Compartmentalizing my grief

Friday, June 29, 2012

I have gotten better at compartmentalizing my grief (or "pretending").  I can put Maxie away for hours at a time without completely losing it emotionally in public.  It isn't easy.  Sometimes the tears creep in and I work hard to shut them down.  It is easier for everyone this way.

But, can I tell you something?  I sort of hate it.  I know it is "progress".  I hate that the expectation of progress is for me to stop focusing on Max - my baby.  If he was alive, he would be my primary focus....obviously.  I know that everyone else has been compartmentalizing from the very beginning.  They couldn't let themselves feel this pain.  They probably wonder why it took me so long or whether I was purposely avoiding this stage.  I don't think I realized that it was possible to even be in this stage AND I probably was also avoiding it.  Pushing down the pain and putting on a smile feels like a terrible betrayal of my favorite person.  I imagine that when people leave my company now they say, "She seems to be doing so much better."  I am not really.  My hearts aches this morning, like every morning.  It is false.  It's an act.  I am still obsessed with where our souls go.  I am still ticking off the days until I can be with Max again.  I still can't believe that I am living in this nightmare.

"But he would have wanted you to be happy...", they say.  Would he have?  He was nine and a half months old.  I can only imagine that he wanted to be my baby.  He wanted us to be happy together.   If he was alive, he might feel jealous of Baby M or wonder why I wasn't paying as much attention to him anymore and I would feel guilty.  Look, if I died tomorrow, I would want my family to be happy again, but do we become totally unselfish upon passing?  I think it would hurt me to see them merrily going about life so soon after my death.  I think it would hurt me to not hear them mention my name or remember out loud the things that they loved about me.  I never admit that, because I am not supposed to.  So, there, I admitted it. If that's how I feel, why is it assumed that he was capable of emotions that are so much more complex? 

So, I am pleased to say that you might see a smiling woman when you next see me.  That will make life easier for you, for sure.  And it will be easy for you to walk away and feel good that "this" is over.  But, I think if you looked a little closer, you might see what you must know is true: that Maxie is in my every thought.  That "this" will never be over.  That "this" doesn't get any easier.  And, that I am just trying to figure out where to put my Max, for now, until we can be together again.  Not soon enough baby.

2 comments:

Tanya said...

In a way, along with the deep and ever enduring pain that will always be there, it is that very pain that you will be able to tap into at will as the years go by that will forever keep you "Maxie's mom" As time goes on, the very fact that you will be able to experience "at will" how you felt at the worse will help.

jkbrumbaugh@gmail.com said...

I totally understand. It will be 5 months next week. Can you believe it? I have become so much better at smiling in front of people just to make them comfortable. I hate that I have to be like that but when I mentioned him I see their expressions- expressions that say "you have to move on", there is always remarks about how blessed we are to have two beautiful girls. Yes we are and we loved them so much and they have help us maybe not fall into suicide, but People just don't get it I could have 10 children and it would not make a difference I miss him and sometimes I can't hold it I start crying this is the times when I just walk away. As for me and my husband who truly knows how much in pain we all are, . We will always remember Maxie.

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