Monday, May 30, 2011

April 18, 2009

My heart has been aching so much recently for some new "members" to our baby loss club. I struggle to try to find the words to let them know that they are not alone... that the feelings they are feeling are so completely normal, although horribly draining. It got me thinking to a post I wrote on April 18, 2009. It follows:


I have been thinking about this sentiment a lot lately; to get somewhere you have to leave nowhere behind.

There have been many things in my life that I have been fearful of. When I was young, and in grade school, I was extremely shy. I would physically get sick if I was requested to answer a question in front of the entire class and forget it if there was a presentation of some kind. I had come a long, long way from being that insecure, afraid little girl.... until my son died.

Back then, challenging my fear was not something I wanted to do, but if I wanted to do well in school and make my teachers proud, I had to conquer that fear. At the time I didn't realize the subtle things I was learning by pushing myself and expanding my comfort zone. I didn't know that my confidence would grow, propelling me to take risks in other areas of my life. The lesson learned was that in order to get somewhere you must leave nowhere behind.

After Nicholas died I found myself living in 'nowhere' land (still do sometimes). That was fine with me. My comfort zone had been shattered, nothing will ever be the same as it was. We have been forced to take this unwanted journey through grief. The pain can be so intense and so powerful, it's often hard to put one foot in front of the other.

"Nowhere" land was just fine for while. I wanted to stay there for a long time. Nowhere became very comfortable... somewhere is not a place I wanted to go.

I still find myself not wanting to go somewhere... to stay in "nowhere" land, but it's that comfort in being nowhere when I think we subconciously make a decision to either stay in 'nowhere' or challenge ourselves - answering a question in front of the class confidently, so to speak. We must work at going somewhere, even though we may be afraid of where somewhere will take us.

I remember thinking that "anywhere is better than nowhere" ... "I am tired, no, exhausted, of feeling so sad all the time". I think that was one of my 'light bulb' moments. It was after recognizing that "anywhere is better than nowhere" that I felt some healing begin. Most days I am still scared as to where this somewhere will take me, take us. The unknown is frightening. We are walking blind. I just wish that there was a crystal ball on the path to 'somewhere'.

Grief is scary, scary stuff. Grief has pounded us, tortured us, exhausted us.... it's definitely hard to get back up sometimes. Yet, somehow we manage to keep breathing, somehow we manage to exist.

It's very scary to go 'somewhere' and leave 'nowhere' behind. I was terrified that that meant leaving Nicholas behind - now I know that that is the furthest from the truth. He will travel with me to 'somewhere'. He will help me get there. He will help me get back up when I stumble along the way. I truly believe that if we acknowledge our pain, confront it, the pain will slowly lessen.... our lives will get a little more manageable. It's all so hard... but if we want to work at it, we can do it.

Writing helps me, as I know it helps many of you wonderful ladies reading here. If writing helps to relieve some pain, then I say go for it. If talking to someone, hugging someone, yelling at the wall helps you, then go for it! I think it's so important for us to let out our emotions.. even the scary ones. It's okay to let others know what you need (or what you don't need). It's a sign of strength to ask for help. Help and support is out there, we should use it. As we express our emotions, we are beginning to heal. We are beginning to go 'somewhere'.

I once heard a quote that said "Even though the deaths of our children have absolutely crushed us, it is because of their lives that we must fight for our lives." Wow, how true is that! I am constantly learning about the little things that I can do to take down my path to 'somewhere', to a happier place. These things are ever changing (I suspect they always will be).

One way that will help me in my quest for going 'somewhere' will eventually be to help others. The love I have for Nicholas can be spread around, to those in need, to those who are new to this journey. I am looking forward to spreading that love when I feel ready to do so.

I think that "to get somewhere you have to leave nowhere behind" will always be a battle. We will forever carry our grief with us, just as we do our precious babies, but I don't want that to mean that we are destined to live a 'grief stricken' life. We will have to fight to go 'somewhere'... fight for a place of hope, for a place of meaning. Fighting is so hard, but I have to believe that it's worth it, we are worth it and our Angels are worth it.


Shaina Gadow said...

Wow, I had chills reading this. It speaks to so much of how I feel, scared of my grief, scared that getting somewhere means I leave my son behind. I am just starting to understand that is not true. I could go on and on about how much this post resonates with me and my feelings. Thank you for this.

You and other women who give so much to other grieving women is so inspiring and I hope I can do the same.

Nika M. said...

Praying that your fight gets a little easier...

Carly said...

Thanks you for this post Lea. Your words are so real and true to me. Thinking of you. Lots of Love, Carly

Caroline said...

Thanks for re-posting this Lea - my head is swimming these days & I'm struggling to move foward. Knowing you are there gives me so much comfort. I know I will be stronger again soon - thanks for being patient with me as I work my way through.

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