Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Grief doesn't end

It does change, but it will never end.

I have often wondered why I don't see many people write about the depth of pain they still feel even over a year or years.  Time passes by but the hurt never goes away.  I think I'm starting to see the reason.  We don't want to share anymore.  Its not that we don't hurt, that our pain isn't still overwhelming, but we are tired.   Every single time I share some of my grief, give someone a glimpse of my pain that I still feel and will feel forever.  I get the, "I hope you are seeing a grief counselor." Effectively shutting me down and letting me know you don't want to hear about it anymore.  You are over it.   You know you can't fix this so lets just back to the new normal where we only talk about other stuff.

Thats why grief changes.  I find myself holding in my sadness much more than I used to.  I want to share, I want to write but I'm tired.   Why is a grief counselor every ones cure all?  I don't want to talk to someone who does not know me.  I am a functioning, thriving person.  I enjoy life again, my daughter is not suffering because I cry now and then.  She is well taken care of, as will the new baby be.   My sadness however is still valid.  My 18 month old daughter died.  She died. 

My children are my world. I had no idea before this happened that I would be able to go on, to carry on and function and be happy.  I held her in my arms and I loved her with all I am.   It hurts me when people go out of their way to not mention her . She was here.   I had such a short lifetime with her, that it isn't fair to not mention her.   Maybe it was so others around us wouldn't ask questions but I'm far enough in my grief now that I can tell people a short synopsis of her story without crying. 

This baby isn't a fix it all.  I will not be miraculously cured of my grief and sadness when its born.   Will it help? I'm sure it will but it will not cure me.   It doesn't replace her.  I know I will love this baby like I have loved my girls, but now the fears  that are valid are so strong.  I'm no longer that carefree mom.  I have suffered every parents worst fear.   I'm about to do it all over.  When your child hits a year we all just let out this huge sigh of relief.  I don't get to do that.  I should have an almost 3 year old but instead I'm starting all the way over and I'm scared.

People don't know what to say.  I wrote about the sadness I was feeling the other day in one of my online groups and a friend said this.  "I always think that when you grieve, not only do you have your own anguish, but you also have to help other people who don't know what to say or how to act. It's like you have to deal with what you are struggling through, and still be a help to everyone else who doesn't know what to say."  It is such a true statement.  I just want to be able to talk about her.   I want people to know that when I say "I'm sad."  Its because of her, because I miss her and that is the simplest way for me to say it.  I feel like shutting down sharing because this is how I cope.  I want people, like me, to read and understand that what you are feeling is normal.  I want people to know that it doesn't end even when the depth of pain is no longer wrote about.  Grief changes, it gets easier to handle as the days go by.  Yet its also harder to acknowledge it with the time passing by because people figure you should be over it.  You were normal yesterday, happy and laughing.

Its the little things that set you on a remembrance journey.  For me it was someone I respect not wanting to mention her and that pregnancy.  I also can't stop looking at the picture of Megan I took when I brought her in to the ER.  8 days before she died.  Why did no one see it, why were there no clues.  She was there, they should have caught it, this damn whatever that took her away from me.   (Picture is below)

I hurt because I love her. 
I miss her.  If I was struggling to live life, then thats when you mention grief counselors.  If I make it clear I didn't want to talk about her then thats when you  stop mentioning her.  Now? I'm ok.  I want her mentioned.  Even if its just a fly by.  

This new baby deserves to be ahhhhed and oooghhed over but It is so hard for me to completely accept that.  It feels like I'm accepting the fact that no one will mention her anymore.  No one comes out and says this baby is her replacement but I can't help but feeling that when you don't say her name.   I can only count on a few people to say her name.  Emily being one.  She is also the only one I want to share because some of those that never mention her are people that should before anyone else.  

My grief is no longer suffocating, but it is still there.  I don't need people to fix it, I just need you to listen and to care.  I don't share as much as I used to.  It makes people uncomfortable after what already feels like a long time.  This is my new normal.  It is ok for the most part, but sometimes..... I need to cry, I need to hurt.   I need to sob and scream about the unfairness of it all.  I need to know that her memory lives on, that people won't forget her.   I have 2 girls.  I promise I won't break when mention her, remember her.  

