I have finally understood that this grieving process is a cycle. It's not really a bunch of steps you take or some phases lined out. It's a cycle that repeats itself over and over and over. The length of it changes here and there, but I am always back at the beginning of the cycle at some point.
Part 1: It starts off as extreme sadness. Lots and lots of crying. The big elephant tears that fall hard and soak your clothes. You cry so much that it's no longer worth the energy to wipe them away. Sometimes they fall only because you feel sad, sometimes they fall because you saw or heard a trigger. And by the end of the day you are so exhausted from the crying that you might actually fall asleep without crying yourself to sleep. It all seems so real again. The pain is raw and persistent. It's a funk that can last several days.
Part 2: This part of the cycle is a good one. You remember the wonderful people and things in your life. For the next couple of days you smile. You might cry here or there. But they are small tears and dry up pretty quickly on their own. You enjoy life again and all it has to offer. You might even live this part of the cycle through one of your "tough" days/dates and be surprised how it was easier than you thought it would be. And the pain feels more distant.
Part 3: Sadness hits again. This part is frustrating. You think, "Wow I was doing so well." It's kind of a slap in the face. Like someone is saying, "Hey, you can't be too happy, here's some tears to remind you." I truly hate this part of the cycle. I'm sitting here today. I woke up feeling the tears trying to fall. No reason in particular, they just needed to fall. I tried to self-medicate with caffeine, busy my mind with MOPS steering stuff, and play with Colton and Ethan. But the need to cry just wouldn't go away. So here I am reading other babyloss mommy blogs and crying with them. And I am writing another post, which always helps the tears to fall. This part of the cycle usually only lasts a day or two.
Part 4: This is my favorite part of the cycle. Life feels really good. You feel almost numb to the pain. There may even be days when you don't cry at all. You feel you can conquer the world with the memory of your babies supporting you. Every once in awhile the guilt of feeling so good starts to creep up, but you are able to push it aside some. You know that the cycle is going to start again, but you are going to enjoy the good days for everything they have to offer. You are able to live in the moment, not the past or future. I truly look forward to this part. Right now it can last up to a week for me.
It seems like Parts 1 and 3 are getting shorter for me and Parts 2 and 4 are becoming longer. It's nice to know when I am having a hard day that there's promise of a better one. Sometimes it takes encouragement from a great friend or family member to push you into the better part, but you're going to get there. But it's also hard knowing that there's bound to be another tough day.
I miss Lucas and Caleb everyday. The pain is fresh for me today, but I feel confident tomorrow it will be less raw. I am determined not to be defined by the loss of two of our babies. I will integrate our loss into my life, but I am still the mommy to two amazing little boys here on Earth. And I need to concentrate on them right now.