It’s 4 weeks today

September 29, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Posted in communication, grief/loss | 2 Comments

Love - Hope - Passion

4 weeks ago I gave birth. I wonder where I was in all this time in between. It seems that my body was moving through the e-motions and yet my memory is lacking. What just happened to me and my life? Nothing seems to be simple anymore. In some moments nothing makes sense.

I find it hard to find words when talking. Writing seems to be just slow enough so that the words can come into my consciousness but speaking seems far too fast for where I am. I also find it challenging to do the most simple tasks, like adding some data in a spreadsheet on the computer, and have to ask people for help where it was me that supported people before.

I sometimes look at myself like an actor in a serie that I identify strongly with, waiting for the series to stop – it just never does. It’s as if it’s my life that I’m acting in. It’s one of those ‘Private Practice’ or ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ shows which I enjoyed so much before. Only now it has taken an odd twist of reality…

To the outside world I might look and act ‘normal’ but there is absolutely nothing normal inside. One moment I cry, one moment I laugh and I don’t even always know why.

I realize how I shock or trigger certain people as I share what’s been happening, how I feel, what I think etc. I had people in my contact list, which I informed about the birth and the celebration who simply sent an email back saying ‘Not interested. Take me off your distribution list.’ I guess I will never know what reverberated in those people when reading my news and many people simply don’t know how to react appropriately – probably even I didn’t know really how to truly be with someone experiencing this before my own experience took me on this journey.

I have now gone back to shops and restaurants where they knew about me expecting twins. As I turn up with a single baby the say ‘where is the other one?’ and once I told them the conversation seems to freeze and die off after ‘oh I’m sorry’. It just takes people’s breath away. A lady in the post office, once I started crying, said ‘you need help’ which was spot on.

So here I am, a counsellor by trade, needing help. Let me tell you we do need help once in a while and not just with something drastic like this. The social worker at the hospital, the midwives, nurses and doctors all were partly my counselling support network and I did not stop talking about what had happened to me and how I feel. These people were trained listeners and many counsellors and coaches could learn a lot from them. I spoke to the other women in the intensive care, I spoke to anyone who listened. Next week I’m starting a bereavement group at the hospital.

And I will continue being authentic with my process. There is nothing you need to do when you are with me and I’m crying – simple be there. No words are needed – just presence. Can you bear the silence as you are sitting with me in tears?

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  1. I lost my daughter after 36 hours of life, almost 12 weeks ago. I appreciate what you wrote – that you are a new you. That is how I feel. I am not the same person I was before July 10. My heart is heavy every day. I miss my daughter every second. Some days I just feel so mad and heartbroken. Other days I feel “normal” and even happy – some how those days are just as hard, because that happiness comes with sadness and guilt. I want my daughter HERE – with me, her Dad and her brothers. I do think that at first people knew better how to “be” around me, but now that Miranda’s death is farther behind us – I am not sure. I loved my daughter – not just for those 36 hours or 9 months that I carried her, but I loved her a whole life in my dreams. I think that is sometimes hard for others to remember…that we are grieving a whole future that will not be. My sons, my husband and my very supportive family help me through my days – I am forever grateful to them. And I am also grateful that Miranda is watching over us and a held safely in my heart until we meet again someday.

    • Dear Jenn,
      You are so right – grieving for a whole future not lived.
      I have given birth to twins so I do have one constant reminder (them being identical twins and looking totally alike) of what could have been. It still doesn’t mend my broken heart to think ‘at least I’ve got her’ – whatever story I wrap around, my aching heart is longing for a mother’s desire to see their daughters grow up as she was ‘promised’ and come to expect all through her pregnancy…
      All Love to you,
      Nathalie


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