Making decisions in grief

It’s really, really hard to make decisions these days. Things kind of just have to be thrown at me and I’ll either duck out of the way, or get hit by them and incorporate whatever it is into my day. Most of the time I’d rather duck, but don’t often have the energy for it.

This is quite a bit change from the person I used to be. I was more of a direct-make decisions, no fuss kind of lady. Maybe I still am, I don’t know. I’ve been hit with a Fort McMurray-sized truck of loss, and you don’t come out of the grief-machine the same.

But I am making one decision in my cloud of grief. I know Sweetie, my beloved deceased bunny, cannot be replaced. She was a very special pet, and having her suddenly ripped from my life is really very painful.

My sweet, good girl. Rest in peace.

 

Since losing Henry, she had been one of my main sources of comfort. Watching her eat made me smile, and she was very good at snuggling. We would spend hours sometimes snuggling in my bed or on the sofa.

She also made me laugh when she would weave between our legs, honk, and follow us like a dog, demanding to be pet. She would also flop on the ground and go really flat – a sign that she was happy and comfortable. A light went out when she left, and I’ve been so angry and sad at the circumstances of her death, even though the vets did everything they could to resuscitate her. I think she died of fear, and that tears me up.

One thing is for sure – getting a new bunny that is real and already sterilized is a much quicker fix than waiting to hear from geneticists that our chances of making another baby with osteogenesis imperfecta type 2 are high or low. So I’m going for the quick fix.

In all of this, I haven’t turned to substance abuse to cope with my grief, which I find a bit amazing. Not that I would have turned to hard drugs in the first place, having never done them or had the desire to go down that path. Maybe I’m watching too much Internet TV these days to think of that as a logical progression from multiple losses. My point is, I’m going to get another bunny. Hopefully one that snuggles. I still have Wilbur – my feisty miniature grey rex rabbit, but he’s a biter, not a cuddler. Neither is my cat.

Silly wonderful Wilbur.

I’m finding so little comfort in my life these days. I’m still humbly thankful for all the love and support that friends and family are giving us – I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but at the end of the day, it’s me sitting with me and my torn lump of a heart that continues to beat for some reason.  The tools to recover, if I ever get there, are within me, and what I feel will give me some ounce of comfort is a bunny from the SPCA. So that’s one decision I’ve made.

 

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Ode to pottery (coping with clay)

Many years ago, I read a Stone Soup comic in the newspaper where one sister was teasing her younger sibling for doing a connect-the-dots picture. The mom was in the background and overheard the girls’ conversation. The younger sister was saying that life is unpredictable and uncontrollable, but with this connect-the-dots, she knew she was getting a dinosaur at the end – no surprises. Then you see the mom with a thoughtful expression, and in the next frame, the mom is doing a couple of connect-the-dots pictures with a satisfied and relaxed expression on her face. I’m going from memory, so I might be a little off, but it left an impression.

That’s how I feel about pottery. I can’t control the fact that my son was growing with an incurable genetic bone disease, but I can make a cylindrical cup with grooves or straight edges, or I can make a bulbous, round pot, or I can smash everything. To a degree, I’m in control. It’s one of the only things that has helped me feel like I can get a grip in the past month.

I was signed up for a fall pottery course and had taken my first class the week before our first ultrasound (the one where we didn’t get good news). I dropped out of the class, but thankfully, I have my own pottery wheel, so I can finish the pieces that I started.

My pottery wheel in my messy basement “studio”

One of the pieces I made in class without knowing – a simple little pot with a lid – will be Henry’s urn. I made it while I still had him with me, so finishing it up at home and carving in his name was a surreal experience.

Henry’s urn – with the lid tilted to display his name.

Pottery is my escape when I can’t handle whatever is going on at home. My wheel is in the basement, which isn’t a high-traffic area, so I am left in peace, and the whir and spin of the wheel helps me focus on the lump of clay waiting to be transformed. It’s a hobby I’m glad I kept up with.

Tears-y Tuesday

Yesterday was a good day, but, because I’m riding on the rollercoaster of grief, Tuesday is all about tears and remembering.

I remember Henry’s birth sharply today, and I don’t feel like anything in the world will be right again.”Why us?!” is buzzing through my head at high-speed. This baby we wanted so badly and for so long (it took my partner years to feel comfortable with the idea of having another baby after the experiences he had the first time around with his ex), and now, Henry is already gone. How could this be?

My sweet Henry on September 27, the day before he was born

I have heard from friends a few times that it’s not fair that this has happened to us, because we’re so “nice.” They’ll ask why this didn’t happen to “some crackhead bitch who doesn’t care?” But I think it’s because we do care, and we love Henry so, so much. He’ll always be an important part of our family, and we can’t choose when loss happens. So although we wish more than anything that we could have brought Henry home and raised him, we feel blessed that we did have five happy months knowing he was with us.

Today, I have turned to music as a soothing balm. I though I would share some of the songs that have been important to me during the past two weeks. It will be two weeks ago tomorrow that we learned that there might be something wrong with Henry. Call this my sadness soundtrack, if you will.

The first is by one of my favourite artists, Bruce Cockburn. The Whole Night Sky‘s chorus reflects a sufficient measurement for the quantity of tears I have cried so far. Please listen and enjoy.

Beethoven‘s Sonata Pathetique just has a comforting effect on me.

And of course, the anthem for the bereaved parent – a song I hope none of you ever have to relate to. It’s the last song that I ever played for Henry, bawling incessantly for the duration:

With love,

Mel