Friday, February 17, 2012

perpetuum mobile

there are things that i have to do most every day. meals - prep, serve, clean. errands. appointments. laundry. 
drive the car in the rain.
the best chance for a shower is if i take a yoga class.
hygiene has taken on a new, changed standard in grief.

moving my family forward with the calendar and clock.  

the wallpaper of the world peels.

*************

My husband is turning 50 next month. I did not want to throw a party, but my mom encouraged me. Told me it was important to celebrate and mark his 50th.

So I'm planning it. Striving to be a good wife and all. Trying to put on a good face and create a memorable event for my partner. 

talking about it with a friend:

friend: "I was glad to get the invitation to David's party and see that you're celebrating life again."

me: "I want people to come to David's birthday party, and I want them to dance and have fun, and not be completely sad."

friend: "Quit projecting. No one else is going to be sad. Everyone else is over it."   

me: silently scratching the name of this friend off of my ever-shrinking friend list. suuuch a bitch!

***************

i feel like my body moves forward in time, but moves through the grief, sometimes, by sobs. sometimes i sob so hard i can't breathe. my lungs exhale completely and my diaphragm spasms and my whole body just shakes for a long time.

the only other time in my life that i remember sobbing like this was when i was very little, and it was frightening when i would cry so hard i couldn't inhale or breathe. i sob like that now, but i'm not afraid. 

***************

how does your body grieve? what do you notice about your body and grief?

Theme song for the week.

23 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry. That "friend" is clueless, insensitive, and yes, a total bitch. God, it's really unbelievable what people say sometimes.

    My body, hmmm. It has been through such hell in the past year; most of the time, I feel like someone has beaten the crap out of me. There is pain, exhaustion, a definite heaviness. I'm amazed at the resilience, considering.

    But I'm also really angry with my body. I feel like it failed my baby. That it betrayed me. There's almost a hatred there, though I have a need to take care of it more than ever. Does that make any sense?

    I've noticed that I refer to my body as if it's "other." I guess I feel somewhat removed, as if my physical self and emotional self had a falling out and haven't mended fences yet. I'm not ready to forgive my body, especially since it seems intent on rubbing it in every damn day that I don't have my baby anymore.

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    1. in both of my pregnancies, i gained a lot of weight, and really early on. and both times it took me a while to feel like i'm back in my body completely, because i didn't feel like i could move in quite the same way.

      yes, it does make sense. during the course of losing nathaniel, i found out that i'm a "carrier". He died because of my chromosomal translocation, and an extra piece of genetic material that he got from me. Yes, I understand the feeling of being betrayed by your body, and simultaneous need to take care of it more than ever. It is complicated.

      i'm so sorry about sweet molly. she is so precious. I love her little face and her feet and the pictures of her!

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  2. I don't sleep well. I've been on melatonin for a few weeks and that helps. No more naps, exercise to exhaust myself.

    That "friend" is a horrid person. I hate her for you.

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    1. Thank you for hating her. I hate her too right now.

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  3. Such a bitch yes. I have lost friends along the way too, friends who don't know what to say to me anymore... i'm so tired of hearing that. There are no magical words, just be there and stand by us. I'm not sure how this becomes about them anyway, it's about the child who is gone and the parents who have to pick up the pieces, it's not about them and if they are over it.

    Like Missing Molly's mum my body has been through the wringer this past year. A month spent in a hospital bed made me realize so much about my body and what it can and can't do. It didn't save my son, my body couldn't hold onto him tightly enough. But here we are trying for another child so I have to take care of my body if I want another chance.

    I think that planning your husband's 50th party is big. It's not easy to fake it and put on a good face I know. Sending care and love x

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    1. It is weird how the loss has shown me a lot about my friends, and my family. And I can't believe how selfish that particular friend has turned out. Yes, she's going through a lot of transitions right now, so it's become all about what she needs and how other people can be there for her. And I'm just going to have to be real with her about what I'm available for and what I'm not available for.

