Friday, June 19, 2009

Raw Emotions

I attended my 5th or 6th support group meeting the other evening. For 5 or 6 weeks there have only been the same people; myself, a girlfriend of mine who lost one of her twins, and another couple who lost their little boy almost a year ago. We have gotten quite comfortable with each other and look forward to our monthly meetings. Well, the other evening another woman (C) joined us. She is only 3 weeks out from losing her baby girl, full term, for no "apparent" reason.

We all started the meeting again by sharing our stories and welcoming (if that's what you want to call it) C to our unique group. As I sat and cried while listening to her heart wrenching story, I couldn't help but remember all of the emotions of being in that place. So early on. When the pain is so excruciating and raw. Acute grief is a horrible, hideous emotion to have to endure. It sucks the life out of us, it consumes our soul. It renders us helpless and without hope.

From what I do remember of those first several weeks after we lost Nicholas, the emotions that I felt were imminent, catastrophic. I didn't feel the slight bit prepared to deal with such foreign emotions. Darkness, desperation, disbelief, confusion and anger blurred my vision, and shaded my heart. In those very early days I didn't know how I would ever emerge from such shock and fear. I felt completely out of control, not fully cognisant of the world conitnuing to spin around me.

I remember feeling and, to a point, wanting to be so isolated. I was not interested in the lives of others around me. I became detached - their lives so different and routine.

Nothing would be routine for us again. We lost our baby boy. It is a trauma that will never go away. In the beginning I remember feeling like the offer of help and support from friends and family seemed utterly pointless. My pain is not 'fixable'. There is nothing I (or anyone else) can do to bring my baby back. I remember thinking no amount of talking will bring Nicholas back, so what's the point?

Well, when we were only 3 weeks out from losing Nicholas I was driving (I should not have been driving) in a haze and ended up at the local Bereavement Services (where our support meetings are now held). I'm not sure what got me there... I don't even recall knowing it was there. My point is, I'm glad that I made that step. Even so early on. When I was in such immense pain, I reached out. I reached out because I didn't know what else to do with myself. I didn't want to become completely helpless when it came to the rest of my family. I needed to find some strength somewhere. Some strength to step up and be the mommy I wanted to be for my two living sons. Some strength to help my husband through his 'bad' days. Some strength to get my butt out of bed.

Reaching out for support was one of the hardest, yet one of the best things that I have done through this process. The loss of a child is such a unique loss. It is comforting to be surrounded by those who truly, truly understand.

I understood this woman the other night. I was exactly where she is right now, we all were. So early in her journey, when the pain is too fresh to bare. I was proud of her for making that step. For somehow recognizing that doing something is better than doing nothing. We are all so unique and individual, but I truly believe that in our darkest moments we really do need each other.

Thinking of C today and all the others who are joining us on this life-long journey.



margaret said...

I too sought help after losing Calvin. I couldn't imagine doing this alone and desperately needed someone who had been there and understood me. Because I live in a small city, our chapter of the Compassionate Friends meets only once a month. I went twice, both times, I was the only one there. Instead Shane and I sought grief counseling. We found a therapist we were extremely comfortable with and it's worked for us. I would urge anyone who is newly bereaved to explore their resources and find something that works for them. It is so important to get help, otherwise the pain will end up swallowing you whole. Great post Lea...thinking about you and Nicholas today. Hugs

Heather said...

That is so sad. You're so right- the pain in the early weeks was excrutiating. I feel for anyone going through that.

Never forgetting Gregory said...

I hate remembering how vulnerable and raw those first months were. I think about the pain I'm in now and it hurts, but to remember the sleepless nights full of tears and my outlook on everything in the world...I hate knowing that other mothers are going through that now. I'm so glad you sought help and that she did the same. I'm sure she will love having your support.

Barbara said...

Exactly the word for those early days.

I'm glad C found your group.


Anonymous said...

I was/am the same way. We went to a local support group literally the next week after I lost my twins (which was only 10 weeks ago). I think the lady that runs the group was shocked to see us there so soon, but I immediately knew that I wanted to get help as soon as I can. I know people get help in different ways, but I wanted to try all of them! So I've been to a support group, a grief counselor, I blog, I read, and all of them working together don't necessarily touch the pain, but they surely help my "sanity"-not to use that term in a meaningful way.

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I came here from another blogger and I hope that is okay with you. I am so sorry for your loss and the pain you have to endure.
My heart wants to help yet I know that there is nothing & can say to ease your pain. Know that I care & will pray for your comfort.

Jen said...

I remember crying so hard that I couldn't breath and my hubby would have to shake me. The first few weeks out from losing Lily...I wanted to die really, but here I am still breathing.

The pain does get easier, but never goes away.

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

First, thank you for your supportive comments on my blog. They touch me deeply.

Perhaps I'm different. Or weird. Or both? But, I prefer that raw emotion to this numb, empty feeling. My feelings have no direction right now. At least then I knew I was overwhelmed with grief. Now? Just lost.

I know you'll be an immense help to C. I hope you allow others to do the same for you.


Amy said...

You describe all the early emotions so well. The pain and confusion, the darkness, the numbness that stings. All the endless tears. Amazing we continue to survive after being thrown into such violent waters.

We too visited a support group early on at 5 weeks after Liam's death. I remember feeling sick to my stomach, a feeling that was with me nearly all the time. We went a few times, found some comfort in talking with others.

I am sad C had to find you, but glad she did and Hope the group offers her a safe place to cry and remember her little girl.

Emmy said...

Tomorrow will be a month since we said goodbye to our daughter Leila. I've been toying with attending a support group, and this post has been very valuable. I'm scared, I can't imagine what it's going to be like, but you've given me the courage to go. Thank you...

Anonymous said...

Sometimes when I read blogs of women who recently lost it takes my breath away - I remember that immense pain so vividly and I'm not even sure how I got from there to here. It's all so wrong.

Nan & Mike said...

Hi Lea, thank you for your sweet comment on my blog. I am very sorry for your loss of sweet Nicholas. Your blog is very touching. I hope we get to know eachother a little better! Just wanted to say thanks for your support :) Nan xo

PS. Very brave of you to go to the support group early on, that is great you can help others who are reaching out! I went to the psychologist about 3 weeks out and it has really helped, I am not sure I have the courage to start bawling in front of a group of people yet! Maybe someday.

Laura said...

Ah! Where would we be without our support groups? It is a group where you don't want any more numbers- and yet you are so glad that someone has walked in your shoes and there to share your journey!
I have been going to our support group now for over 5 years- more the supporter than the supported now and I can say that I have met some of the most amazing women- and am so glad that our angels brought us together! We've forged life long friendships that now go far beyond the brokeness that brought us together!
Hugs to you!

Jen said...

Hi Lea,

I just wanted to let you know that I will be thinking of you today. I'm hoping that you're able to get some answers to your questions.


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