Thursday, July 20, 2006

Grief is a strange thing

So I've been thinking about the different ways that people grieve and the "steps" that one goes through. I guess I'm trying to analyze grief and you really can't because there's no right or wrong way to grief, no rhyme or reason.

I look at those around me and how they are grieving Drew's death and it varies widely. Some (seemingly) have just dismissed him and moved on. Others think of him once in a while but not constantly. Still others talk to me about him but not often--or not often enough to please me, anyway. Then there are those who are philosophical about his death. He had a purpose, it was to be here and die and now it's time to move on.

At times I wish that I could be philosophical about his death but I just can't. It's with me every second of every day and I truly don't know that it is with anyone else. Even Raymond has work to distract him, so to speak, although I'm sure he thinks of Drew often. But I can't seem to make people understand that I NEVER do not think of him. He's always there, in every aspect of my life. I watch Elizabeth and think how she should be playing with her baby brother but she's not. Amazingly enough, I think that she's the one who relates to my grief the most. She's always fed off of my emotions; taken her cues from me. There is not one day that goes by where she does not speak of Drew. Sometimes I bring him up but more often than not, she does. She told me today that Drew would have liked our new fishies just like she does.

I've just been thinking about grief and the process so much lately. I see some dear friends that I've made going through the same things that I have/am and it hurts so much. I so wish that they did not have to feel what I know they are feeling. I don't what point that I'm trying to make or if I'm even trying to make one; I just can't get "grief" off of my mind lately.

Not helping matters is that we received Drew's medical records in the mail today. I didn't know if I'd be able to review them but I found that I was eager to do so. They weren't exactly what I expected--only included dictations from radiology, cardiology, neurology and pediatric surgery. I guess I was expecting EVERYTHING since that's what I requested. I'm going to have to look into matters because I want his complete file. It was interesting to read the synopsis of his repair surgery. The majority of the liver was still down, only the upper left lobe in his chest. The only thing that made me cry was the final page where it says something like, "Discharged: Deceased, body released to the morgue then for burial." Besides the fact that it's wrong (Drew never went to the morgue, I wasn't comfortable with that), it's just hard to see it put so clinically and in black and white. There was one amusing thing, though. For about the first 50 pages, whoever transcribed the records made a mistake so at the top of every page it says, "Condition: Genetial Diaphragmatic Hernia." :D I guess someone caught it because it was then corrected on of the following pages. But it did give me a chuckle.

Ok, so I'm not done talking about grief. I'm sorry that this is all over the place, my head is spinning tonight because I'm exhausted and sad. Anyway, I don't think it's fair or right to compare grief. What I mean is that everyone's grief is personal and no one's is greater than anyone elses. There are those in my life who feel that it would be "harder" to lose an older child, say Elizabeth's age. I disagree. For me, Drew's loss was a loss and should not be compared to another. I lost my child, that I carried in my body for 9 months, don't tell me that it could hurt worse because it can't. I knew Drew inside and out. He had a distinct personality from the moment of conception. If you've ever been pregnant, you know what I'm talking about. For me, a bond was formed immediately and it was an extremely strong one. For others, the bond occurs when the child is born and they see and hold them. I don't really know where I'm going with this but I'm getting tired of people seeming to minimize our loss. We lost Drew's entire future, not just him. Why do people expect me to be "over it" by now? It's very cruel and I'm about to start lashing out.

People tell me that I'm strong and have handled things with such grace. You know what? Who cares? I'm *not* strong, they just don't see me in my private moments, every.single.night.

I'm irritable because I'm having trouble sleeping again. I'm not taking the sleeping pills, I think I have only taken a total of 5 in a couple of months. My problem now is not getting to sleep, it's making myself go to bed. I stay up half the night so I won't have to face the possibility of dreams. As a result, I've been dragging for the past couple of weeks. I really need to change something and go to bed earlier.

And I've embarked on another project. No, nothing that I will have to ask you all for help with!! I've decided to make something special for each of the CDH families that I've become close to. Each thing that I'm making takes quite a bit of time so don't expect anything too soon! It might even take me over a year but it will get done. I had to finally put Drew's blanket aside because I couldn't cry and work on it at the same time. I'll eventually get it done, I'm in no hurry. You know, the other CDH parents that I've been fortunate enough to "meet" (and a few of us WILL meet someday soon) are so special to me. I hate the circumstances that have brought us all together but I cherish each and every one of them and their special children. (There will be one for Miss Sasha and Miss Jayden as well!)

