Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Emotional Release

Warning: the following post is an emotional release of sorts.

Before we lost Nicholas I would like to think that I was a logical and organized thinker. I was steadfast in my beliefs and not afraid to share them. I was, however, also able to see other people's perspective on different issues and "put the shoe on the other foot", so to speak. However, there are certain things since losing Nicholas that I cannot seem to understand about people. There are certain things that upset me so much, that make me shake my head in disbelief, that make me question my own choices and beliefs. I have always been one with a strong sense of self. I would not let anyone take advantage of me or my family. I feel like I am really starting to resent the fact that there are people in our lives (close people) who continue to try to distract us from our grief, from mourning our baby. As much as I try not to let that happen, it is extremely difficult to let these feelings go.

Why is it that there are some people out there who insist on making the very personal, devastating and intimate experience of losing our baby about them? Why is it that when we try desperately to communicate our feelings, to open up our hearts and souls that there seems to be no level of understanding or willingness to listen? It is frustrating, disappointing and disheartening, to say the least.

My husband and I are the first to admit that in the depths of our pain and our grief we have probably said or done some things that would not normally be a part of our character. There are many friends and family members who get that. Who get that we have been thrust into the most devastating time of our lives. They get that we are experiencing every parents worst nightmare and just trying to find our way. I guess what I'm saying is that I would expect a certain amount of leniency, forgiveness and tolerance when it comes to some of our behaviour the last several months. I do not excuse some of the out bursts or condone inappropriate behaviour in any way, but what I do expect is that we not be judged for the way we are experiencing our grief.

Are unconditional love and support too much to ask?

Frustration over trying to portray our feelings, only to be knocked down or have the conversation go in an entirely different direction is much too common. It is also very insulting and hurtful.

I have said it before and I will say it again, when the way we are feeling is not acknowledged or appreciated in any way, I feel like Nicholas' memory is being disrespected.... and aside from losing him in the first place, there is no hurt greater.

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I would also like to acknowledge those who have been there for us, every dark and depressing step of the way. The phone calls just to 'check in'. The visits with ice cream...and wine. The numerous, silent visits over a cup of tea. The hugs, just because. The mention of our sweet Nicholas' name. The interest in his pictures. The acknowledgment of the day every month. The spending time with Nicholas' hurting brothers. The sensitivity. The love. The laughter and the tears. I hope they all know who they are. We wouldn't be where we are now without your determination and perseverance - thank you. I can guarantee that I would step up for all of you.....

xxx

24 comments:

Courtney said...

Oh sweet Lea, always here for you and will continue to be always.

*hugs*

Lindsay said...

It's sad to me that you have done so much for others experiencing this kind of grief only to find yourself feeling judged by how you are experiencing this tragedy.
We remind people of the worse that can happen and sadly some people are selfish enough to push the circumstance out of their little bubble and try to change the subject or push you to get better now.
There is no time limit Lea and those people you mention are in the wrong, ignorant, if I may be so bold.
I hope they understand one day, how they were wrong and hurtful to you.
I'm sorry.
Love you, Lindsay

Nan and Mike said...

Lea,
Sorry you are feeling this way, it is not what you deserve. I wish I could bring over a bottle of wine and give you a hug in person! xo Nan

lost--for--words said...

I so understand where you're coming from. Actually I've been thinking about this for the past couple of days, trying to find the words to write an entry in my blog about it.
I've been hurt - by close family. Hurt so badly during such a vulnerable time. These were the people who were supposed to be there for me through thick and thin, you know? The insensitivity and selfishness makes me want to scream. Like you said, it's not just a blow to me, it's also very insulting to my daughter's memory that I want to keep alive. ((many hugs))

Mirne said...

Lea, you've written words that are in my heart and my mind. I agree with you TOTALLY. I also agree that such behaviour from people is disrespectful to you and to Nicholas. Unfortunately I have experienced much like this over the last three years. People that you expect a lot more from behave in a very selfish way. ((hugs)) to you.

Monique said...

I hear you, Lea. I still hurt at a certain in-law over a phone call berating me for not coming to Christmas this year. Some people are just wrapped up in themselves and I've sort of learned to accept it in them (and am thankful I am nothing like that). Sorry you've been hurt again - hurt on top of hurt is how I describe it. xoxo

Bluebird said...

It sounds like you've seen the best, and the worst. While sometimes I wish I had people (IRL) like those you described in the last paragraph, I've also never had those close to me really and truly hurt me. (Be incredibly insensitive, yes. Really and truly hurt me, no.)

I'm so sorry you have to continue to experience such hurt and such loss. The loss of sweet Nicholas will live with you forever; you don't need anyone to add to that pain.

Amy said...

