I saw this image on a support group website (Dear me, yes, I have started to read those, too.) The posted wanted to know if it signified “grief”.
And I think it does. It is long and lonely and so deep grieving. All others can see it the above-water grief. They just can’t imagine the depths of this grief. Nobody. Nobody can be with me at the depths of this grief at this time and take away my loneliness. Trevor is doing everything he can for me, but he is so strong. Maybe just strong for me. But I am alone in my despair.
Those that have felt “grief” of any loss (be it a brother, a husband, a father) can just talk to me about it and they way they felt and how they dealt it with. That at least makes me feel sure I am not over-reacting and it is temporary. Just hearing them talk and talking to them about what I am going through has kept me sane. Several people have suggested I might try seeing a grief counselor or a retreat for women who have lost their children. (But as I told Mags: don’t you know that RETREAT is code for “YOU STUPID FUCKING HIPPIE!) Now I am starting to think that might help me. It might at least stop me working for a few days!
My friend Hugh sent me a link to the 7 stages of Grief. I think I lived a long time in the first stage, in the only part of the iceberg you can see above the water. Wow, am I really only in stage 2? When will I be at stage 7? I am a producer, OCD and uptight, dammit, I need more exact timeframes 😉 . I am so impatient, but I am starting to think that patience and rest is part of the healing process.
When well-meaning people say to me “I can imagine how difficult this is for you”, it doesn’t make me angry, but it is almost like I can’t hear it. Even when I was pregnant, if I heard about someone losing a baby, I would think “OMG how awful” and think I was emphasizing. It absolutely didn’t occur to me that I would feel like this. I thought I would feel sad, get on with it, and just have another go at having a baby asap – the long end of that tail was adoption and fairly soon it would all be tickety-boo. In the first couple of weeks, I read a couple of online blogs from people going through this and just though “oh, pull yourself together”.
It has been a very humbling experience for me.
I have realized what wonderful friends I have. I have always known this, but I have never really seen it in action like this. Not from the wider group of friends I have. I have started not puking when people use the word “community” around me. My friends are falling over themselves to look after me and show me their love and compassion. I actually have to fight them away a little now as socializing tires me out. I hope this doesn’t sound ungrateful, as I will be eternally grateful to the people I have around me and maybe I will value THEIR love even more. As awful and painful as it is (and yes, maybe you never fully heal because you aren’t supposed to), it is enlightening and ultimately something you grow from.
Of course, I want to get pregnant again, and I will be very very sad if I can’t get pregnant. But maybe something wonderful will happen. Maybe I will get the twins I always wanted. (Molly’s visions showed me with them, maybe she isn’t mad – LOL!) Maybe I will slow down at work and start to enjoy life in the moment, rather than cram every second of every day with something. I hear some people get over the need for children, enjoy the extra freedom and money they have. There is always a silver lining.
As Kim said to me ‘When the student is ready the teacher will come’. Maybe I am more ready now, just a little bit more open to learning things that can’t be PROVED?
I have read a lot of stories online. Sometimes this helps and sometimes it does not. But a caring soul on send me an article which apparently “proves” that mother and soul are connected at a celluar level (I didn’t look up the credentials of the study. Maybe it is all bullshit. Who cares? Maybe I will just believe anything so I am not ashamed at feeling like this? Maybe I would like to believe that science can PROVE there is a reason I should feel so shit?)
I am open to seeing a counselor and I probably will, since a friend sent me the details of someone who helped him, who takes our insurance.
Other people have suggested I might try a support group. I don’t know if I could bear that (or maybe it is that I don’t know if I could “bare” it like that.). I went to one once to support a friend and they all held hands at the beginning and ommed! I nearly threw up. I couldn’t wait to get away from there fast enough. (Trevor said I might like it “now that you are a hippie” – LOL!) And actually, in that one, I might have been reacting to the fact that their moment of silence was not an “om”, it was a very particular Christian prayer – and I despise organized religion.
Maybe I could believe in something like Buddhism? (I have been to the Dalai Lama’s house in India, but that is a different story 😉 .) I don’t know much about it, but I could look it up.
I think I might also be open to reading some of the books on dealing with grief that some of my friends have recommended. 2 weeks ago, I would have just rolled my eyes at that.
