Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grief Chronicles, Volume 7

1. Faith and Loss.

I have been ruminating on how to appropriately write this for weeks now. Seems like when I read someone else’s account of grief (blog, book, etc), the first thing I look for if they address this issue and how they have made sense of it in their own hearts and minds. I think this is one of the harder things to sort out. Lots of people don’t write about it because they are too hurt. But, it seems like everyone I talk to about this experiences anger at God and contemplates their faith over all. How could this happen to me? Why my child? What did I do to deserve this? It is a common thought process. I would be lying if I said my faith wasn’t shaken by this loss. I have read a lot of stuff by now, and as sad and upset as I am over the loss of Noah, I still hold my faith in God. Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of moments when I am angry that he took my son. How is that God’s best? But, in the end I need to believe that there is a heaven. Otherwise, where is Noah? I hate the thought that this sweet, amazing person just ceased to exist and he is no longer out there anywhere. What a waste that would be! I also need to believe that there was a purpose in his death. It’s the whole “drop a rock into a pond and the ripples it creates in the water are far reaching” philosophy. I may never know or understand why my son was the one chosen for this, but I need to believe that it is because it was part of a whole chain of events that ultimately leads to good somewhere down the line. Like, if we can change some laws in this state so that others don’t have to go through what I am going through for example. Everything that happens, every decision we make has a tremendous impact on our family, friends, community, environment, etc. We are not always given the knowledge of why and how this happens because our heads would explode. God somehow keeps track of it all and makes the fabric of life weave together in some way that makes sense and benefits us all in some way or another. I think that he expects us to be angry at him when things like this happen. He is big and can take quite a lot from us. Lord knows I have called him just about every name in the book. But, because of the reasons I have just mentioned, I come back and try again. Keep going. Pray that my assumptions are correct. I need to believe that someday after a long and hopefully fulfilling life, I will be reunited with my boy and we can spend an eternity together, living out the life that we should have had here on earth.

2. I feel very self-conscious a lot.

I don’t know how or why, but at many times throughout the day, I feel very unsure of myself, and self-conscious. Over what? Sometimes it is something I said to someone, and I wonder if they took it the wrong way. Or, I look at my to do list and wonder how on earth I am going to do everything. Or, it is just for no good reason at all. I just bump along, and there it is. It is the strangest form of sadness. It takes me a second to breathe, try to relax and get sucked back into whatever was occupying my attention when it hit me. I have pretty much always been someone who possessed a strong sense of self, so this is a new one for me. I really don’t like it at all. Maybe on some subconscious level, it is a strange way of feeling out of place. Like I really should be doing something else with my life, which I really should be, but here I am trying to carry on like normal in my ordinary life pre-Noah. There is something really wrong about doing that, but I don’t have a choice.

3. Other people’s medical emergencies affect me deeply.

I get very emotional when I see an ambulance go by me, sirens on and flying down the street. I was watching the Biggest Loser on Tuesday, and one of the contestants passed out during a workout. They aired the whole dramatic scene with paramedics rapidly with panic stricken voices trying to get her to squeeze their hand and begging her to open her eyes, while she sat there fading away and pale as can be. (She ended up being fine). I am horrified, and a big part of me is taken back to the night that Noah died. For those of us that are conscious and aware of our surroundings while our loved one is going through it, it is extremely traumatic. I think you would be a pretty cold person not to be effected. It’s pretty much impossible not to be. I am more sensitive to it after having lived it. I will never be able to watch the medical mysteries shows any more (not that I could in the first place). And I usually end up having to leave the room when people start telling stories of someone else’s emergencies. It hurts too much. Ever since Chris broke his hands three years ago, I have had a kinder heart towards families that go through this sort of thing. Now after losing Noah, I can’t even come into contact with it without feeling that same panic as if I was there again that night.

4. I have lost the ability to sit quietly with myself.

Sitting quietly with myself with my own thoughts is really hard. The silence is deafening. I can’t help mulling over my life, and focusing in on the hardest parts. I easily get sad and angry. Reading a book is impossible. As hard as I try to focus on what I am reading, my thoughts eventually wander and I get sucked down into my own heart and mind. The one thing that I can do while being quiet with myself is knit. I have never done this before. Some of the ladies at my church have taught me, and I think because it is a new skill, I have to think about what I am doing, but yet it is pretty easy to do, so it doesn’t require too much of me. Because I can do this activity easily enough and it quiets the uglier parts of my life from my mind, maybe this will go away with time. I certainly hope so.

5. I think about him all the time.

He is the first thing I think about when I wake up. He is the last thing I think about when I go to bed. I dream about him. He is there in my heart and mind when I brush my teeth, eat lunch, pay bills, cook, drive, walk the dog, watch TV, surf the internet, work, clean, grocery shop, exercise, fold laundry, breathe, the list goes on. Noah is everywhere. I realize that he is not what everyone thinks about, so I do my best to try to smile, laugh, and carry on normal conversations about ordinary things. But he is all I can think about. I am a fraud. The only conversation I can authentically hold is one about Noah.


Blogger Melanie said...

You aren't a fraud. You are a mother and your thoughts should be consumed by Noah. You would probably be surprised by how many people think of Noah on a very regular basis, even people like me that never got the chance to meet him.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Alyce said...

Yep, Melanie's right. No fraud. Just a person trying to integrate serious loss into her being for the first time.

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is so much here. And I have read it several times--and then thought about what my comments would be. I'm still not sure they help but I feel compelled all the same. The faith thing--oh so powerful. Someday--when and if you feel up to it--I will share my experience--and Fred's (my husbands's) experience with faith after Michael was given to us. I love so much that you are able to say what you feel, what you need and your thoughts every day. I know there are many--myself included--who wish they could have done the same. Sometimes I think this is what you are meant to do--for now. Speak of Noah and this horrific experience in a way that others will have some semblance of knowledge in what is happening deep down in your heart and soul. I am going to make it a point to visit with you the next time I'm in COS--if you just want to be quiet then quiet it is. If you want to tell me a million things about Noah, I'm all ears. I know--from all that I've witnessed that you have an amazing support system. I'd love to count myself as one in that list of many.

6:16 PM  

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