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  4. Ive learned to cut ignorant people like that out of my life, I tend to let them know how disgusting they are behaving as well. I dont put up with anyone disregarding my son's memory. Thats just me though, it makes me feel better not to ignore it but rather burn that bridge with alot of fire lol

    I had alot of problems that my grief had caused and also I hemmoraged twice once after Jack was born, ironically then I was in the hopsital for 2 weeks and he was at home with Daddy and I also hemmoraged once during the two last months that he was in the hospital. I got meds to stop the bleeding ( blood clotting meds they use after surgery) but didnt then have time to be admitted again and get the blood I needed so I was very anemic as well during grief. I had to get anxiety meds to slow my heart and sleep meds too.

    Even though my son had a heart condition caused by down syndrome, I still feel I failed him as well. That my body just couldnt produce a good enough heart for him. I dont trust my body now, I am early in pregnancy and very very paranoid.

    Take care and try not to stress to much over your husbands bday.

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    1. Congratulations on your pregnancy! I've heard that subsequent pregnancies can be really, really hard. We're not ready. . .yet. Hopefully soon?

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  5. Suzanne,
    It's brave that you're doing this for your husband. I think it's a very loving thing to do. Your friend was wrong, there will be people there who are sad and who miss Nathaniel with you and who will be imagining what he'd be doing at his dad's party...everyone else is NOT over it.
    People just say, think, do stupid things. Believe me, I know, I'm one of them. We all are, really. It's just that in our grief things hurt us to our very core. There are no surface wounds right now.
    Sending you love and hope.

    Em

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    1. I do hope you're right that there will be people there who remember Nathaniel and who are not "over it." I'm starting to feel so isolated - there are so few people I want to be around right now, or who i can stand to be around, and i just don't have a lot of tolerance for a lot of other people right now. I've always been a bit of an introvert, but I also have some social needs. And while it almost seems like I have more social needs now, i have less tolerance for people because they really don't understand.

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  6. She said what?!?! Oh my dear. I am so sorry. You were very restrained, with your silent scratching. I think I would have been applying my feet to her shins.

    This post was so evocative to me. Even now, sometimes I feel I am powering along, doing what needs to be done, but being powered by the ghost of fumes of fuel. I'm just forcing myself onwards and onwards because there isn't any choice and there never has been.

    What you are doing for your husband is beautiful, brave and loving. And for what it's worth, I think your 'friend' is wrong. I think that other people, more thoughtful people if I dare say that, will be sad for you and David, they will remember Nathaniel.

    The first time I ever really liked my body was when I was expecting the twins, it felt like such a miraculous process, that pregnancy. And then I lost them and I've never liked my body since. I try to care for it, to forgive it, but my heart isn't in it. I'm still hopeful I'll come to like it again one day.

    Love to you and again, I am so sorry for what your friend said. Catherine xo

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    1. I think part of this loss is teaching me to tell people that their responses are selfish and unkind. I do want to say this to my friend, rather than just stop talking to her. But I know that she'll just come off and be defensive. And there is a part of me that does not want to deal with that!

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  7. I remember in the early days, I had what felt like a physical lump in my throat... It lasted for weeks. I couldn't eat for the first two weeks because of it. I felt like I couldn't breathe properly either.

    I also felt stooped... After my back had arched uncomfortably through the last few weeks of my pregnancy, it then just seemed to crumple forward once Seamus was gone.

    Like so many have said, I felt so betrayed by my body initially. I hated that Seamus died inside me and that I couldn't even pin point when. But, the need to get pregnant again forced me to treat it well. I exercised for sanity, and ate really well. I think all those efforts were about regaining control again.

    I am learning to be kind to my body through this pregnancy again, and as anxious and nerve wracking as this process is, I do love being pregnant. The trust in my body though? I think that's still not mended... I'm not sure it ever will be...

