Tuesday, 30 August 2011


What a weekend...seems we've embarked on a new chapter of our journey as parents with Jev.  We had our first friend birthday party & then of course we had Jev's 2nd birthday party.  It was a rocky & emotional weekend for me, the kind that I hate most, the kind where I have to stuff my emotions down & pretend that I'm great.

At the friend's bday party, his grandmother approached me exclaimed "so you're expecting?!"  Since this isn't my first encounter with this kind of foot in mouth comment, I replied without having to think or miss a beat, simply "no".  She was so embarrassed she just kept going on about how sorry she was, how she was told "everyone" was pregnant, so finally I had to stop her & just simply said "well I guess everyone but me".  A final apology and I had to walk away.  Sigh - if it hadn't been the first few minutes of the party I might have tried to find a way to leave - but for my earth angel I stuffed it down.

At Jev's party it was a flurry of activity with things running pretty smoothly - a day so jam packed that it seemed over just as quickly as it began.  There were marked moments for me where I noticed the absence of my youngest son's cries, gurgles, touch.  In those moments I paused & then stuffed it all down & went on.  I was fortunate enough to have a friend I have met through my bereavement group come with her earth angel & she took a moment to really check in with me & for a moment I was able to be honest.  My biggest regret was not lighting James' candle.  I wish I could say I forgot but I was too concerned about keeping it safe - with 8 toddlers running through the house I had visions of it being knocked over, a child being burned -the candle being ruined, so I chose to light his candle in my heart instead.  Now the waves of guilt won't stop.

To top all this off, yesterday our pet bird, booger, died.  I found him of course, I was stunned, I couldn't move when I found him but I was numb.  I went on the rest of the night like a robot, thinking in the grand scheme of things no loss is as significant as James' loss.  But I was kidding myself, the waves of grief poured over me after Jev went to bed, for our pet, for our James for all the milestones we've missed, for the insensitivity of the those who can't know any better.  The stuffing just poured out & it feels like there's still more there. 

I said a few weeks back that "you have to have a personal relationship with your grief".  In the moment I thought wow how very insightful but strange.  As I have thought more about it - I realize that initially I didn't know my grief & that made me feel like I was going crazy, confused, immobilized.  Now, I do have a personal relationship with it, when it comes, often uninvited & without warning I recognize it & despite often hating it, I know I need it.  When I stuff it, it becomes toxic until I have no choice but to let it out - all over the place.

Good night sweet bird, we will miss you.  James -missing you deeply sweet boy & hoping you will stay near as we celebrate Jev's birthday - for real - on Thursday. 

xoxoxoxoxoxxo Mommy

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The universe

A coworkers who I believe is fast becoming a good friend said to me that she puts things out in the universe & that it answers her.  For a moment I thought this was a neat idea – that if you put things out there sometimes an answer appears, so I thought I’d try it.  I’ve been thinking about volunteering my time with bereavement based agencies & using my experience to support others during their darkest times.
The universe answered me.  It answered me through my other colleague telling me the medically fragile child we reviewed on Friday is in intensive care with his mother by his side soaking every last moment of his short life.  It answered me again, having a coworkers come in within the same hour with her 4 wk old daughter.  I felt a crush of irony & also a mix of anticipation to hold this beautiful little girl & then being repelled by the idea.  The universe answered again, another coworkers with her 7 wk old son & then a crush so deep I lost my breath.  My son would have been 8 wks old, I am overwhelmed by the feelings of loss one parent is facing today as she watches her son dying & then the cruel irony of the calm, blissful ignorance of those with their infants.  Still at work & wanting to leave but chained to my desk waiting for a call & hoping above all hopes the universe doesn’t answer me again.  So, I am officially withdrawing my thoughts from the universe & retreating to my inner sanctum.  
My emotional self is annoyed that all attempts to be sensitive are long gone.  I lost my child, my child should be coming for office visits, my child should have been born, I am still grieving, I miss him every moment of everyday & the universe keeps shoving into my face.  Sounds of an infant’s gurgle interrupting my thoughts as I type.  My flight response is back,  these are the moments I am most alone, trapped in a hell no one understands.  I need the universe to buzz off!
My intellectual side says, there is work to be done & I am headed in the right direction.  My intellectual brain says slow down, the time isn’t right.
I still hope to help others & would still like to volunteer my time, but next I’m keeping the stupid universe out of it!

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

I have found myself a bit confused lately.  I find myself struggling again to reconcile the unimaginable with the world that keeps moving on.  James is certainly a distant memory in the minds of most & I often find myself alone wondering if this thing really happened. The reality check of course if when I remember what should have been. 

I found this quote on the Silent Grief-Child loss page & couldn't believe the timing of it b/c it has been in the last week that I have found these thoughts to be more intrusive but when I read it, I realized that it is a common experience & wanted to share it here. 

