Accepting and stop expecting

In the earliest days of my grief, I wanted to share my agony with everyone.  Let me rephrase - I NEEDED to share it with everyone.  I couldn't think of anything else and when people would try to distract me - it actually annoyed me.  I wondered how anyone thought gossip or talks about the weather or work could distract me from the fact that my baby had died.  I still wonder if people actually think there is ever a moment I am not keenly aware of my own loss.  If you are reading here, you probably already know that there isn't.  Max is always with me.  Anyway, if you couldn't sit and talk to me about Max, I really couldn't sit with, if I did sit with you then, it was probably because I had to for whatever reason.  I have lots of memories of being in rooms full of people who were chatting with each other while I sat or laid on the couch staring at the walls, impossible to tune in to anything other than my acute pain.  It was actually painful - meaning, I felt physical pain - being with people who wanted to act like nothing had happened.  I couldn't wait to get away from them and find a dark place to be alone and cry.  Another bereaved mother told me that she would lock herself in the closet at work so she could cry throughout the day.  I get that.

Ted and I were talking about how things have changed last night.  Whereas, at one point it was just impossible for me to meet people where they were, it is becoming my default.  I am very careful about letting people in.  It is too painful to have people dismiss our loss, change the subject, or act like it never happened.  Lately we have a little litmus test with people - if they ask how we are or ask about Ted's tattoos and then quickly change the subject or act uncomfortable when we answer honestly, we know not to let them in.  Instead, we just focus on them.  We ask them all about their lives - their children, their jobs, their gossip and drama.  We don't let the conversation really come back to us - except for maybe some superficial general parenting stuff.  It's just easier that way.  We realize that most people really don't want to hear how we are actually doing.  Many of them just tell us how we are doing - like this family friend who now says to me, everytime she sees me, "I'm so glad to see that things are GREAT with you guys!".  I just nod.  I mean, why bother really?

This time last year, I could never have imagined being able to turn on my autopilot and do the robot thing.  I am so glad that it is an ability that finally came back.  We are happier not letting people in for the most part.  It's much less disappointing than expecting people to say "I am sorry".  As Ted said last night, it's nearly impossible for people to say those three simple words.  I spent lots of time wondering I just accept it and don't expect it. 


Egreeno said...

I saw a quote today that perfectly sums up what I wish people could give to you:
"Love is the ability and willingness to allow those that you care for to be what they choose for themselves without any insistence that they satisfy you." Wayne Dyer.
(didn't know who he was 'til I just googled him - don't know anything about his books, etc. but I like this one quote)
Thinking of you and Maxie and Mo and Ted every day!

jessica said...

Eowyn's quote is perfect. I wish that for you guys too. And I am sorry. So very sorry. I love you, Ted, Maxie and Mo very much. xoxo