Thursday, May 26, 2011

Right Where I Am: 2 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days

Thank you Angie for starting this project.  I have relied so heavily on these blogs and being able to read what other women's journeys through grief have looked like.  It can be overwhelming though to sort through all of the different blogs to try and figure out where each person is in their process and how it has been for them.  I think this is such a great idea for us to connect to each other and get a good idea what it may look like at different stages.  I am eager to read the entries of those who are participating. 

Although, the thought of really looking at where I am at in my grief is frightening.  Most days I feel very confused by my grief, like it is playing tricks on me.  As soon as I feel like I have an understanding of where I am in my process and my feet are finally steadying themselves on the ground a huge sleeper waves sneaks up behind me, crashing over me and spinning me upside down again.  And, every time this happens I think I should have know this was coming, that this wave of grief was just around the corner waiting to suck me back under.

I feel unsatisfied in all stages of my grief.  When I am feeling okay, I don't like that I am feeling okay, when I am deep in the dark, ugly parts of my grief, I feel scared and overwhelmed and want to feel "okay" again.  I feel like my grief is this scary boogy man that is constantly chasing after me and I am afraid to face it.  Although I do try and accept my grief and I do my best to just feel whatever emotion I am feeling at the time, it has been really hard not to judge it.  If I am feeling okay does that mean I am "getting over my son's death," am I a bad mom?  When I am feeling terrible and can't stop crying does that mean I am not coping well?  Am I throwing myself a pity party?  I just feel so unsettled all of the time.  Uncomfortable in my own body, in my head.  Nothing feels right, nothing feels good.

However, overall, my moments of feeling "okay" are lasting longer then they were before.  My intense anger (at myself, at my doctor, at those people in my life who disappeared after we lost Silas) has subsided and now most of my days I am left just feeling depressed.  I feel like I may never feel joyful again.  I may never honestly laugh, care-freely, joyfully.  I think I have gotten better at pretending to be "okay" for others though.  I can get through days without crying.  I can smile, I can do the small talk, but inside I feel empty.  I feel like a fake.  People see me and think I am still Shaina, but I don't feel like that girl anymore.  I look in the mirror and don't recognize myself.  I am trying to learn who this new me is.  I know I am different, I know I will never be the same person I was before Silas died, but I don't know this person that I am now.  And that scares me.

As time goes on and I get further away from the day I held my son in my arms, I find that I am desperately grasping at anything that makes me feel close to him.  I so desperately want others to acknowledge my son too, in tangible ways.  I love when people say my sons name, but I want something to look at, to hold that reminds me of my son.  That let's me know that others still think of him and that he meant something to others too, not just me.  For example, a friend gave us a beautiful painting on canvas that had Silas' name on it and that meant the world to me.  It meant the world that she cared enough to do something so meaningful and special to honor our son.  And, I get to hang it in my room and it will forever remind me of him because it is for him.  To me this gift says, "your son is real, he is important, and we miss him and love him too, and we will never forget him and never forget that he is always right there with you in your heart and in your thoughts."  Does that make sense?  It's very weird though because as I want people to recognize him and honor him, I also want him all to myself.  I am trying to organize a memorial service for him because I so want to honor him in that way and I also want to create a space where everyone who loves him and has been impacted by his death can come together and share in their grief, united.  But, at the same time it feels very scary to be vulnerable and share my grief and my baby with everyone else.  The memorial service notice is done, but I am too afraid to send it out.

So, like I said I feel very confused by my grief.  I have very conflicting emotions and conflicting thoughts.  As soon as I think I get a grasp on them they change and I feel like I start the whole process over again.  I want to feel okay, but also want to feel raw, intense sadness.  I want my son to be recognized, but I also feel protective of him and his memory.

And, I am trying to put the broken and shattered pieces of the person I once was back together again to try and figure out who this new person is.


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  2. I am grateful to read your posts because they allow me to understand just a little bit better a kind of grief that I could not even begin to fathom otherwise. I am beginning to get how many layers of loss you are grappling with all at once--not just the loss of Silas, nor your imagined future and life with him and Nate, and not just your anticipated role as a nurturing mother, but you're also dealing with the loss of "Shaina" as you have always known yourself. That is a lot of fucking loss to process, there is no mollifying that, and all I can do is look on in wonderment as you attempt through it putting one foot in front of the other. I just wish I could make it easier for you, like throw you a rope or a flashlight.. :)

  3. Visiting here via Angie, and I'm so glad I did. So firstly, a huge hello from your newest follower and might I also say, I am so sorry for the loss of your precious son Silas. I love his name. One of my dear babyloss blogger friends also lost a son named Silas, so that name is special to me.
    This part of your post really rang true to me and reminded me of the early stages of my own grief:
    "I feel unsatisfied in all stages of my grief. When I am feeling okay, I don't like that I am feeling okay, when I am deep in the dark, ugly parts of my grief, I feel scared and overwhelmed and want to feel "okay" again."
    Love to you, mama. You're not alone.

