Walking With You is an outreach of Sufficient Grace Ministries, led by Kelly Gerken. We are a group of mothers who have lost a baby or child. We gather together from different places on our journey, each month to share our stories, to encourage, and pray for one another as we walk this path together. Our hope is that you will be comforted when you join us here...and maybe that we can offer some grace for the journey as we look to the Lord for comfort and strength.
This chapter touched on keeping busy and parenting.
I have been pretty busy since Lilly passed away. During my nine weeks off work each day was filled with an activity. Though it was not done on purpose, it just tended to work out that way. I did not feel it was wrong that I was keeping busy. In fact, I was glad that we were still able to laugh and enjoy life. While some might call that insensitive, let me explicate. The time we spent with Lilly was amazingly happy and I did not want to lose that, I feel if we do then it would partly mean that Lilly's death was in vain. I want her death to mean something, but I also want her life to be celebrated and to mean more. I do not wish to make her death bigger than her life. Though I do have as I've said hard and difficult moments, that are to be expected and there are times when it has been hard to hold onto this perspective.
I believe others have helped us in moving forward through life by allowing us to just live and grieve the way that is best for us as a whole. I know I have complained about some who have hurt me along the way, but the others who have helped are greater than those who have not.
I've stayed busy as we always have just with life in general. I have added this blog and also my support groups as well as volunteering for Rachel's Gift. I also have a secret project in the making to which I will disclose when ready. It really is easy to continue to stay busy with working and raising my other children and also taking care of the household chores. Watching my favorite shows courtesy of DVR helps keep me busy too, especially at night.
I feel sometimes being too busy can hinder my grieving in that I'm not allowing myself time to sit and cry. Again I do not do this on purpose, we have always had a busy life. I feel sometimes not having time to sit and cry can make the grieving process slow down. There was one week where I realized I had not cried once because I had been too busy, therefore I did end up crying but that's when I realized that I had been doing too much. So I need to give my self a chance to slow down on the activity sometimes. I feel mostly though the added activities have helped me. Also helping others has helped me. I've always taken pleasure in helping others. It may sound a little selfish but in a way helping others is healing at times, though that is not the main reason that I do it.
I feel that I have spent more time at the Lord's feet than in the kitchen since Lilly passed. He has always been very good to us and as I have said before I do not blame Him or think of Him as the God who took away our daughter. I feel that there are times where I have been too busy to pray the rosary but I have tried adding that before I go to sleep. I find I pray more often than I used to. I was really close to God growing up and then life happened and while God was still a major part of my life, I was not as close to Him as I used to be. I feel that Lilly has strengthened my relationship with God and its as strong as ever. I did not talk about God as openly as I should have and now I have no problem sharing in the greatness of the Lord even to those who are not believers themselves. In the past I was hesitant to praise Him publicly or speak of Him to those who do not believe. Since we received Lilly's diagnosis that has changed completely and I speak openly about Him to anyone I talk with. They know of my faith in Him even though they do not have a faith in Him of their own.
Losing Lilly has definitely changed things as far as how we parent. We parent with more patience and calmness than before. We have always tried to talk with our kids and explain things calmly while disciplining but it has not always been easy. Our children have always been precious to us, but losing a child can definitely put how precious they are more into perspective. I feel our parenting skills have definitely changed in how we approach things with our living children. I feel we are more patient, understanding, and not as hard on them as we once were.
On the subject of having any more children we have not made a decision either way. We have chosen to wait until after Lilly's one year anniversaries of both her birthday and her death to decide either way. We never specifically planned any of our four children and if we had more we would have to plan in order to take precautions. I would have to take more folic acid prior to conceiving. There is the obvious fear of this happening again, and losing another child. I feel that of course there would be a very validated amount of fear and I have felt that from time to time. At the same time we enjoyed Lilly while she was with us and I feel that if we got pregnant again that we would do the same despite that fear. Its a back and forth as far as should we or should not we right now which is partly why we've given ourselves time to decide.
When we found out Lilly's diagnosis I would often pray for Him to take me instead of Lilly. I did live my life with more compassion and have continued to do so since carrying Lilly. I promised myself that I would not let Lilly's death destroy or define me. Though sadness overwhelms me at times, it will not consume me. There is so much to be grateful for and I feel focusing on what we did not get or what we are missing out on will take away from what we did get and what we do have as far as blessings from God in our lives. Lilly is one of those blessings.