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.