The sadness/depression stage is a complicated one. I've found that people are very shaken by sadness. After Rip died, I cried a lot (still do sometimes) and it would really alarm people. My doctors kept asking if I felt depressed...well, yeah. How else should I feel? The thing is...my child died. Would it not be more alarming if I wasn't sad, didn't feel depressed?
Even though I don't think I was ever unusually depressed, I do remember a time around Christmas when I was driving back from work. A car kind of swerved into my lane and I swerved to avoid it. For some reason, that brought me a huge sense of relief...it was kind of like, "Okay, the sense of self-preservation is still there." I think maybe from that point forward, I realized that losing Rip wasn't going to kill me, and I better do the best I could with the life I was given.
As I've said, the sadness I feel now is pure and sometimes much needed. I miss Rip and that is all there is to it. But sometimes I also feel sadness for Gracie...not that I think something will happen to her, because truthfully I don't, but when you have lost one child unfortunately you always know what it would feel like to lose another.
The bottom line is that sadness does not scare me like it did in the beginning. I know now that it will not overtake me, that while there are always times I will be sad, happiness is still right there. The truth is, I need my down time.