"Did this really happen, or is this just a bad dream?" This is often the first thought of the day and the last thought of the night for every bereaved parent. Child loss is so hard to believe!

Feeling your absence all the time my love & hoping you will join us at your brother's birthday party this weekend.  I know he would want you there. 

xoxoxoxoxoxoxox Mommy

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I am still surprised by the waves of grief when they come.  I forget all too often that the most difficult thing that has ever happened to me only happened a few short months ago.  I've become so good at carrying on that some days I even convince myself.

I was speaking with a friend after attending my perinatal loss group & was relating to something she said about missing the strangest thing when I realized we SHOULD have a 6 wk old infant & have been at home changing his diaper.  I felt things tighten up & I no longer had any words to share, just this longing for this to be different.  As the night went on, the tightness changed to heaviness & what I thought was anger/frustration with things changed to despair for all the things should be.

I realize more every day how significant planning Jev's 2nd birthday is in my recent waves of grief.  I am keenly aware of the missing child at his brother's party & I am also aware that either then Mike & I, no one else will notice.  I plan to light James' candle during the party so I can see his light - some days, most days it's just not enough.

Friday, 12 August 2011

I'm disappointed in myself.  A friend who has been very good to me since James died told me she is expecting her 2nd baby.  My gut reaction was ouch - it hurt to hear her news & then came the jealousy - the pure unreserved anger inducing jealousy followed by a quick prayer that her pregnancy is a healthy one with a live baby at the end of it.

I had planned to visit a friend this weekend, one I met after James died, her baby girl also died 2 weeks before James & I have felt connected to her since.  She is expecting her 3rd child in January & the thought of seeing her pregnant has me spooked - I'm not sure I even want to go.  I know in the past I have given myself some slack & been gentle on myself when I haven't felt up to it, but both these women I consider friends, they are kind, patient, supportive women but I have a little hate born from jealousy in my heart.

If I could control my mind, I would flip the switch to elation & ignorance for both - maybe then I'd feel like a normal person again.  Instead I am left uneasy about these terrible feelings, ones I hate myself for having & feel even worse for not being able to control.

I hope both will understand - I hope one day I will understand.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Walking the plank

Earlier this week I had a group meeting with PBSO (Perinatal bereavement services Ontario) - am a regular and hope one day be able to facilitator at these meetings.  I arrived early -no one else was there & I couldn't bring myself to sit alone in the parking lot so I parked across the street where I could watch the lot & waited for a familiar car or face to arrive.

As I watched I had a strange experience, an almost out of body experience.  As the first & second people arrived I watched with the feeling of an outsider looking in, watching the quick steps of one & the slow tentative steps of the second.  I watched as one looked around almost wondering it seemed how she'd gotten there & then motioning self consciously to her cloths, her belly - looking for her belly & then hoping no one else noticed it was no longer there.  My heart ached as I watched her b/c it seemed like I was almost watching myself, I could so relate to the subtle non verbal gestures of self doubt, longing for something gone, wondering how life could be so strange & cruel & then trying to cover it all up in an futile effort to carry on - just put one foot in front of the other.  I watched & the wished that I couldn't relate so acutely to what I was watching.  Watched & wished I wasn't there for the same reason & then having to take the same walk down that same plank, inside.

Then as I made my way across the street to the meeting, I had to fight the urge to drive on past & felt heaves of hurt & sadness as I walked toward the meeting.  But I made it inside & it was one of my more emotional meetings. In the end I was glad to have gone.


Monday, 1 August 2011

The weather has been good - we even got a break in the intense heat.  Had a week of vacation which we spent together the 3 of us & really got some quality family time which I have been longing for.   For the last few days though, I have been feeling heavy hearted.  Maybe it's the good - the great time we've had, the quality time & it's made me think of all of the things that should have also been. 

I have tried to focus on the good - be grateful for the great but still my heart remains heavy.  I have been wondering where the person I used to be went & how I got to be where I am, who I am.  I feel the need to make some changes, personal ones.  I know it's the human condition to always want more - I actually want less, less of the rhetoric & more authenticism from myself.  I don't want to only go through the motions, accept the way things are, the way they've become.  Time to start re-focusing on me, re-discover myself in this life despite it's cruelty.  My children deserve that & I know it'll be hard work, I have been conditioned & comfortable putting myself last, pushing beyond my limits for others.  Now I have to find a way to work my own value back into life & place myself in the cue of the deserving.

Sounds great - now I have to do it. 

James my love - I am missing your place in our trips, in our routines, in Jev's play & fun.  I miss not counting you in the list of guests at Jev's 2nd birthday party, not being able to see your innocence & bewildered joy at all things new.  Jev's new daycare has started & I think it's going well but he cries & breaks my heart as I would do anything to protect him, shield him from hurt & pain.  Please continue to watch over him & comfort him when mommy can't be there.  Missing you my baby boy & sending all my love wherever you are.

xoxoxoxoxox Mommy