Here are a few I have heard about. I would love some feedback if anyone had read any of them. (Don’t click on any of these if you don’t believe in self-help books. Just 4-weeks ago, I would have thought was wallow-in-your-own-grief-hippie-bullshit – and believed I could just pull myself up by my own bootstraps and carried on.) Nope, this one got me. Welcome to the club, Nina. We can all fall down.
When I am back from Canada we can talk if you want… I have lived through this, and right now am still grieving over my father’s passing on October 5th.
It is never easy, and even today, 30 years after losing my first child at 5 1/2 months, I still get teary eyed thinking about it and wonder what I could have done to prevent it, was it my fault? The answer is unfortunately..no, there is nothing that you did and nothing that will change the fact that it is done.
You are a strong woman, and you WILL live through this. I am so glad you have such strong friends around you and such a strong hubby, but don’t forget he is hurting too though, so be strong for him ❤
Love ya Nina!
P.S. A friend once told me that the best gift I could ever give myself was therapy, and she was 100% correct, take the therapeutic help where ever it comes from
FYI the 7 stages of grief do not necessarily go in order. You can also slip into any one of them more than once and it may be a very long time before you’re really through it.
I enjoy your attitude. I don’t think you’re a “hippie”. I’m much more hippie than you. Have you gone to a tarot reader or stuff like that? LOL
I’m glad that you’ve found a good support in friends and family, and even having to fend them off. Wow, count your blessings. They are going to help you now when you wish you didn’t know what you know now. I’ll try to keep checking in on you. Take care.
Hi Dyan (Biatch). I would love to talk in person. I have always loved and respected you and would love to spend more time talking. Wow, i wish neither of us had any experience in this 🙂 Give me a couple of weeks to get better enough to go to work, then let’s have lunch. And yes, I will “treat” myself to a therapist. Our co. insurance covers 10 a year anyway.
Hi Janice, LOL – I haven’t tried Taro this time. I used to read them for people when I was a kid. I really think kids are more attuned spiritiually and life rubs if out of us. I DID see a fortune teller for a friend a few years ago. She told me I would fall pregnant with twins last year and have my babies. So much for that. (Although technically, since my blood numbers were so high, and I had a very heavy bleed early on, both my doctor and I think I fell pregnant with twins, due to the IVF, and lost one of them in the first month. So maybe…) I guess I should have bee more specific: “do you see me with a live child of at least 2 years old”?
Please do look in on me. It really helps me to know that at least SOME people don’t think I am the nutjob I seem to my friends!
Also book suggestions!
An aunt sent me “Tear Soup” — which is a picture book that centers on a metaphor that grieving is making soup with your tears. It is very general and definitely fits well with the loss of a baby as well as the loss of any other loved one or fertility struggles in general. I find comfort in it. I like to read it when I need help letting the emotion flow. It gets me going every time.
I’m currently reading “When It All Falls Apart” which is a book written by a Buddhist woman. Though I am not religious, I find much more comfort in Buddhist worldview than I do in any deist religions. Reading this book helps me to do the hard work of succumbing to my grief. It also motivated me to re-start my meditation practice, and I have learned a lot about myself and my sadness through practicing quietness.
I also truly, deeply loved Tig Notaro’s recent standup performance on her cancer. Cancer =/= dead baby, but it certainly is a big, sad, scary struggle that is hard to talk about publicly. I relate to so, so much of what she gets at (like having to sooth people because they’re so damn upset about YOUR bad news, or feeling like a drama queen when you’re just sticking to the facts, or how normal conversation just isn’t authentic in grief) You can find the full audio at Louis CK’s website for $5 (google Louis CK), or a brief section of it on last week’s This American Life (What Doesn’t Kill You) Hell, sometimes it just feels good to throw up your hands and laugh at your crummy situation.
As for groups, I go to one. It’s a group for infant loss. They’ve welcomed me. Sometimes it feels really good to go, and other times it makes me feel even more alone and as though I grieve differently from anyone else there.
But that’s the heart of it, isn’t it? Even among those who are also grieving, you’re still alone. Grief is a lonesome journey. You may share your loss with another person (like your husband), but your grief is yours and his is his, and you both have to travel your own separate and different roads through it. It sucks, but it’s a truth worth accepting early.
Love and strength to you.
Thank you so much! I am still on the fence about groups, but it is in my back pocket. I am going to try reading and therapy first. I really do believe what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and I also believe that you learn from everything in life and ultimately come out the other side a better person. I will look into all of your suggestions. Thank you for taking the time to leave them 🙂