Monday, May 2, 2016

The New Normal

I thought since my blog was about being open and honest that I would again express some of my feelings. I thought grieving parents my be able to relate and understand what they're feeling is shared. 

What is the new normal after you lose a child. Well this is my experience. 

1. Having the wind knocked out of you when someone asks you how many children you have. I am not sure if I should answer 1 or 2. One now with an explanation or save them the grief and just say two (This happened Saturday). So I was honest and said, "I have two children but recently lost one." 

2. Feeling lost

3. Feeling like you may be going bat shit crazy but realize you cannot go bat shit crazy because you have to work and care for your other child. Then overhearing your husband say he is holding it together because he is trying to get his wife through this. That he just wants her to survive......poor Mike. He is almost reminding me of Robin Williams in, "What Dreams May Come" because he is so sensitive and caring. Today he called me and asked how I was and then he stopped before I could answer. He asked "crappy or really crappy." I explained really crappy and that it's not been a good day so he responded that we would work on just getting back to just crappy. He made me smile. 

4. Not sleeping. I slept two hours last night and I am dragging today. 

5. Wondering if you would freak people out if you just yelled at the top of your lungs in a public place. Then realizing they would probably take you away in a jacket so you refrain. No one wants to go away in the jacket.  

6. Realizing people are making comparisons because all they have to go on is what they experienced. However you want to point out to people that losing a parent or grandparent is hard but a parent should never have to bury their child. You just cannot comprehend the hole in your stomach filled with loss unless you've been there. 

7. You want to stay busy but you don't want to go to work. Work seems unnatural and confining. Like you are forced to sit and think about what's happened. Yet again you need to stay busy. 

8. Listening to people complain about trivial things makes you consider slapping them with your purse. Well not really but the woman in the nail salon complaining about her toenail polish made me bite my lip and hold my nail polish extra hard. 

9. Looking around your house and realizing it will never be the same. I generally have something with noise going at the house because the loss of the oxygen machine is deafening. When I look in my living room all I think about is watching Jude take his last breath and watching his little body lay there. It's overwhelming and it replays in my head over and over again like a nightmare. 

10. Normal is questioning if there is a Heaven and if you will see your loved one's natural. It's not a lack of faith it's natural. 

11. Being so tired that you forget to do normal every day activities you normally did and being amazed you forgot to do them. Not wanting to clean, not wanting to cook, not wanting to life.  

12. Realizing your therapist is crying with you because she understands this is one horrible crappy tragic situation that really doesn't have any resolution but time. Hearing the words, "you do what you need to do I am fine with whatever you need." An understanding that depression is inevitable when you lose a child and that you just have to take time and figure it all out YOUR way. No one elses way.........YOUR way. 

13. Putting on a happy face when you really just want to crawl into a ball or sigh at everything you hear. You are basically annoyed by every single thing. 

14. Not wanting to be around large groups of people but toughing it out anyway. 

15. Realizing as prepared as you thought you were you can never be really prepared. Then realizing it's going to take a very long time to get back to normal and even then it will be different. 

16. Rotating through all the stages of grief on a continuous cycle in 10.5 second loops. 

17. Having a panic attack that a holiday is approaching. 

18. Realizing there is no sense to losing a child or a child being sick. People can try to rationalize why God calls a child home but in all honesty there is just no justification. It's just random chaos and all you can do is have faith your child is happier. 

19. The idea of walking into a hospital setting ever again makes me want to vomit. 

20. Realizing that everyone grieves different and you have to help your partner by being with them, standing back, and even asking for some moments to yourself if needed. 

21. Realizing that there is a huge stigma about death in the US.  People really don't want to hear about it but knowing your child's story will forever be with you and you don't want to hide it. 

22. Becoming a member of various support groups leads your heart to break multiple time for new friends that share their stories. You feel connected and thankful but you also want to delete yourself to save the pain. Yet you stick it out because they are your fellow soldiers in this battle. 

23.You learn to cope. That's basically what horrific grief is about just learning to cope until the pain starts to heal. 

24. Advice can be very annoying but you understand people are just trying to help. 

25. Realizing life will have to move on but it will in fact move on without the person you loved so much. You just have to keep up. 

Normal thoughts and feelings that are overwhelming and raw.  


Katie said...

Hey Jen, I'm not going to give you advice because I think this is really a personal thing that different people deal with in different ways. Just know that everyone is thinking of you, Mike and Emily. If you ever fancy a trip abroad to the UK there is a bed here at my house for you!

Micernice said...

Love this post. Don't love that you are going through this, but you have captured the insane, awful roller coaster so well.
Thinking of you lots and hoping for less crappy days for you guys.