Friday, December 2, 2011

Moments of Grief

I am still working on writing William's birth story.  It is a difficult story to tell and I'm writing about it as I feel led.

In the meanwhile, I am working through my grief on a moment by moment basis.  I knew it would be difficult, but I didn't anticipate how exhausting it would be.

My sadness is amplified at unexpected times and triggered by unexpected things.

I sit at the kitchen table and stare at the petals that have fallen from the vase of flowers.  I realize that the flowers are dying and begin to cry.

The flowers are dying.  My baby died.  Why do beautiful things die?

I stand in front of the dishwasher and look at the green light that tells me the dishes are clean and need to be put away.  I see the clothes piled in the hamper.  I hear the garbage truck beeping as it drives around our neighborhood to pick up the trash.

How do these ordinary things keep happening when I'm in such extraordinary pain? 

My Mom takes me to the grocery store to help me get a couple things we need.  I stand in the produce department and look at all the people rushing around buying fruit and vegetables.  I want to stop them and tell them that I had a baby.

I know you can't tell, I imagine myself saying, but I gave birth to a baby boy two weeks ago.

It really happened.

He used to be alive...and now he isn't.

I realize it would be irrational to say these things to strangers, so I quietly shop for my food.

But I do find myself longing to talk about William.
To say his name out loud.
To affirm that he existed.

Sometimes I open my eyes in the morning and think, How has this happened?

Sometimes I stop what I'm doing and say, He died...our baby died.

I say the words aloud because it's a way for me to process and accept that it happened.  The words are hard to say and I'm sure they are hard to read or hear, but they are true.

I think that these moments of grief are necessary.
They are painful.
They are uncomfortable.
But they are still necessary.

Sometimes I have to fight feelings of failure.

Pull yourself together, Ali.
Stop crying.
Where's your faith in God?

But then I stop myself.

Because it's ok for me to grieve.  If I need to cry, I can cry.  I'm allowed to miss my baby.

Having faith in God does not mean that I won't or shouldn't feel pain.  God doesn't require me to pretend that I'm not devastated by the loss of William.

So instead of putting unrealistic expectations on myself, I will accept my need to grieve.

I will allow myself to validate the sad things that have happened by saying them aloud.  But even in my moments of grief, there are other truths that need to be remembered. 

They need to spoken aloud, as well.

God is good, even when life feels bad

Hope endures, even when pain is all I see

God is near, even when I feel so very alone

My moments of grief will lessen over time...I will feel happiness again...

I will feel happiness again.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, you will. I remember that "grief haze" -- feeling almost in a stupor, wondering how people were still smiling and laughing while I was in such pain. I know lots of others who have gone through this talk about the same thing. For me, it was a desperation to know I wasn't alone -- every car I passed on the street, I wondered if they had any idea what it was like to lose a child. I wanted to grab total strangers everywhere I went and tell them about my daughter, almost as if convincing *myself* she had existed. It felt so surreal, and I worried that I would forget about her. Obviously I haven't, but I was definitely worried about it. I wondered if I'd ever be able to wake up and smile, instead of waking up feeling empty. Eventually, it comes, and in the meantime, God is there. He is ALWAYS there. And so are so many people who love you.