The “Irrational” Stage of Grief

This is what I found when I arrived at the cemetery today.   Felt like a knife in the heart.

This is what I found when I arrived at the cemetery today. Felt like a knife in the heart.

We always hear about the 5 stages of grief.   I think they  need to add one more – Irrationality.   Seriously.   In my head, I know things are a certain way, but convincing my heart that what I’m thinking is something I haven’t been able to figure out.

Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend.   To say that I’m dreading this day is an understatement.   There are a variety of reasons, but the biggest one is because it reminds me how I failed at Mommyhood with Hannah.

Each holiday has its tough moments.   After 16+ months of her being gone, it still feels like my heart has been freshly ripped out of my chest at times.   These family holidays come up, and I’m so actively aware that she is not part of our celebration.

But Mother’s Day doesn’t just make me miss her.  It makes me feel like I failed her.   Failed to protect her from this world.  Failed to take care of her pain the last few months of her life.  Failed to save her.

Irrationality.  My head says that what I’m feeling isn’t right.  That I did try to do everything I could for Hannah.   But my heart is stronger than my head because all I can think about is how I can avoid Mother’s Day and not having to acknowledge it – but I don’t have that luxury because Ethan and Abby are so excited to do something.

Then today…

After lunch with a friend today, I went to visit the cemetery.   When I got there, I noticed most of Hannah’s decorations were gone.  I looked around and saw all of the other kid’s graves were still decorated, and I lost it.   I called my husband in tears, so incredibly upset.

Who the hell would steal my Hannah’s grave decorations?

Keeping her grave colorful, blingy, and full of brightness with color and knick-knacks is so incredibly important to me.  It is the ONLY thing I can do for her now, and I look forward to changing it out every month with new flowers, new seasonable additions.    So when I saw her decorations gone, with the exception of her pinwheel and Minnie solar light, I lost it.   The empty vases.  The little additions around her marker like a Minnie Mouse figurine, lady bugs, and her two bright bouquets from this month were gone.

Hannah's area after we redecorated tonight.  Still need to find some Minnie and Mickey, ladybug, or other little knick-knacks.

Hannah’s area after we redecorated tonight.  Still need to find some Minnie and Mickey, ladybug, or other little knick-knacks.

After I got off the phone with my husband, I went straight to Michael’s to buy new decorations.   It had been two weeks since I had been to the cemetery, longest I have ever been away, and I don’t know how long her area had been like this.  I couldn’t let it stay like that one minute longer.

What happened today threw me into a major funk.  I was so upset, so lost, and felt so violated.    I know that this was just the straw that broke my proverbial back because I have been under a lot of stress these past few weeks including Mother’s Day coming up.

After Michael’s, I went home to get the decorations ready and just went into my bedroom, crawled into bed, sulked, and eventually fell asleep for an hour.

When I woke up, my husband, kids, and I went to the cemetery together and redecorated Hannah’s area.   Missing some knick-knacks, but I will get those this weekend.

Irrationality.  My head says it is just things.  It doesn’t replace our memories.   But my heart is freaking out because I feel like someone took something from her, from me.   I always felt safe visiting Hannah at the cemetery, but now I’m always going to go there afraid of what I might find or what I might not find.  

Irrationality.   Instead of going every couple of weeks to visit, I am going to go more often again.  If this happens again, I can’t let her have empty vases that long.  Empty vases means not caring.   I want Hannah to always know that we are thinking of her, missing her, and still wanting to take care of her.

I am dealing with the hands I have been dealt – some of them great, some of them really crappy, some of them encouraging, some of them destructive.   It is what it is – irrationality and all.


  1. Milena says:

    I am absolutely speechless! How can somebody do that to you! I am so sorry. This is so heartbreaking.
    And no, you didn’t fail as a mom!!!! Look what you have created. You created her beautiful Legacy. People will remember Hannah forever. You fought for her till the bitter end and you are still fighting and protecting her. And know you are also fighting for other moms that might not be as strong as you. You advocate for families, you help them and their children. And you do it all in Hannahs name.
    Because of you, we think about Hannah everyday. Because of you we will never forget her beautiful smile. Because of you we will always celebrate her birthday and Life!

  2. With all the crappy, destructive, and horrible hands you’ve been dealt, it’d be impossible for anyone to handle them any better than you have. You are an amazing person, friend, and mother. I’ve said it many times, but you’re the gold standard in my book. I know your brain realizes that you did everything you could, but that sneaky heart feels what ever it wants to. I am so sorry. I just wish I could give you a big hug. Sending love and strength your way.