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Journal with collaged cover that reads, "healing" by Emily P.G. Erickson
Journal with collaged cover that reads, “healing” by Emily P.G. Erickson

After last month’s life-saving emergency surgery, this month has been all about healing.

Healing is individual, but I keep hearing that I can expect 6-12 months until I feel fully like myself. On the one hand, this is good news: I’ll feel like myself again. On the other hand, I still have a lot of days of not feeling like myself to get through.

So I made a journal to count them off. To cross off my progress by the pages I’ve filled and count on the future’s promise by the blank pages ahead. Yesterday marked one month from the surgery. On my street, I walked one house farther than the day before. I clocked 7,549 steps — a post opp record.

With these words, with these days, I’m building a bridge from not-myself to myself.


New From Me This Month

Emily P.G. Erickson middle son sitting on one of the best booster seats for dining of 2021.
Emily P.G. Erickson middle son sitting on one of the best booster seats for dining of 2021.

For the best booster seats for dining (with special guest reviews from my 3-year-old and 6-year-old) for Reviewed (a division of USA Today), read The Best Booster Seats for Dining

Your Curated Reading List

Emily P.G. Erickson's recommended reading for August: Migrations by Charlotte McConaghy

For an atmospheric, captivating read about a woman’s quixotic quest to follow the arctic terns on their last migration and flashbacks that reveal what is at the heart of it all, read Migrations: A Novel by Charlotte McConaghy.

Emily P.G. Erickson's recommended reading for August: We Are The Brennens by Tracey Lange

For a multigenerational family novel that begins with a crash and ends with a bang, read We Are The Brennans: A Novel by Tracey Lange.

For a non-fiction book that made me think deeply about wilderness, preservation, and our connection and duty to it all, read Wild Souls: Freedom and Flourishing in the Non-Human World by Emma Marris.

Something Delightful

Emily P.G. Erickson's three sons wearing matching rainbow clothing.
Emily P.G. Erickson’s three sons wearing matching rainbow clothing.

Ok, I promised myself that I wouldn’t turn these posts into baby updates (and I really won’t!), but this month really threw me for a loop. It was the kind of month that makes it hard to find something delightful.

Maybe you think that sounds bananas. I’ve been hoping for this baby for years. I was so worried in pregnancy. And he’s finally here. How could I be anything but delighted?

At least, that’s what I thought about myself. That was I ungrateful. But that’s not quite right. It’s more that major, life-saving emergency surgery is, well, major. The recovery is long. It hurts all the time. It’s not how I wanted to live any month, let alone the first of my last baby’s life.

Delight isn’t a cognitive process. It’s a zing of a feeling, and I wasn’t feeling it. But I wanted to. So I decided to double down and seek it out. It was time to bring out the big guns: Matching outfits.

I put my (three!) kids in rainbow tops (For the uninitiated, rainbows are meaningful in the pregnancy and baby loss community as a signifier of hope. Babies born after a loss are known as rainbow babies.) And, bless them, all three kids helped me wrest some delight from not-delightful time.


Let’s Connect!

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Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a freelance writer specializing in mental health and parenting. She has written for popular digital publications, including Everyday Health, Health, The New York Times, Parents, Romper, Verywell Mind, WIRED, and more. Emily is a professional member of the National Association of Science Writers (NASW), the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), and the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ). Previously, Emily researched PTSD for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and earned a master's in psychology. You can find the latest from Emily at www.emilypgerickson.com.

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