“Not Grieving Properly”

Last night a friend made a comment to me about how he was surprised that I wasn’t falling apart.

At the memorial I shed a few stray tears but that was it. Observing myself, I felt a little self conscious about it, like people would be judging me for not being a total mess.

I have always been good at compartmentalizing. My therapist once said that I was a high functioning severely depressed person….and that was because I had to be. Noah still had to eat, even if I didn’t want to get out of bed.

And the thing is, as much as I’d love to just lay around and do nothing, life goes on. I’ve already missed a week of work and I won’t get baby cheques this month, so that’s approximately a $1000 difference (including tips) in my income this month. Missing two whole weeks of work to wallow doesn’t help to pay my bills. Starting next month, I have to start paying Caleb for half of the things he’s still paying for (car insurance, cell phone bill, life insurance, Blue Cross, etc etc), and that doesn’t just suddenly go away because of a traumatic event in our family.

You can’t cry 24/7. You can’t let your grief consume your life. There is no “moving on” or “getting over it”….I’ll be grieving for the rest of my life. But as it’s always been, random things will hit me in  a certain way and now it’s two stabs in the heart instead of one. Typically it falls under the categories of “things I can’t do with Noah” (that typical children can do or would enjoy), and that’s now compounded with “things I’ll never do with Noah”.

I’m still going to do weird things like cuddle his urn on the couch when I’m alone watching TV, and I’m not afraid of putting that out on the internet and for people to know about it, but for the most part I am going to seem like I am holding it together. I can’t fall apart at work, my job involves customer service and putting a smile on my face. I may have a moment or seven where I’ll have to step into the kitchen to collect myself before going to my table (this has already happened prior to Noah’s passing), but for the most part, I will have to keep it together just to function like a normal human.

Grief is complex and it comes in cycles, I already know this from years of mourning the child that I expected to have. And some of that grief came from worrying about things that I now don’t have to worry about…like him being abused, mistreated, bullied, etc. So some of my previous grief is gone and I’ve gotten some closure in that sense. But now there is a new grief, and it’s one I’m obviously not familiar with, as I’ve never lost a child (in the literal sense) before.

It’s strange and bizarre and surreal, and I’m trying to live with it the best that I can.



5 thoughts on ““Not Grieving Properly”

  1. There is no correct way to grieve and the only thing is to try not to hurt yourself or anyone, which you already know because you have been dealing with more grief than most for years.

    There are people who will get this and some who won’t. Your friend was able to express what he felt and he may be open to gaining some understanding. If so, then he may be o n e of those who gets it in time, which m at help the next person he observes who is grieving.

    You are certainly hurting no one when you hold that urn.

  2. There is no “right ” or “wrong” when it comes to grieving. What ever works for you is “right” for you. We all grieve differently…no one has the right to pass judgement on how you should feel. Only you know how you feel. Yah, sure, we can empathize or sympathize with your particular situation…but no one should be criticising or ridiculing how you are dealing with your grief. You are bang on, when you say you will be grieving in one form or another for the rest of your life. If, you feel like crying, cry. If, you feel angry, be angry…yell and scream until you can’t any more if that’s what you need to do. Laugh, smile and be happy remembering the “good moments” or the incredible milestones that you have already achieved!!! Sometimes, yes, these “moments” will become overwhelming and you’ll need a minute or two, so what…take your “moment” and carry on. There usually is no warning and there are a million different things that will trigger your emotions. (I’m sure you’re already familiar with how this works). You have these feelings because of love and caring…NOT from not loving or caring. Even you my dear are human… although, you are a “super strong woman”, and have endured more in five years then most will see in an entire lifetime. Please do not let anyone allow you to feel any differently.

    If you haven’t already, start running again (not necessarily competing) but running for you. Allow your family and friends to help when needed. Lean on them as often as you need too…that’s why they are there:) Never be ashamed or self conscious of your emotions or lack there of…you are doing what you need to do!! One step and one day at a time!!!!

  3. My heart hurt when I heard of Noah’s passing. The kind of hurt a mother has for another mother – I have watched your story on this blog and via facebook. I have seen you evolve into a fierce woman – the kind who has overcome challenges and who has been growing to be better than who she was the day before. In 5 years, you have known more than many grow to know in decades of living. Noah’s gift, the one that survives, is all that he taught you in those 5 short years – it is the legacy of survival. Grieve – do not look at it as something with a deadline, but rather as something that will become a part of who you are just as being “Noah’s mother” has become part of who you are – feel broken, but know that you will mend, in your own way, on your own time. Broken hearts do not know “proper” – and sometimes all that is needed is mere survival.

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