Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Still a little bit to say

Life sucks you away from you grief.

At first, it is impossible to imagine that you could ever do anything but radiate pain with every heartbeat. You are alive and you child is not. That is a reality. It is not a dream. Try to make yourself understand that fact. Try.

Then you might fight tooth and nail for another chance. We did. And were rewarded with the best of all blessings - a child who lives in our home and fills our hearts, minds, and souls with another kind of reality. And this is a good reality.

But now, instead of waging epic battles with my grief on a day-to-day basis, I have to take it out, dust it off, and choose my moments to spend with it. As much as one can "control" any of it, I do that. It tuck it away in a quiet place, for a time when we can be alone.

I think that is why I have been so surprised by the (at times) massive pain and sorrow that has knocked me down in the last 6 weeks. The first unexpected blow was during the beautiful, Hallmark day that we had a couple of weeks before Christmas. We were setting up the tree, getting out decorations, listening to carols, eating pizza in the living room. Then, out of nowhere, I was bawling - wailing into my husband's chest. It was a perfect moment, spoiled only by the fact that it could never, ever be perfect. Eventually, I stopped crying and went back to my perfect day.

I wish I could say that this last week has been so easy to handle - have a good cry and have done with. It hasn't.

I know what started this. Firstly, it's January. January means "emotional instability" in my world. Secondly, I had a nice little conversation about knitting for charity with Kate over on Ravelry. On Sunday, I started thinking about maybe doing some projects for stillborn babies and donating them to the hospital. Which led to a repeating replay of C's birth, running over and over in my head. All day. I was really fun to be around.

Since Sunday, I have had a slightly anxious feeling, you know, that nervous feeling. I fall asleep after hours of laying in my bed, sleeping fitfully all night. I have that weight in my chest, that heavy feeling, that physical manifestation of depression and grief.

I have to admit something to you. It almost feels good, almost feels right. I am a mother who's son is dead. I should always feel it in the pit of my stomach, shouldn't I? When I feel good, I feel like I shouldn't. Like I don't love and miss my son as much as the rest of you do. Like I am some shallow person who can "put it behind her".

I don't want to put it behind me. But I don't know what's to be gained walking around on the verge of tears with an anxious stomach all day. I want it and I hate it at the same time.

When I was in labour with C., I was offered pain meds. I said no. I needed to feel the pain - for two reasons, really. First, the pain was giving me something real to feel and concentrate on. All I had to survive were the minutes between contractions. No thoughts of a future without C., going home without a baby. Just *pain*, no pain, *pain*, no pain. Second, I think I was punishing myself - my baby was dead before he was born and I was going to suffer for it. I think I still feel this way, that I must always hurt to suffer for the fact that I let him die. Maybe. I don't know.

If you were just an acquaintance of mine, you wouldn't know what was going on behind my eyes. I smile, plan a 2nd birthday party, greet people with "Happy New Year." We have meals on the table, the laundry is mostly done. But for the past few days, I have been in a low place.



Rosepetal said...

"I want it and hate it at the same time". I get this utterly and totally. Lots of love Delphi.

Catherine said...

The calendar has a way of reminding us...which can be good and bad.

I am a mother who's son is dead. I should always feel it in the pit of my stomach, shouldn't I?

I would just ask you one question...what would be gained by walking around this? I think a better tribute to our children is that we carry their love with us forward with happiness. Not to say you shouldn't miss your child...oh...I'm not saying this right...

I don't want to seem like I'm saying, "Just be happy." That's not what I mean at all. But I think that choosing your moments of grief is entirely appropriate and as "right" as anything can be in all of this. (or maybe I'm just justifying my own behavior...it's impossible to tell anymore)

Laura said...

January does this to me, too. I woke up crying this morning. You described perfectly the feeling that I've had since Christmas. Love to you, D.

delphi said...

Thanks, all.

I think I know what you're saying, Catherine, and I agree. Well, my head agrees. Its the heart that I constantly have to wrestle with. And I certainly know that the distinction between justification of personal behaviour and the "right" thing is a line that is almost impossible to see.

Julia said...

I am still where I can't control the large waves, and where there is a constant undercurrent at all times. But I can see that in time I might be where I am less aware of the undercurrent, where I would have to pick my moments to call it up. I think it's natural, and I don't necessarily think it takes us farther away from our missing children. More like makes them a more integrated parts of us, if that makes any sense. I have no clue, of course, how I would feel about arriving at such a place, but I am hoping that I will be ok with it, that I will draw comfort from the knowledge that the undercurrent is always there, just less obvious.
Peace to you these difficult days.

Sunshine T said...

I just started reading blogs on Infant Loss and ran across yours and started to read and I just want to say that I know how you feel. I lost my son April 21, 2008. I was 18 weeks along (well that is what the md said) but i fell as though I was further along and they didnt want to listen. but thats besides the point. I have been struggling with a lot of emotions that I want to blog but I feel like I would be rambling. Do you think that blogging helps? Let me know what you think. Thank you. I am so very sorry for your loss as well.

Carina said...

I get this. I truly get this. For a fleeting second I wished that I didn't because that would mean that all my children are still with me. Not that the ones I still have isn't important. Not that they don't make me happy. It is simply not the same.

kate said...

I feel bad that i didn't see that you had posted. Because, you know, i have never managed to get my life in enough order to have some kind of feed or reader or whatever it is that tells you when people post. sigh.

I hate that every year makes me feel 'better', and the price of that is that it makes me feel that i am leaving Nicolas farther behind. Yet, i also hate getting blindsided by his absence -- this Xmas for example...tree up, snow falling, kids playing in front of the tree, Nutcracker in the background...what more could you ask for?...it's like a kick in the head.