Friday, October 16, 2009

Grief Chronicles, Volume 9

1. I am closing off a bit.

I have always been pretty outgoing. We moved around a lot when I was growing up, so being friendly, and quickly finding my niche within a certain population of people got to be a matter of survival. It is a good skill to have. I am finding myself losing that somewhat after going through this. I make people cry all around me when I let them in on a small piece of my tragedy. People find it horrific and unfathomable (which it is). I don’t want to be the source of making people feel bad. I am kind of torn. I need to have people around me that care about me. I am now reluctant to expand my network. I will be on Facebook and find an old friend I haven’t talked to in years, and I wonder what they are up to, but I won’t go out and “friend” them because then they will want to know about me, and I am one big sad story right now. Or, if I find myself out somewhere at a party or some other gathering, and my radar picks up, and I see people I could potentially be friends with, I don’t go over and do what I do to start reaching out. I find myself closed off and in self-protection mode. From perfect strangers! Am I headed towards becoming a hermit of sorts? I have had times in my life when I was surrounded by a lot of people that loved me, and times when I didn’t. I much prefer having lots of people in my life. But that costs me a lot more these days to keep reaching out.

2. My life post-Noah is completely unfulfilling.

I get up every day and it is all about me. My career. My interests. Whatever I want, I get. It sucks. I turned 30 one year ago, and on that milestone birthday, I said goodbye to having life be all about me. I was officially ready to have it all be about someone else. I didn’t think that giving up being selfish would be easy, but it turns out that it totally was. It is hard to explain, but I loved my son so much, that fulfilling whatever he wanted or needed was the very best thing in the world for me. It was more fun and interesting than anything I could ever do for myself. Now that he is gone, I have resumed my old life, and it holds no meaning for me anymore. For the grief group I am in, I had a homework exercise where I had to list things that I enjoyed before this happened. I could think of a million different things. The point was to help you get back into your life again. But, I stared down at my list and none of it charged my batteries at all. I could care less about any of it. The one thing that I want to do is be a mother and for now, I can’t be one.

3. I see him in us.

One Saturday morning when we were waking up, Chris stretched in just such a way that Noah did when he was here. Or, I caught myself in a mirror one day with a wrinkled brow, and it looked just like how he would do his. Or, I spent a week looking at Noah’s hands in pictures, and figured out that what was so eye catching for me about them was that they were Chris’s hands. It is a strange shock of realization, and then sad at the same time to grasp how our son was a mixture of us, but he isn’t here to look deeper to see what else is there. It haunts me. He had his father’s easy going personality. He had my nose and lips. But what else? I wish he were here so we could learn more about what else was there that was part us, and what parts were just uniquely him.

4. Am I going crazy?

They said in the grief groups that we have attended that there will be times when you feel like you are going crazy. I am just coming off of a week like that. I don’t quite know why, but every decision I have to make is a huge deal, I can not handle any changes in my day to day routine, I can’t seem to get anything done, and I cry a lot for no good reason. I am just sad. It takes a particularly larger effort to make it through my day. When I get two minutes to myself, I find myself crying, which is awkward because I am at work. This whole routine seems to last for about a week when it hits me. When I come out of it for those rare moments of clarity, I am embarrassed by my behavior. But in the moment, I just can’t help it. I am relying on the fact that this strong surge of feeling won’t last forever, because I have had weeks where I have felt ok. It is just every so often that I have one of these utterly raw “crazy” weeks.

5. Noah is up in heaven…

  • hanging out with Grandma Heinen, who I imagine is his primary care giver. She is taking him to the zoo, art museums, parks, and other fun places.
  • playing with kittens with Aunt Mary Lou.
  • whittling wood and whistling by a camp fire with Uncle Don.
  • eating peaches, and skipping rocks into a river with D-Daddy.
  • working on very well thought out educational art projects with Aunt Pat.
  • sitting on Uncle Max’s lap, listening to stories.
  • setting off fire crackers with Granny.
  • playing tennis ball with Sigmund, who is at his side at all times.
  • baking and decorating cookies with Great Grandad Wallace.
  • sitting reclined in God’s lap and arms, and asks for the millionth time what we are up to down here and how much we miss him. God patiently, and for the millionth time, tells him.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dearest Friend:
I think it makes sense to spend more time with people you know at this point; telling strangers doesn't have to be something you do if you don't want to. There will be a time in your life when you'll be able to tell which strangers can handle hearing that you had a child they can't meet or see right then.
You spent 30 years waiting to be ready to have a child; it make take a bit more time now to not feel like "you're going crazy" with grief. I think "going crazy" should be one of the stages of grief because a lot of people feel that way.
You're doing all of the right things...loving, grieving, thinking, praying, becoming closer to people who love you...knowing how very precious life is. No, you won't ever be the same as you were, but, in some ways, you'll be better-- because Noah is now part of you forever. love, Alyce

2:22 PM  

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