I recently had my first sess of bereavement counselling at the hospice..whilst difficult to talk about everything it was also great to understand a few things, know I’m not a nutter and of course be at a place that makes me feel closer to poppy. Every time I step foot there, there is such peace and a lovely feeling and the staff are always so happy and welcoming, in some ways its like going home!
Whilst Nath and I sat talking with the lovely Lisa, Ethan and Megs were busy playing and making Spiders:
I’ve always found counselling helpful whenever iv’e had a rough spot in my life, I like to talk and make sense of things and whilst not for everyone I know, for me I always learn things about myself and the situation , I think that’s why I enjoy having good long chats with family and friends too, I can organize everything going on in my mind by expressing it and learn and understand things better…so what did I learn from this session?
Firtly that I am in a World of my own; a world where there are lots of women that have experienced infant loss and understand it, where we talk about our babies and troubles and where its not awkward but everyone gets it..this world is built on a foundation of facebook groups, people on twitter and Sands help group. I have created this by seeking and connecting with those in the same boat as I have longed to make sense of everything…But sadly in reality and out in the real world what I’m experiencing isn’t as common as my world would suggest. The things I talk about to online friends are like a foreign language to many in real life and this is where I struggle. I talk as if many know when really they dont, they try to but I know from experience, as much as you imagine the pain of infant loss, the feeling when it happens is far more cutting, far deeper and heartbreaking, more empty than one could have ever imagined. I often expect people to get it and they dont, it is a language you can’t truely master unless you’ve been unlucky enough to speak it firsthand. So here I am, 2 worlds crossing over and creating confusion, I walk around in the real world like a robot wondering why everyone seems to be getting on – the truth is infant loss is rare, it isn’t common to have a baby with CHD, CDH, Trisomy 18 and then be born still at term and how can anyone possibly get that?
The second thing I learnt is that I need to be kinder to myself! Its quite natural for women to be hard on themselves, we can be strong for so long that when a crisis hits, strong is the only option, how can I be “weak” when people depend on me? how can I not make dinner when I’ve 2 kids and a husband at work that needs to eat? we all need a clean home? clean clothes? kids need to get out..right?
Of course all of these things need to happen for a family to run but grief is not a weakness, its not weak to mourn the loss of our daughter and be sad about all of the things we lost with her passing. It isn’t weak to not be able to cope with “normal” things and nor is it strong to try to do everything “normal” when life is far from that.. Is it ok that we order in because I can’t cook something that day? that I don’t get dressed because its too much effort? of course it is, because how can I possibly manage to do normal things in an abnormal situation without the frustration that I can’t cope, its too much or I am literally too sad to function?
I am working on understanding grief and being assured I am not depressed; its a scary thing and can grab hold at any time and control you and Im not yet okay with crying in such a heart wrenching way that I have no control so instead I keep busy at the fear of its dominating power all whilst attempting to make sense of everything thats happened, trying to live in our normal routine and wondering “where do I go from here”? as I remember it’s never going to be normal – Is it any wonder I’m exhausted?
But as hard as it is not to try to plan too far ahead, I am working on taking it a day at a time, taking it a bit more easy and knowing that I don’t need to put on a “brave face”! Whilst not everyone in my world can understand fully, they can lift the burden and to be kind to myself I need to seek that help and respite when I need it…
When did you last take time for you and how has it helped your life?