I can’t help comparing the grief I had during the loss of my first daughter and my second daughter. A lot of the grief has been familiar, but there have been some differences. For example, some of the things that took me months to process with my first daughter are taking me less time now. But this time, I have new and different things to process as well.
Of course, some of these differences are because these were two different kids. But some of it stems from a difference in circumstances. During this pregnancy, I dealt with something called pubic symphysis disorder. I talked about that in a previous post. That plus fatigue limited what I could do. I had to stop volunteering with the SPCA. I wasn’t as involved in the weekly stuff with my missional community.
And then, after my daughter died, I stayed at home instead of just taking time off and going back to work. I talked about that in this post. I no longer have an outside expectation to be somewhere on a daily or weekly basis, so I could choose to be anywhere. And I feel this unspoken pull towards getting back into the busy. But in which direction?
Of course, I would love to get back into volunteering with the SPCA, and that is less of an “if” question than a “when”. There are other volunteer opportunities I want to do as well. Plus, other hobbies and possible future career paths. But I don’t feel like I’m ready to add something to my plate right now.
It’s funny. I have this unique opportunity to slow down and create space. And I feel a little guilt that I’m not speeding up and filling up all the space I can. There are just so many things I would like to do and focus on, but, if I’m honest, I’m not sure where I’m going just yet. So, I’m not committing to anything right now. And that feels weird.
Instead, I start small. I am getting my basic priorities in order. I am working on the things I want to incorporate in my mornings and my evenings. I am creating habits that I hope continue throughout the seasons of life. I’m taking a few steps outside during the week, too. I’m having lunch with friends, going out with Michael on the weekends, and going to the library.
It’s a strange idea to move slow. To give adequate time to heal in both the physical and emotional sense. To not just plunge headfirst into a lot of activity. That’s how I usually do it. That’s what I feel society expects of me. But when I slow down, I can make my commitments with more intention and purpose. I can actually take the time to think it all out, and I’m going to take advantage of that.
I know this is not normal, or it doesn’t feel normal, but it feels healthy. And I share this because I’m not the only one who needs to slow down, take a breath, don’t chase the busy, and just be. This has already been an amazing opportunity for growth. And I am excited to see where this path is going to go.