  4. So grateful to read this today. Two months was when I started my blog, and I was grappling with so many things, but that depression and grief was going to be my constant bedfellow was perhaps the most daunting part. I love the gift you received. Hearing Lucia's name was like a kiss and a drug in the beginning months. Everytime I heard it was like a prayer, or wish on a star, or something. Thank you for participating. Sending love and glad to have your blog in my reader and to connect with you. xo

  5. Hi, visiting from Angie's project. I just wanted to say that Silas is real, he is important, and I am missing him with you.

  6. "As soon as I think I get a grasp on them they change and I feel like I start the whole process over again. I want to feel okay, but also want to feel raw, intense sadness."
    Six weeks out this is me as well. It changes by the second. Thank you for posting this.

  7. "but I don't feel like that girl anymore. I look in the mirror and don't recognize myself."

    That was the hardest part for me. Looking in the mirror, or pictures of me and seeing a different person. It wasn't until I accepted that person, got to know that person that I was able to move forward. I felt like I was waging a war.

    This was such a beautiful post. Remembering Silas. Much love.

  8. hi, I'm visiting from Angie's too, and sending you a warm hello. I'm so sorry Silas is not safe in your arms where he should be.
    Reading your post took me right back to the beginning of my loss. I remember my brain seemed to only allow snippets of the truth to process at one time. I was so confused and scared, not knowing how the next moments were going to be.
    It's only been recently I've been able to start truly looking in the mirror. I could do my hair and makeup without really looking for such a long time. It still hurts too much sometimes to see myself, but I'm starting to be able to.
    Much love to you. x

  9. I remember how fast and frequently and from all directions those sleeper waves came at the beginning. I don't think they ever end, but started to come less frequently (and you'll get better at swimming).

    Remembering Silas, today.

  10. Oh Shania. I certainly felt like I was being 'chased' by grief for quite some time. I just desperately wanted to feel normal, to feel like 'me' again. And then, when it did leave me alone, I felt terrible for feeling ok. You've described it exactly, unsettling and uncomfortable.

    I think I understand the tension that you describe between wanting everyone to acknowledge and remember Silas and wanting to keep him to yourself, to keep him safe. It's so difficult to resolve that one. There are so many contradictions throughout this process.

    I absolutely love the painting. I hope that Silas knows how truly, deeply loved he is.

  11. I came across your story on Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. Just wanted to give you a "cyber hug". I'm so sorry for you loss and pray for your strength. Your little man is absolutely beautiful.

  12. Oh, Shaina. I'm here via Angie, and I'm so sorry for your loss, so sorry that you are in this place right now. Those first months of grief are so overwhelming and confusing and terrible and hard, and what you write here feels very familiar to me in so many ways.

    When you wrote about desperately grasping at anything that makes you feel close to your son, I was right there with you. Thinking of you and Silas, and sending love.

  13. Shaina,

    I'm so sorry that you lost Silas. Reading this, my heart just aches for you. The first few months are so tough. I'm glad that you have some friends who continue to remember your son and honor him. Best to you.

  14. Shaina, I'm also here via Angie and I want to add my voice to everyone saying how sorry I am for the loss of your beautiful Silas. Sorry seems so inadequate at a time like this. Those early months after Iris died... when I try to take myself back there I can barely bring myself to recall them. It was so intensely painful, a pain I see here in your words and all I can do is croak out "sorry."
    Sending love x

  15. Oh Shaina, my heart aches for you remembering how terrible those first few weeks and months were. I too felt like there was no sure footing to be found and that every step I took was leading me farther down the rabbit hole. I am so sorry for your loss, there are really no other words.

  16. Hi Shaina,
    I'm here via the Right Where I Am sorry to have met under these circumstances but so glad that we have the ability to share our stories with others who will be there for us and understand. As I read your post, I was mesmerized by the emotions you are going through. I remember those early days....and the best advice I can give you is always allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling. There is no right or wrong answer. Just believe that each day is another day through this journey as you heal and remember your beautiful Silas. I'm not saying it gets easier, which you probably know...I think you just learn to deal with the pain differently. Sending many hugs your way.

  17. I don't know if you'll see my comment. I am slowly, slowly, slowly reading through all the posts in Angie's project.

    I am sorry Silas is not in your arms where he should be. I have read his birth story too and left a comment there also.

    Such early days - you write very powerfully and movingly about your son and your grief. I remember the anger, the deep, deep sadness and the guilt I felt the first time I laughed again after she died. I hope you find as much love and support in this blogging community as I did/do.

    Silas' picture is precious.

  18. Our daughter died just a few weeks after you lost Silas, so I can relate to so much of your beautiful post. I'm so sorry for your loss, but thanks for taking part in this project. I will follow your seems strangely comforting to read the words of someone that lost when we lost.