When a person dies, there are so many facets to that loss that aren't obvious to anyone not living through it. Professionals call these additional losses secondary grief. The primary grief is the loss of the individual. That loss--the loss of Abigail is overwhelming and hard enough. But, the secondary grief is there in so many hidden aspect of life. For example, I have the hardest time now doing everyday things like laundry. Not that I ever loved laundry before, don't get me wrong. But now, doing laundry is a constant slap in my face reminder that her clothes will never be in the basket again. Did you hear that? I will never wash clothes for my little girl again. That takes my breath away. It is just one more stabbing reminder of her absence. Serving dinner to my family is another--we are always one plate short. My family, who typically doesn't miss a field trip, has not be on a single one this year. I get snagged every time by the part where you have to say how many adults and how many children are attending. The numbers are just always wrong.
I grieve Abigail, but I also grieve Anna Faith's sister, Samuel's lighthearted innocence, Nathan's hip carry, Eli's too much love. I grieve our future, the way my family functions. I grieve the trauma free childhood I wanted for my children. I grieve the holidays we used to have and the energy I did.
There are things I don't grieve though. I don't grieve the stress I put on myself over minor things. I don't grieve my children's eyes and hearts being closed to other's pain. I don't grieve the friendships and amazing people I have come to know through tragedy. I don't grieve less than sacrificial giving by our family to the hurting of the world. I don't grieve the illusion I lived in where superficial things mattered and pain was hidden. Thank you baby girl for teaching us the important things and for sharing Hope.
Tragedy is so much more complex that I could have ever understood before I walked this path. It affects each and every aspect of a person's life. We have had to rebuild our family and how our family interacts with each other in the physical absence of a key piece. We have had to start rebuilding new traditions and purpose as much as we want to fight this change. Thank you all for being along on this journey.