I am always wowed when friends write her name in the sand for me.  It is something that I never really expected to take off but so many people do it for me.  My 2 good friends made shirts recently to run a race to remember Megan.  Crowns and tutus.  My cousin Erin runs marathons with her picture on her back.  I do know people think of her and remember her, but why does it feel like the people closest to me don't?  Every single thing people do to remember her humbles me.  Taking pictures of her name in the sand, in blocks, in grass, wherever you find her name... etc its perfect.  I appreciate it so much.  I miss my girl.  I miss what was.  I know that people remember her but sometimes its hard and sometimes the pain overwhelms and I don't see everything that people do to remember.



Megan is just adorable, love looking at her pictures.

I have found that I talk about my son whether people want to hear about him or not. I don't care if it makes things uncomfortable...shouldn't WE be the ones uncomfortable, I mean it was OUR child that died...

I loved reading this because it gives me an idea of what is ahead and I think I am like you...I want to talk about him and I WANT people to mention him, even 10 years from now. Even since my new baby has come I still talk about Beck as much as I did before my baby was born. I think that surprised my parents BUT he is still my child, my baby...and will always be. I will still brag about him like I do all of my other kids. He is still SO much apart of me!

I am so excited for your new baby to come. For me, it has been such a happy experience and believe me...I needed SOMETHING new to make me happy.

Thinking of you, as always ((Hugs))

michelle said...

Megan looks so cute in the pics. You are so right about all of it
Well Wishes

Stacey said...

I agree with you on so many levels Jenny...I have found myself being less open lately too. I have tried to write about my grief, but it overwhelms me and I get exhausted thinking about it.

I pray this new little baby will make your family and friends talk about Megan more. I know it's helped us. Everyone seems to mention Blake more now that Reese is here. I think it's less scary for them to bring up Blake now that we are not childless.

Thinking of you always!

Emily said...

I was thinking of Megan, Emily and you Jenny tonight, so I thought Id come here. I love ya Jenny.

BellaSteph said...


Megan is beautiful and I am always thinking of you both. She had such a cute smile and looked like a happy girl.

I am in the same spot as you. I have been having a hard time writing. I think my pain is so much worse during this second year. I really feel like I am the only one who remembers Gavin. I know I am the one carrying on all the pain of his death.

Our new babies will not replace our angels. They are additions to our family just like if Megan and Gavin were still here.

Huge HUGS to you.

Deanna said...

She is such a sweetpea. I agree that it seems people want to talk less about our children, and we want them to talk MORE. This post could have right out of my mouth! Hugs to you!!

Sandy said...

Sorry Megan your close loved ones fail to talk about beautiful Megan. I am just a stranger but I think of you and her often and check back on your blog. I have not suffered a loss but would be glad to hear about Megan any day you'd like.

Mary said...

Thank you for sharing this. I think it is something everyone should read. You have such a great way of saying things. You don't sugar coat it and that's the way it should be. Those pictures of Megan are beautiful. She is such a beautiful girl and I feel blessed that you have shared her with us. You and your precious children are in my thoughts and prayers.

SecretBadgeofHonor said...

I so relate to what you are saying. It has been 18 months since my daughter died. I am tired of fighting to understand why this has happened. And I am even more tired of fighting for her memory. "If we don't talk about it, she won't cry and make us uncomfortable."

Blogging and charity work help me a lot, but of course it doesn't take away the hurt. But I like being able to share Ellie when I can, even if it is just to the blogosphere!

I am also pregnant and feel like people think it's a cure. Like I could magically forget I have another daughter. I have been struggling with the bittersweetness of it all too. I cannot wait to welcome this baby and beyond happy that she is healthy, but I am terrified people will forget Ellie.

I'm wishing you some peace today. ((hugs))

Monica said...

True True...to everything in your post! I'll also add thaI I feel that people are sometimes expecting me to be done grieving and move on, so they are tired of hearing about it. So I shut up.

Someone who listened! said...

Megan you have touched my heart.. such a Precious Angel!

Anonymous said...

Megan you have touched my heart... such a Precious Angel!