Thursday, December 29, 2011


3 months today. 

This morning I went to the chiropractor.  I treat him like a therapist.  He asks me how I'm feeling (referring to my neck or hips) and I tell him that I'm tired, that I don't feel like running, that I lack motivation.  Today he asked me what my new year's resolutions are..."to try to be happy" I said.  He is a kind man.  He listens, sometimes we talk about Jonah, and then cracks my neck in a horrifying way.  I always feel a little better emotionally and physically when I leave.  It is amazing to me how our bodies are tied to our emotions.  Right after Jonah died I found that I was so sad I couldn't eat, and I felt like throwing up all the time.  That feeling returned to me two nights ago.  I felt overwhelmed by grief, by self-pity, by the world, by the subtle reminders that in an instant my life transformed from joyful to devastated.  I felt out of control.  

Grief is full of metaphors.  Some have said its like sinking in quicksand, like bubbles coming to the surface, like a roller coaster, like climbing a mountain.  In this third month it feels to me like learning to walk a tight-rope.  Each step forward is timid, unsure.  There is fear and adrenaline.  I am constantly seeking balance.  But how do I balance remembering my sweet Jonah, while moving forward?  Each step forward seems like a step away from him, from my life with him.

I look at his picture on our fridge and stare at his beautiful blue eyes, and at the same time I feel the need to look away.  His eyes, for me, carry such intense pain and joy.  I long to remember his smile, his laugh, his hair, his dimples, the way his body rested on mine.  But when my mind drifts to these memories, they are followed by a memory of the panic I felt when his body was limp in my arms.  How do I balance remembering and forgetting? 

There are days when I cry a lot, when I search his room for his smell, when I read the journal entries of his short life, when I talk of him joyfully.  Then there are days when I shut down.  I can't talk about anything, especially Jonah.  To me these emotions feel like the rapid sway of a tight-rope under my balancing body.  My fate lies in my ability to regain my balance, to stay centered.  I try to gain control, and I fear over correcting and falling. 

I am trying to find balance in slowing down my pace and in being deliberate in my steps.  I breathe deeply, and try to focus on the things that are within my control.  I have never been to alcoholics anonymous, but the serenity prayer runs through my mind. 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
And wisdom to know the difference.

If only my heart and mind could find the balance of this prayer.   That would be beautiful, peaceful.  Instead I find myself feeling more like Frank Constanza yelling "Serenity Now!"  A little frenetic.

I guess I will have to accept the frantic sway of the tightrope until I learn to balance.  I will make subtle moves, simple steps.  Maybe someday it will become second nature to me.  Until then I will continue to miss Jonah deeply, to be blown off course by the slightest breeze of memory, to freeze momentarily in fear, and to slowly move forward. 


  1. It still takes my breath away to read, "Right after Jonah died . . ." Such an overwhelming experience.

    I hope you will always know that I am here for you no matter which direction you are being blown. I love you.

  2. Julie I love you. As you sway we will try our best to hold your hands and help you balance. Remembering, missing and moving forward at the same time.

  3. Dear Julie, I just wanted to tell you that reading your blog has really been a help to me. I lost my sister (my best friend) to cancer last year. She had just turned 33. Your descriptions of your feelings have helped me wade through my own sorrow. I love how honest you are. I am so sorry you lost Jonah. It is so hard to lose someone when you had planned on having them with you your whole life. It's been 16 months since I lost my Jeanne and I'm still struggling. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that your blog is helping others. Thank you. I have the hope that one day we will get to see those we love again and stare into their beautiful eyes. Sincerely, Kathryn.

  4. I do not know you but am touched by your words. My sweet special needs boy is named Jonah. He was born early at 24 weeks and has suffered unimaginable amounts of surgeries and pain. I, too, know how difficult these emotional and painful days of mourning can be. Thank you for sharing. If you would like to learn more about my family you may visit my blog:

  5. My heart aches for you tonight. I see your sweet Jonah's face in your post and I just can't seem to stop the tears. I love my kids so much and the pain of losing them seems beyond comprehension to me. Yet, so sadly, this is a pain you must bear each day. You can see the light, love and adoration in your sweet boy's face; he is absolutely beautiful. I hope this new year is full of more peaceful moments for you and that you get a little better at balancing on that tight rope. Sending love.