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The story of our precious little girl's 17 months of life with Trisomy 18 (July 4, 2010 - December 15, 2011) and of us, re-learning to live "after Lilly."
"I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made ...." Psalm 139:14

Thursday, July 2, 2015

An up and a down on the roller coaster of grief

Emotions are definitely heightened when an anniversary approaches.  The day after tomorrow is Independence Day, aka Lilly's birthday.  Knowing that that's just how it is, is helpful.

Yesterday afternoon, Frank came in to tell me that Icky was dead.  Ichabod was the Black Austrolorp chick that had a health issue that I just couldn't get to go away.  Solomon and I went out to see and I wanted to pick up Icky one more time.  Awwwww ...  My heart had gone out to this chick in particular because of her illness. 

As I walked back inside, I felt this crushing blackness and anger at myself for not figuring out how to heal Icky.  The logical side of myself told the emotional side that I was being ridiculous - it was "just a chicken" and things like that happen.  The gloom continued to grow and I found myself thinking about Lilly and all the things medically that I wished I had done different for her.  I blamed myself and became furious at myself for not doing a better job with her.  Of course my logical side kept saying "you did the best you could with what you knew then."  My emotional side answered "Shut up! It wasn't good enough!  If you had done better Lilly would have been celebrating her 5th birthday in your presence!"

Goodness - do you ever have wars in your head?  I hope I'm not the only one!  Anyway, logical side finally won out by repeatedly reminding me that this is all the more painful because it's anniversary time.  Thankfully that battle didn't last too long.

Icky - photo from about a month ago

Last night, Solomon had coughing fits that quickly turned into croup.  I held him, propped against me, most of the night.  His coughing was that loud barking and sounded like he was choking at times.  I frequently sat him all the way up during a coughing fit, then gave him a little water.  Then we laid back down.  He clung onto me and I felt so bad for him and prayed for him. 

But one thing struck me, I was handling it just fine!  He's had croup a couple times now and the other times I almost fell apart.  I was terrified that he was going to die!  Respiratory stuff scared me so bad because I would of course think of Lilly and the times she almost died because of breathing issues.

So I thanked God for my progress.

Why do I share these things?  Just to put them out there in case they help or encourage anyone else on this journey.  I know I have been helped so much by other bloggers, ahead of me in the grieving process.  I would read something and think "Oh good!  I'm not crazy!  This is normal."

I was smiling this morning, thinking about how much Lilly loved adventure.  She loved going new places and taking it all in.  I've been talking to Solomon about zoos, and showed him our zoo trip pictures with Lilly earlier this morning.  (When the weather is cooler we need to go again and take Solomon.)  Here are a few pictures of Lilly's trip to the Ashboro Zoo, October 2011:

Riding a (fake) baby elephant

Lilly and Hunter in front of the giraffe area
Lily by a pond of lily pads

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