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Thursday, January 12, 2012

There is some stuff I have to let go of and I don't know why it is so hard.  Mostly it has to do with other people's reactions to and interactions with us.  I feel like I have tried so hard (probably too hard) to convey how devastating it has been for Ted and I to lose Max.  I have tried to explain why small talk or hilarious banter is next to impossible, especially without any kind of acknowledgement of our loss as a warm up.  I keep saying how much I want to hear that you remember Max, that you loved Max, that he was important to you.  For some reason, it is important for me to know that those people closest to us are grieving for Max too.  Sometimes I try to "model behavior" so that people don't come at me with so much exuberant joy and excitement (like "OH MY GOD!  It is SO good to see you!  or I hope this is the BEST birthday EVER!  or "Aren't you SO PSYCHED it is a New Year!?").  I feel like if I am subdued (which is my new natural state), people will understand to be more subdued with me.  I have to let it go.  It isn't working.  It is what it is.  Some people actually do feel grief but they can't say it because maybe it is too painful to say "I miss Max so much.  I wish he were here".  Some people probably feel compassion but they can't address it or just say, "I am so sorry about your loss".  I am sure there are many people who just want us to be our old selves again already and our losing Maxie just seems like a blip to them.  Plenty of well meaning people have offered to come over and "make [us] laugh."  People just want to be happy, even when they are interacting with us, and I have to get that through my head because I am wasting too much energy hoping to get someone to understand what it is like to lose a child.  I am not sure why I care but I want to be over it.  I am going to try to just be over that part of it.  I feel what I feel and you don't need to understand.  Perhaps I can be more accepting of the way life just is now and know that there are very few people who care to understand and I don't need anyone else to get it.  I am tired.  So, approach me however you want.  Say something or don't say something.  Try to make me laugh and try to make me forget (I won't forget but I can't stop you from trying.....that is crystal clear).  I have to worry about me, right?  This probably won't be a learning experience for you and that is fine.  I don't know what I was thinking - that somehow people would understand loss better or compassion better or I don't know.  It is silly.  I am throwing away expectations (at least I am trying).  If you hurt me, you hurt me and vice versa.  You are on your path and I am on mine.  Good luck to both of us.

5 comments:

rebecca Patrick-Howard said...

For awhile I went through a period where I wanted people to talk about Toby to me and I wanted them to miss him as much as I did. Then, I went through a period where I was almost angry when they said things like they missed him and loved him. Most only met him once, if they met him at all. The only people in his life that got to "know" him were me, my husband, my mom, and her best friend. Nobody else took the effort. So to hear them say that they missed him just pissed me off. Now, I don't care. I realize that eventually people move on and have their own lives and worries. It makes me sad and angry still at times but I'm to the point now where I'm at least okay with it. He's ours and nobody else's and I don't really want to share him.

I realize, of course, that our situations are totally different. Not only was Max older when he died but you guys had friends and family members around that got to meet him and see him. In our life, nobody cared. We were the hospital room without flowers when he was born. I thought things would be different when Iris was born after what happened with Toby but they weren't.

I really wanted people to care and share my pain or at least sympathize with me but at the end of the day it was just me and my husband. After awhile, that mostly became okay. I rely on him more than anyone and I'm tired of spending energy on anyone else. Mostly, I'm just tired.

Jennyro22 said...

Abby I wish your friends would realize that what you need of them is a seat on your couch, slippers, a big box of tissues and stories of Max. Not to forget but to acknowledge and remember. Not to move on but sit and heal or at least callous. It's scary to think at a time like this when you should be leaning on people my best advice is to avoid them at all cost. I hope you find your comfort and strength in Ted. I don't know how much more blunt you can be with everyone else. As always all good thoughts and peace to you and yours.

maxiesmommy said...

Thanks Jenny. The truth is that I think everyone is doing the best that they can. I have exhausted myself hopin that people will understand. I think it is just too hard and the sooner I can let go of caring, the sooner I can start to heal that part of me.

maxiesmommy said...

But, yes, Jenny....that is exactly what I would have wanted.

Kate said...

I really am scared to ask this, but I see a lot of what you're saying people shouldn't do, but what/how should people act? I don't know how to be sensitive and know when to ask my grieving friend questions, and share my own thoughts and memories about the thing she is grieving and when I should just leave her alone. I don't know if giving her space is what she wants or if she feels I'm abandoning her.

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