This blog has so far been composed solely of letters to Jonah, until now. Although you can follow my grief journey through my letters, I feel the need to start a new category of posts about how I’m navigating this new world, and this new me, without talking to Jonah every time. These will be both for me to continue expressing myself in another way and hopefully to help others going through a difficult period of grief and loss. It’s my hope that this blog might be supportive for others in a similar situation. If that’s why you’re here…I am so, so sorry and I’m here for you <3
I wanted to share what I’ve been doing that’s been really helpful so far: quiet contemplation.
I disappear for hours with my journals, planner and puzzle book to work quietly (often with relaxing music on in the background). Since losing Jonah, I’ve been struggling with relearning who I am. I’ve been pretty confident with myself for quite a few years now, but this huge life event shook me to my core and has changed me forever. Just as becoming a parent to a living baby would change you, so does losing a baby.
Here’s what I know so far about myself, now that I’ve carried and said goodbye to my Jonah. I am forever hardened; my innocence is gone. I’ve been scarred by the injustice of a death that shouldn’t have happened. I will be much more guarded in the future about “sure things” – nothing is a sure thing.
I’ve also been made more empathetic. The experiences of others that I’ve read about evoke a much deeper emotional reaction now. Even just watching silly shows on tv, I feel more deeply for all the characters and their plights. Because of this, I feel called to act now in this lifetime…how can I help others? What can I do to lessen the pain of experiences like these for other people? I wish for nobody to ever have to feel this kind of pain, but since these things happen to wonderful people far too often, I’d like to do anything I can to help.
Beyond those couple things, I’m still just confused about myself now. I’m Jonah’s mom, yet I’m not caring for my son here on this Earth. What does that make me?
Quiet contemplation with a pencil and paper is how I’m getting through the constant and unpredictable tsunamis of grief right now. It allows me time to just relax, but also do something productive. Writing is how I’m working on getting to know myself all over again.
Here’s what I have that’s working for me:
- Start Where You Are – This is a wonderful prompted journal that’s intended for self exploration. It’s full of lovely quotes and it’s bright and colorful, and I’ve been enjoying all of the prompts. I’m really finding it helpful! Thank you so much to HEALing Embrace for sending this wonderful journal along with our weighted Jonah Bear. Find the journal on Amazon here.
- Yellow hardcover journal – I bought this initially last year to start a bullet journal. I soon discovered that I don’t have the patience to do that, so now it’s just my all-purpose journal/notebook. I’ve started making myself write at least just a couple sentences daily about how I’m doing, or recording snippets of how my day was. It’s a good way to write without feeling like you have to be “a writer”.
- Breathe journal planner – I found this just this past weekend at Barnes & Noble in the magazines section and fell in love. It’s a 52-week planner with pages in the back for keeping track of a bunch of stuff – favorite quotes, books, project plans, crafts…just about everything. It’s really pretty and the layout is exactly what I need right now, with a box for weekly reflection as well. Find it at Barnes & Noble or online here.
- Breathe magazine is by the same company in the UK as the journal. It’s calming to look through and comes with extras, like little coloring books and tear-out pages. I also found it at Barnes & Noble, but it’s available online here.