Is there a timeline to grief? A certain number of days, weeks, months, or years that is an acceptable amount of time to grieve a loss? Is there a set amount of time that society feels is an appropriate amount of time to mourn someone before it becomes uncomfortable for them to have to witness?
My maternal grandpa passed away in July of 1999 and I still cry about it. I will walk past someone wearing the cologne he wore and it brings tears to my eyes because in that moment, for just a second, I think he’s there….except he’s not, and I obviously know that, but just for that second…..Or I tell my son, who’s middle name is in honor of my Grandpa, stories about the kind of man he was. How he bought the first camcorder that was probably ever made and the size of briefcase to record everything his grandchildren ever did because he was so proud of us. How he lovingly called me Chatty Cathy, something that clearly has not changed. How he would walk in the door after a day at work and as he’s taking off his hat, he makes his way to my Gram and says Hi, Madre and gives her a kiss, before doing anything else. How we would snuggle on the couch watching Matlock or Wheel of Fortune. Or how he loved to listen to me sing since that was a talent we shared. He is a man I looked up to and loved and there will not be a day that I won’t miss him or wish he had been around to meet my husband and my son. But my faith makes me believe that my other children are with him and he will tell them his own stories about me until the day I am with them all again.
After our second loss, my husband and I had a long talk about giving the babies we lost names. A lot of my friends had encouraged us to do it right after our first loss but for some reason, I just wasn’t ready then. However after our second loss, it seemed silly to refer to them as Baby J #2 and Baby J #3. So we went through a list of gender neutral names and Kyle picked the two he liked best. Baby J #2 is Taylor and Baby J #3 is Morgan. It was such a freeing feeling to be able to call them by a name and I regret not doing it right away.
Today is two years since Taylor went to heaven and my grief, although different, is not any less. Two years ago, I cried everyday and wondered what I did to make that happen. Why my body was not the safe haven it should be for my baby. What could I have done to prevent it from happening. And I am left to wonder what Taylor would have been like. I have memories of my Grandpa that make me smile and I know exactly the kind of person he was, but with Taylor, I have nothing more than a name to hold on too. So instead when I’m around other children that are the same age Taylor would be I wonder if they would have been friends or if Taylor would have had any of the same mannerisms or personality traits. I wonder if Taylor was really a girl like my gut thought. I wonder how Taylor and P would get along and how different it would be for him to not be the only living child.
Grief is not something that fits in a box…it comes in all shapes and sizes and there is no right or wrong way to handle it. There is no expiration date on moving on or getting over it. Whether it is 2 years or 20, I will never stop missing someone I love that is gone.
So Happy 2 year Angelversery sweet Taylor. I will never stop loving you or missing you.