Monday, February 18, 2013

"Give them a year"

A certain phrase has been used in relation to us several times. Just give them a year.

I think it means that people shouldn't expect anything from us for this first year without Samuel. I think it means they need time to heal, so, for now, it's okay if they don't participate in life like they did before (the key words being, "for now").

What I don't understand about this line is that it implies that we owe people something. It implies other people have say over how long we grieve, or the things we do.

Here is my take on this (read, one of the only two opinions  - mine and Bryan's - that matter since it's OUR grief).

I will not be pushed. The first year is in no way the end of our grief. As I get closer to it, I realized this to be more true than I previously may have thought. If I only "get" 2 more months to grieve, what on earth will I do after that magical point in time when suddenly grieving the death of our son is no longer an option?

Do people think I'm going to wake up on the morning after his first birthday and say, "Oh, good! I'm done with all that..."? Do people think his absence will suddenly be no longer felt? That I will miraculously want to hear about pregnancies, babies, other people's children,  while attending all types of parties/events/holiday festivities? That I will be "back to my old self" just because the calender says it's been "long enough"?

I don't get it.

To me, that will just be the start of the year where we grieve the loss of our one-year old son. 

I know my grief will change. I know that I'm not experiencing the same grief I was at 3 months out, 5 months out, or even 8 months out. It does change. I have better days and horrible days. I have yet to have a "good day". I have not stalled out. (Even though sometimes I just want to sit in the dark for the rest of my life).

I know I am forever changed. There is no "back to my old self." (Who, really, can go back? You learn and grow and change.) What's been done can never be undone.

There is a huge part of me that wants things to be different. I wanted us all to be happy together. You don't always get what you want. So I do what I need to. I protect myself above all else. If you feel sad /hurt/angry that I don't want to attend your babyshower/wedding/event, I'm sorry you feel that way. If you feel bad that I don't want to have game night, get together for dinner, or want to spend time with your children, I'm sorry you feel that way.  Your sadness of losing me is nothing compared to how I feel about losing Samuel. Yes, those who know us will have to grieve the loss of who we once were and that's hard, but giving us a timeline or end date will in no way help us or make us suddenly want to be with you.

In a very small way, just like us, our friends and family will just have to face that what should have been and what is actually happening are two very different things.

I know my friends and family want us to be happy again. Does anyone think I don't want to be happy too? I'm a normal human being. I want happiness just as much as most. But it's not a choice. My broken heart is not something I'm choosing. It's something forced upon me and I'm trying to figure out how to live with it.

So to those who are "giving us a year", I say this: I will take as long as I need, totally independent of what you "give" us. If I never want to go to a family event ever again in my life, that's my choice. (No, I don't think that will be the case). If I never want to be around the babies who have been born into the family since Samuel died, then that's my choice.

I will never stop loving or missing my baby. Not because I can't "move on", but because he's my little guy. He's a part of me forever. There is no endpoint.

Every day is just another day without him. I don't care if it's been 10 minutes, 10 months, or 10 years, this little boy should be here <3


  1. someone said the same thing to me a few weeks ago about giving myself a year. It made me really mad, like come September I have to stop being sad that I will never get to meet my baby and do all the things we should be doing? I think it's got more to do with the fact that come September, people's patience will be running thin. It makes me so angry that even those people with the best jntentions cannot put themselves in the shoes of a grieving mother or father enough to understand that we are going to have to live the rest of our lives without our children, and that will always make us sad.

  2. I loved your line "do you think I dont want to be happy?" I felt the same way! Like, hello people I would rather go to that family function instead of sit in the nursery and cry, but I just cannot go! Eventually I did want to go to things again, but it was never really on anyone else's timeline, just mine. Good for you for standing your ground and letting others know your needs. As my counselor says-the first year is just a daze. One year is hardly anything when we are faced with living without our children for the rest of our lives.

  3. "There is no end point". You are right, so very right.

  4. You are right, and people just need to learn to deal with it! It was several years before I could be around or hold a baby... and my BFF had a baby just before Nathan died and one the year after. Thankfully that was not the end of our friendship, but it was A FEW YEARS before I could go over there and to this day every time there is a benchmark event I think of how my Nathan would be at 'that same stage in life'. It sucks. But I also have learned to take all that emotion and try to love those kids... it's bittersweet.


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