I was supposed to watch the sunset today and reflect on this last month of capturing my grief, focusing on how I feel, what I learned, liked and disliked. This morning I woke up to beautiful blue skies but as the day progressed the sky got covered in white/grey clouds, so I had no sunset to reflect on. That being said, I have plenty of reflections and a picture of a glorious sunset that Olivia sent this last Wednesday.
This last month and a bit has been equally great and exhausting, up and down, bright and dark (as I know my life will be from now on); but it has mostly been filled with a lot of revelations about myself and others. I was quite nervous when I broke the news of Olivia's passing on social media because I thought that people wouldn't understand what we are truly going through. I was then very nervous when I decided to participate on the very public Capture Your Grief project, because not everyone wants to read about the hard reality of losing a child, and not everyone seems to understand that my daughter died just because she never took a breath. I was and am still terrified/angry/confused at the people that think that this shouldn't be this hard because I didn't get to enjoy a life with Olivia... If you are one of those people please understand that this is equally hard because my future and expectations of life died with her and not a day goes by that I don't wish I would've had at least one chance to look into her eyes and tell her how much I love her.
BUT, for the most part, the world has pleasantly surprised me and it has given me an overwhelming amount of support from friends, acquaintances and even strangers that have found my blog or posts and have reached out more than once with nothing but kindness. To each person that has taken the time to write, call, text, like and every form of reaching out to show love and support THANK YOU! I am planning on replying to each e-mail, private message and text I've received but please be patient with me whilst I find the right words besides yellow hearts.
I have truly appreciated this project as it made me explore parts of my grief that I wouldn't have unless being guided. I think this has done some good to me and it seems to be having an educational purpose for those around me who know bereaved parents. That being said, I'm quite glad it's over... I'm emotionally drained most days as it is, so it's been a bit too much for me to deal with when I had a bad day and had to make sure I stuck to the schedule. This is why I stopped with the schedule and I'm finishing a week late.
This is not the last you will hear from me on the specific subject of my grief and my eternal love for Olivia. I will write blog posts on a different section of this page and will add some resources that I think can only help anyone going through hell or that knows someone who, sadly, is walking the same journey Pierre and I find ourselves in.
If you are a parent and are lucky enough to have your children with you, please go ahead and hug them extra tight tonight. Appreciate the life around you for one minute longer, even if they are being little devils that are not letting you sleep. Parenting is hard work and I only wish I was lucky enough to have sleepless nights and piles and piles of unwashed clothes because Olivia has taken over my life... But I am not so lucky and I get to parent my little girl from very very far away with only imaginary responses in return. So tonight, please push extra hard when your kids are driving you insane and just appreciate the privilege that you have and the lovely chaos that you have and play with them a bit longer and please hug them a bit closer. If you don't have kids, call or write to the person you love the most in the whole world and tell them, because they could truly be gone when you least expect it and then you will find yourself with too much love left to give.
Thank you for every kind word you have given us, and if we never meet again: have a wonderful life!