Wednesday, April 17, 2013

April 17, 2013 - Two months and two days

Joe has been gone for two months and two days.  Whoever said time heals all wounds didn’t have a fucking clue and certainly never lost a child.

If it’s not obvious already, I’m still at ‘angry’ on the Kubler-Ross model for stages of grief.  I’m teetering on the edge of depression but my anger keeps me from going over the edge and I’m living my life for spite at this point.

One of the hardest parts of this has been all the other losses that I am reminded of in our time of need.  I imagine it’s a lot like the way comfort food reminds you of good, contented times.  Grief has a way of reminding me how bad I have felt in the past.  There are some huge voids in my life and it’s easier to focus my energy on those who are living because ultimately, I can’t get mad at Joe for leaving.

A few days ago my husband and I were driving home from the park with a sleeping little boy in the back seat and we heard the news about the bombing in Boston.  Back home the thought has always been that the U.S. is one big neighborhood and anyone who lives there must be just down the road from each other.  And yet the phone never rang.  Nobody emailed.  Nobody texted.  Don’t worry.  We’re fine.  Thanks for wondering.  And then I remind myself that if Joe’s death didn’t warrant reaching out, it’s delusional to think a bomb in Boston would trigger any emotion.

I read a blog post a couple of weeks ago from a man who had lost a child and he spoke about the dysfunction he had grown up with being even more apparent in his time of need.  I felt like yelling at the computer screen I KNOW!  This has been the absolute loneliest time of my life.  I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. 

And though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death….

I met a woman in the park who had a little boy about H’s age and they both had crazy, curly blond hair.  She was carrying her six-month-old son in her arms.  She told me how jealous her first son was when his brother arrived.  She said it was hell to see how angry he was.  Then she added, actually it was heartbreaking.

Her kids were the same ages mine would have been apart.  Yeah, heartbreaking came to mind for me too.

There are no words that take away the pain. The loss compounded with the loss of the friendships I thought I had really starts to feel like I am never going to recover.  You waste so much time wondering what the hell is wrong with the world and lashing out and taking it out on those who ARE there – and it’s all to avoid feeling what is really wrong in your life…that you have to go on without someone who you planned to have in your life forever. 

I keep promising myself that although I might not be able to fight right now I am taking names and people better look out when I get back on my feet.  It’s a load of shit.  I’m not going to be closed off from the world because of losing Joe.  My life is already opening up to people I never would have met if not for him.  I swear he is looking out for me and making sure I take care of myself and his brother and his dad.  We are still a family.  He has made my life so much more meaningful and that is precisely why it’s so hard to not have him here.  Imagine what he would have done with more time.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April 2, 2013 - Six weeks and four days

Joe was stillborn a little over six weeks ago.  I am not equipped to deal with losing a baby.  A child.  A person whose every cell came from my own body save for one.

I can’t remember how pregnant I should be.  I try to do the math and my brain stops working.  I just know I should be pregnant and something is terribly, terribly wrong.

I have learned a lot from Joe.  I’ve had things cross my mind that I never dreamed I could consider.  I understand suicide more now.  I don’t mean the pity-seeking, attention-grabbing attempts at suicide.  I mean the deliberate, gun in the mouth, drive off a cliff, no turning back suicides.  Maybe it isn’t selfishness that drives people to suicide like I once believed.  Perhaps sometimes it’s the only way to stop the pain. 

I’ve been having panic attacks again.  Trouble sleeping, trouble eating.  All the stuff I had gotten a handle on and they are back with a vengeance.  The good news is that I am an old pro at battling depression.  In a way, maybe being a survivor long before I ever got pregnant has prepared me for this.

I have to admit – I thought I had done my time.  After the years of sexual abuse and physical abuse and mental abuse – I really believed my life had turned around for the better and it would be mostly smooth sailing.  Through the entire pregnancy I felt like this was happening to someone else somewhere for real but when the time came, I would have a miracle baby who beat the odds and wouldn’t have any of the problems the doctors were sure he would have. 

Life just keeps on trucking.  Doesn’t matter how I feel or how bad I want things to slow down so I can catch my breath.  The advice I keep getting is ‘do the work’ and ‘sit with the grief.’  It’s as if they don’t know I’m already carrying it around with me everywhere I go.  I can’t outrun it.  I can only try to run with it strapped to my back.  This is who I am now.  A mother of two who only kisses one of them goodnight.

Yes I am very grateful for H but that guilt-laced approach of telling me how worse other people have it or be thankful for what you have – does NOTHING for grief.  It doesn’t make Joe any less gone.

I have given myself permission to be impatient, bitchy, standoffish, unreliable, late, emotional, irrational, needy, clingy, ridiculous, irresponsible, impulsive, weepy, sad, infuriated, suspicious, contemplative, sleepy, high, drunk, repulsed, cold, bitter, annoying, obsessive, tactile, spacey, jealous, vengeful…and that’s all before second breakfast.

I get the feeling that’s been the key to healing all this time.   Taking care of myself first.  Honoring my feelings even if they’re ugly.  If that’s what I’m supposed to learn from all this, great, I’m done.  I’d like my son back now please.