Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Moving On? November 1, 2010

Grief experts say don't move for at least a year after you've lost a child. While at first being surrounded by painful reminders/memories drives you away, you may come to miss them if you flee too quickly. Our whole house is a reminder of our babys'...the kitchen where I tried to get creative with healthy recipes that I could stomach; the couch I camped on a lot; Jackson's well-prepared nursery, then Claire's more timidly prepared nursery, next Trey's "nursery" that was simply a junk room because we were unwilling to prepare another nursery. The bathrooms - we all know about those and pregnancy memories! The closet, where I frequently changed outfits as I grew out of them faster than I could hang them up. And for me, the biggest daily reminder of my life carrying my children-the staircase. Weird?
It was so laborious to get up stairs when I was pregnant. Jackson's giant feet were lodged under my lungs throughout his stay with me and I could never catch enough air. Stairs would make me dizzy! Pitiful to the normal person, but so it was during my pregnancy. I climbed and climbed, counting the days left til I would have my baby safely on the outside and be able to get back to racing up and down the stairs while cleaning up after my sloppy children. When the "safely in my arms" never came, the stairs became a memorial for my memories, hopes, and now cherished times with the little ones. There was not one day that I didn't turn the corner on my staircase and look at Jackson's precious photo on the wall with my other kids. Painful for a time, but I needed him to be there with my others. All too soon there was a tinge of guilt that tiny Claire's picture wasn't added to the wall. But she was so hydropic, a large photo might disturb people.
It was a year and 4 months after Claire died that we moved. (That's why I haven't blogged in a while.) As we prepared to leave, I grew emotional realizing that I was about to leave many tangible reminders of my life with my kiddos. I feel like the 5 years in that house brought nothing but pain with it. But then, for us who have lost our children so early, pain may be most of what we've got to hold on to. That doesn't sound right. What I mean is, though the memories of planning for, making (he he) and growing babies are now framed with pain, they are all I get in this life with my kids and I am fiercely protective of them. I have a terrible memory as it is, so I need all the reminders I can get. So while we were thrilled to get away from the shattered hopes and empty baby nurseries, part of me will miss that hallowed space where my children lived with us. That was their only home.
I love my new house. Losing children has changed me greatly. I no longer care for many things I once valued. We moved to simplify our life. We are in walking distance to my husband's work now. We are in a one story now! We are close to the freeway and close to the city. How wonderful to imagine that if I ever were in need of a high risk Doctor again I would be 10 min away instead of an hour! So while I am elated to "move on" and not get painful visual reminders each day, I feel quite aware of the seriousness of leaving our sweet babys' first home behind. I'm grateful that we kept the house (rented it out) - I'm not quite ready to cut all ties with my mecca of baby memories.

6 comments:

audra said...

Somehow I missed this post. Where did you move to?

Bri said...

I love your new home! Gorgeous. I am so excited to see it in person. Congratulations, but it makes sense that it feels like a big loss, too.

The Scotts said...

Congrats on your move and good luck. We will miss you and your amazing family!

Pam said...

Love your new home! Love your posts!

JennC said...

How exciting! Although I'm sure you'll miss the memories in the old house. Must be nice to be closer to town.

Robin said...

Congratulations on the new home. I didn't know you guys were moving. I hope we can keep the boys in touch even if it is just for birthdays. Merry Christimas and Happy New Year to you and the family.