People ask me all the time, “How am I coping”…As Heather’s Mom, and Maddie’s Gramma I can only ask where do I start…
Do I start at the very beginning when I heard about Heather and Mike becoming pregnant…one of the happiest days of my life.
Do I start when the OB said the pregnancy wouldn’t probably last…one of the worst days of my life, or so I thought at the time.
Do I start when she was confined to bed rest, first at home and then at the hospital where I dreaded every phone call or email that said it was so hard to keep going, but encouraged her, cajoled her, laughed and cried with her, tried to keep her motivated towards a happy ending.
Do I start the day Maddie was born and everyone of us, all of her dear friends and relatives were overjoyed that she came out crying and over 3 pounds. That euphoria only lasted a brief 20 minutes, until we found out how she needed immediate attention at another hospital.
Do I start with the 68 days of seeing Maddie in the NICU, seeing Heather stay strong through it all.
Do I start with her 3 trips to the hospital where she, Mike and I would take turns sleeping and being there 24/7 for however long her stay.
Do I start with the absolute joy I felt when she celebrated her milestone First Birthday Thanksgiving and Christmas at HOME with our wonderful friends and family including her NICU nurses.
Do I start when Heather asked me, like so many ordinary times before, if I could come down and spend the day because Maddie had a cough.
Do I start at the hospital when everything seemed similar as before and I couldn’t imagine what was to come.
Do I start with seeing that horrible day unfold in front of your eyes, feeling so helpless, see your daughter lose the most important thing in her life and then see her have such an inner strength, poise and courage that still to this day amazes and inspires me.
Do I start with the heartache I feel to my very core over losing Maddie and then watching my daughter’s pain and knowing that there is little I can do to ease it, but cry with her.
So How am I coping? The worse thing about grief is it is so solitary, a path that is incredibly lonely at times. It’s hard not to get caught in a web of utter depression and guilt. Fortunately, I‘m so blessed with family and special friends who I know are walking along the sides of the path with me and will and have helped me out whenever I ask…
I just have to start to ask more often….