Since Hannah died, there are certain situations that I can handle easily and others that I just avoid. Some I knew that I would struggle with (like baby dedications at church) and others that kind of take me by surprise. And, there have been a few times where I’ve just ‘put my head in the sand’ and acted like it didn’t happen/exist.
Zach and I don’t really celebrate Halloween. We carve pumpkins and help during Trunk-or-Treat at our church each year, but it’s definitely not a major holiday for us. So, I was kind of surprised that I struggled with Halloween this year. I don’t know if it’s because Halloween is kind of the transition point into the holiday season (which I’m definitely anxious about) or because I couldn’t dress Hannah up in a sweet little costume and show her off to family and friends. Whatever the reason, I just avoided Halloween. I didn’t go to Trunk-or-Treat at church and hand out candy; I didn’t even buy candy this year. I stayed home with my front porch light off and acted like Halloween didn’t exist.
I think it’s ok to do that every once in a while. There is no book on the correct way to live your life after your child dies. There are sometimes where it’s almost therapeutic for me to walk through the baby clothes section at a store and pick out things I would have bought for Hannah, and there are other days where I won’t even look that way while I’m walking through the store. I think it’s perfectly normal to avoid some situations where you know you’ll struggle. And, I think there is a point where that can be unhealthy, but I’m hoping I’ll realize it or someone I love will tell me if I ever get to that point. Grief always seems to be a balancing act.
*Fun fact of the day: While I was online trying to find a picture of an ostrich, I learned that they don’t really bury their heads in the sand. When they are scared or in danger, they lay flat and stretch their necks out along the ground. Because their feathers are light-colored, they blend into the sand and look like they actually buried their heads. Random bird trivia for you!