Friday, November 23, 2012

That Ugly Girl Named Grief

February 18, 2011
Last night, Daddy and I decided to go to a bereaved parents' support group. I was so excited to see what healing and love I might feel. I've never been a part of a support group before, so I was also excited to make new friends that would hopefully become lifelong friends as we remember our babies. Man, I was so wrong.
Daddy and I have felt such peace since you've been gone, Charles Patrick. Of course, we miss you, but we know this was Heavenly Father's plan. It doesn't help the sadness go away, but for now, it makes the sadness feel a little more bearable. There were 2 other couples attending the group that night. One couple had a baby that died nearly two years ago. As she would tell their story, she would tear up and look at her husband, and her sweet husband would finish the story for her. Right now, she's struggling with her friends getting pregnant. She was invited to a baby shower, and didn't know if she should attend or not. I felt so sorry for her, especially if its been two years. I know that it is extremely difficult for me to be around newborn babies right now, but I hope that I am able to handle it after two years. My sister is having my next nephew in July, I don't want to have to struggle to be around him. My heart got a little nervous thinking about it.
The other couple was what truly tore my heart apart. The mother was devastated. She had twins who died at birth, a boy and a girl. She cried throughout the duration of the group. She had them back in November. She had gone to a place, a bad place, in her head and I am frightened that she won't escape. She cried that she doesn't see reason to get up in the morning. She cried that she has nothing to live for, as her husband just sat and stared helplessly at the table. The sweet nurse that led the group talked to her about depression and how she should talk to her doctor about a medication that would help her feel better. She said that she has done that already, but she didn't want to take pills. She told us her complete birth story, and it was so tragic. My heart hurt for her. I just wanted to help her.
The support group didn't turn out how I wanted it to, but
.... it planted a seed ...
Today I decided that I couldn't let my experience from last night overwhelm me. I start back to school on Monday, so I went in today to visit my sweet and precious students. My heart was pounding. I still feel a lot of anxiety in public. I couldn't believe how nervous I was to go see all my school babies! My principal walked me down to my room. The anticipation of walking through the doorway was almost too much. I was out of breath and sweating. My principal walked in the room and said she had something for them. I took a deep breath and walked in. 
Every little eye was staring and for a whole second, they just sat there looking. It felt like an eternity and time stood still. Then it was like slow motion that surprised faces and gasps filled the room. Then all 18, yes all 18, came running! Their sweet little hugs around my middle were so precious. The change in my belly is hard to accept sometimes. I want it to be full with my baby boy! Now its just empty. Their little hugs made it feel not so empty anymore.
We all sat down on the carpet and I shared my box with them. I showed them the tiny little size of your diaper, your foot prints, and all the other little keepsakes that the nurses gave me. I shared a book with them that a dear friend gave me. Its called, Mommy, Please Don't Cry: There are No Tears in Heaven. Of course, Mommy can't read it without crying, so I just showed them the pictures so I wouldn't cry in front of them. It is very important to me that they do not see me so emotional. I told them I would be back on Monday. I'm only going to work half days at first to make sure I'm up to all the activity again, and then hopefully I'll be back full force by Wednesday. I'm so glad I went to see them today. Much needed medicine!
I was feeling so good. Then that ugly girl came right back. Her name is Grief. I can feel so good and feel so much peace inside, and then Grief comes along and takes my good days and smashes them into pieces. Tonight was a ward activity at church. Its still hard to go to things in public, even things as simple as the grocery story. But I've been making myself go because its the only way I'm going to get past the anxiety.
I was doing okay even though I felt like running away on the inside. Everyone was being very kind, not really talking about what happened. Its so weird. You worry so much that someone is going to bring it up and make me talk about it. Then when no one mentions it, you almost feel upset that no one is even acknowledging what happened. Its such a crazy thing. Grief knows just how to drive me to the end of my sanity. She's such a contradictory girl. I really don't like her.
As I was leaving, I saw one of our leaders who was visiting from Greenville. His wife and my mother are great friends, so we know each other very well. The last time I saw him was just days before we went into the hospital. Its the first time he saw me with no belly and no baby. He didn't say anything. He just gave me that understanding and sympathetic grin. I went home from the activity and just cried my eyes out. I loved that I was able to go out and see friends and smile and laugh. Yet I hated that I went out to see friends to smile and laugh. It made me feel like I was trying to forget you. I promise I'm not trying to forget you, sweet boy. I think of you every minute. I just can't cry all the time. Yet I feel guilty if I'm not crying for you. Right now, Grief is like that unwelcome "friend" whose overstayed her visit. That first time that people see me with no belly and no baby never gets easy. I'm sorry, it just doesn't.
Love, Mommy


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