One Moment at a Time

March 11, 2015

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

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.

  • Larissa Genat

    Larissa is wife to Marcus and mama to four, including one precious girl lost to stillbirth. She writes about her daughter and life after loss at Deeper Still.

    Prev Post Next Post