Progress?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

We are coming up on the five month mark since our little Maxie left this world.  I feel there has been a change in my grief but I am not sure that I would call it progress.  I stopped wishing I was dead a few weeks ago.  I know that is dark but it is how I felt.  Again, wishing I was dead is not the same as wanting to kill myself.  There are those of you who will never understand that and I am just going to have to be ok with that.  For those of you who care to listen though, trust me when I tell you, it isn't the same. I am not sure when the change took place or why.  I think it might have something to do with having a new therapist.  Ted and I are still visited weekly by our grief counselor (who we both adore) but she recommended that I also see someone else.  The woman she recommended is anything but traditional.  She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and also a kundalini yoga instructor.  If you know nothing about kundalini yoga, know that a lot of the practice is based in chanting and quieting the mind.  She works with a great blend of practical, spiritual and straightforward talk therapy.  Also, and I am sure this is the biggest part, she lost her own babies over 20 years ago.  The experience was different.  She had twins.  One died at birth, one died several days later.  It took her a long time to work through the complex grief and she is able to share what helped her during that incredibly dark period of her life as well as to recognize all of the feelings that I have with losing Max.  Our experiences are incredibly different but having to walk through our days, having to interact with some people who refuse to be gentle and kind, having to sometimes pretend to be normal, (and the list goes on and on) are all things that we have in common.  Her advice is sometimes funny to me but very practical.  Like, she recommends that I go shopping and get a few "cute" blouses.  She wants me to put on makeup and perfume for my husband, exercise every day, and change out of my pajamas every day.  I can't say I am doing those things every day but I am working towards it.  She also sent me some chants to do - for fertility, to keep away evil thoughts and dreams...  She has her morning yoga classes meditate and chant for Ted and I, which I really like.  Once a week, I go to her class.  It is totally unlike any yoga I have done before and that is a really good thing.  It's like I have left the world of valley moms and lulu lemons pants and downward dogs and I am instead visiting another country where people dress differently (the studio has a large Sikh following and my therapist is also Sikh), talk about different things, and actually practice yoga in a completely different way.  I think I would have thought it was a little kooky before Max left us but it suits me now.  Anyway, I am grateful to have found both of these therapists.  They are teaching us how to live with all of this sorrow.  What is weird is that I still miss Max more and more every day.  The burden of living with this loss still feels so heavy.  But, I am getting to the place where I realize that I have to keep living without him.  The period of disbelief and trying to figure out how to change my reality has ended.  I believe he is gone now and I know that there is nothing I can do to change it.  The first 3-4 months of this awful journey was the darkest, most painful, most excruciating time of my life thus far.  There are no words to describe how terrible every minute was.  Maybe you can understand why I didn't accept your offer to get coffee, or do lunch or have you come sit with me.  I hope that you can.  I would not have been able to make conversation with you but would have, at the same time, been completely reliant on you to make the conversation.  At Max's funeral, the rabbi suggested that perhaps we would just want company to sit with us quietly and maybe that is comforting to some.  When people came and just sat here quietly while I cried, it made me feel SO alone.  I preferred to be alone (mostly still do) but wanted to talk to the occasional visitor who came over.  I just didn't know what I wanted to say and I hoped that they could actually ask about me and then listen to what I was saying instead of leading the conversation into non-Max topics (even though I recognize that was much more comfortable).  I wanted people who I believed cared about the pain I was in and were willing to listen to me talk about that.  Knowing most people are not comfortable with hearing about pain and loss, I was careful about who I let in.  I think I am a little better at that now but I am still very fragile, very sad, incredibly disappointed by life, and wondering how to move forward.  I miss Maxie!  I miss him so much, he is still all I ever think about.  So, have I made progress?  I am not sure really.  Is there something I am progressing towards?  Again, don't really know.  But, I am feeling just a little less scared and just a little more like myself - a new me, but me nonetheless.

2 comments:

yael said...

Abby,
I know we don't know each other - that all we did in the past was work on fundraising projects here and there but I want you to know that if you and Ted ever feel like you are strong enough to come to Israel and see Maxie's forest - I would be honored to sit and talk with you about Maxie - his life, how you are doing and just about anything you want to say!
You will always miss Max - that will never change. You loved him with all your heart and soul and you always will.
Yael.

Amy said...

Abby,

I am here to taking you shopping for those "specifics" whenever you are ready:) Glad you are found a therapist and yoga group that feels right for you.

Love,
Amy

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