Still, almost 3 years later, I have trouble following my “gut.” I had always listened to my inner voice, and allowed that to guide me through life. All major decisions in my life were not made by looking at the facts; they were made by listening to my heart, my intuition, my “gut.” But what if your natural instinct failed you? Mine did. What if you couldn’t save your child? I couldn’t. I didn’t even know she was in harm’s way. Where was my “gut feeling” when it needed it the most?
After losing Harper, fear had stepped in and clouded my judgement. Fear is our mind’s natural way of protecting us. My body and mind both know that losing Harper rocked me to my core, and I may not be able to endure another loss. I was the bare tree in the middle of a thriving forest. It makes perfect sense why my soul would want to protect me from ever feeling that kind of pain again. That’s where fear comes in.
My “gut feelings” became (and still are at times) irrational. Not wanting to let my son out of my sight because he might die may seem irrational to those who have not lost a child. Those of you who have lost a child, know exactly what I am talking about. In the early days, if he got a sniffle, I would be so afraid it was cancer. If he had a headache, I prayed it wouldn’t be a brain tumor. I prayed every day when I was pregnant with Josie that she wouldn’t die. It seems so gloomy, but it’s my reality. See, once the worst-case scenario happens to you, you know that anything can happen at any time, and that’s terrifying.
My fear subsided once I started to trust the universe again, but just like any relationship with broken trust, repairing it takes time. Now that I have my third child, the fear is creeping back. What if this, what if that. To be honest, I think a little fear is good and keeps you on your toes. As mom’s, our natural instinct is to protect our children.
I have learned though to recognize fear for what it is; it’s Mother Nature’s way of trying to protect me. So, when fear visits, I acknowledge it, thank it very much for doing its job, and then let it go on with it’s day. I can’t live in fear. I don’t want to live in fear. I want to live in love. Harper would want me to live fully and more fiercely than ever before. Since love, trumps all other emotions, after saying goodbye to fear, I sit quietly, put my hand over my heart and tap into my beautiful daughter. I tell her I love her, and that I know she will guide me through the fear. It dissipates, and I go on with my day. Some days I do this all day long, and some weeks I have no fear at all. I ride the rollercoaster of child loss, and realize, I am not in charge here. She is.