We moved house this weekend. It doesn’t seem like such a big deal when I type it out like that. It sounds so simple, but I found it to be anything but simple. We moved because we wanted more room for my son as he grows; our unit was fast becoming too small for his adventurous ways. I’m glad to have somewhere bigger for him and I’m so grateful for many aspects of our new house. But the thing is, our old place had so many memories. SO many.
It was the place we chose while I was pregnant with Ariella. It’s where we set up her room and filled the cupboard with things bought for her. It’s where we were going to bring her from the hospital and where we imagined the first few years of her life would take place. But even more importantly, it’s the place where we first discovered that her heart had stopped beating. I can picture it all so clearly: playing a game with my husband while waiting for the scheduled midwife appointment, lying on the couch and hearing the silence on the doppler and lying in the exact same position days later as I couldn’t control my tears. I remember walking in from the garage after leaving Ariella at the hospital and shutting the door to her room, the same room I would later spend hours in as I grieved her death.
It’s the house where I discovered I was pregnant with my son and the house we brought him to once he was safely born. It’s where he first laughed, crawled and walked. It’s where I spent many hours feeding him overnight, ever so grateful to be awake and snuggling my precious son. And it’s there that I found out I am pregnant for the third time.
It didn’t help that we moved on Mother’s Day weekend. I was so distracted by the packing and things that needed doing that I almost forgot Mother’s Day was approaching. Almost. Until I found the shirt I wore the day Ariella was born, or discovered that every single physical memento from her life fit into one small packing box. Coming across the paperwork from the cemetery also didn’t help my already fragile emotions. Moving house is usually stressful anyway, but it just seems like every single thing is destined to be that much harder because she has died.
I know it’s just a house and that it’s certainly not irreplaceable like my daughter. But I’m scared. So many of my Ariella memories occurred in that house and I don’t want them to fade. I feel like it’s one more aspect of her that I’ve said goodbye to, and I’m tired of goodbyes. It’s been tricky packing and unpacking with my one year old around, but how I wish it was even trickier with a two year old running around as well. I’m grateful for the child I do have running around but moving house has made me miss the one who isn’t. I’m grateful, but struggling.
Life after loss is so bittersweet…