Grief and the family..2yrs4months

Saying… Two years 4months today it takes my breath away for so many reasons. Lately I’ve been reflecting on the heart. How the heart actually constricts during and following a traumatic event. Then we tend to walk with shoulders forward, feel tightness in our diaphragms (from irregular breathing) and overall a tightness in our bodies. All ways to escape the deep emotional pain, sheltering the heart. Our bodies and emotions tend to go into protection mode. I have watched myself doing this from a distance and continue to remind myself to let go of the “holding”, allowing the feelings to rise up and be felt. They are pretty demanding so it truly is easier to let go and breathe. Our physical bodies also go into habitual patterns so reminders are good. I stretch breathe and release…ahhhhh it’s OKAY! I woke this morning and my aching back and hips reminded me of my Love for Rae. I carry the pain in my hips and I smiled knowing that I also used those very hips and thighs to carry her and give birth to her.

Month after month, day after day, hour after hour I continue to remind myself to expand the heart. Expansion is liberation and holding, constricting is moreso like an emotional prison cell. There is a freedom in vulnerability that can never be found in the denial.

Just as I am reflecting on matters of the heart yesterday and praising myself for this awareness I was once again taken back with emotions of anger. I was about to put my 6yr old daughter to bed last night. Teaghan is a little spit fire, tough, insightful and very much a free spirit. Rehtaeh was a very cautious child and Teaghan is very much the opposite. I looked at her and her bottom lip started to tremble. I thought she caught her foot in the bedroom door and she didnt want to make a scene about the pain. I said “did you jam your foot?” Teaghan replies “No!” and the tears start to flow. She then says “I just want my Rehtaeh Mom! I just really need her!” I lay in bed with her and we chat and talk about how much it hurts and how its not fair. She talked about what she missed the most. Rehtaeh carrying her everywhere when she was tired, etc I get her settled and leave the room then I hear her crying out her sister’s name over and over again. Back in I go to comfort her until she settles and falls asleep. That has not happened in a very long time. The emotional wave engulfing her little being.

Its hard enough to deal with the emotions I have daily but a 6yr old little girl should not have to feel this enormous loss. Just when I thought the anger was subsiding it starts to rise within and I am reminded that the ebbs and flows come and go over and over again. Life is not about getting rid of the emotions and “moving past something horrific/sad/upsetting” its about living with them, finding the moments in between to laugh/smile and to honour the emotions that come to visit.

Life after loss affects so many…we often think children adapt and move on….In actuality it’s not about moving on at all.