A couple weeks ago I had a profound realization during lunch with a chaplain social worker friend. (yes…he is a social worker AND a chaplain. #doublethreat). As we were eating our chips and salsa he asked me about my trip to Bali and I just gushed about our fabulous adventure. Bali gave me some of the most incredible memories of my life. And I gladly welcomed this gift.
Every morning Casey and I would wake up at 3am (jet lag was a beast) and stare at the clock as if we could magically make it go faster. I wish I could say it was because we wanted to start our adventures for the day. In reality, the breakfast at the hotel was incredible. Everything was fabulously fresh as if it was picked from a tree or brought in from the field that morning. AND THE COFFEE. OHMYGAWD THE COFFEE. I have never enjoyed a cup of coffee so much as I did in Bali. Perhaps it was the birds singing and the monkeys swinging from the trees next to us that increased my appreciation, but wow…I couldn’t have enough.
After we devoured our daily breakfast, we would sluggishly walk back to the room…take a 20- minute food-coma-recovery-power-nap…and then get ready for the day. Everyday we had an adventure planned followed by some type of relaxation (reading, pool, massage, napping, ect). We went to monkey forest and had moneys climb all over us, rode an elephant, traversed the jungle through river rafting, explored an abandoned shipwreck through scuba diving, saw cultural dances, ate exotic food, learned about the Balinese culture, and visited temples. It was fabulous.
We also had a ceremony for Robyn. On the last night of our trip Casey and I brought a candle down to an isolated beach. We nestled it in the sand right before the water would reach. We lit the candle, held hands, and said our goodbyes to our little girl. We told her that we loved her and wished she could physically be with us. We sat on a rock, held eachother, cried, and watched the waves glide over the light and take the candle out to sea. That night, I felt as though a part of me that I had lost came back. I felt whole. I felt closure. I felt like we properly honored Robyn.
As my Chaplain/Social Worker friend, Nathan, and I were continuing our lunch, we discussed the importance of ceremony. I’m thankful that Nathan took the conversation in this direction because I never really processed how important this was for my own healing. After returning from Bali, I felt like someone plugged me back into an electrical socket and I was no longer running on battery. I attribute most of this internal rejuvenation to the candle ceremony on the beach. I felt like so many things had been out of my control during the pregnancy, but this was one thing I could do to honor Robyn and thank her for the time we shared. Ceremony also facilitates acceptance and closure.
At this point in my journey, I no longer feel I am carrying an open wound pained by even the most gentle of touch. I do have a scar, but one that is not fully defined by pain. Yes, my scar reminds me of a painful time, but it also reminds me of many beautiful things. I am reminded by the generosity and love of friends and family when we were in need of support. I am reminded that my husband is truly my partner and together we can navigate the stormy seas as well as the calm waters. I am also reminded of the beautiful 6 months Robyn and I shared, connected as one.