When the planner can’t plan

There was a song we sang in elementary school…

“A canner exceedingly canny,
One morning remarked to his granny: 
“A canner can can 
Anything that he can, 
But a canner can’t can a can, can he?”

As an adult, I lived the planner version of this limerick. I love planning. I am an old school, pen and paper gal that always has several notebooks around. I even have a plan for planning! But the planner in me has had a bit of a knock to the head.

It’s been a few weeks since the miscarriage and d&c. The physical side is easing up. I am running again. Everyone has gone back to work. The outside world has gone back to its normal life. Here I am trying to find a new normal.

I feel a bit of closure now that we have buried Sage. Sean designed a beautiful memorial garden complete with a bench. Seeing it makes me smile and sitting on the bench gives me peace. Having the tree and plants gives me something to take care of. No, it doesn’t replace my baby. Nothing ever will. But it helps.

Sage’s garden

There is a sneaky side of grief. It comes up in waves you do not expect. My daughter brought up Christmas yesterday. She wanted to know if we could do the advent bags again. This is where you fill a bag to open each day leading up to Christmas. They either hold an activity, or something fun, food item…you get the idea. The thought of pulling that together around when I was due with the baby was completely overwhelming to me. I quickly told her that Christmas wasn’t even on my radar right now. Then apologized for being snippy. I wanted to sing her a new version of that old limerick…

“A planner exceedingly planny,
One morning remarked to her girly: 
A planner can plan 
Anything that she can, 
But a planner can’t plan for grief, can she?”

My inner musings began…why is it that I can plan for a 100k race at the beginning of December with no problem but the thought of Christmas is overwhelming? I mentioned it to a friend and she said that it sounded normal to her. The race mainly involves me running 62 miles in the woods. It may not be easy but it is clear and concise. The planning of it soothes me.

Meanwhile Christmas is a family activity. One that I thought would involve a tiny new member of the family. My gift was supposed to be smelling his sweet little head alongside a warm cup of coffee. Wrapping him up in a little burrito while watching the other kids unwrapping their gifts. Looking down and seeing the lights from the Christmas tree reflecting off his sleeping face. I need some time to change that vision. At this point, I cannot even wrap my mind around it being any other way. You know what? That is ok with me.

I decided that I would not push myself through the grieving process. Just like in ultra running, I will keep moving forward one step at a time. But if I need to stop and stay at an aid station a little longer, or walk through the valley a bit… I will do just that. You cannot force your way through grief or it will come back and bite you in the back end. In the meantime there is a new ending to the limerick…

“I will plan what I can 
And ask for patience, 
For where I’m not ready”