processing

I’ve been talking to and writing emails with a number of people that try to comfort us. Many wish us strength to “get through this”. From others and from previous experiences with grief I do know that it does get easier, with time. However, the problem with “processing” or “getting through” this experience, this loss is that the words seem to imply that we’ll be done with this process at some point. And, honestly, I’m not sure we ever will.

I’m very grateful they write, it’s not that. I’m just struggling to find words to describe how profound of an experience this is, how deeply it touches us. It may be the difference between “getting back to where we started from” and “finding our new normal” without even a map of the landscape, as I read elsewhere.

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12 thoughts on “processing

  1. You’ll never get over your babies, sweetie. They will be with you forever and you will never forget. I’m thinking of you, your hubby, and little C and A today.

  2. that’s so well put, CC. You have been and are so deeply transformed by this experience, and there is no getting back to how things were. There is a line that has been drawn between before the girls were born and after ( “between so far, and from now on” as Ani Difranco sings). I guess I’m guilty myself of writing things like that, and in a way, people just wish that your pain could somehow vanish, if not lessen significantly. But grieving, like you said, is on its own schedule. And even when it lessens, it doesn’t go away. As my dear therapist told me for the better part of the year after my m/c, “this doesn’t have to look like anything” (meaning my grief). So, I am saying it to you now, dearest woman: this doesn’t have to look like anything.

  3. I really believe that the people who say that you’ll “get through it” don’t mean to imply that you’ll ever forget your babies or move on from them. It’s just that words are too feeble to say what they mean, which is that they want you to feel better and find a place where the grief won’t hurt so much. I want that for you too, we all do. But I think we all know the grief will never totally go away, it will just change and morph and become part of you over time, and you’ll find a way to live with it and be happy again while still always remembering your girls. But that’s hard to say, so wishing you strength to “get through it” is what they say instead.

  4. You have been in my thoughts constantly…I’m so glad people are reaching out and I hope it brings comfort even if the words don’t always fit. I can’t recall where it comes from, but there’s that thing about English not having a word for a person who has lost a child because we just don’t want to name that possibility. We have orphan and widow and windower, but the very idea of losing a child is literally too awful for words. That keeps coming back to me–what you guys are living with is too awful for words.

  5. Thank you all! Your comments really helped me in understanding and accepting that, while I will always remember my babies, we may not have good words to express this experience and subsequent transformation. And that this is awfully hard. I also remembered that “processing” often means that the subject is no longer the same as before – I think I had thought of myself as the “machine” that does the processing but isn’t changed in itself, and that certainly wouldn’t be true.

    Bunny – I’ve read that, too, and came to a much sadder conclusion. Namely, that it used to be so common to lose a child in the previous centuries that this term would have applied to almost all parents… I do hope that your theory is right, and that mine is just a sign of where I am with my experiences and feelings right now.

  6. Hello Conceptionallychallenged, I came over here from “All in One Basket.” I am so so so sorry for your loss. I’ve had a couple of early losses following IVF cycles and those were painful enough. I cannot even conceive of the pain you must be feeling and I’m amazed by your strength. I wish you peace as you process this loss.

  7. You’re so correct. This is not something that you get through and then leave behind. You are in the beginning stages of learning to live with this for the rest of your life. That’s hard for people to understand. Many see the death of a child as a single act that eventually is done, like a concert. They don’t realize that your concert never ends…you just learn to live and function with the chorus of grief always playing around you.

      1. Steal away. One thing I’ve found is that this community is wonderful in sharing, and allowing stealing, in hopes of helping someone else in their journey.

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