Yesterday we cleaned the house -- deep cleaned. We all worked really hard. Then we got out the Christmas tree and set it up. Then Dad brought in our new Camille Christmas tree. I bought it after Christmas last year to hold all the angel ornaments. The girls wanted to decorate it.
One by one I unwrapped each ornament and the girls placed them on Camille's tree. With each one I felt the love of the person who took the time to find or make or buy the angel and send it to us. There was so much love in the room. I was so thankful again for all of you who sent us ornaments last year. It was so wonderful to think of Camille -- our own family angel -- as we decorated her tree.
After the tree was decorated we took the girls to Red Robin for dinner with friends. There we ran in to other friends. We saw a family there that we hadn't seen for a long time. Their "baby" was now a kid. The last time we saw them he was a newborn just weeks old. The last time we saw them was when they came to visit us in Camille's hospital room. I was so happy to see her new baby and get to hold him for a minute. I was so happy to hold a baby who moved. I was so aching to have my baby move.
And last night there was this newborn all grown into a kid.
I knew this weekend marked a "Friday the 13th." June 13, 2008 was also a Friday. I never really noticed or cared about Friday the 13ths before. I don't like them so much now. And today is Sunday the 15th. Today is 17 months. Babies born 17 months ago look like little kids now. And my heart - shattered 17 months ago -- is healing well. It is still sore at times, the tears still come easily. But I am healing.
It seems that first year, and especially the first 6 months or so of grief you are in a cocoon of love. At first the angels are so present all around you and the veil is so thin. They help you survive. They are like life support to you. They protect your heart from literally bursting.
In time you feel that heavenly cocoon wear away. But there is still a cocoon of friendship and family that surround and support you. They still hold your heart tenderly in their thoughts and prayers. But one by one, as time passes, there are new emergencies to think of and other problems to pray about. After a while the cocoon of support wears away and little by little we must make our way in the air. I feel I am out of the "cocoon" of new grief and mostly I find my new wings are keeping me in the air. And with these wings I intend to fly forward, not back.