((((hugs)))))
there are those who seem to understand what we need as grieving parents and those that never will. I am sorry you have experienced the latter recently. If only they knew and understood how much more pain their lack of tenderness inflicts upon our wounded hearts.

Mary said...

Were you in my brain today. I was just typing a post about something that was said to me. I'm sorry people are making you feel like this. I hope that you have more of the better people in your life.

Heather said...

I've had the same experiences.

It surprised me so much (at the beginning, I'm used to it now) when many of the people that hurt me the worst were the people closest to me. Some of my best support came from people I hadn't seen in years or were only acquaintances before.

Paige said...

I'm in the midst of this too, Lea. No, unconditional love and respect for us and our babies is not too much to ask. Anyone who can't give it has no place in my world anymore. Sending love and hugs and thinking of Nicholas always. xo

Holly said...

It hurts to be ignored and to have your baby ignored also. Especially by those who are the closest to you.

PerplxinTexan♥ said...

I arrived from Yaya's page and have been having a terrible day. You won't imagine what this post has mean to me. This may or may not be influenced by the fact that I, like your son, was born Nov. 7th, absolutely asleep.

As for your life, know that there is only one that give truly unconditional love and he's the one who's blessed us each with life. Its of course a shame people act in such a manner but, after all we're only human. Cut them some slack and concentrate on the blessings which surround you. Forget the rest.

Roxanne said...

It is terrible when the people who should be there the most for you just dont get it . I know so many people who have been there and experienced that . I am sorry for there insensativity and know your grief and love for your child is real and right .

Yaya said...

(((Hugs)))
I don't know why some people are so full of themselves that they lack the ability to feel empathy toward others.

angie said...

Lea, I think I had this exact conversation yesterday with one of the last paragraph friends trying to defend the others. I just don't think we should apologize for grieving, for taking the time for ourselves, but I cannot stand the guilt, especially from family. I unfortunately have no filter anymore, and no tact. Sending you much love, dear sweet Lea, you are so kind.

JenJen said...

I wish that people IRL were understanding of the pain involved when your baby dies. Not to assume that this pain will go away after the first month or year.

((hugs))

Hope's Mama said...

Oh Lea, you do it every time. Just capture exactly what I am thinking and feeling. You have summed this up perfectly, and I would love to just cut and paste it and put it on my blog.
Thank you.

Inanna said...

Extra HUGS today. Lots of 'em.

Bree said...

That's why I love the support I receive from my blog and the monthly support group meetings. I have felt so let down by my friends and family who contacted me right after the loss and have ignored me since. I try to bring Ella up at work with friends too and feel like I get no response either. It's so hard. I guess people feel akward and don't know how what we want/need. I guess we the one thing I can appreciate about this horrible situation (I hate saying appreciate because there's nothing positive about what happened, but...) is that I will forever be more sensitive to what other people are going through. For instance, there are two people in my life right now who are going through some painful stuff. One friend's father is dying and my aunt just lost her son. I called them immediately to check in on them, even though my original thought was that they didn't want to be bothered. I thought about how awful I felt when certain friends and family didn't reach out to and I decided I didn't want to be guilty of doing that either. Anyway, I'm rambling now. Sending you a big hug. Please know we're always here to hear you.

Carly K. said...

Oh Lea, I so agree. When people act like that it takes away from our sons in heaven. What I've grown to learn is that it makes them uncomfortable and so they act in that way. I have tended to pull away from those people. It is tough because like you said they are people that you are close to and that hurts.

Thinking of you. Hope you enjoy your next week at your cottage.

Angel said...

Lea I so understand and have experienced very similar things with family members who I loved and adored. They too managed to respect us and Michaels memory and for this I am grateful that I got to see them for who they truly are. Its time like this that you aquire the wisdom of knowing who is there for you and who really isn't. And for that we are blessed.Id rather know and have since chosen not to have them in my life xx

Once A Mother said...

I hear you. sending you hugs and support today

Emily said...

Lea, I'm trying to imagine exactly how someone makes your tragedy about them. I've got to say, I'm coming up blank. Did someone accuse you of not having control of your emotions? I get that they don't want to converse about Nicholas - people really seem to have some taboo about it (and I was just commenting on someone else's blog that we need to be educators when it comes to this situation). People have this misconception that talking about it will hurt us. And we need to blow that out of the water - if not for us, than for those unfortunate mommies who come after us.

You know, I shared Leila's "goodie box" (all the cards, plaster imprints, preg tests, etc. etc) with a friend yesterday. And she said, "thank you for sharing such an intimate part of your life." Now that I think about that statement, it seems wrong. Why should Leila be an intimate part? Shouldn't I be shouting her name from the rooftops?

Sorry about the rant - hey, you started it! :) Loving you, sweetie. Please let us know how baby's doing, and what we can do to minister to you in your pregnancy.

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