The Kubler-Ross model, commonly known as the five stages of grief, is something I learned about extensively in a Death and Dying class in college. They are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As I look back on my life, I see that I've been through these stages as I've hit certain milestones in my life. Periods of my life that were essentially dying or being put to rest forever.
Such notable milestones were graduating from high school and in consequence saying goodbye to many good friends. I knew missions and college would be the death of our friendships as we left our high school journey and moved on to the next stage of life. Also, getting married. Severing the single life. Leaving the only family I'd ever known and starting my own family. Having my first child brought with it the end of an era of independence. Forever altering the relationship of Tim and I. Forever altering the person that I had always been.
Unlike the physical death of a person, the death of these periods of my life have always, ALWAYS, always brought something better.
Once again, I am experiencing another finality in my life. The end of child bearing. It was just yesterday that I graduated from high school, got married and had my first baby. Just yesterday I was dreaming of my perfect family. Four beautiful children, a home, happiness, health. It all seemed so magical and wonderful. A fairy tale.
Now it is here. My happily ever after. Life is perfect (my own version of perfect). My life is everything I've ever dreamed it would be. So why would I be going through the stages of grief?
Because just like all those other times in my life, I don't want it to end. Based on past experience, I know that life always, ALWAYS, always brings something better. But, just like all the other times, I can't help but feel sad about what I'm leaving behind.
How is it possible that I can never have a newborn again? (Okay, technically it is possible, but I must tell myself that it is impossible!) How is it possible that I already have a 9-year-old? How is it possible that in just five short years all my kids will be in school? How is it possible that my children will ever leave home? AND, that I might actually be okay with that?
The future is full of possibilities that I know are endless. I know the future will be nothing but perfect (once again my own version), just as it always, ALWAYS, always has been, but right now I'm in denial.
Which is why I have yet to write down Crew's birth story or document any part of his life. Writing these things down will mean that they are memories. I'm not ready for any of the past six weeks to be a memory. However, try as I may, my boys keep growing. They keep getting bigger, smarter and LUCKILY better. I'll try to remember this as I bawl my way through trying to document the wonderment and awe of the birth of my fourth and final child.
Dramatic much? Yes, I'm postpartum. Don't judge. Stay tuned for birth and yummy newborn details!