Grief nostalgia??

I was getting supper ready for my bunnies and listening to Vanessa by Grimes when I was hit with a wave of nostalgia for my intense and dark period of grief not long after I lost Henry.

I’m trying to understand it.

It could be that it’s a time when I felt closer to Henry than I do now.

It was autumn. We were waiting to collect Henry’s ashes from Mount Royal cemetery  I did nothing but grieve, cry, blog, and think about Henry in those days.

I think about my son every day. That hasn’t changed. Will never change.

The sudden onset of nostalgia took me by surprise.

Why would I have feelings of longing for a time in my life drenched in tears, living in a cocoon, wanting desperately to join my son, and feeling like my life was worthless if I couldn’t hold my baby? (rhetorical question!! please don’t try to understand it or explain it to me. If i dont’ get it, this complex sea of emotions, then you certainly won’t! Thanks!)

It’s a pleasant experience. Remembering being immersed in the shadow of my baby. Even if it’s marred with sharp grief on the jagged cliffs of pregnancy loss. Maybe this is the part of the grieving process I was told would turn to bittersweet.

Thanks Grimes.

 

Happy one week, Henry my love

Henry was born exactly one week ago at 11:13 a.m. at Sainte-Justine’s Hospital.

That’s about all I can say for today.
Some days, I feel like my heart is dying, and all I do is cry.
I miss my baby.

Rest in peace my angel.

Since his birth and death a week ago, I have:

  • worn almost the same clothes every day
  • not worn any makeup or jewelry
  • not really spoken to any friends or family, and if I have, it’s been brief
  • had friends and family clear out Henry’s room. All his stuff is in storage until I don’t know when, including all of my maternity clothes
  • resisted smashing some pottery that is in the drying stage in my basement
  • called Mount Royal cemetery to arrange the pickup of Henry’s ashes
  • made a 6-week appointment with my OBGYN
  • began working on finishing a knitted blanket I started years ago
  • learned that I am experiencing both grief and trauma
  • have only been out of the house three times
  • started this blog

I try to make little goals for myself for the day. If I don’t achieve them, it doesn’t matter. Some days, it’s to take a bath (still haven’t gotten to that one yet, though I’ve taken a few showers, miraculously), other days, it’s to read one of the pamphlets the hospital gave us. Surprisingly, the only daily goal that I’ve been able to keep up is this blog, and to make sure my rabbits and cat are fed. I really don’t care about anything else right now.

With peace,

Mel

Gratitude through grief

When I lost my dad eight years ago, I was a daughter mourning her father. My mother was mourning her husband, and my grandmother/aunt/cousins mourned him in their own way according to the relationship they had with him.

As I mourn Henry’s death, I feel so fortunate to be grieving the loss of the same relationship with my partner. I hate having something so painful in common with him, but we draw a lot of comfort from each other. He has been my rock, and a constant source of love and support.

We’re together, but separate, mourning in our own individual ways. Some people pour themselves in to work to restore a sense of control and normalcy after something as devastating as losing a child. My partner had no choice but to start working pretty much right away because of deadlines, etc. I can’t do that, but I’m lucky to be a freelance writer with a bit of cash in the bank to help me coast for a little while. This means I don’t have to rush back to a job if I’m not ready, and my editors are kind enough to give me the time I need to feel ready to write professionally again (if any of you are reading this, thank you from the bottom of my heart).

I rely on my fingers to fly across the keyboard for my livelihood. But in the first days after learning Henry’s diagnosis, and the days following his delivery and death, I couldn’t make sense of my computer. I misspelled everything, got confused, and just closed up shop, only writing to a few friends to tell them the news. I let go of all of my commitments (even a beloved pottery class), and just existed (I don’t mean to sound like this is in past-tense… I’m still just a breathing, sitting blob).

Through the past two weeks, I have also been floored by the graciousness and generosity of my friends and family. This has been, without a doubt, the most difficult time of my life.

This post is about other things that I am thankful for.

We received a beautiful bouquet flowers from my old workplace, and I don’t know how many meals from friends and family, left innocently on our front porch. And I thank you for each fork-full that I didn’t have to cook myself, each kind thought, and every card that has passed through our door.

Thank you DSF

I’m also very appreciative of my friends, who have been so kind and decent as to leave my partner and I in peace with our pain. We haven’t received any surprise drop-in visits or any mournful, uncomfortable phone calls. We’re still not ready, but we’re getting there, and we thank you so much for your patience while we stay in our cocoon.

We have literally been hiding, spending days in bed. I feel that I’ve made some progress because I’ve been camping out on the sofa rather than our bed – which is getting kindof grimy and full of crumbs. But we’re exhausted, even though our days are very sedentary.

I’m also trying to find the motivation to take care of myself now that I no longer have a baby to keep me eating healthy and exercising. While I was pregnant, Henry gave me every motivation for self-maintenance, like flossing and eating veggies and completely cutting out coffee and wine.

Now that my belly is empty, I find it hard to care whether I eat in a day, floss, or do other regular self-maintenance tasks. I’m thankful for my mom, who has gently urged me to speak with my naturopath to make sure I don’t go completely off the rails, and who is arranging that I get a massage eventually. Maybe one day in the far distant future, I’ll even get a hair cut and go for a walk in the day time.

Lastly, I’m very thankful to whoever is reading my blog. It is my hope that other grieving parents, no matter how you lost your child, reads these so that they feel they’re not alone.

With love and gratitude,

Mel

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