This afternoon, A. and her kids left. They had been here since Monday mid-day, and we had a great time. The kids of course had fun together, but a few things stood out to me as significant about this visit. I realized that our discussion this time was about much more than our losses. In fact, it was mostly NOT about our losses, but a lot about raising our other kids.
We did talk some about what this journey has taught us; how it has changed us - for the better. How all the grief work, which we both approached in a similar manner, has strengthened us, and that is why we have both been able to help others with more recent losses without crumbling ourselves. The grief work has borne fruit. How rewarding it is to say that!
And we talked about how we are feeling ready to move on and that it feels good to be interested in other things. The grief is now more acute instead of chronic. It comes, more often related to specific events, but then it runs its course and leaves again much more quickly. And how many things still connect us with our babies, but it is much more of a wistful, melancholy feeling or thought, than the deep pain of before. And how everything is just more bittersweet, and more intense, and therefore more wonderful.
The other thing we realized is just how different we really are. Our personalities and interests and abilities are quite different. We approached grief the same way, and that's what brought us together. And now our differences are not driving us apart but are helping us really learn about and appreciate those things much more. It is really neat.
I am happy with how our friendship is progressing. I really enjoyed her visit, but it wasn't as euphoric as before, nor was leaving as emotional as before. I think it is changing to just good, close friends who really understand each other and appreciate each other, not that we need each other so desperately as we did before.
Their visit did have some excitement - we had a power outage most of the first night, and Steve got the generator going so we could take baths and keep the fans going. The kids enjoyed playing with the glow sticks in the house and in the bath tub. Tuesday we went out in the boat and a thunderstorm developed. We had to race back to the marina, huddling under the roof in the pouring rain while lightning flashed around us. It was scary, although we got back safely. And the whole time we had to keep detouring around flooded areas and places where the road has been washed out because of all the rain. We told A. she wasn't going to want to come visit us out in the country anymore!
Today on the way out of town, we stopped at the cemetery so A. could see Abigail's stone. Then we went to Abigail's playground so A. could see the bench we added in Marie's memory. She took photos of her kids on the bench. Actually, visiting those memorials was probably the most time we spent directly on the babies. And there were no tears; it was basically a joyful time.
We really have come a long, long way. Thank you, Lord. It feels good.