Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The hole

The bereavement counselor told us that grieving...
would be hard work.
I had naturally scoffed at this,
but honestly she has been so right.
It is work.
Hard, tiring, absolutely draining work.
And this blog is part of the work I must do.
Writing about this crap totally sucks,
but its part of my work.
And if I don't do it, 
then things creep up on me
and it sends me back to square one.

When I don't write,
or express what is going on in my head.
Things go south real quick.
And then I have to ask myself why I don't write more.
And my answer is because I'm always expressing some negative
or sad emotion...
and I worry that people don't want to hear it.
But seriously, I'm over what others may think.
I can't be concerned with other people at all.
Because if I don't do my "work" I suffer even more.
My mind and body pay,
for what I don't put out there.

Because the truth is,
unless you have had a child die,
then no one really knows.

I guess the past weeks I have been trying to navigate through a fog that I don't understand. I don't want to be sad, I don't want to be consumed in thinking about Will.
But I just am.
This is not something that one can talk themselves out of. And often the reactions of others (or complete ignorance) slashes that wound right back open.
And I'm left here bleeding all over again.

Mother's Day.
My body knew.
And my heart ached like nothing before.
And it all began days ahead...the constant sleeping, the wringing of my hands, the sobbing, the complete and utter feeling of hopelessness.
And the anger at God.

I found a journal entry from exactly a year ago.
When we got Will's prognosis, and I prayed that he either be healed
or that he go quickly.
I am now, 100% convinced, that I had no idea what I was asking for.
Because now?
There is no way in hell that I ever would pray for anything short of a miracle.
Will dying would not be an option in my mind.
Because now the shock has worn off and the reality has set in.
And many times it is too much to bear.

The pain I have felt the past few weeks
has been constant.
And I sit around people,
who say stupid things,
and do ignorant things,
and just generally have no idea.
And often, mothers 
cannot even begin to imagine...don't want to even try to imagine...
what is now my reality...
but are quick to offer advice or just altogether ignore me.
Yes, I am now the elephant in the room.
And since I represent sadness and a mother's worst nightmare...
I am shunned, pushed away. Because after all, it makes people uncomfortable,
not knowing what to say,
not wanting their special moment to be tainted with memories of mine.

Or my other blessing are brought up,
like you have Tim,
or you have a beautiful house.
The house one annoys me the most.
I read an analogy while going through some bereavement things that went something like this:

When people make remarks and they generally don't understand what they are saying to the bereaved parent it sounds something like this, "Okay, let's have you stick out one of your hands and we'll cut it off. Of course it will hurt at first, but you should get over it because you still have your other hand, right? (such as my husband and nice house) In fact, after some time, which will be determined by me, not by you who lost your hand, I don't want to hear anything about you having a hard time with the loss of your hand. Don't ask me for help, because you just need to accept it and be strong. No complaining allowed, that would just mean that you are ungrateful for the hand you have left. And if you don't mind, please keep your suffering and stump of an arm hidden, it makes me feel uncomfortable....
and all this is coming from someone who is perfect, someone who has both their hands.

That pretty much sums it up.
And while being ignored, never made anyone feel good,
for me its like an extra punishment.
Like having Will die wasn't enough...
now I have lost the little ignorant bliss I had left in the world, and realize that I am now a totally different person...and I have lost faith in people that I thought would at least try to be what I need most right now ~ a friend.

Maybe I'll just be honest and say that I am jealous.
I'm jealous that I will never have a completely Happy Mother's Day.
My heart?
There will always be a hole, left from Will, that no one else can ever fill.
And I want that ignorance back.
That sheer, new mommy ignorance...
where everything goes according to plan.
And babies?
Well, they just don't die.

What has come out of of this so far?
Its hard to say.
While I know on my end, I have become more empathetic, caring, and numerous other things. I know that good has come for others, that Will's life has brought out a positive for people I don't even know.
But this is where I am honest in saying 
that I don't care how much good can come out of it.
I'm selfish and would much rather have him alive and here with me,
regardless of what good has come out of it.
Because our lives since last July?
Light years away from good.

