One Moment at a Time
When Ariella died, all I felt was grief and shock. I couldn’t think about anything else aside from the disbelief it had happened to me and the overwhelming sadness and heartbreak. But after the initial shock of her death wore off, I remember thinking one thing over and over again: how do bereaved parents do it, how do they live on without their child? I could barely fathom that she would be gone for the rest of my life…figuring out how to actually live the rest of my life was a different struggle altogether.
I remember joining an online support group and asking that very question. How do you do it? How do you live after your baby has died? I couldn’t even remember to eat or drink, yet alone consider the bigger issues like what to do with myself now that I wouldn’t be staying at home raising our daughter. I couldn’t see past that current day to think about the future, all I knew was that it looked pretty bleak without Ariella in it. And in a way, that was the answer. You get through it one day at a time. There wasn’t a need to think about tomorrow, all I had to was survive the current day and I could face tomorrow when it arrived.
But what about the days that you can’t imagine surviving just that one day? I remember one day lying on the couch, unable to move because I was crying so hard. I couldn’t think about getting through the day until it was time for sleep, I didn’t know how to get through that moment! And then someone told me that you don’t have to get through life after the death of your baby one day at a time, but you can get through it one moment at a time. A moment? A single moment? That I could survive! Even when the prospect of getting through a whole day without my sweet girl was too hard to comprehend, I could get through the next moment. I could get out of bed. I could walk to the couch. I could even eat breakfast (if I remembered)!
One moment at a time.
That’s all I needed to do. I didn’t need to look at the years, months or even days without Ariella, just a single moment.
The concept of surviving one moment at a time was so helpful for me. When I had a big cry, it became easier to just let myself cry and work through those emotions because I knew I could put my energy into processing that moment. I didn’t have to “pull myself together” to get through the day or week. And when I found myself laughing and feeling happy, I could let myself enjoy that rather than seeing the bigger picture and feeling guilty that I was laughing when my baby had died.
It’s been 25 months since Ariella died. 110 weeks. 771 days. Many, many moments. And I find myself doing something I never imagined I would be able to do: surviving…and enjoying life.