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Lead Vests and Soap Bubbles

I promise, stick with me…

Yesterday was the 9th anniversary of my Madelyn’s death. I don’t care how well I’m ‘handling it’ leading up to May 20th – this day sends me into a tailspin and I go deep into my mind rethinking everything that was done {and not done} during my pregnancy, in the hospital, and even after her death.

Logically, I very much understand that ______ {fill in the blank: eating more vegetables, less lap laptop-ing, more walks, less doctors appointments, more research…the list goes on and on…} would have only expedited or prolonged the inevitable – but that doesn’t stop me from going there.

I spend May 20th, in particular, forcing myself: forcing myself to get out of bed, take a shower, leave the house, find distractions…often it’s futile, but I get an ‘A’ for effort.

Like most years, my husband took the day off work to spend it together. We slept in {a little} and then went to breakfast.

**Side Note** I learned long ago to not judge people who look miserable while they’re doing something ‘fun’…but that’s another topic for another day…

During breakfast, we just kinda stared at each other, out the window, at the moving pictures on the TV, at the floor. We asked each other the same questions over and over again – not only not remember the other’s answer but not remember we asked the question in the first place.

One thing that we do talk about every year {and we should probably be writing this down to see how/if it changes year over year} is what our grief feels like.

**Another Side Note** Something I’ve said before and I’m sure will write more about in the future is my take on grief; how you never really move past grief. You just kinda learn to strap it on and wear it around. When you’re early in your grief journey you carry it like you carry the groceries in from the car: bags up and down your arms and in-between every finger while you’re cradling the gallon of milk and 12 pack of Diet Dr. Pepper because YOU’RE ONLY MAKING ONE TRIP. As things shift in your bags you contort your body to keep everything together…As you move along your journey the weight doesn’t really change but you learn to carry it more efficiently.

Anyway, on the anniversary of Maddie’s death, I always seem to go back to the grocery bag grief. No rhyme or reason and like a bag could split open at any second and I could end up in the corner in the fetal position because I spilled the milk.

I feel like I have this heavy weight on my chest – like when you go to the dentist for x-rays and they put the lead vest on you before they walk out of the room. Even just laying it on top of you constricts your breathing and knocks the wind out of you. You don’t feel like you can take a deep breath until the vest comes off and you have to just focus on your shallow breaths until it’s over.

Couple that with an almost out of body experience. Like you’re ‘there’ but almost like you’re floating just outside of your body inside a soap bubble. If you’ve ever looked through a bubble {I love blowing bubbles so I do a lot} you know that everything on the other side of that bubble is always there – it just has this ‘distorted glow’ about it. Sometimes, looking through a bubble the other side is flipped upside down and all the movement is a little delayed…

I’ve even started going so far as to rate my ‘lead vest feeling’ {kind of like the star system for movies}. Yesterday was a 3 lead vest day. {Today is closer to a 1.5 day.}

All of this is a long winded way to say no matter how far along you are on your journey, no matter how far from the ‘starting line’ you think you are…it’s ok to take a step back sometimes. feel the feels, take some time to reflect and think about you.

You don’t have to be a better you then you were yesterday EVERYDAY – that’s just something to strive for. Give yourself grace and allow yourself to be human. You don’t have to be your own superhero all the time. 🦸‍♀️

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