I think about Isabelle a lot.
Throughout the day, simple tasks naturally bring her to mind. Lately that has been happening even more than usual.
As we approach our moving date, my heart has been much heavier and more unsettled. This house has strong emotions tied to it. I spent my entire pregnancy with both Isabelle and Mark here. In a sense, most memories I associate with Isabelle are here. By leaving this house, I feel like I am leaving her behind. But we have no choice. Matt’s job requires us to move, so as a result, moving and letting go of this house is just another step in our grieving journey. I’ve been working hard to trust in God’s greater plan.
As I’ve mentioned numerous times, I believe that the grieving process is a life-long journey. I also firmly believe that you don’t ever entirely get over the loss of someone you love. Loving and then losing someone changes you. The journey after that loss is filled with numerous twists and turns and alters your perspective on the world. Depending on life circumstances, there are some smoother patches on that journey, and there are some that are rocky.
Even though it has been 20 months since we lost Isabelle, each major step forward still seems rocky. There are moments when the pain from her loss literally paralyzes my heart, and I feel as though the world is moving swiftly past me as I remain helplessly stuck in place.
I’ve come to the realization that a piece of my heart will always remain, frozen, in 2014 and in this house.
I don’t think that is a bad thing, although I sometimes wonder if others may think differently. Don’t get me wrong: I do believe that I have moved forward. There have been numerous moments in the past 20 months that have forced me to face my grief head-on. Many of those moments I have shared on this blog. I believe that facing those tough obstacles is not only healthy, but necessary.
However, as those who have experienced a loss may attest, a small part of your heart will always remain with the person who passed away. That is just what happens when you love someone deeply.
So how do you continue to move forward, knowing that part of you is stuck?
I think that the key is first accepting that a part of your heart is stuck, and that as a result, you are a different person than you were before the loss. Loss changes you. After that, it all comes down to how you choose to live your life as the new person you have become. It is all part of the grieving journey, and the journey is now taking us to another state.
As we ready the house for the move, I know that the nursery will probably be the last room that I begin packing. My heart is just starting to find the strength to let go of what that room represents just enough so that I can begin organizing all of the baby stuff. I know that a house and a room are just things. Those things aren’t Isabelle. Even if we remained in this house for many more years, it still wouldn’t bring her back. Moving forward is necessary, and I do believe that we are doing that.