Transformation

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I have not yet found my new normal.  I think it is a process that will take several years.  Our grief counselor told us earlier this week that we have begun a period of deep transformation.  I told her I don't want to transform.  She says we have no choice.  And that is the part that blows my mind.  I have had no choice in any of this!  Now, over the next months and years, I have to make a choice about how I continue to walk through the world.  Do I walk through this world with resentment or do I walk through knowing that even though life will never be as good, it can still maybe be a different good again one day?  Frankly, I resent that I have to make the choice about how to handle my grief at all.  Did I make the choice to be this woman?  Did I have the choice to take on this grief to begin with?  Did I do something to hurt someone?  Have I wronged the world somehow?  Did I deserve this somehow?  What did I do to deserve having to be in the position of deciding how to recreate my entire life and personality after the death of my child?  Did my child deserve this?  Of course not...this new life was just handed to us, in broken pieces, with no instructions, and just the understanding that we have to make sense of the whole thing.  This is a burden.  Everything is a burden - having to be sensitive to others who don't know what to say is a burden.  Having to keep myself from jumping down the throat of someone who says or does something hurtful is a burden (especially when you keep doing it over and over again).  Sometimes I do not restrain myself...something I hope to correct....one of the reasons you don't see me anymore.  Still, I think the very few of you who continue to be so insensitive should think twice....this could be you some day.  Those of you who have been so kind, bringing us dinners, sending us cards and other gifts to let us know you are thinking about us, sending emails and texts - you impress me every day.  And, those really special individuals who can actually connect with us must already be deeply transformed people.  I am in awe of you.  I hate having to keep going through the motions, knowing that we are the unlucky ones who don't get to dream like we used to.  I am reading Elizabeth Edwards book "Resilience"....I guess people bought it hoping to read more about the salacious affair of her husband only to be disappointed in realizing that the book was much more about the death of her 16 year old son Wade.  She talks about having to keep recreating her reality after every blow.  Each time knowing life would never be as sweet but still creating a new paradigm from which to live her life - death of a child, terminal cancer, infidelity.  She didn't ask for any of these things, they just kept getting handed to her.  Again, you can play by the rules perfectly and it won't matter in the end at all.  You either get handed the fortune or the misfortune.  So now comes the part of this journey that I am dreading the most (next to actually losing Max).  Now comes the part where I have to decide who I want to be when I grow up (since it looks like I eventually have to).  It's not going to happen overnight, just as I didn't become the person I was overnight either....it took 37 years in fact.  So, bear with me and try to be sensitive to both of us  We lost the most important person in the world to us.  Please keep that at least in the back of your mind when you interact with us because, trust me, it is at the very front of ours.  Eventually, I hope to come to the point where I realize that though I may have been on a transformational journey, you haven't been, and I'll have to be ok with that too.

5 comments:

Melissa Rossi said...

,"this new life was just handed to us, in broken pieces, with no instructions, and just the understanding that we have to make sense of the whole thing. This is a burden. Everything is a burden - having to be sensitive to others who don't know what to say is a burden. Having to keep myself from jumping down the throat of someone who says or does something hurtful is a burden (especially when you keep doing it over and over again).
I can't believe how beautifully succinctly you put the crap that this all is. Our losses are different, very, very different- but I understand. My own mother doesn't understand how I feel... What did I do? What could I have done differently? Why me? I try to do good things? and then to add to it the innocence of a baby... I haven't responded in a while, but I am still thinking of you and still wishing this hadn't happened at all.

Kim Nisbet said...

My favorite quote of all times, "fuck it to the critics." You feel how you need or want to feel. No one else has to live your life, your an amazing woman.

Steven Stuart (Colin's Daddy) said...

The new normal will never truly arrive. There is no "ah ha!" moment. It is an evolutionary process in which the new normal will constantly change and your pain and grief will become more manageable. They will never go away...you will just develop better coping skills and find ways to honor and cherish your grief for Maxie. I know that cherish sounds a bit odd, but since your grief is one of the physical things that remains of Maxie, you will cherish that it is a part of you as a way to hold onto your bond with him.

I wish I had something "profound" or even comforting to tell you. Sadly words can never describe the pain and quite frankly, all people ever do in trying to come up with words is to stumble over them. So, in that vein, I will only say that I am terribly sorry that you and Ted have to walk this path now. My heart goes out to you both.

Steven

Anna Hynek said...

I agree with Steven that words alone can never comfort the pain that comes with intense complex heartbreaking grief.

But please know that Maxie and you and Ted are loved, truly loved by your friends and family. We are here when you need us, in whatever place along your journey you find yourselves. There is no need to autocorrect yourself or fake it. Be yourself and keep feeling your feelings without judgement - your core is strong and beautiful and you have always been an amazing friend. Whatever the journey of transformation is and wherever it takes you, you are not alone, you are accepted in whatever state you are in and you are loved.

Katie (LukeGrantsMom) said...

Since losing Luke, I have become a different person and I feel as well it will take years to really know this “new me”, maybe a lifetime. I loved my life with Luke in it, I had “everything” that I always wanted. My life was not perfect, but it was perfect for me. I knew this and did not take it for granted. It will never be like that again, I will always be missing my little boy…missing a part of me. It is hard to accept there is no cure and there never will be. I have said many times I feel losing my child has given a new appreciation for how deep love goes and appreciation of my life. It has made me feel to a depth I don’t think you can really feel until you have felt the depth of pain losing a child creates. This is something I appreciate (not that I wouldn’t trade it for a second with my Luke). Our babies are a part of us and part of our purpose. I remember last Christmas my great aunt had told me that time will help me. It had only been 1 month since Luke had died, I could hardly imagine…but 1 year and 1 month later it has helped. Time gives you a chance to figure out this new life and all the wonderful things in it. Time to find ways to honor the child we have to live physically without. You and your husband have already done so much to honor Max and he knows it.

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