Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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Bauble winners and questions answered

Six bauble winners

Since not that many people commented on Rainbow’s angelversary post, I’ve decided to just give each one a bauble – so if the following lovely ladies could email me your mailing addresses at crystal[at]louielovescrystal[dot]com, I will send one to you:

  • AKD
  • Lisa
  • Michelle
  • Lisette
  • Sarita
  • Holly

And the answers to Michelle’s questions

How have your losses changed you as a person?

In some ways, my losses have softened my heart and made me more accepting of what others could be going through and how that affects them. It has definitely made me want to reach out and support other grieving hearts. Also, when I feel myself reacting negatively towards something someone says or does, I try to stop myself and consider what’s behind it all. It took a while to get to this point, though, especially when it came to the way people responded (or didn’t respond) to our losing Calvin and Rainbow.

At times, I feel like grief has drained a lot of my “life energy.” I still don’t cook or clean as much as I should. I don’t like going out. It takes so much more mental effort to do mundane, everyday tasks. I started becoming more forgetful, too; I would miss bills (which is why I switched to bill pay) and lose things around the house. It’s also harder for me to laugh. Some days, It takes so much to be positive and hopeful.

I’ve also become more protective of myself and Louie, especially when it comes to how we mourn or honor our children. This has made me more assertive and honest – to the point that I think it makes some people uncomfortable, and I am kind of sorry for that.

One of the biggest changes is probably learning how much is out of my hands and having to face the fact that I can’t control everything. This does make me feel more anxious and cautious and less able to enjoy the blessings I have, because I’m worry that it will all fall away. But it’s also helped me to lean on God more and to remember that He has plans for me and that I am not forsaken (even when I feel otherwise).

Have your relationships changed?

With Louie, our relationship has gotten stronger. Going through our losses over the past two years, and being completely vulnerable through the devastation we’ve experience has strengthened our family. Louie actually told me that it was during that time in the hospital when we delivered Calvin that he became absolutely sure of our marriage.

Most of my relationships with others tended towards the opposite end. I withdrew from people, didn’t want to see anyone, and was very slow to respond (if at all). That strained things and probably made people think I didn’t care or want anything to do with them anymore. That wasn’t the case, at all. Part of it was trying to protect myself from the (usually unintentionally) hurtful things that would spill from their lips. Part of it was hurt because people I expected to reach out didn’t (but sometimes they just took a while). A big chunk of it was just not having the energy to engage in any type of social activity. Things have started to get better. I’m spending more time out of my cave of isolation, mourning, and self-soothing.

There were a handful of people who really surprised me by their unexpected love and support. “Strangers,” acquaintances, and long-lost friends met us on our walk through grief where closer people disappeared, and they have made a permanent entrance into our hearts.

How did you and your husband meet?

Louie and I actually met in senior high school, in our sophomore English class. I noticed him during our first week of school while he was giving his summer project presentation; his drawings caught my eye. He was really quiet, and the first real conversation I remember us having was when we were working on a group project together. We were in my living room with another classmate, he asked, “Do you believe in angels?” Then, somehow the conversation turned to Nostradamus and his black mirror.

Is there anything else you’d like to know?

I really liked answering Michelle’s questions because they made me reflect and think about where I am in my grief and how it’s changed over time. It was also fun to go back to high school and remember what it was like when I first crushed on Louie.

If there’s anything else any of you are wondering about, please feel free to ask :).

Crystal is a mother-wife-writer whose explorations include parenting, grief, food, and semi-crunchy living. She is currently an MFA in writing student, a content editor for Still Standing Magazine, and the technical editor for Switchback.

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." (Ephesians 4:29)

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