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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Handbook For Grief

When your baby dies, no one at the hospital gives you a handbook for how to grieve. Especially not one you barely knew. There is no one to tell you how you are supposed to get through it. No one tells you about the ups and downs and going through the process time and time again.

I know there is no right way or wrong way. I want to go back to normal but I do not want to forget. As irrational as it may seem, trying to move on can fill me with guilt. Doing normal, everyday things can feel like a betrayal. But then, I think, what is the alternative? To be awash in sadness every moment of the day? No. My friend told me that after her sister passed, she had similar feelings, but that your mind and body want to protect themselves. They don't want to feel pain. So, we escape. And that is OK.

Then, some days are hard. Yesterday was not easy. Phineas would have been 4 weeks old. I imagined a little bit of what my girls were doing at that age. That's when the emotion comes crashing down. In some ways, it is like you are standing on a beach, right where the waves are coming in. The water will pull back and you will barely feel wet and you feel like you can move quite easily. Then a wave comes and you can take it. It isn't too bad. And then there are those waves that take you by surprise. They don't look to bad, but then when they arrive, they knock you over. It is a process that repeats over and over.

Some day, my feet are barely touched, and others, I feel much deeper, with waves of emotion making me almost incapable of control. I cannot allow myself to get too deep, as i know I am a person prone to depression and guilt. Having my girls around from day to day really helps. I think the pain would be unimaginable if I had no other children. I know someday, I will walk higher on the beach, further away from the tide and better able to appreciate it.

I have to convince myself that I can be happy. That is what Phineas would want for me. And I should not feel guilty about it.

5 remarks:

Cristin April 22, 2010 at 6:21 PM  

I follow the blog of this woman I've never met. She lost her daughter right before she turned 2. She started a website - I don't know if you'll want to visit it. I go there anytime I want a good cry.

Kathryn April 22, 2010 at 7:46 PM  

I read her blog a bit quite awhile ago. My visiting teacher actually knows her. Never knew I would be in a similar position.

I have read other blogs and things, but I don't always know if they are helpful. I think I have a different perspective than most. I think the gospel changes how you view things.

Nicole April 23, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

You are such a strong woman Kathryn. It will get easier with time, and I believe you're right, Phineas wants you to be happy. You'll have good days and bad, but it will get easier. ((Hugs))

ibelaura April 25, 2010 at 4:42 PM  

Hey Kat,
i can't imagine the pain and suffering you are going through, but i do have to say the way you write about your experience is so moving and touching i can feel your heartache. keep writing, you're amazing at it, and who knows, maybe it will help. I Love You and your family

Sarah April 30, 2010 at 10:40 PM  

A couple of books that have helped me - 'Empty cradle, broken heart' and 'The mourner's dance' - both help guide people through grief and mourning. And of course you've found Glow in the Woods, which has helped me in the last 5 weeks.

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