Sunday, April 12, 2009

Grief, Easter, and Too Much Baby Stuff

My dear friend, S, sent me an email today that touched me (thanks S!). I was having a horrible day (I'll get to that later in this post) and this email came at the right time. S recently read an article by Dawn Anna, a mother who lost a daughter in the Columbine tragedy 10 years ago, and was struck by the following quote:

"There is nothing wrong with being on your knees. There is nothing wrong with being down in the darkness. There is nothing wrong with staying there as long as you need to. I know one way to start crawling towards the light. The hole in your heart will never get smaller. Never. So there is only one way to make it feel smaller. Grow your heart bigger every day."

I appreciated this quote and was happy to hear another Mother who's lost a child say this. I feel that my friends and family don't understand that no matter how long its been it since Myles's death it's still horribly difficult to face each day without my child. That some days are dark and other days are darker. That the pain never goes away and that you'll always have a hole in your heart. Yet despite all the pain and sadness you can learn to live your life and use your grief to transform your life. I do not think that Ms. Anna is saying that we should appreciate our losses and be gracious for the lessons we've learned (I despise that mentality), but rather that it's a part of our lives and we have the choice to let the grief consume us or we can use the grief to enrich our lives.


So, why is was my day horrible? Easter isn't a holiday that I'm particularly fond of or that is a big deal in our family. However, last year Easter became an extraordinarily difficult holiday for me. Myles died in February and the first holiday following his death was Easter. This year was equally difficult. J and I stayed home alone today. I couldn't bare the thought of watching the kids in our families today. Instead I spent the morning and afternoon in tears thinking about what should've been this year. Had Myles survived he likely would've been collecting Easter eggs like so many other children were doing this year. It makes me sad to think and wonder and wish.

To make matters worse I had an overload of all things pregnancy and baby the last two days. At my in-laws yesterday I heard way too many stories about how grandchild A did this and that and the other thing. I even got to hear "just wait someday you'll have to deal with that" and "your miracle baby will come". Yesterday my dear friend, J*, gave birth to baby #3 and this afternoon my dear friend, L*, called to tell me that she's expecting #2 in late September. I'm not upset with anyone for these things, but rather just feel like I was getting bombarded by baby stuff on a day when all I wanted to do was escape the baby stuff. I am seriously excited that the day is almost over! The next holiday that I have to survive is the queen of all horrible holidays--Mother's Day.

*J and L you know I love you both and that I am truly happy for you and your families. As I've told you both before it's hard to deal with births, babies, and pregnancy announcements. It's a reminder to me of what we've lost, what is difficult for us to achieve, and what seems to always be just out of our reach. Congrats and hugs to both of you!


Duck said...

Ugh - I can't believe that anyone actually says that to you (the "wait till you have to deal with this" who says that to a mom who has lost their baby? and how how how do you not slap them?). Seriously. I get that sh*t on ocassion, but, no one knows that we are infertile, so it's to be expected, but you should not have to hear that. really.
I too like the quote about growing your heart.
I'm also not looking forward to mothers day, and have not been for over a decade, but, this one will be even harder.

G & H said...

Aw man my heart just feels so many of these things along side you and all those feelings!

Just wanted you to know I'm thinking about ya and your not alone...will say a special prayer for you ( and all us IF girls who had to go thru today) tonight

Mrs. Spit said...

I'm sorry Nikki, Easter was a sad day around here.

Caroline said...

Hi Niki,

I love the quote you posted about dealing with grief. I don't know how you manage to get through difficult times like Easter. I have never been able to achieve a pregnancy, and I have a hole in my heart because I don't have a child to run around and pick up Easter eggs. Your pain must be terrible.
And to deal with all the baby announcements and comments is just too much right now.
Look after yourself Niki. I can't say it will get any easier, but holidays certainly make things worse. I'll be here for you on Mother's Day too.
Hugs to you.
Caroline x

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing that quote - my heart goes out to Ms. Anna and you. I am sorry that you have to hear things like the "miracle baby" quote - that is pretty insensitive - I think Myles is a miracle.


m said...

Nothing really to say but I don't want to read this post and walk away without letting you know that I feel where you are at. And d*mn anyone who so much as utters a "wait till you have to deal with this" sentiment. Waiting is what we do best.

Kris said...

I love that quote that your friend S sent. Love it!!

I don't mean to be harsh on your friend L, but perhaps she could have waited to tell you about her pregnancy on a day other than Easter? I know you love your friends, but that isn't a very friendly thing to do. If people read your blog at all then they should know that holidays are just tough as it is.

MyLifeMyWorld-SharingADream said...

That's so awful that people say that to you...I'm surprised you don't come back with a "you just don't know how lucky you are". I know it's not the same but my son is special needs and it took him 3 years just to learn how to sit. All through his babyhood parents would complain about their kids getting into things, or talking non stop and I could only think "you don't know how lucky you are", well that was the nice version of "shut the fuck up". It is so hard when people are throwing in your face what you don't have, and I'm sorry your facing that.

I also think that quote is quite nice.

As for mothers day, is there something you can do that day that has no kids nearby? Maybe lock yourself up with hubby in a hotel room in a quiet little city, watch some rated R movies, maybe take a long walk through the forest? Just to get away from all the hype of the day?

Lost in Space said...

I am so sorry, Niki. I know that doesn't help at all for what you have been through, but sometimes there just are no other words.

I hear what you are saying and get so frustrated with people. I want to jump out and shield you from the hurt coming at you. Wishing it were easier....Wishing it were different....Much love to you.

Intending To Be Parents said...

That was a wonderful quote that your friend sent.
I'm so sorry that Easter was so hard. Being surrounded by all of those difficult topics would be very hard and even though some people might not understand that, keep doing what you need to do to take care of yourselves and your feelings.

Bluebird said...

I understand. (Well, as much as I can with different circumstances). That's all I can say. And I'm sorry.