Friday, October 12, 2012

Am I Allowed to Laugh?

Denial. - This isn't happening. I want a second opinion. There's no way my baby is the .001%. 
Anger. - How dare you take more away from me. Why would you choose me, someone who's lost so much already.
Bargaining. - Let it be something else. Let her live, but be disabled. Let me hang on as long as I can.
Depression. - Leave me alone. Don't ask me questions. Don't try to give me hope.
Acceptance. - God has a plan. This is real, I cannot change it, I cannot fight it.

The Kubler-Ross Model. The five stages of grief. I've gone through them all, quickly, and I have a feeling they will rotate a few times before they slowly fade. Those rotations will likely last a long time.

But where does laughter, smiling and happiness fit in there? Are they not allowed? I've been hard pressed to laugh much during the last week. Often times, it has been forced. Someone says something to try to make me smile, and I do, simply to pacify their good intentions. This isn't the Emilee I know, and it's certainly not the Emilee all of my friends know. They know me as bubbly, friendly, outgoing and ever-optimistic. I don't like this person.

When I begin to feel frustrated with my lack of ability to see the positive, I remind myself that it's okay. There is no rush for me to get back to "normal". After this experience, I don't know what "normal" will be. It has only been five days! The problem I see with that is that I've never gone so long without genuine happiness. I don't typically go longer than an hour without some sense of joy.

Today was a better day, and strangely enough, our first rain of the season. I won't say tears haven't fallen, because that would be a lie. Every time I receive a hug from a friend, I can't help but be overcome with emotion. When I hear melancholy songs, I cry. Fortunately, Will has not left my side and takes my hand whenever these moments creep in. Today, for the first time, I laughed for real. Will and I have had funny exchanges off an on all day. We've both smiled and laughed. I won't share them here; if you know us, you know it's inappropriate. Dallas came home from being with his Grandma and Auntie for the last three days, and he had so much to say. Five year olds are silly, and his sense of humor seems to have matured in his time away from home. He cracked me up for a good half hour. It felt so nice. Evidently, he knows what girls have, and it starts with a "P" (it's not what you're thinking)... Paginas. I bet you smiled a little just now. The innocence of children is awesome...

Just as it's okay to feel sad and grieve our situation, it's okay to let it not be on the forefront of our minds every second of every day. I'm not forgetting, I'm not brushing feelings under the rug. I'm finding me, even if briefly, in a place where I'm very lost. I won't be lost forever. Just ask Will, I have an incredible sense of direction.


  1. I think it's great that you're feeling happiness and joy. That doesn't negate your feelings of sadness or prevent you from grieving. I think Leila enjoys hearing her mommy's laugh. And I am a firm believer that our children sense our emotions and feelings, and that in the womb their ability to sense our emotions are heightened.

    I'm very glad to hear that you are doing so well :)

  2. This experience will be part of your forever, but it will not define you. Your strength has always carried you through, and it will not fail you this time either. Ive been scared to say this as it might come off wrong or maybe inappropriate, but when i first found out, the first thing that shot through my mind was that you needn't worry, because she will never be alone and will be looked after by your parents just as lovingly as you have.

  3. Dear Emilee,

    I am on the Sharing Spree Portland Facebook team. There are no words to describe how sorry I am for what you and your family are going through. I cried through all of your posts. Leila is very fortunate to have parents who love her so much and a sweet mama who will carry her and love her as long as you can. As I was reading your posts, a scripture came to mind that I want to share with you...

    Philippians 4:7
    And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

    My family and I will be praying for the peace of God over you and your family.

    I know you don't know me, and might be more comfortable asking people you know for help, but please know that I am available to clean, do laundry, cook meals, babysit.... whatever you need.

    Hugs from one mom to another,

    Jennifer Harrel

  4. Emilee - I'm the mom who commented the other day that we received the same diagnosis the day after you and I have to share that my husband and I had a similar conversation about trying to feel ok to laugh and trying not to let this be at the forefront of every moment of our lives right now. If you want to reach out, I've started sharing our story at (And if you don't, that's ok too - just wanted to let you know that I'm here if you'd like.)