I absolutely love butterflies. They represent so much to me: new life, beauty, peace, renewal, and even a sense of free spirit. Butterflies flit around as if they have nary a care in the world. Now butterflies represent something precious to me. They are a reminder of my daughter Kathryn.
Just over a year ago I lost one of my twin daughters. Kathryn died two days after birth from heart and lung failure, complications of Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome. We were devastated. Our other baby was fighting for her life in the NICU and I was not only coping with the loss, but trying to heal physically while also planning a funeral. This took a tremendous toll on me, and in some ways I shut down. I no longer cared about how I looked, how my house looked, and even how my kids looked. I was in full fledge survival mode, to the detriment of everyone in my family.
Slowly but surely I began to crawl out of the funk, aided by my children and a wonderful support system. I turned to support groups and have met some amazing people who have sadly shared my loss, but who could hold my hand through the initial stages and hold me up when I was unsteady. I began to write. Finding my voice allowed me to open up and express the pain, which furthered me in my grieving process.
I decided not to let my grief define my life. I began a journey to “find my muchness.” The “muchness” concept was created by Tova Gold, also a fellow “loss mom.” She helps people remember what it is about life that makes them feel happy, beautiful, and empowered.
I recently asked Tova to write a guest post on my blog. Her post “Are You Afraid of Forgetting Them?” really resonated with me and made me realize that I will not forget my daughter if I allow myself to heal and move on.
As the mother of three children five and under, I cannot afford to lose any more time in grief and sadness. I will still allow myself to remember and feel those natural feelings of sadness, but my surviving twin’s life should not be defined by the loss of her identical twin sister.
I decided that 2013 would be the year to heal. 2012 was my year to grieve, to cry, to demand answers when there never will be any, to be angry, to be somewhat selfish. Now it’s time to pick myself up and live life with the three beautiful children who are expecting me to take care of them and love them.
We will never forget Kathryn. She will always be with us. I can miss her and even mourn her loss and still move ahead with my life. I am sure that is how she would want it to be. Every time I see a beautiful butterfly I remember her. And I find myself smiling again.
Do you have something that is holding you back from healing and moving forward with your life?