Thursday, October 19, 2006

I would kill for your problems

How do I deal with this?

I keep thinking, "I would do almost anything for your problems." I don't want to belittle other people's issues...but I just can't seem to stop my brain from going to that place where I think, "At least your kids are alive." And then the guilt for thinking that sets in and I beat myself up pretty well.

It seems I've got the grieving part of this routine down pretty well. Now I just need some help on the healing part of it.

Thoughts?

9 comments:

Megan said...

I do the same thing with some people and I haven't lost a child Kate. So please don't feel bad. :(

Hedda said...

I can't tell you how many times I've had that thought. People whose children get cancer say that is their worst nightmare. It makes you want to say that it shouldn't be their worst nightmare. Their worst nightmare is losing a child.

I had a hard time going back to work and listening to everyone complain about such menial things. I just wanted to say, don't you understand and shake them.

It becomes one of things that you learn to ignore.

One day at a time. One foot in front of the other. That's the best advice I can give.

Holley said...

I think it's helpful to remember that even the people complaining about the little things have probably had at least one or two of the big things happen to them. Sometimes it's just easier to give voice to the little things that drive us all crazy, rather than the big things that overwhelm us.

I get the cancer thing: not only are they watching their precious child suffer, but everyday they are faced with the fear and the reality that their child could lose that battle and die. It's hard watching someone you love die by inches. It's hard when someone you love dies without warning. It all sucks.

Yup. Their kids are alive. They are incredibly fortunate, and we all know how quickly that can change. My own brain is in a really strange place right now, so forgive me for rambling.

Don't beat yourself up for simply having regular human feelings. Grief is on-going and healing takes quite awhile. I wish there was a better system. Just from what I've seen and read, you are healing, it just isn't moving as quickly as you would prefer.

Big hugs.

Angela said...

Hi Catherine.

I found your blog through Sarah's (Surviving My Loss) several months ago and have been an avid reader ever since. I think it's finally time to stop lurking and introduce myself!

I lost my first and only baby in a very early miscarriage this spring. We weren't planning, there were a lot of concerns about me being able to raise a baby as well as finish university, and I didn't fully realize how much I want that baby until it was gone... but losing it blindsided me. I've spent the last 5 1/2 months grappling with what actually happened, grieving, and trying to find peace.

I find myself thinking things along the lines of "god, I wish I had your problems" a LOT. I try and remind myself that something equally as earth-shaking could have happened to them, but still, it's hard to have sympathy for the rich girl complaining that her daddy's not paying her tuition anymore, you know? I only wish that was my biggest issue in life. So, yeah, I guess I don't really have any "advice" on that one, ha.

Sorry this is a bit of an awkward comment, I'm not really sure what to say.....but I just wanted to let you know that reading your blog has helped give me strength in living with the loss of my baby. I cannot even imagine how awful it must be for you to have lost two of your precious little boys.

I hope I haven't said anything out of line! Sending good energy---Angela

Kathy McC said...

Yeah, I think it's always good to remember that people who complain about the small things have problems of their own that we don't know about.

I usually try to remember that when I hear people complain about pregnancy and whether or not they REALLY can handle more children. I remember that they have other issues...and I just try to let it go.

Renae said...

Yep, I do that too. But I think I forget that everyone has their problems. The rest of us can't always see them but they're ususally there.

Last night I wanted to choke the woman next to me at Bible study. She had 13 kids! Freaking 13! And all alive. And then I found out at least 5 of them were adopted because they were in horrible situations. Which bumped her up a little in my book. But I still sat there and thought, Could you not spread the wealth around God? All we want is one. How come we can't even have one. But then I think Thank God Hubs is alive and doesn't have cancer and I think of our friend Jenny who lost her husband a year ago at 29 and is doesn't know if she will ever get married again.

So yeah, I think that too, but we all have our own baggage, and who knows when someone else's might be heavier than our's.

Giantsknitter said...

I think it's important to remember that we all have burdens and hardships in life and that they are relative to whatever our situation is. What might seem trivial to you may be gigantic to someone else.

Okay, you lost two babies and I grieve for you myself.

Now, my story: I have a daughter who at the ripe old age of thirteen became a heroin addict. I watched as she ruined her life and the rest of our families lives. I spent sleepless nights wondering where she was, if she was dead or alive, if she was being raped by a dealer. Her life was out of control and so was mine in my efforts to "save" her. Tens of thousands of dollars on rehab and counseling to no avail. She spent three years in prison for a robbery that her boyfriend committed and she abetted (you're a lawyer, is that the right word?)
Well, she's still alive - 22 years old - living a state away and seems to be doing well but, it's one day at a time and things could change in an instant. My life has been an absolute nightmare.

Do I think my problems are bigger than yours? Nope. They're the same size - just different in nature. I hope that someday you will see through your pain and understand...we each carry our burdens. No matter how terrible, no matter how dark, no matter how heavy we must each find a way to move forward and not judge each other too harshly.

Trish said...

Wow. I can so relate to this. I do this each and every time I hear someones problem.
I think losing a child does set one apart from the rest.
You've seen and walked through hell. REal hell.
Everything else is small stuff. Well, except watching and waiting for your child to die. That's a special kind of hell.
I don't think it means lack of empathy, I think it means possession of perspective and it's one of the rarest gifts one receives from losing their child.
It does make me impatient with people and their whining, though.
With Understanding, Trish

Elizabeth said...

I think the same thing.


I keep hearing people saying "this is a parent's worse nightmare" when their child has cancer or has surgery or is an accident. It drives me crazy. A parent's worse nightmare is losing a child.

I've heard the greiving never stops. I don't know when the healing starts.