I've been reading a lot. I started with a book the hospital sent home with us. It had a somber title like, "Empty Cradle: How to Survive the Death of Your Baby" or something equally sad like that. But it was pretty good. It had lots of quotes from other moms who have lost their babies which was comforting to feel less alone. When we came home and everything was a blur of numbness, disbelief and depression, knowing other women had been through this and survived and sounded just as distraught as I was made me feel slightly more normal.
These two books are also being read pretty quickly. One was a recommendation from a friend and another from our counselor. They're both so good in different ways. I'd recommend them both to anyone who has ever grieved or wants to support someone grieving or is currently grieving.
|I really tried to rotate this picture, but it just didn't work. Sorry!|
I'm learning that grief is a horribly messy process. And incredibly unpredictable and ever changing. I have no idea how I'm going to feel on any given day or what is going to be a trigger for anger or tears. I often think I know what I need and then it doesn't go well. Or I find myself confused about how I feel.
So when I read this section from "When People Grieve" I breathed a sigh of relief. It's really hard for me to know what to do when I'm not given clear instructions. If you know me you know I just want to get an "A" in everything. And it turns out that there's no possible way to get an A in grieving. There are no instructions and no right or wrong way to grieve. And even if you're doing it "right" or "normal" (which doesn't exist), it still completely sucks. There's no way to bypass the pain and the loss and the doubts.
I kind of thought that if I did all the recommended "baby loss helpful activities" (hold and take pictures of your baby, name the baby, get counseling, join support groups, go for walks, etc.) that somehow that would help the grief to go away and for me to be "normal" again. I've discovered there's no such thing.
But I will say that reading sections like this make me feel normal. I can take a deep breath knowing I'm not alone and I'm not the only confusing person. I'm not the only one feeling confused and angry and not understanding what I need or want. And I'm not the only person to confuse friends and family right along with myself.
So to all of you who read this and support us in the midst of us not being good at responding or knowing what to say or ask for or even appropriately thank you, please know we want to do all of those things. So, thank you. We couldn't do this without your love and support. Please be gracious and patient with us as we have no idea what we are doing.