Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Fight to Heal

Time does not heal all wounds.  I just don't believe it.  I think there is something to it though; time allows things to become "different" somehow.  But if I took an inactive approach to grieving, I am pretty sure it wouldn't work for me.

My friend Lee said that I am "fighting to heal."  Her words, but I like them.  Damn straight, this is a fight.  It's long.  It's ugly.  It's confusing.  It's covered in tears.  It's occasionally blessed with a smile.  It's exhausting.

I've been talking the talk for about ten years now.  Supporting, encouraging and challenging my clients to feel their emotions, so they can move through them...hopefully leading to a place of healing.  The hour that Ethan died I knew it was time for me to put up or shut up.  I called a therapist the next day, and scheduled my first session.  I have worked the support group thing, finishing the six-week session just tonight actually.  

I've started writing a journal, this blog being just that.  Writing has never been something that's worked for me before, but I forced myself to try it at the advice of my therapist and group facilitator.

I push myself to work my grief.  That looks like different things on different days.  Sometimes it means setting up boundaries with certain friends, that I can't hear about their newborns or lives of sleep deprivation yet.  I just can't do it.  I've reached out to people who have also had a baby die, taking those awkward first steps to do so.  Just this Monday I set aside time to go back into The Brigham and Women's Hospital.  I didn't have to, but I knew it was time to.  And I made it happen in a way that was healthy for me.  

I agreed to say something at the remembrance service the NICU is having next month.  I wrote something short to Ethan - only after I wrote it did I realize that I wrote a eulogy for my son.  That still takes my breath away, that I am in this position.

I take medication to help with my depression.  Something I have never had to do previously.  

I talk about Ethan with the older three kids daily, in natural ways.  He remains their brother and my son.

I returned to work, in a setting where many people are dying.  I listen to others as they share their fears, blessings, anxieties about living with, and often dying from cancer.

I get out of bed every morning, make breakfast for Caroline, Jackson and Ryan, and move through our day.  Allowing myself to smile and cry as I clean the house, read to them, play outside and do the grocery shopping.  I push through those moments when my breath is knocked out of me, because someone around me needs something.  Somehow I don't spontaneously combust.  

I am very slowly healing.  That's right, it's been four months but it continues to feel like yesterday for me.  Society shouldn't expect that I am "better" now, not for a long time.  

Grieving is a full-time job.  I will heal though, I am working hard at it.  To honor Ethan's love I will heal.  When he died I promised him that I would do my best, everyday, to be a great mother to his siblings.  And to do that I have to fight to heal.  

1 comment:

  1. On Monday it will be 18 months since my son died. Some days are better than others - I do have more good days than bad ones now. Even now, some days feel like it was a lifetime ago, others it seems as if it was only yesterday that we lost our beautiful boy.
    Keep breathing - take it one day at a time...