Saturday, January 8, 2011

I have been there.

I have been the person who reads about another persons misfortune.  Wondering how I would handle such a thing.  If my child died, I could not go on, I would surely die.  How could you not die when your child dies?  How could you possibly want to go on living?  You think about it for a few minutes, you may shed a tear or two.  Then  you grab your children close and hug them tightly.  You kiss their heads softly and you tell them you love them so much.  

Then you might go on to  think, hmm maybe "they" missed something, maybe "they" did something.  Maybe "they" missed a vital clue, "they" weren't vigilant enough.   Maybe it was karma.  These things don't happen to good people... not really.  Bad things, like my child dying won't ever happen to me.  I'm a good mom.

I have been there, I said those same things. You know in your heart that things happen, that nobody is invincible but you can never really understand until something this devastating has happened to you.

People that have read or know my story.. know that I always thought something was wrong.  So many doctor appointments and every single one nothing was wrong.  All in my head; overprotective mom.  Lingering fears that you have to push away because you can't live your life in fear of what might happen.  Besides frequent fevers and cold after cold with the occasional ear infection nothing was out of the ordinary. Nothing that said "hey your kid is going to die on March 10, 2010".  She had a sister in kindergarten, she went to the daycare at the gym, she was exposed to germs.  Common colds were to be expected.  Maybe I didn't try hard enough, but how do you fight something you don't know is there.  A feeling that something isn't right but yet your child is growing and thriving and is the happiest little being you have ever met. 

I've been there.  I know what its like to read someone elses words, someone elses pain, to be on the outside looking in.  I would give anything to be that person again.  I know that it doesn't matter what I did right, she still died.  What was the point to keep her safe by extended rear facing or extended breastfeeding, or cosleeping.   She still died alone, all alone. She still died.  I don't want to be this person, the one that you are now reading about.  Reading my pain and anguish and knowing that at any time you can get up, wipe your tears and pick up your little ones and kiss their heads.  

You get to walk away from the pain and the suffering and the guilt.  The guilt, because no self respecting parent could ever not have guilt.  I like to think that I did everything right, that she was well cared for, well loved.  Yet, she died.... on my watch.  In my care, she died.  I had to have done something right? How do you forgive yourself for something you have no idea what you did.  All I did was love her with all my heart, but it wasn't enough to keep her here.   Why that day?  That moment?  Why the dream?  Why the fears? Why why why? I never get answers, all these unanswered questions just fester inside of me till I feel like I might burst. 

I have been there and I am glad that you are here reading my words, sharing in my pain.  I am glad that some of you do not know this pain.  I am glad that my words reach out to some of you and help you make different choices. 
I have nothing else but my words to share.  I so often think that maybe nobody wants to hear my input on their children's lives, my opinions on certain things because my child died.  Its always there.  I catch your looks and I wonder if its sympathy or do you just not want me to close.  Its not catchy.

I miss her so much that I can't bear it tonight.  The tears are streaming and I am a blubbering mess.  I miss her, everything about her and I wish I could bring myself to start writing down her memories so that I don't forget.  I just can't bring myself to do it.  I can't bring myself to print out pictures, I can't bring myself to get pictures just for Emily to have.  Its getting so close to the year mark.  I miss her and that smile and that laugh.  How she would run to me and throw herself into my arms.  My little cuddle bug.

I have been there and I am living it now.  You go on because you will.  I've quit many things in my life but quitting life isn't an option.  I am not whole, I will never be whole again, a part of me died when she died.  A part of me will always be dead but theres a part of me that still wants happiness and joy.  I still laugh and smile, and I can still cry at the drop of a hat.  She will never be forgotten I know this and because of this and my family and my friends I go on.  There isn't a choice.  You go on.  Does it hurt? Oh gosh it hurts so much, but some days, some times it isn't so hard.  You put one foot in front of the other.  You cry when you need to, you scream when you need to.  You do go on and you will find peace again.  You will never be the same.  Not now... Not when you know that good things do happen to good people. 


Ava's mummy said...

I am desperate to say something but don't know what to say, the words are eluding me. I am new to your blog and want to say how truly sorry I am for the loss of your beautiful girl. I too have two girls, one on earth and one in heaven. It hurts, it really hurts doesn't it.

Your pain just resonates with me and I can relate to so much of what you say. My eldest daughter, Ava, died 14 hours after our twin girls were born. I know that our circumstances are so very different yet what you say about things never being the same and having to put one foot in front of the other is so true. I too feel so much guilt and am still trying to figure out what I did wrong specifically.

I hope the coming days and nights are as gentle as possible on you. I am sending much love and strength your way. xx

rebecca said...

I also remember reading other peoples blogs about late pregnancy losses and thinking how horrible it was, but then thinking oh but those types of loss happen so infrequently, that would never be me. But then it was me. And as you said even though you may not want to move forward or continue living you do.
Sending love and thinking of you as the year mark draws closer. I know that must stir up many emotions ((hugs))

Amy D said...

Jenny, this might be the best blog post you have ever written. And it comes from so much sorrow and pain, which makes me sad. I am that parent. I have said and thought the same things you have. I have been thankful that it wasn't my child, but looking at you.... it's not like "I'm glad it was her child and not mine". Since having a small part in your journey, I have realized "this can end at any moment". When Piper was really sick, I was scared. Illnesses aren't normal anymore, because Megan was normally ill and look what happened. Since Megan died, I check on my kids throughout the night. I just glance in, maybe tuck them in. I never did that before. I don't want you to have any regrets, I don't want you to feel like you did something wrong, but then again, how can you not feel that way? I am sure I would feel the same way.

And I love you. <3

Mary said...

I have been trying to type just the right thing for about twenty minutes, but I keep hitting the backspace because nothing is just the right thing to say. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Megan. I am so sorry that you know such pain. I just want you to know that I truly do care deeply about you and both of your beautiful girls. You and your girls will always have a special place in my heart. I wish I could be there on a daily basis just to listen and let you cry on my shoulder or to play with Emily so that you could have a few minutes to yourself if you wanted. Since that can't happen, I will listen here and try my best to show you that I care.

Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. Even though my loss was very different than yours I have many of those same feelings. It seems that no matter how or when we lose a child the hurt and guilt is there. In my own small way I can relate to how you just knew something was wrong. For months before I was even pregnant with Micah and during the short time that I was pregnant, I also just new. I knew that Micah would never be in my arms. I had this paralizing fear that nobody understood. My husband told me to stop thinking like that, but I just couldn't. Then Micah was gone. I can't tell you how much I hated being right. That was the one time in my life that hoped and prayed that I was wrong.

I am thinking of you and your girls. I hope that today is more gentle to you than yesterday.

Susan said...

Oh Jenny - yes, I could have wrote this.. in fact, I think I probably will. It wasn't our fault - we did nothing wrong - we just got unlucky. It's like winning the crap-lottery.

Don't know if this will help you, but it helps me to think that all the things I did to keep Catherine safe (like extended bf-ing and cosleeping and so on) did make a difference. It gave her the best possible life, in the short time she had, that she couldn't possibly have enjoyed. We were the best mothers we could have been, and that counts for a lot. xx

Mary said...

I gave you a blog award. If you get a chance stop by to pick it up:)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on this. I don't want to be in the dead child club anymore :/ Wish that was something I could quit!