Saturday, February 18, 2012

Hello Grief

Grief. It's been awhile since I've walked with grief. You are not a companion I would chose to walk with, but you are here. I've learned that it helps me to process some of my emotions through writing and sharing, so bare with me. I'm sure I'm going to be walking with grief for awhile. And I know that is OK.

Drake is ALWAYS on my mind. There is not a second that goes by when he doesn't feel near the forefront of my mind. Especially at night when I'm trying to fall asleep or when I have some time to myself. My mind instantly begins to replay the events of my pregnancy, hospitalization, Drake's birth, and Drake's death. I am trying to let myself go there and feel feelings and remember. This is by far the most painful season of my life- I just want my baby and it hurts not to have him. Day by day I have to learn to let him go a little bit more, while at the same time find a way to keep him close to my heart. Never wanting to forget him. Usually after a period of intentional reflecting I can at least move the thoughts to second place, and get myself up and going to something else. It doesn't mean the feelings aren't there, it is just the only way to survive without allowing myself to go into an utterly deep depression. As far as daily functioning goes, all things considered, I think I'm doing pretty well.

However, sometimes in the midst of just "functioning", is when things hit me. This trait of grief is familiar in such a funny way. I'm remembering that often times unexpected things are what hurt the most. All of a sudden grief can creep up on you, flood you with emotion, and knock you off track for awhile. A couple of things I never anticipated:

Singing. Recently, I was by myself and instinctively began singing along to something. I don't even remember what it was- maybe a TV commercial or a song on the radio. The sound of my own voice caught me off guard and instantly swept me to a place of sadness. I realized I was the only one who could hear me singing. Drake used to be able to hear me. I was intentional about trying to sing often when I was pregnant, because I wanted him to know my voice and hear me. Also, when he was in the hospital, Jon and I used to sing to him. No matter how bad our voices are (there is a reason why I only do karaoke in private), we knew they would be familiar and comforting for him.

Mani/Pedi time. I even tried to be strategic on this one. I didn't go to my usual place, where they know me, because I knew I was not ready to explain what had happened. Some of my dear friends had gotten me a gift certificate to a different place in town, and I was anxious to use it. I was looking forward to the time of relaxation and zoning out to trashy magazines. Once I sank into the chair, I found myself getting nervous almost instantly. As the lady scrubbing my feet began to make small talk, I became anxious that she was going to ask me if I had children. I wasn't ready to answer that question. This was a complete stranger and I didn't know how I would react. If I said no, then she might question me, "Why not?" "What are you waiting for?" (pre-pregnancy, this has happened to me more than once before when getting a mani/pedi). I contemplated just saying "Yes, I have children." Then I realized she would ask more questions, "How old are they? Boys or girls?" etc and it would lead me fumbling to maneuver down a path of lies. Not to mention, that method may have bordered on some type of psychotic way of coping. I didn't want to honestly answer and explain what happened, because I wasn't comfortable becoming emotional at that time and place, with this lady who I'd never seen before. So I just sat there nervously for an hour. Thankfully, she never asked. I left feeling tense and upset, which was not what I was going for. (At least my nails looked good and that made me feel a bit better.)

Those are my thoughts to share for today. Maybe for some of you who are reading who have experienced grief before you can relate to it's "unexpected" trait. Or maybe this can be a reminder that you can never expect the unexpected or control your emotional processing no matter how hard you might try. For those of us who like to be in control, this is not a welcome lesson, but one where there is no choice in the matter- you just have to go with it.


Melissa said...

Oh, friend. I can relate, and I appreciate your sharing so candidly what you're experiencing right now. My prayer is that God will be near in the moments that are the hardest. I believe that when you sing, Drake is listening from heaven and loving the sound of his mama's voice. XO

Angie said...

Dear Stacy, you are so good. I know that what I've experienced is no where near as difficult as losing Drake, but being single all my life has been painful at times, and it is the little things that can open up that wound. Your heart hasn't had time to heal, not even a little bit. Don't push yourself. Isn't there a scripture about not running faster than you have strength? The Lord doesn't expect you to be back on your feet right away, and neither does anyone else. Much love and prayers for you both.