Friday, October 5, 2012

This is real and I don't like it.

Even 4 months out I have days when I expect to wake up from this nightmare.  Where I catch myself looking in the mirror to see a belly, instead of the underweight, bony frame that has replaced my pregnant body.  The fog has lifted by now.  I am no longer in shock.  I am no longer in the intense depression of the summer.  Yet I still can't believe that my child died.  Who does that happen to?  Who holds their baby while they are breathing one moment, and the next they are not?  Who sees the color in their baby's body drain out of them?  And who has to make the decision to let that happen?  The gravity of my trauma and my loss is surreal.  It's impossible to wrap my head around fully.  And most of all, I don't want to.

Perhaps I am entering a new phase of my grief.  One where I am angry a bit.  Not at God so much...I do trust in his plan.  I am just pissed that this is His plan.  I haven't had too many pity parties of the "why me?" stuff.  Yet I am finding myself asking "why?" lately.

Why did Ethan die when Josh and I would have provided him with a loving, safe and fabulous home?  Sure we would have been even poorer financially, but rich in love and respect.  We strive to raise healthy, respectful, loving people - I think the world could use some more of those.  I haven't figured out a way to articulate this next point appropriately, so please bear with me.  And know that I always pray for and want the best for ALL children.  How come shitty parents get to raise their children and Ethan was taken away from me?  Why do mothers who abuse drugs and alcohol during pregnancy get to deliver their babies full-term, and I delivered mine 3 months early?  Why couldn't I stay pregnant longer while on complete bed rest in the hospital while others disregard the medical advice offered to them?  The little girl in me wants to yell "it's not fair" and stomp my feet up and down.  Instead I just cry.  And swear when my older kids aren't around.

I just don't get it.  I never will.  Usually I don't feel the need to...but tonight my sadness is quite overwhelming.  I guess I am now asking why?  Why would something happen that was so wrong?  So wrong that it makes me feel this awful, consuming pain...  I just wish it would stop.  I just really want Ethan here.  It's not fair.  And now I am crying.

People tell me "I think that must be the worst pain ever, losing a young child."  All sorts of people, of varying ages and life experiences tell me that.  Clearly no one can know what the worst pain ever thankfully no one experiences them all.  But I will say this, I pray that this will be the hardest time in my life, in my husband's life.  I thank Jesus for carrying me right now, as he certainly is doing so.  Because my legs just aren't capable of carrying me, of lifting this load.

Sometimes I would love a vacation from my grief.  It's just completely there, all of the time.  In different ways - at times under the surface like low tide, and others thrust in my face like high tide.  I can't run away from it.  It's utterly overwhelming some days, and so exhausting.  Yet I still am a social worker in an oncology department (a position I love and am honored to have) and am home 5 nights a week by myself to take care of our 3 little kids (Josh works 2 jobs in the end of the Summer & throughout the Fall).  It's amazing how life does not relent, even in the aftermath of death.  There is no time to grieve usually.  I have to schedule grief time.  Usually after the kids go to bed, or it could be in the middle of the  night if I wake up.

I look at others, even close friends and family, who are not in the position of grieving a young child of their own.  They can genuinely be empathetic towards me...yet I don't think they feel the grief in the consuming way I do.  They don't breathe it in and out the way I do, all day long.  They appear to be able to "distract" themselves 4 months out from their grief, from Ethan's death...and I cannot do that yet.

When I feel overwhelmed by my sadness and I ask "how did my son die?  why did he die?" I end up telling myself that this is real.  This is now my real life, and I don't like it.

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