    Good luck with the party preparations, ignore that stupid 'friend' - clueless! And thinks she can somehow speak for everyone else? How self absorbed and self important! You just do your thing for your husband - it's a very loving, kind act, and I'm sure he'll appreciate it.

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    1. :) thank you, Aoife. I'm trying to be a loving, kind wife, and God knows I've failed miserably in the fallout of Nathaniel's death. I'm trying. . .trying. . .

      I'm sure that you make a radiant and beautiful pregnant woman. It's weird to think that every week that passes, you are another week closer to meeting your baby! My thoughts and prayers are holding with you and your wee one.

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  8. Suzanne, I am aghast! My mouth literally dropped open when I read that comment from your ex friend. I just cannot believe the insensitivy of some people and think that just about tops the list of 'worst things i've heard someone say to a babyloss mother'.
    To your first paragraph. I feel like this, just functioning at a basic level. Getting the things done that I need to to move through the day, and a shower is usually bottom of the list. I've even justified an every second day rule in my own head. I think I need help.
    I have heart palpitations. My body has gone from not sleeping (hadn't been to bed before 2am for 14 months), so craving more. Just a few days ago I took myself off by 10pm and have done similar each night since. So, there's a shift there.
    I hope the party and planning goes well and that you get through the night feeling light.
    And, this was a beautiful piece of music, I had it playing while I wrote this reply. Lovely.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that you've been able to shift your sleep patterns. Mine are so wacky right now. I'll stay up late and sleep late, or stay up late and get up super early, or go to bed early and sleep late and take naps. My sleep schedule is so unbalanced.

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  9. Oh my gosh, seriously people are so stupid. I can not believe that somebody said to you, people are over it! That one deserves a nice kick in the face.

    It sounds to me like you are doing your best, for you family, for your husband and for you. Grief is hard and ugly and there is not a set timelimit for sadness. My body failed me in so many ways, but I know this about all of us. Our hearts did not fail and we loved them with all that we have and still love them and forever will.

    I hope the party goes well and you can find moments to smile. Others will miss your baby boy with you forever. Love to you.

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    1. Thanks for the kick in the face suggestion. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who really wants to deal those out. I used to be so "nice." Now I think about kicking people and hitting people and scratching eyes out. And I'm so glad I'm not alone on this one.

      xoxoxo

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  10. When I read what your "friend" said, I said "Oh NO!" out loud. Then I read it to my husband. WTF is wrong with people. I don't even know why I am still shocked that people say such horrid cruel things but I am. I planned Kai's birthday party this month. I do believe in celebrating the living. the people who are alive. The ones we love. BUT...it is bitter sweet. Because this birthday could have been so much more for all of us if our children were here to celebrate with us. Sending you a giant hug.

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    1. I hope Kai's birthday was a hit for all of you! David's party is on March 9th. I have two more weeks to prepare. And pray. We had a going away party for his daughter this week, and before people even started coming I had two glasses of wine. Most years, I might have four or five glasses of wine over the course of the whole year. I wish you lived closer to come and visit with me and drink wine at the party:)

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  11. Suzanne,
    Remembering Nathaniel today. 7 months of despair. I am so sorry Suzanne.

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    1. Thank you, Em. I'm so sorry we're here.

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  12. Suzanne,
    I'm weeks behind on my blog reading, but in this case I have to say I enjoyed reading all of these comments I may have missed had I read earlier.

    I threw my husband a big milestone birthday party a few weeks ago. It felt good to do as a way to show him that I appreciate what he's done for me since our son died.

    But I do wonder if my "joy" or "happiness" (or perceived joy and happiness) at such events leads people to think I'm just "better" now. Because, no. I am not and will never be better. I just somehow have to act normal sometimes.

    -- Yoga helped me feel a bit less pissed off at my body. I should start going to class more often.

    Sending hugs. I hate translocations, and grief, and empty arms where our babies should be. xo

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