Wednesday, June 6, 2012

How to Move forward

Two posts in one day, I realize people will be shocked. They are two entirely different posts. The first post was for family, this post is a heartfelt outpouring of grief that is best understood by others who have walked in our shoes relating to the loss of a child. Memorial Day was recently. I have been struggling so hard with grief ever since. I realize that feelings I will express here about guilt seem pointless. My head knows what happened to Mason was not my fault. Sometimes it is hard to tell my heart that. No amount of time, or counseling, or prayer seems to completely remove those feelings of guilt. In my case, I had a perfectly healthy baby boy, and my cervix was too weak to carry him to term. I was betrayed by my own body. My son was betrayed by my body. My son died because my body failed both of us. Memorial day seems to have increased the feelings of guilt and thus the feelings of grief. I feel so guilty for not being able to be there at his gravesite on that day. I hate that I had to leave him. I hate myself for the need to have a gravesite to visit even occurred at all. It is a terrible combination and I am unsure how to completely let those feelings go. I have come to realize several things through the counseling I do with other mothers new to this situation. Losing a baby is unfair. Grief is unfair. A grieving person will act unfairly. Friends and family can act unfairly towards a grieving person. Life is unfair. I know that I have been hurt by friends and family while I experienced this journey. There really is no excuse. I always thought before this happened that if something bad were to happen, I would be able to handle it with grace and poise and keep my pain to myself. That was not always the case, as it is not always the case with most grieving people. When a woman goes through the pain of labor and childbirth, it is usually followed by the most joyous event. When a woman is my situation goes through the pain, once the delivery is over, pain even more gut-wrenching begins. The pain of watching my son pass away. The pain of planning a funeral for my child. The pain of attending a funeral for my child. The pain of picking a casket and a headstone for my child. The pain of going to the cemetery and seeing a tiny, fresh mound of earth where my child was laid to rest. I cannot even begin to describe to you the pain I felt on the inside. I wanted to shut everything and everyone out. I thought if I could block everyone out, I could block the pain too. Because of my attempt to block the pain, I also blocked some of the best things about me. I have said before that grief is selfish, and it truly is. A bigger person would have been able to go visit friends and families who had babies in the months after, I couldn't, or wouldn't do it. The thought of going to the same hospital, on the same floor, in a room that looked exactly the same as I was in during the most agonizing and heart-crushing event of my life overwhelmed me. I could not push past the pain and even fear and bring myself to do it. There was one time in particular where I made it all the way to the hospital lobby before I began to almost panic. My throat felt tight, my chest hurt, my knees felt like jelly, and I couldn't seem to take a breath. I did the gutless thing and fled. I am truly sorry for the friends and family for whom I could not support in the way they wanted. It was never meant to cause pain, or anger. Other times I was so short tempered and lashed out. A bigger person would have more restraint. I didn't. I was angry and bitter. I was so tired from crying myself to sleep and then having nightmares when I did sleep. I was tired of cruel comments like "you should be over this" and "you still have two other kids". My fuse was short and there are times where I should have bit my tongue and had more patience. I am truly sorry for that. I still struggle with this sometimes. It seems like I have had a personality change since losing Mason. I struggle to find compassion when others need to vent about their children or babies. I struggle to find compassion for people who I feel should still talk about Mason to me. I struggle to find forgiveness for those that hurt us during that time. I struggle to let Noah and Mina be independent from Jake and I because the fear of losing them overwhelms me. I struggle to let Jamie and Linda go out of my sight with friends because again, I think I cannot survive another loss. I don't know if I will ever be the person I think I ought to. I think we are often times hardest on ourselves. I do know that I am a work in progress and that God has not finished healing me, nor has He finished molding me in his image. To my readers who are here for the same reason, I hear the pain and guilt and even shame in your stories and it hurts me. Yet, I can't tell you to let go of it and move forward because I still struggle with this. All I can do is promise to pray for you as you are molded, and to pray for me as well. There are people I need to seek forgiveness from, and people I need to forgive should they ever ask for it. There are feelings of fear, guilt, and anger I need to let go of and you need to as well. I don't know how, but I do know we will get there. We are not alone, we have a Father in Heaven who loves us, we serve a Risen Savior, and we have each other. We also have the greatest Healer of all whom by his sacrifice on the cross has allowed us to have the chance to be with our babies again. I am trying to dwell on that fact and allow myself to fully feel the joy that comes from knowing Christ. That is my desire for you as well. As always, please message me if you would like further discussion on any of these topics. I will be more than happy to respond offline. Thank you Father for all of these gifts.