The Teeter-Totter Between Weepy and Numb: A Raw Reflection

heart treeI have started almost half a dozen blog posts this week about this or that on grief…but none of them have seemed to get finished. So I have decided to just write a real post. Here is a Raw Reflection…

This week has been hard.

Knowing that little Esther would likely have been born right around now has just had me on an emotional teeter-totter the last few days. I remember calculating from the very start of our pregnancy, that if Esther was born at the same gestation as Kyla, she would be arriving on July 19.

I feel we have been doing well on this journey of grief and healing. Yet this week has just hit really hard.

I have found my thinker working full force…trying to bring back some of the questions I have already laid to rest.

I have found myself almost going back to a state of denial, asking “Did this really happen to me?”

I have found myself trying in some sense to still bargain with reality, as if I could change something.

I have found myself seeming hardened to pregnancy, newborns, and baby things. I don’t want to be hard. And yet, perhaps some hardening has to come in order to survive such a tragic loss.

I have also found that I am very disoriented. Here we are in July, but there is no baby. I can’t remember what month we are in when I go to write the date. Except for the heat outside, sometimes I can’t even remember the season. My head feels like it is spinning and I can’t find my bearings.

teeter-totterSome days, I am numb. I can’t feel or connect to anything.

Some days, I just cry…and cry…and cry. I have noticed more than one person doing a double take on my face this week, since my eyes have been in a pretty constant state of “puffy.”

I guess all of this is a part of the daunting journey through baby loss. This is not where I wanted to be this week. This is not where I planned to be this week. But now here I am. Teeter-tottering between the numbness and the pain. The hardening after the loss and the brokenness loss brings.

And I have to confess…I’m not doing it very gracefully. Maybe that’s why the image of a teeter totter came to my mind today. Teeter totters seem to bang back and forth rather harshly, especially if one side is heavier than the other. I have noticed myself banging a lot this week. Getting angry about the stupidest things or bursting into tears over nothing. My emotions are just raw.  Right now, I am along for the ride.

I recognize that I have to keep walking, trusting that in time, healing will come.

This week is simply too much for my heart. I am so thankful that God is bigger than my heart…

Psalm 73: My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Raw Reflections: Honest Perspectives From a Grieving Momma’s Heart

heart treeI am starting a new category of posts I am calling “Raw Reflections: Honest Perspectives From a Grieving Momma’s Heart.”

Here you will find writings that are just what they are called: RAW. Raw feelings, frustrations, questions, and reactions. They will not be written from the intellect, but from the heart. Normally I would keep these entries in my private journal for my eyes only. But I have decided to share some of these honest reflections here for 2 reasons:

1. In the pain of our loss, it has been helpful for me to read about other mom’s pain in the truest, unedited form. To see that others have been to the depths of pain and loss, and lived through it, has given me hope. I pray that through these someone else will find the courage to keep going through the journey of grief. I am thankful for the wise words of a pastor friend and grief counselor, who, the day after our loss explained to us this concept: You have to be real to heal, you have to feel to be real. This has really helped Adam and I to process. To let the waves of sadness and grief come and to learn how to “surf” through them by acknowledging and allowing ourselves to feel the pain.

2. So many of our closest friends and family have wanted to see inside our pain in order to pray for us and support us. Yet if you have not been there, it’s hard to comprehend the depth of emptiness and hurt. The deeper you are willing to go inside the pain with someone, the more you can appreciate the healing and hope that follows.

As you read, I hope you will not take offense or jump to conclusions about grieving parents. But rather, see it as a peek into the journey of loss and the real brokenness that parents have to face.

SO, here is the first Raw Reflection called: Ironic Questions

Are you doing better?
Are you feeling better?

I know those asking mean well….

But quite honestly, these questions are ironic to me.
Besides being odd, they seem leading. They seem to expect a “yes” answer. They don’t feel like someone wants to know how I am really doing…how hard it is to live in the reality of death everyday. How the pain never really leaves. I understand, it is uncomfortable. I wouldn’t have wanted to think about it either. But now I am here. This is my reality.

Questions like this also insinuate that something is wrong with me. That I am sick. This is a rather common, but erred reaction. I am thankful for a wise pastor and grief counselor talking with us the day after we found out our baby was gone. He said “You’re not sick, you are grieving. You don’t have a head problem, you have a heart problem. You don’t need fixed. You have just experienced real loss of a real person and now you have to walk through the grief to heal. It doesn’t happen quickly.”

I guess the answer to those questions depends on what the definition of “better” is.

Do you mean am I getting used to the fact my baby died? I guess, if that is possible.

Do you mean am I “over it”? No, I will never be over losing my baby. I will press on in faith in my God, but the pain and emptiness in our family is very real.

Do you mean does it feel better? Quite honestly, no it does not. I don’t believe it will “feel better” until all is made right in heaven. The raw feelings will probably fade with time, but it’s not fixed yet. I will wait for that day.

Do you mean is my life going on? Well, yes it is. Time is something we don’t have control over. Each new day, week, month, and year rolls around right on time and new issues, challenges and responsibilities with it. But every day is hard. Every day is a fight. Every day is one more day without my baby girl. And everyday takes me further from the memories of when she was alive and everything was perfect.

 

Thank you for reading this RAW Reflection.

Will you take a moment and pray for the moms you know who have experienced the horrific pain of losing a child – the moms who are living their whole lives with a piece of their heart missing? Only God can give us the strength we need in this journey…