The longest month

Blake Summer 2011
Blake, Summer 2011

I’ve been absent from this space for quite a while. Absent from a lot of things, actually. And yet, I can’t believe it hasn’t even been quite a month since my oldest brother passed away. Every week feels like forever.

Our small family gathered yesterday to bury him in the Queen’s Park Cemetery. A chilly autumn day, fitting for such a solemn task. No speeches were said. Not many words left at this point. Just tears and hugs, and photos. My family can’t do anything without taking photos. I suppose it will be a way to remember his urn and the collection of things we buried him with. We each had items to put inside his urn vault, symbolic things to keep him company as he goes forward.

I don’t know if I’ve ever felt so weary. There’s been plenty of challenges and hardships for my family in the past several years, many of them revolving around Blake, and I was weary then. This, though, is so very different. In previous years, there was the weariness of the unknown, the worry of what may or may not happen, trying to brace ourselves for different possibilities and outcomes. But now, the outcome has been determined, our worse fear has come to pass, and he is gone. Just like that. Sudden in so many ways, though not completely unexpected. And not without some relief mingled in all the hurt. Maybe that’s why I feel so extraordinarily weary… the crazy mix of emotions… missing him and yet glad he no longer suffers, grieving a death while anticipating the birth of our first child, looking back at so many memories while needing to look forward… it’s tough to say the least. I’m sure anyone who has lost a loved one can relate.

I’ve had to make a few changes lately to keep my health and sanity. First off, I’m no longer working at the doggie daycare. I’m missing all the pups like crazy, but there was just no room in my schedule to continue doing that, while we deal with everything else. There is now just two and half weeks until my first Christmas craft fair! That alone feels insane and overwhelming. There is a lot of crafting that needs to happen and I’m tempted to enlist help (one of my big weaknesses, but I’ll may need to overcome it if I want to get enough inventory made). Hubby and I are also on a mission to get the nursery set-up and get a bit more organized for the arrival of baby. Who really wants to go shopping for all the basic baby things during the Christmas craziness?! Certainly not us. We’ve even started looking into hiring a postpartum doula to give us a hand. Given the year we’ve had, we thought it might be a good idea to have the extra support while we learn to take care of baby.

As busy as it all is, I’m also very aware of breathing in each moment a bit more. Taking the time to watch my belly and marvel at the kicks baby can already produce. Not wanting to miss the glowing yellow trees during this lovely autumn we’re having. Even just enjoying that fact that hubby and I get to eat breakfast together most mornings and many, many, more blessings.

Hoping that in the midst of all of life’s craziness, you’re able to stop for a few moments each day and marvel at just being here.

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3 thoughts on “The longest month

  1. I’m so sad to hear of what you are going through right now, Sarah. I would highly recommend hiring a post postpartum Dula. Personally, I had very little support after my son was born, and so much grief and depression probably could have been avoided if I just had someone who was experienced by my side for the first little while. You have so much going on internally after the loss of your brother, and hormones have a way of getting the better of us after we give birth. Hiring a Dula would be a really good idea, and one I would certainly do in hindsight. I hope these last few months of pregnancy are smooth for you!

    1. Stacy – Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. We definitely think that a postpartum doula would be very helpful for us. We’ll thankfully have plenty of family support, but given the year we’ve had, the more guidance and help we can get, the better. I have been slightly nervous about the hormone crash following birth given some of my previous problems with depression. I’m sorry to hear that things were so difficult after Lincoln was born. I think it can probably be really tough on new moms. There’s huge pressure from our society for moms to be perfect, get it “right” and do it all ourselves. It feels very crazy. After all, there’s nothing wrong with a baby raised by a village. Hope you and your little man are doing well these days and settled into your new life.

      1. I agree… There is so much pressure on parents, and I’m learning that I am a much better parent when I am focused on doing what’s best for my child, and not paying too much attention on what other people think 🙂 I’m glad to hear you have a good support system in place. I hope your journey is bursting with love, joy and peace. 🙂

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