Thursday, August 10, 2006

I'll tell you when you're wallowing

When Alex died, a friend emailed me and asked about him. I was in those initial moments when I feared that my grief would frighten friends away and I told her so. She told me she loved me and that I could trust her to tell me when I was merely engaging in self-indulgent wallowing. She hasn't said anything about it since.

I have been grieving for one reason or another for over a year.

God, to see that statement typed out like that makes me sound so pitiful. And I suppose I am, to some extent. So...

How long is too long? Do I start all over every time the universe steals a child from my belly? Or am I supposed to start off further along down the road, taking less time to travel the path to "healed?"

At this point, I don't even know if I'm really grieving or if I've stumbled into full blown depression. I am impatient with myself and I know others are impatient with me. But at the same time, I can't shake it. I'm not feeling this way out of a sense of obligation to my children. I just feel this's not a conscious choice.

How do I get out of this? Can I get out of this? Is it too early to expect that I could get out of it?

One year ago today I was writing about visiting the perinatologist for our 'preconception consultation.' There was information and conflict, but there was hope. That hope now has a name and is buried next to his brother.

And today here I sit with little to no hope and this blanket of sadness. At one point, I thought I kept it surrounding me because it was comfortable, having become something I was used to carrying with me. But now I realize it's with me not because I want it there, but because it is somehow attached to me...I am not able to rid myself of it.

Part of me feels like it's ok. I keep telling myself that three months isn't that long in the grand scheme of things. At three months out from losing Alex I was still crying daily.

But part of me feels like I'm an old pro at this and I should just be over it already. I mean really, it's not like this is new or anything. So I don't understand why it hurts so much.

I'm going tonight to plant flowers on my sons' graves. I used to go all the time and I looked forward to the catharsis because there are, in my opinion, no better cleansing tears than cemetery tears. I don't do this much anymore because we only have one car and I don't have the freedom to go at will. But I will go tonight and I don't mind admitting that I'm afraid of the tears. I'm afraid of the feelings they will bring forth and I'm afraid of what will be left of me after the catharsis is over.


Bronwyn said...

(((Big hug))) I wish I could take even a fraction of your pain away from you.

Lorem ipsum said...

Catherine, you seem to be handling this with such grace. And yes, there will be still you left, every step of this journey. Lovely, wise, wonderful you.

Jayne said...

Don't rush your grieving process. You're putting even more pressure on yourself.
Of course, I cannot even begin to imagine what you're going through but I would think that you shouldn't even expect any real beginning to your healing until after your due date. I think that will be a really tough time for you. I am so sorry for your losses.

chaos_girl said...

You aren't wallowing. I'm surprised you are even doing as well as it sounds like in your blog...

I feel that grief like this is just like a physical wound... Since you've had the scab, that was just partially beginning to heal, ripped wide open- I expect that it will take longer to overcome this grief then for someone who has only lost one child. I wish I had a nicer answer, I really wish I do.

But when you suffer multiple losses- it compounds your original grief. So now you aren't just mourning the loss of one child, you are actively mourning the loss of two children...

Don't put a time limit on your grief and don't set your clock by what the world expects of you- this is your life, your heart- you need to grieve as long as you find its necessary.

stat763 said...

Hi. I am so sorry for what you have been through and what you are going through. Take your time and grieve for as long as you need to grieve. I hope going to your sons' graves brought you some comfort.