Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Grief vs. Fear vs. Emptiness

"No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear."
- C.S. Lewis

It's been awhile since I actually posted on my blog. I have been writing and journaling quite a bit but as I have approached a large amount of anger, it seemed appropriate to keep those posts to myself, for now. (and it's not because of what you might think of me, I could honestly care less. It's simply because this kind of anger needs to be private for now.)

I've been handed, sent and offered many things to read. And quite honestly...in my opinion, most of the garb out there on grief is (said in my best English dialect)...RUBBISH. At least for ME I have found it to be. The stages of grief seem to laughable for the most part right now. I seem to go through all of these said "stages" in the course of one to two hours during a day and then wake up the next day moving through it again. These books walk you through...what is normal. Well, maybe for that person that wrote the book, but for me and my journey right now, I'm not your normal. And if what these books list ARE indeed, "normal", well....why start now? I have never been that.

I think the toughest thing for me right now is the fact that I am not just in pain or suffering but have to keep on thinking about the fact that I am in pain/suffer. I not only live each endless day in grief, but live each day thinking about living each day in grief. Do you follow?

And then there is fear. Fear of seeing people that may not know what has happened. Fear of stupid. (I could go on for this but I think you can know what I mean) Fear of decisions moving forward on trying again. Fear of going back to your workplace. Fear of encountering anything involving babies in public. It's all consuming at times. And fear mixed with grief then brings in words like postpartum and depression and anti-depressants......and then you have fear that you now have yet another label attached to you. It's not enough that you lost a baby prematurely, it's that now you have to say "I have postpartum"

And then finally I feel a tremendous amount of emptiness. I had a counselor ask me..."where are you right now?" And I replied with "Well, I still feel like I am in my wheelchair at the hospital doors, leaving. I am sitting with a box of created memories from 8 hours with Juliette. I am sitting there with my empty arms, yet it feels like I have a 40 pounds pressing down on them. I am sitting next to a woman in a wheelchair holding a beautiful baby boy. And I am sad. I am envious. I am afraid I will never be in her shoes. 2 woman, 2 different endings to their day of delivery. For me, that is where I am." My counselor was taken back by me responding in the physical sense rather than the emotional sense. But I know with the picture I gave her of where I was, she understood where I was emotionally. I was stuck in that place. In the hospital.

In the book Emma, by Charlotte Bronte she writes, "There is, I am convinced, no picture that conveys, in all its dreadfulness, a vision of sorrow, despairing, remediless supreme. If I could paint a picture, the canvas would show only a woman looking down at her empty arms."

This is where the last 4 weeks have taken me in this journey called grief that I don't believe has any "normal" journey. I have more to say, which will come next with a trip that Sammy and I were able to take this past weekend.


Tracie said...

Sweet friend, no one's journey is the same. The books may outline what some people go through, but everyone grieves in a very personal way. All that you are feeling right now is "normal" for you. Allow the grief to happen and don't let anyone tell you how you should feel. My heart aches for you and I am praying for so much comfort.

I love you!

PS - I know for my family, we grieve really hard each year in the month that we lost my brother and dad. Sometimes I feel horrible and then it hits me, oh it's October. It's been 7 years since I lost my dad and 16 since I lost my brother and I still miss them. And that's okay.

OneCrazyMomma said...

Colleen, I am glad you are writing again. I think about you often and can't imagine dealing with "empty arms". I do hope you realize that one day, not tomorrow or the next day, your smile will come easier and the pain will not be as intense. You are where you are for a reason no one can explain. I'm glad you cherish those 8hrs because they will help bring you to your next chapter. You and Sam will be amazing parents one day, of this I'm sure. Embrace the anger and fear and know there is love and best wishes for you right here in this post. Keep the faith.

Kirsten said...

Hey Colleen, I read this when you first posted but didn't get to comment until now. I so agree with you that there is no normal grief pattern. It's all over the place, one minute you're fine and the next you're not. There is no order for the emotions to follow and its annoying when people try to make you fit some non-existent grief mold. You are so normal and it's more than okay to feel whatever the emotion of the moment happens to be. But sometimes you just don't want to feel any of it. I'm hurting for you and praying for you to have strength and for God to hold you close to Him.