Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Pit

(I wrote this at the beginning of last week, just didn't get around to posting it until now)

As someone who has been through grief, the hope is that eventually I can get to a place where I help other grievers. To be far enough along in my grief where I can stand on the edge of "the pit" that the person is in and help pull them out. Well Im not there yet. Not even close.

A young boy's tragic death last week and then news of a friend's husband being diagnosed with cancer this week have all sent me back into the "pit" myself. Im scared, Im anxious, Im planning Abigail and Nathan's funeral in my head when I lay down to sleep. Im constantly looking over my shoulder for death. Panic sets in if Nathan is one minute late coming home. And I KNOW KNOW KNOW that death is not the end. I know that! So why am I scared? Why can't I confront all the suffering in the world with the faith that I know I believe? Because I'm human and dang it- sometimes human weakness will always be there. Even Jesus said, “Father, if you are willing, let this cup pass from me; however not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42. He was scared too. Death is scary.

And as much as I try to talk myself down of the ledge or rationalize with myself (worry is useless, nothing has happened yet, try to live in the present moment) it never works. In the end I am back in the pit with images of picking out headstones and planning funerals. I am checking on Abigail every other hour during the night with my phone in my hand ready to call 911 because I just know I will find her dead. Its just another weakness that is brought on because of grief. Before when tragic things happened, I could look the other way, convince myself that it wouldn't happen to us. But now, no way. I know bad things can and do and will happen to us.

When I hear of tragedies it always comes back to our own and then to the unknown of what is ahead. And it leaves me unable to function. I spent yesterday morning in bed for an hour trying to convince myself to get up and just make breakfast. Back to the basics of trying to get myself to do just one thing and then go from there. It worked, eventually, but the whole day I just felt heavy. Sleep didnt come and in the end I just begged Jesus to take it all away. Take my fears, take my worries, take my anxiety. Today is a little better. It takes me a shorter time to recover these days from bad news when I hear it. So in the end it leads me back to prayer, which is good I suppose. Praying for the families, begging God for miracles and learning to accept when He gives them even if they dont look the way we want them to. Hopefully one day I can get close to the pit to help others without falling in is not that day.

Friday, August 17, 2012

It's all coming back

People said it would happen. Priest, counselors, friends. They said "In time, the old you will come back." And at 16 months out, I can say that I am starting to feel like the old me. The biggest thing I have noticed is that I can get things done with little to no effort. I can go grocery shopping and not think twice, I can multi task, I can have the whole house cleaned and dinner on the table without feeling drained.  I can shower each day.I can see babies Caleb's age and not want to run the other direction. And I have to say, it feels great. I can tell that my grief is slowly moving from right in front of my eyes to more of my side vision. My days are filled with more happiness than sadness. Less tears and more smiles. I make plans, keep them, and then have fun doing them! These all might sound like small things to most people, but after going through grief, they are actually quite huge!

And while I am feeling good with myself, relieved almost, there is still a longing in me to hold onto the sadness. A part of me that misses, yes misses, those days that I spent curled up in a ball ignoring phone calls and crying over his clothes. Caleb felt so close to me then. Now he is becoming more and more of a memory, something of my past, a sad thing that happened one April morning. And I HATE that. But I dont know what to do about it. I cant have both worlds. I cant grieve over Caleb intensely right now  because 1)I have done that already and 2) My life now wont let me. Abigail requires me to live-not just exist.

Grief is so crazy and so interesting. At first it striped me of who I was. Everything I knew to be true about myself was just gone in one moment. Simple things were hard. Things that used to bring me joy didnt. I would look in the mirror and not recognize myself. Life went from light to dark in an instant. At first I kicked and screamed and stomped my foot. But then,  I gave in and got used to the dark. I figured things out there. I finally got to a place where I felt comfortable with the new me grief had handed me. I didnt need the joy, I accepted the sadness and found beauty in it. I didnt need to enjoy life, I could continue to mourn with those who mourn. I had finally surrendered the last bits of "me" and gave into the waves of grief.

Then without asking for it or seeking it out, my old self came back. So now I have to figure this old self out again and how to mesh it with the new self. I am starting to sound crazy and I promise I am not, but I do feel torn. Torn between the land of the living and the land of the dead, which isnt really new; Its just  that these days I am doing more on the living side than the dead side and that feels weird, really weird.

So I guess I'll just keep stepping because that is what I have done all along this terrible but beautiful journey. Dark then light. I got good at dying, real used to Good Friday. Standing at the cross was all I knew. How is it that now it's the Easter Sunday kind of living I am struggling with? I know that living in the resurrection does not mean leaving behind Caleb. Why does it feel like that though? The further I get from my own "good Friday," the more I want it back. Strange, but that is where I am at now.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Glad they dont understand

I was reading an article today here.  I could relate. After spending time with another babyloss mom this week, she mentioned the same thing, "people just don't understand." And she is right, they don't. But there is such a big part of me that is glad they don't understand. Glad they never had to burry a child or leave the hospital empty handed. I have spent almost 16 months grieving the loss of my son and there have been plenty of times that I felt let down by others. Someone telling me to do this, or that this would help, or that I just have to move on. People saying things that hurt so bad without them even realizing it. And at first (ok, maybe for a while) I was upset. Frustrated that they didn't get it, that they couldn't understand. Mad that I was feeling let down by people closest to me. But then God helped me see that of course people will let me down. They are only human. Of course people cant understand. If they could- why would I need to go to God? There is a beauty in being "let down" with or "disappointed" by others while grieving. I think it helps us lean on God even more. So, like the article at the top says, I am glad others don't understand. It means 1)they haven't had to lose their child and 2) it helps me run to Jesus more and lean less on this world for comfort. It can be hard when others don't get it, but God always will. Sounds cheesy writing it, but its true. God understands my heart better than anyone and He is the ultimate healer. He has and always will "get it" and for that I am thankful.

Disclaimer- I dont mean to come off sounding like others have not helped me. They have! I have been helped so much by so many in the last 16 months, but there will always be a separation between those who really "get it" because they have been through it and those who have not.