Week 5: February 4, 2013 ~ Mirror, Mirror, The Comparison Trap
Mothers often fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to one another. This is a trap many women fall into. We compare our families, mothering styles, fashion sense, careers or lack thereof, bodies, etc. Even mothers with babies in Heaven compare the way we grieve our children. I know…sad…but we do it, if we’re honest enough to admit it. So, how can we find freedom from this? Sharing is a start…telling the truth…admitting the struggle. I think, then, we will see that we all love our children, regardless of how we choose to remember and honor their lives…whether publicly or quietly…with big parties or simple moments of remembrance. Be real on this week’s post, and let’s free ourselves from the trap of comparing!
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Honestly, when I first read the prompt for this week, I didn't have a clue what to share. It has taken me several days to even sit down and think about what I want to write...
I have wondered several times if I am "doing" this thing called grief "correctly" when I look at what others do/don't do compared with what I do/don't do.
I pour myself into this blog. And I have found that many people who had losses around the same time I did hardly write anymore, if ever. I miss connecting with some of the babyloss moms that used to be such a lifeline to me in the beginning. It is truly so hard to believe that it is coming up on 3 years since my little flower whispered hello and goodbye all in one breath. Is it unhealthy or unusual that I still find peace and joy writing here in this space? Sometimes I wonder if those that lost their babies more recently find it weird that I'm still blogging after so much time has passed. Do they think they will be more "past the loss" in that same amount of time? Will I still be here blogging, even when these bloggers move on and have their rainbows? Will I still be single and have no baby on earth to raise? Am I not healing properly if I still like sharing so much? My blog has definitely changed in the past 3 years. I used to primarily write about my loss and grief, but now I write a lot about Pro-Life things and I really enjoy sharing ideas and resources with others. On the other hand, I wonder why these people don't write anymore, almost like they are neglecting their baby's sacred space.
I also have found myself comparing how I choose to honor and remember Lily and Luke to how others honor and remember their children of Heaven. I find myself wondering if people think ways I choose to honor my children are strange. I like doing lots of different things...such as getting names in the sand photos, remembrance jewelry, among so many other things. I look at some of my friends who don't seem to do much of anything for their children and I sometimes feel like their little one is being forgotten about or neglected. But maybe they think I do too much and that it isn't healthy.
This is what I've learned...
Each one of us grieves differently. And that doesn't mean one of us is "right" and one of us is "wrong." Each person has different ways they choose to honor their children...some choose to do so privately, while others choose to do so publicly. Neither one is better than the other. The fact is, we all love and miss our children and will forever. And whatever we do that helps us cope with that loss is fine. We should never let anyone else tell us what to do/not do and how to do it. Let's all embrace and love one another and honor our children together. Let's respect the way others choose to remember and not judge or criticize because it is different than what we do. I have let go of the fear of what others think.
I am 23 and single and am in a place where I am able to spend time writing a lot more than I probably would be able to if I were married and had other children. Just because others can't do this doesn't mean they've forgotten. And just because I can do this doesn't mean I haven't healed. I grieve very publicly. It isn't always comfortable for me, but I feel like I am supposed to share the lives and legacies of my children, through speaking and writing. I mother my little ones through sharing and all the other things I do for and because of them. I mother their legacies. And because I don't have any children on earth, that is the only motherhood I know. I feel I keep them alive in a way by sharing them. Just as a mother does things for her living children, I find joy and peace doing things for my children of Heaven. There is nothing wrong with that. It may change as time goes on and another page of my life turns. But, for right now...this is where I am and I am comfortable with it.
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