This will be the hardest thing I do in my life.
Because it will be constant.
Constant work every single day,
until the day I go home to be with him once again...
to learn to live the best I can,
with only part of my heart.


4 comments:

Jones Clan said...

I completely understand what you mean in regards to people saying stupid things. It happened with us. And every single day, you just put one step in front of the other. And no one understands how hard it is to get out of bed and just move. No one gets that it's difficult to even open your eyes. There's this song with this quote that has often expressed what I'm feeling, "welcome to, something like elation when you first open your eyes, just cuz it means that you must've finally got to sleep last night." I think that people who have never endured a loss...so deep, so incomprehensible... I think that people who have never held their dying child can not comprehend or even begin to understand. I thought of you on Mother's Day. For a multitude of reasons. But mostly because you are a mother. And I hope that you were honored as a mother. I'm sure in every thing, there was a constant reminder of your loss: the stupid commercials, every time you walk in to a store, even at church (the place we go for comfort). Truth is...sometimes God sucks. Maybe that makes me blasphemous or a horrible Christian, but I believe it to be true. Sometimes he allows screwed up and awful situations to happen to us, and they're not fair, and they completely suck.
I admire your bravery to speak up. I have endured things in my life that I can not even put words to. Mostly because the pain is so deep that it's impossible to begin to talk about it. Or maybe I'm just a coward and I fear that if I start, I'll break in to a thousand pieces. I'm not sure. I just want you to know that you are not the elephant in the room. You are the warrior on the room. The strongest of all strong. The bravest of all brave. You are the heroine. You are the one that stands firm despite this living nightmare. And maybe other people are too "well intentioned" to see that, or they're too immersed in their own lives, I don't know. You will get through this. I'm sure you're thinking...shut up! I hear that all the time, and it doesn't comfort me right now. Take it from someone who has endured. Some way, some how...
I wish you the best of days today. And a million things to smile about. And perhaps, the ability to see the things to smile about, even though the fog is dense and thick.

Scanlans said...

I read Psalm 20 for my devotional the other night and immediately thought of you... I don't know you, but I know and can feel through your writing that God is with you and He's in so much anguish that for whatever reason He's not fixing things for you right now. I'm praying that he'll change His mind.. quickly...
Psalm 20: 1-5
In times of trouble, may the Lord answer your cry.
May the name of the God of Jacob keep you safe from all harm.
May he send you help from his sanctuary and strengthen you from Jerusalem.
May he remember all your gifts and look favorably on your burnt offerings.
May he grant your heart's desires and make all your plans succeed.
May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory and raise a victory banner in the name of our God.
May the Lord answer all your prayers.
Lindsay

Kimberly Rose Carolan said...

Yup, people are pretty ridiculous and say stupid things to try to be a comfort when really crying with you, listening and trying to understand (even if they have never had a loss) would be more in line with what you need. I pray the best for you and your husband and that people around you will get more in-tune with what grief is really all about!

Sincerely,

Kim Carolan
www.strategicbookpublishing.com/walkingthroughthevalleyoftheshadowofdeath.html
http://walkingthroughthevalleyoftheshadow.blogspot.com

KRISTYN said...

Julie:
All I can say is that I am so sorry. I know you have pain, but I do not know the depth of it. I wish I could heal you, but all I can do is pray for you and Tim. And, all I can do is try and laugh at the ignorance of people (one person said to me last week, "I hope they fix your son, b/c I don't know who would ever be with a person with a colostomy" - NICE. Really nice. I wish they had just slapped me, b/c it would not have hurt so badly. I do believe, though, that when people are uncomfortable, they stumble - big time. I will pray for you, and just send you love. I hope to not stumble, I will just send you my thoughts. (My cousin sent you a post - Lindsay - how sweet was that? She's a good girl!). Sending you an endless amount of love and support.... Love, kwb