked every single card or letter anyone has ever written me about the girls, and I have them all bound in three glittery butterfly scrapbooks. Even two years later, I feel this upswell of love and support when I read through all of those letters and cards. It was amazing to have that last night. It helped me so much, and brought me back to a place of healing.

I also sat for a long time with the gifts that people have made for me for the girls: Little hats and stuffed animals. Beautiful blankets. The special quilt that a group of friends made for me, each making their own square in remembrance. Ribbons from flowers people sent. Little notes attached to meals that were dropped by. Potted plants that are still growing and thriving to this day...well, most of them are still growing. I really do have a black thumb when it comes to plants. ;-)

Since we said goodbye, many people have asked me what was most helpful during a time of loss and grief. For me, it really was knowing that others cared about us, about our girls, and that they took the time to write a little note or card, or just reach out in some way. Two years later, those cards and letters and the little mementos are priceless to me...they mean so much still.

I wish I were in a better place with my grief this year. I am being gentle with myself and letting myself just feel the feelings as they come- not judge them- just be present with them. I have vowed not to let myself eat emotionally (when I can help myself)- so this year I am not going to drown myself in a sea of dark chocolate. I am working on that part of me, and it's going pretty well...but that is a post for another day! ;-)

I am preparing myself to be an emotional basketcase next Monday, just in case anyone's wondering. I would like to be in a spot to put a pretty bow on my grief, but grief is seldom pretty or easy. Real? Yes. Hard? Definitely. But never pretty.

Each and every day, I wish that they were here. I still think of them as my daughters, and every night I don't get to sing them to sleep, I am sad about it. I guess it's just one of those things that I'm learning to live with...I'm learning to keep going and moving, smiling, laughing, and learning to live without them, even when it seems like the hardest thing on earth to do...


Courtney said...

Oh Erika ... missing your precious baby girls with you.

Mrs. A said...

Thinking of you and your girls.

ryansmom said...

My heart goes out to you. The picture of the butterflies is gorgeous. I understand when you say you want to drown in a sea of dark chocolate. I feel the same way but like you I'm working really hard to stay away from that ugly sea. Keeping you and your girls in my thoughts. Hugs

Brenna said...

It is sort of shocking that two years have passed. So much has changed--the birth of the lovely, sweet and special Ginger--but the loss of V & A remains. Wishing you as peaceful a day as you can have on Monday. I'll be thinking about you.

rntina said...

I admire the strength with which you carry yourself. I lost a baby 13 years ago and it is amazing how much it still hurts but how healing time is. My children still talk about our Jonathan and still miss him, and I LOVE that he has not been forgotten. I will be thinking of you and your wonderful girls on Monday. May you find peace and solace.
Your friend,

noswimmers said...

Oh sweetie...I'm right there with you, thinking of precious V&A. So many *hugs* to you...

Devon said...

you are doing awesome...just be gentle with yourself....((hugs))

that picture is SOOOOOO beautiful. i definently think you should blow it up and put it in your house.

dana said...

what an amazing picture and i agree with devon that you should blow it up and hang it in your home...beautiful!

thinking of you...


417Runner said...

The picture is beautiful, Erika. It makes my heart so heavy for you and Evan and your two girls here on Earth. I can't begin to know how much you miss them....You are a truly strong woman. I'll be thinking of your twin angels on Monday and celebrating their birth.

Mimi said...

Erika, my heart goes out to you.
My experience with grief is that the second anniversary was worse than the first, but after that it got a bit easier with each passing year.
But you never "get over" something like that, you learn to live with it. The giref can be as intense years later, but the intervals between the intense times get longer. That's just how it was for me.
I'll think of you and send you healing on the 12th. Take care. Your photos are beautiful.