Well I made it through my first Halloween without Hailey. I hope it's true when they say that the "firsts" are always the hardest and then it gets a little easier each time after that. Today was tough. Unfortunately, I think it was even tougher for Lexi this time, than it was for me. She really struggled through the entire day and wanted to cry so many times, but didn't want to mess up her makeup (for her costume). It really started when I was getting ready to take some pictures of the girls in their costumes and Lexi realized she couldn't find the monkey we use to represent Hailey. I was totally bummed too, but realized there was no reason in making the day even more difficult by getting mad. We think she left her at school, but aren't totally sure. :( Anyways, luckily we had another stuffed monkey that I bought for Ava a month or so ago. I gave it to Lexi to hold in the pictures and told her that from now on we'll use any monkey to represent Hailey in our pictures, as long as it's a monkey!!! Although she was still upset, it seemed to help a little.
Once all the festivities were over, she finally broke down and let it out. I told her she could fall asleep in my bed since she was having such a hard day (She loves falling asleep in our bed!). When I was putting her to bed she asked me if we could look at the pictures I took today. Of course, I couldn't deny her, but as I was getting the pictures ready on my computer, she also decided she wanted to look at the pictures from last year. So again, I agreed. Bad idea. Seeing Hailey's smile and excitement in her chicken costume from last year was enough for me. I couldn't hold in my emotion anymore and just broke down. I know I already posted a picture of her, but she was so darn cute that I need to post it again:
If you read my entry about the pumpkin patch, you'll know that it was pretty tough on me being there. But, I also saw it as one of those inevitable experiences that was bound to come up and therefore, was glad that I did it and made it through.
Well, yesterday was another one of those rough days. A lot of reality has hit me over the last 3 days. It's been slowly creeping up, but when we actually started participating in all the Halloween festivities that reality quickly became my world.
Last night we were supposed to go to a Halloween party mostly for kids. I struggled with it all day long. Sean wanted to go together as a family, so I didn't want to flake out and let him down, but on the other hand, I just really didn't feel up to going. After experiencing all the emotions from the day before at the pumpkin patch and dealing with the anticipation of today with Halloween and trick or treating, I just couldn't face one more Halloween related event. Luckily, I have a very understanding husband who supported me in that decision. We are doing whatever we can to stay close and be honest with each other so we make it through this. As I mentioned in my journal entry describing the day Hailey passed away, Sean and I promised each other that we would stick together through this trial and never break apart. When we got married we made a promise before God to stay together through good times and bad (and it can't get much worse than this). We need each other. And more importantly, our kids need us. So we made a deal that we would be very open, honest, and patient with one another throughout this holiday season. If there's a specific event that's really important for one of us to attend, then the other will say a prayer for strength and go. Otherwise, it's okay to miss some things.
Anyways, I went to Hailey's place and sobbed hysterically as I realized how difficult something as simple as a little Halloween party was going to be for me to attend. This was a difficult and scary realization, especially with all the holidays coming up. I know we're going to be invited to tons of stuff and I really don't want to spend the holidays holed up in my house. But honestly, I also don't want to face the holidays either. I'm so scared that if we don't go to stuff, people will stop inviting us, which adds extra pressure on me. I also feel guilty when I don't go to things because I know Hailey wouldn't want me to sit home. Then there's also the bittersweet, catch 22 that I face any and every time I go somewhere with people who either aren't family or aren't really close friends. I mean I want people to acknowledge what I'm going through and that they're aware I'm in pain and ask me about Hailey and how I'm doing, but I also don't want them to bring it up either. I want to talk about it and tell everyone about Hailey, but I also don't want to have to deal with it every time I go somewhere. If everyone asks me about Hailey I start to feel overwhelmed and annoyed because there's so much to talk about and tell, but when I go somewhere and no one asks me about her, I feel so sad and hurt and wonder if they either forgot or just don't feel like listening to me complain. Sometimes I want to pretend like it never happened and go to parties or get togethers and act like all is well, but then when I try to do that I feel sad because I know I'm pretending and I'll have to go home to deal with it all soon enough. So basically no one can win here...neither the "people" I'm talking about nor myself! Why am I admitting all this? Honestly, I don't know. It's just how I feel and I'm trying to get it out. What should you do about it if you're around me? Honestly again, I don't know. All I can ask is that you just be yourself and be honest with me. If you want to ask me or talk to me about Hailey, then please do. And if you don't, then that's okay too!!! I'm really not one to get offended very easily. I know that people are genuinely good and mean well by what they say or ask, so please don't ever be afraid you'll say the wrong thing. As I'm sure you've seen from my blog, I am very open and honest, so I really appreciate that from others too! I've always said that I'd rather my friends be around me and say the "wrong" thing or something that might make me sad, than not be around me and say nothing at all. I need people. I need Hailey's life to be acknowledged and talked about. Even though sometimes I don't necessarily want to talk about everything, I always feel much better when I do. Same goes with crying, I try to hold it in and avoid it sometimes because it's kind of a pain in the butt, but I always feel way better when I just let it all out and bawl. (I guess I should use that same strategy when it comes to working out!!)
These past few days have been the most emotional I've had in a while since Hailey passed away, so honestly, I'm glad they're over. Now it's onto Thanksgiving, our yearly family trip to Solvang, Ava's 1st Birthday, and Christmas. Please don't give up on us if we don't come to everything, reply to every email, or return every phone call. It is just so exhausting sometimes. But also know, that every invite, email, and message is listened to and acknowledged and loved. Just remember these are our firsts and therefore very difficult. My emotions literally vary minute to minute. But we are doing our best!
Our family picture from last year.
(Ava was still cookin'!)
The girls this year.
Our family picture this year.