"grief is not a gentleman or gentlelady"

Apr 23, 2016

U don't know when flashbacks will come. Holding a living new born, serving a loss family. Iron strong. Taking a Kaplan exam and all the invasive memories replay of Joislens aunties and uncle left behind in the hospital room, just heartbroken, as my mom, husband and I escort her out the hospital to the transportation that would take her to the mortuary. I kept shaking my head in disbelieve. All I could tell her was this isn't how it was supposed to be. How sorry I was. I knew God wasn't to blame, but I knew He'd make it up to us. 
My mind had not fully grasped how far Joislen's spirit had traveled from her earth body. She was so freshly translated that there was still a very strong presence of her near her body. But she was too far gone to turn back. Close enough to feel. Yet far enough to never feel again in the flesh. 
I was talking to Ashley yesterday. And we were talking about how sweet and gorgeous Joislen is. Ashley is 1 of 6 loved ones who got to see her. I was trying to explain that her body was like a perfect frozen image. With living babies, you have to figure them out, over time you learn more. With Joislen, I just had to take her in. It was a whole lot of beauty to absorb amidst unprocessesable feelings. Over 8 months later and I'm still taking it in, taking in her purpose and adorableness. All the imagination of how that body would be in motion, though her spirit feels more alive than I do sometimes. I still dream of her earth self. Ashley, reminiscing with me, says of her body 
"It was like a beautiful meticulous sculpture of who she is". 
The convo started when she said "I was thinking of her little face and her soft baby skin". I love that she is remembered and cherished, and not just by me, though i can never tire of commemorating her all by myself. I got a lifetime to remember her and an eternity to spend with her. I remember the look on leneen's face as she held her goddaughter. At that point she was trying to figure it out. Joiseys Titi Geli tho, was taking it in. And I think she bawled harder than me during that time. Feels like her uncle was somewhere between both. He knew he was holding a piece of heaven but couldn't understand why Dwayne and I had to go through it, why our family had to lose our long awaited new babygirl. My nieces handled it best. Radical acceptance. They asked, and they understood best as they could, admiring her, and cherishing their time with their god-sister. And then there was grandma. Grandma was so utterly crushed. She couldn't bear the pain. She has her own relationship with Joislen. And she watched me mourned a future on earth that would never happen. And 
she could not handle seeing her fruit broken, over her fruit, broken. Grandparents get two servings of despair. 
Woman has faith the size of a mustard seed alright, but some heartaches, fresh off the stove, and even the core of a believer is shaken.
This is where my mind went when I was trying to take an exam. This is how grief works. 
Grief is not a gentleman or gentlelady. We never know when grief will come knocking and demand our attention. It's usually not expected. Usually not invited. Usually not a good time. Yet. When grief shows up, acknowledging it is a way of honoring our children. So we give it a moment. To resonate in our hearts. And we put it on hold till we can address the memory, unhindered. 
we embrace the sad parts too, because there is beauty even in the ashes. After all. That's where my daughter's physical self is. Ashes to ashes. I'll never give up an opportunity to roll up my sleeves, get dirty, and remember my Joislen; 
she's wrapped up in this sea of devastating emotions, and I clean the guck and agony off her with my tears, until I can clearly see how lovely she is, which brings again the gut wrenching emotions; a girl so pretty, a purpose so huge, yet a life so short. 
It is in these very memories that I am so close to her. Sure it hurts. But I won't ever forfeit experiencing her nearness for normalcy. That goes out the window when you bury your newborn.

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