Thursday, June 13, 2013

The worst kind of loneliness

This is often my stumbling block. I don't have the words to say how I feel. Sometimes, that leaves me feeling empty and alone. Sometimes, instead of trying over and over again, I just stop trying.

It's very frustrating when, despite my best efforts, people simply don't get it, or - let's be honest - refuse to face the truth of what it's like. Every once in a while, someone (I'm sure "with the very best of intentions"..blah) takes it upon him or herself to "fix me". You know, to "set me straight" about what I should be doing/feeling/saying. You know, to help me move on. (BLAH). 

It's interesting how this always seems to coincide with times I'm *just* starting to feel a bit better. Then, suddenly, out of the woodwork, pops Mr. or Mrs. "well meaning happy helper" to set me back about 5 months by inflicting their completely wrong, arrogant, insensitive and hurtful ideas on me. (You know, becuase they care so much about me and want to help...blah).

**Before I tell you about such an encounter, I want to make a point to say that we have some very supportive and loving friends and family. We are deeply thankful for them and their continuous support and willingness to lay down in the pit of grief right along with us. **

Yesterday, I had a long (longer than I would have preferred) conversation with my father-in-law. If you know him, you know, he's very set in his thinking. He is very religious and it influences everything in his life. Well, after my nightmare the other day at the hospital to see him, he decided he had a lot to say to me. Despite the fact that he had just come out of surgery and was mostly in a drugged state, he apparently was conscious enough to hear what I was dealing with. But, sadly, instead of loving me and hurting with me, he chose to judge me.

He basically called to say I need to: Get help ("you're not the only counselor, you know"), stop being so emotional, learn to control myself, go to church, let people help me, realize God gives some people the gift of children while other just get different gifts, be appreciative for what happened to us (can you imagine??), and celebrate with people who get to have babies. (Plus something about how I need to transform my mind. Apparently that means stop hurting that my son died??)

Let me just tell you right now, I'm no pushover. I mustered up all my strength and fortitude and did my best to push aside the grief fog that's so often overtaking my brain, to come up with logical ways to explain my emotions and experience. I talked to him for a very long time about why what he was saying was so hurtful, WRONG, and judgmental. I hope that he heard me, but I feel in my heart he didn't. It breaks my heart wide open that Samuel's own grandfather does not feel the pain of his death. That he can so easily make light of something so utterly irreversible and devastating. That, instead of helping and support us, he turns against me and coaches Bryan on how to "help" me.

That I should have to explain why Samuel's death is horrifying and deeply painful is absurd to me. What is wrong with your head, heart or soul if you are not massively outraged and devastated by the loss of an innocent life - especially one of your own grandchild? It's beyond my ability to comprehend that people act like it's something to just "get over"; a bad thing that happened in the past and should no longer influence me today. That people do not understand the emptiness in my soul, the irreparable damage to my heart and mind, and the deep sadness that can never be undone, leaves me flabbergasted.  I want to scream: "What is it that you don't get! My BABY DIED!"

Now I know I can't trust him with my heart. In a moment of deep sorrow - from the bottom of my soul and out - I sobbed at the injustice of a baby being born while my beautiful little Samuel had to die. It was an overwhelming visceral response - one I could NOT control - that should have allowed them to see and hear the deep ache in my heart. For reason I can only assume are motivated by self-protection (I get it, I'm a walking talking reminder that life is completely outside of our control and God does not answer prayers like we believe he does and sometimes those we love the most are stolen away forever for no reason whatsoever - no one wants to face that reality), he chose to push back instead of embracing the reality of my hurt.

Much to my disheartened chagrin, this is not the only encounter I've had like this. I hope will all my heart something  I said to him lands and he begins to realize the truth. But there is only so much I can do. (And, really, it hurts me too much to have to keep fighting that fight.)

If you are reading this, listen to me. When you criticize my grief, all you're doing is adding to my burden. Your critique minimizes my great loss (which I will not allow you to do) and leave me wanting to never be around people again and much more anxious than I'm already feeling. Is that what you are going for? Despite your intentions, that's the result.  More often than not, these types of comments are for your own self-protection - to distance yourself from my reality -and it has nothing to do with me. So, please, leave me out of it! You have no right to tell me how I "should" be grieving. I am the one whose life was changed forever, it was my heart (among others) that was shattered. If you want to know what it's like, ask me - don't assume or pretend you know - and I'll try to tell you. There is nothing on this earth as heartbreaking or damaging to the mind and soul than the death of a loved and wanted baby. Our family will never be the same again and I'm the one who has to face it every moment of every day for the rest of  my life.

If you want to be apart of our lives, you have to realize Samuel is a HUGE part of it and always will be. We will always be missing him and there will be times when the pain of our loss will come out in physical and emotional ways. To feel is to be human.  I love and miss my baby.  I will not, under any circumstances, allow the ignorance or incorrect opinions of others to stop me from expressing that deep love and the hurt left by his death.

If you don't like it, GET OVER IT.

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