A Lonely Path To Walk

November 22, 2011 at 10:32 am | Posted in grief/loss | Leave a comment

Precious Time

Being with people who are grieving is not an easy place to be in. Many of us want to fix things and offer well-meant solutions, space-fillers or clichés. This cannot be resolved or fixed. The process of grief has no set timeline or deadline, it is always ever a starting point with a line that might fade with time but there is most likely no end point.

My personal experience as a counsellor working with many clients over the past years has given me lots of exposure. Yet nothing, not the training nor the experience has really prepared me for what life had in store for me on my journey with the grief of losing my child.

Grief is a lonely path to walk and many of the ‘not-so-nice’ moments and feelings are left unshared because people don’t know how to handle me and react with silence or have distanced themselves. I don’t know how to be with myself when uncontrollable frustration and anger sets in or unbearable sadness renders me incapable. I watch silently as I crumble in self-destructive thoughts.

When I’m angry or frustrated I can easily find things to project my anger towards. There are plenty of things that annoy me and sometimes unfortunately even the people closest to me are in the line of fire of my projection. It is not about them or the things they do or say that annoys me; it is just difficult right now in this very moment. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what to say, it is being there that counts. Your support and understanding is needed. I know I ask a lot as I even if I don’t understand myself at times.

I feel emotionally cut in half, carrying a double edge sword: One side being happy for the twin that I have with me in physical form, the other side being ripped apart by grief and loss for the twin that I lost, the one that will never grow up with us. She was so small and her image will remain edged in my memory as I held her helpless little body in my arms for the first and only time.

The tears are shed in private. I usually keep to myself when I’m sad. That is most likely the reason why people think ‘I’m fine’. It is as if I can see them sigh in relief as they don’t have to deal with the uncontrollable reality of their own relationship with grief.

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Sometimes I Break Down…

November 18, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Posted in grief/loss | Leave a comment

Memories...

Sometimes I break down
Out of the blue
Like unexpected storm
Which hits the land
For no real apparent reason

Grief kicks in
And surprises me with its despair
And I stand there helplessly
As my skirt gets soaked by rain

Vulnerability shows its face
The layers of ‘I’m fine’ are wearing thin
Penetrated by loneliness
I become silent

My head aches
From all those unshed tears
Which finally are released
Through the veils of self-preservation

I’m angry I’m sad
I’m frustrated
I have no patience
I shout I scream
I grind my teeth

But nothing brings back my child
Only the memory remains
Of her tiny little body
Never meant to grow
Beyond the picture in my memory

Grief – A Very Personal Experience

November 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Posted in grief/loss | 2 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Today marks 2 months since Amya Mirica passed away.

Yesterday Chris and I went out for the first time in the evening and left Ananda Mae with my sister. We went to the classical concert of the Brandenburg Orchestra of which we have season’s tickets. The previous concert was exactly 2 months ago, the evening of Amya Mirica’s passing and the music gently reminded me of the presence of angels in the room as the beautiful angelic voice of the soloist soprano filled the concert hall serendipitously called ‘Angel’s place’. I was once again reminded that grief is a very personal experience and will be experienced in any unexpected moment and location.

This week we also went back to the hospital, where I gave birth, where we said good-bye to Amya Mirica and from where we took Ananda Mae home with us. The hospital will always hold an interesting energy and importance for me – both joy and bliss as overriding emotions associated with the birth and sadness and despair of losing my child. This time we went back to join a Bereavement Group.

It was a deep and intense morning as we shared with couples who also lost their babies. Each and every one of us is grieving. When I listened to their stories I felt connected in sharing a similar experience. In my career as a counsellor working with clients experiencing grief I was, according to their feedback, really able to support them in their process. Now however, I doubt that I was ever able to REALLY be there for them without fully understanding the depth of their experience. I think now that this is only really possible now that I gained access to this experience on a very personal level.

A few weeks ago I met my banker, who I have been talking to frequently before the birth of the twins. When I told her my story she said: I’m so sorry, I know what you’re going through. My first reaction inside was ‘I doubt you know what I’m going through’. She then however shared with me that she lost her second child through cot death at 3 months. This statement total y changed the meaning of her empathy. I have to say that I couldn’t imagine what she must have gone through in her personal experience and even though we share the part of losing one’s own child at a very young age, it’s still a very personal story and experience. She then said: ‘It will get easier’ and, in comparison to other people who could have said the same, coming from her it was founded in her personal experience and therefore I took it on board.

I also learnt this week that there are two fundamentally different ways people feel and deal with grief: the instrumental griever and the intuitive griever. The instrumental griever, historically the man, feels better by doing things as they feel unable to fix this. The intuitive griever, usually the woman, grieve through experiencing all the emotions and crying frequently. This can cause discordance in a relationship between an intuitive and an instrumental griever as they are rarely in the same place. Grieving has given our relationship a totally different level of understanding of each other, as well as ability to be with the other’s way of dealing with it.

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