Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Allowing yourself to grieve.

Letting yourself feel the pain of loss is one of the hardest things you can do. It is, in some ways, easier to bottle up that pain and not allow yourself to feel it.

In some ways though I am conditioned to react to pain. For example, if a doctor talks to me about losing Jayden - says "It's very disappointing to have lost the baby", I immediately well up, long before I even think about what he has really said. Crying, feeling sad, are all appopriate reactions to someone saying something very sad. Then I let it sink in and either I put the steel wall up, say to myself "yes you hurt, but lets deal with the pain later", or I let go and my barriers and the flood gates are opened.

I find I can talk about Jayden, about losing him, to people now. I can speak clearly and calmly and as long as I am the one talking, I am okay. As soon as they start saying the words of sympathy that generally come out, I well up. My heart goes to my throat and I marvel at how I am still standing under the weight of my pain.

Other times I can be just in the middle of typing a report, or creating user acounts, and a weight of grief will just pour over me. I will stop and think "OMG I lost my baby boy". I feel like I can't breathe, that my body is going limp. I feel overwhelmed by the emotions hitting me.

Usually I compose myself, build my barriers back up and try to resume some sort of normal existance. I try not to let myself grieve for him; for all my babies. I try really hard not to think about him. To block all thoughts of babies from my mind. Most of the time I succeed but there are times where the pain is taller than my wall and it spills over, I am unable to hold it all in, all the time.

People still ask me how I am and I cannot answer anything but "yes". An answer that on the surface makes no sense but once computed makes all the sense in the world.

I have often heard that you should allow yourself to grieve but surely they mean initially. After some time, surely you are supposed to put the pain into perspective and try to move on with your life.

It's been eight and a half weeks. When will I start to feel more in control of this grieving? When will I stop feeling so damn empty? Slowly the multitude of girls around me at work are growing larger, happily farewelling their collegues as they leave to begin the biggest adventure of their lives. One by one they come back to visit, red cheeked howling babies in tow. One by one they are replaced by another in the office, as more and more girls fall pregnant. TV blames it on the $4000 baby bonus the goverment are currently offering parents to have a baby. I couldn't care less about the money - that is not my reason.

Have you ever seen those movie special effects where the star in focus is standing still in the middle of the street and everything\ everyone around them is whizzing around at top speed? They are not moving, yet the sun comes up, does it's arc and sets, only to rise again what seems like moments later? That is sort of how I feel - stuck in some sort of time shift, where everything except for me is moving forward, only even as i am stuck, I am aging more rapidly than ever. I turn and watch the changes happening around me, the shadows moving across the walls, the cars zipping about, the people zooming, changing second by second, marrying, having baby after baby, watching their babies grow up and telling me "It will happen when the time is right".

I woke this morning feeling unsettled. I can't even put my finger on it but I feel like something is missing or lacking in my life, like this is not how I expected life to be and I want it to change. But even that doesn't really explain how I feel.

P.S. Still haven't received my period yet. Perhaps it is stuck in a time shift too.


At 3:02 pm, Anonymous Leoni said...

Hi Bugsy,

Thought I'd reply to your last post, probably not expecting a reply but you'll get one from me all the same.

You said " It's been eight and a half weeks. When will I start to feel more in control of this grieving? When will I stop feeling so damn empty?". Hmmm that is a difficult one to answer as we are all different, but I don't think you can attach a timeframe on it, actually expecting to feel "better" as time moves on will only regress your progress. I know you feel like you are in limbo right now, but you are actually moving forward, if only by exisiting and doing your day to day job. Until you haven't gone through every stage of the grieving process you will not have any control of your grief, sounds cliche I know but from bitter past experience if you try to suppress or skip a stage it might work for a little while until something triggers you off and you go back to that stage. I kept getting stuck on anger, each time I thought I'd finally moved on from anger to acceptance something would remind me of what I had lost and I'd feel this bitter rage. I know it took me a good 6 months before I started feeling "normal" again, but the stupidest things would trigger my emotions and I used to get so mad at myself for "letting" it happen. That feeling of emptiness will take even longer to pass, and there will always be a part of you, even years down the track as I still have it from time to time, when you see or hear something and you feel that sadness and emptiness pass over you. The only "good" thing is with time that feeling will stay with you less and less.

I think it also makes it harder to "move on" for want of a better sentence, if every day you are reminded of what you have lost. And isn't it just frustrating how everything seems to remind you of what you've lost, it used to sh*t me no end. I also think that only by one day holding your own baby in your arms and finally having moved past that barrier of conception, pregnancy and then birth will you truly feel "free" of these feelings. It sux and you probably think "gee thanks Leoni, really wanted to hear that! NOT!" but that is how I went through this whole experience, might be different for you, only God knows the answer to that one.

Anyway, just wanted to add my 2 bobs worth and wanted you to know I think of you every day.

At 7:53 pm, Anonymous seepi said...

Bugsy life is so unfair. I worked in a freakishly fertile office while having a miscarriage and it was awful. I know your job is supposed to be winding up soon, but maybe you should look around for an alternative. Most IT jobs are very male oriented - it could be waht you need. Although if your current place are understanding of sick leave that is good too.
For the death of a loved one it can take a year to start feeling better. But you will feel better, and you have to hold onto that fact. Take care

At 5:54 pm, Blogger Em said...

It's not been very long. You are being really hard on yourself hon. There is no timeframe, I don't think. It will take what it takes. I think we need to meet up for a coffee soon.

At 12:00 am, Blogger Katt said...

You cant put a set time frame on grief sweetie. Its different for every person.

It will come. You have to be strong and wait.

As for being normal? Who wants to be normal. I sure the hell dont.

Would you like a big cup of HOFFIE!?! ;)

Love ya!



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