My parents will be here for the weekend so that will be nice. Mom will force me to get out of the house and go shopping, I'm sure! :D For all that have asked about my dad, his recover is going remarkably well. I'm proud of him for sticking with his exercises; he's getting better much more quickly than I had anticipated. Go Dad!

Oh yeah, I have a correction to make pointed out by my dear husband. The aquarium is actually *29* gallons, not 20.


Kathy McC said...

Glad to hear your dad is doing better!

As far as the grief, all I can do is wish you peace...

Silas Charles Kyne said...

I have been following your story for quite some time now, and, like so many others, I *do* think you are a strong person. I also realize that the pain of your loss sometimes feels way too overwhelming. It makes perfect sense that not a moment would go by without Drew's memory being mixed into it. Drew is a unique, special individual. There has *NEVER* been and there will *NEVER* be another human being created like him. His loss is a devastating, overwhelming, significant loss to you and also to the rest of the world, whether they realize it or not. Anyone who claims otherwise or says you should "get over it" is ignorant of these facts.

Rachel, a dear friend of mine, who recently lost her baby to CDH, garnered some comfort from the realization that her son (and all our children) are not created specifically for this short life. They are created to be eternal beings. They simply entered eternity sooner than we have. They are now whole, complete and happy while we suffer from the lack of their pressence. I pray that her thoughts will soothe your heart just a little. That being said, cry whenever you need to. Scream when you need to. Throw a punch at a pillow when you need to. It is not fair or right that Drew is not in your arms.
With all my care, concern and love,
~Tanaya Kyne~

Anonymous said...

I am so glad your dad is doing better. I wish I could be there for you. I can't even begin to imagine your grief. I think you have a right to grieve your son. I wish you could find some peace. If you ever need to just talk about him I am here to listen.

Emma's Mum said...

The grief is strange...there is not a moment that I don't think about my daughter, Emma....even when I am at work at doing something that requires me to really think....I still am thinking about her at the same time. And it does not matter how long we had our children - the hurt and pain is the same. You are right, I can't imagine it hurting any more than this. I am still just trying to take things one day at a time - at least I keep telling my self that. I know that there is nothing to "get over" or "move on" from -- this will be with us forever....I am sure I am not helping, but I wanted you to know that I understand.

Julie said...

Hang in there! The hell with people who think you should be over this by now. You will 'never' be over this. Drew will always enter our minds...
Love You
Julie, Jayden and Joe!

Baby Mert said...

Jana, I can say that probably we would NEVER understand your grief completely, if God didn't take our baby. Emel and I can't keep from crying for a week! I understand that this is really unbearable thing. I don't know, maybe it will get lighter some as days go, but I don't think grief will get softer significantly.


Val said...

The universe sometimes seems so indifferent to grief, leaving me to wonder what matters and what is meaningful. Sometimes I find peace to think that love and memory are stronger than death. But that is only sometimes, the various emotions can be pretty strong.
Drew. your son. your baby
your daughter's little brother.
significant part of generations, with his own impact on the world.
loved, continuously. Some of these words have the biggest impact on you and your family, but I also think Drew has helped start some dominoes into effect that do matter to the world.
Here I've rambled some, but your words do get me thinking. Wishing you some peace and comfort that may not even come from words. Hope, in my thoughts, that Drew's special presence will be acknowledged indefinitely in ways that are meaningful to you.

V said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly. You never get over the loss of a child no matter the age. And you go through good patches and bad. You will eventually have days where you don't think about Drew as much but he will always be in your heart. I sometimes feel guilty if, for a short while I allow myself to feel happy or think of other things. But these times are few and far between. My doctor eventually put me on antidepressants and I must say that they have helped. They do not make me forget her or grieve any less but I find that I am able to cope slightly better. I went through a stage where I was having anxiety attacks. Eg someone would talk about heart monitors in a hospital and I would almost hyperventilate, get hot flushes and my blood pressure shot up. This is not as bad now though I still have my moments. Anyway, don't know why I am telling you all this. I just felt the need to share how the grief has affected me and to tell you that I understand.

Anonymous said...

Jana I wish I could give you a big hug right now, or for that matter give you back your precious and beautiful son. But I can't do that and so I wish you peace and comfort as you greive him. It will be a long and extremely difficult process, which will never completely go away, but he will always be with you in spirit and in your heart and mind.

All my love to you and your family,