Thursday, October 1, 2009

Grey's Grief

So many of us wrote about last week's season premiere of Grey's Anatomy. It seems as though the entire show was written for us. Of course, many different types of grief were addressed. The episode, in my opinion, was extremely well done. Heart-wrenching, yet beautiful. Devastating, yet full of hope.

The line that struck me most is this one:

"When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you know you need to survive."

I can't even begin to count the many, many times I have felt like this. When grief comes knocking on your door, smacks you to the floor and crushes your soul. Everything begins to swirl, out of control. Your heart quickens to the point it may actually jump out of your chest. The tears sting your eyes and the golf ball size lump in your throat threatens to wail... once again. Your stomach sinks, your mind races a mile a minute..... and suddenly, as quick as the "grief moment" hits you, it melts away and you are completely and utterly drained.

It never ceases to amaze me how incredibly strong and fierce a "grief moment" can be. When you least expect it. When you think you are past the worst of those raw emotions - BAM - smacked down again - like the early days when it seemed impossible to climb out of the pit of despair and anguish.

And yet, it also never ceases to amaze me how strong and resilient the human spirit is. How, after suffering the single most greatest loss, so many of us are still standing, still "living" life without our babies with us, yet remembering and honoring them in such special, meaningful ways.

I remember so many people telling me how strong I am. What a wonderful person I am to be getting out of bed in the morning and going through the motions. My answer was always "I don't have a choice". I am a mother to 3 beautiful boys, 2 of which are here and need their mommy no matter what is happening in 'life'. I am a wife to a wonderfully supportive husband who deserves as much support and love as he shows me. I am a daughter to parents who have been there for us every step of the way and who are grieving their grandson too. I am a sister and a friend to those who have shown us love and light in so many ways. So, in my books, I don't have a choice. "The show must go on". It certainly is a different type of show. A show with many more sad parts right now, but a show all the same.

I am making a conscious effort to not let my family suffer any more than they already have/are.

"When it hurts so much you can't breathe, that's how you know you need to survive."

When it hurts so much, you know you have survived. You know you haven't succumbed to the worst possible devastation a parent can endure.

When it hurts so much you can't breathe, you love your baby more with every breath you do take.


Unknown said...

it still amazes me when you speak, or write as it were, the words of my heart. I too feel like "I don't have a choice". My Murray is depending on me, and not just for his pb&j, but for his life. I hadn't thought further than myself, my son and my husband though and I should have. My parents have been there since we started down this dark and painful path. They grieve for the loss of their grandson and for me and my family as well. My friends and other family too. So I thank you for opening my eyes a little wider. I thank you for opening your heart to us. Cristin

Jus and Kat said...

"When it hurts so much you can't breathe, you love your baby more with every breath you do take."

Thank you for that. Beautiful, just beautiful.


Rikki said...

I love the last sentence. It says it all. 'When it hurts so much you can't breathe, you love your baby more with every breath you do take.' It brought tears to my eyes. It really is perfect.
I hate it when people tell me that i am so strong. I dont think that i am strong or brave i am just doing what i have to do i didnt get a choice. If i did i would have taken the easy way out and had my babies here with me still.

Catherine W said...

This is such a beautiful post Lea. You are so inspiring and you are right, it is a conscious effort to keep going, to try and help our families to keep going. Sometimes I need to be reminded of that.

We do love our babies more with every breath we can manage. xo

Nan said...

Hi Lea, I dont watch that show, and now I know why because I would be a weeping mess! This was a very honest way to put things and I thank you for sharing it. I especially got teary at the end of your post. Hugs, Nan xo

Emmy said...

Do you ever wonder how different your grieving would be had Nicholas been your first? If you had no other children making demands on you?

As hard as it is to admit, I believe that, had I not had Andrew here, I would not have survived this. I would have taken my life.

How hard is it to count your blessings in the midst of this?

Jennifer Ross said...

Without my other boys, I don't know what "choices" I would have made. They are the reason I keep going. I know all to well about the golf ball size lump in the throat. Thank you for writing this post.

Fireflyforever said...

A beautiful post, Lea. That last line - all I can say is "yes". That's it.

Lesley said...

so well put! thanks Lea!

Heather said...

Beautiful post, Lea.

Jen said...

Beautiful post, as always!

Unknown said...

There is no other choice but to move on and live life because our children do need us. I don't watch Grey's Anatomy so I have no clue what the episode was about but it sounds like it was a really good one.

I had a grief moment today when listening to a few songs. The sobs just came out of me and I couldn't stop them. And then they stopped just like that.

Hope's Mama said...

I didn't want to read this initially because the episode hasn't aired here yet. But I've read and you haven't given anything away! Phew!
Just to your commenter Emily above - and I don't want this to come out sounding the wrong way, but Hope was my first. And I lived. I too felt like I had no choice. I couldn't leave this world with just having one dead child to my name. I have a husband, family and friends. And I knew I wanted more babies. More babies who would live. I wanted to parent a live child. And I got so close with Hope. So devastatingly close. Yes, at times I did feel I wanted to die as I had nothing to live for. Losing a firstborn is so soul-destroying and catastrophic. But I had to chose to live. There still really isn't much of a choice. I had to chose to live.
Beautiful post, Lea.xo

Mary said...

I saw the Grey's episode. I didn't like it but maybe it is my greif that is getting in the way of it. Maybe in the re-runs it will seem different.

I lost my first born. At times it is difficult for me to just be. But, I remember a what a counselor told me to do in high school. "I want to go to your friends and family and ask each of them how would they feel if you were no longer here." Well, that lesson then, is what keeps me here today. I have to be here because I know the pain it will cause.

"When it hurts so much you can't breathe, you love your baby more with every breath you do take." So very true.

Bluebird said...

I've been scared to watch this episode (for fear it might be "too much"), but I've enjoyed reading the quotes to come from it. They seem so, so true.

I know my family and friends watched it. I wonder if they made the connection between the story line and what B and I and all of our families have been through. That we struggle to breath. But we're surviving. And, as you said, loving our babies more every day.

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