Thursday, April 8, 2010

Once bereft, always bereft....

It's my experience, in the two years, four months and one day that I've been grieving, that you don't graduate from grief. You don't get discharged from it. You don't get promoted out of it. It's a life sentence, or if you will, a brand, seared into you for the remainder of your days. And like a brand, it may start out raging, raw and painful, and with time heal over, settle down, hurt less, but even scar tissue is painful when handled wrong.

Yes, once grieved, always grieved.

This is reasonable since I can't "un-lose" my baby, therefor I should not expect to "un-hurt", or "un-long", or "un-mourn" him.

Even on my very best days, when my life is filled with gratitude and hope and beauty and joy, the scar is there, red and raised and reminding me that nothing is quite right, because he is not here. Not to say that Everett is a scar, or that he is painful to me, because that is not the case. The scar is the grief, the scar is the sadness, the scar is the shattered expectations, the damaged trust, the disbelief.

Two years, four months and one day after the fact, and I am still standing mouth agape, in disbelief in that hospital room in Toronto in my mind. I'm still dumbfounded. The shock is still resonating through me, like the aftershocks following an earthquake, I'm not done experiencing his loss yet, and I fear I have not yet begun to "heal" over yet. My scar is still new. It still hurts. And every time I hear the word "twins", or "NICU", or "heart defect", or "ECMO", it's like someone poking a finger into the wound. It's agony.

I must look healed to those standing on the outside looking in. Because people certainly feel free to talk about their friend who's having twins, or their neighbors baby who just had open heart surgery, or the baby they saw on TV who had to be on life support because of a heart defect. And as bad as it sounds, I want to shove my fingers in my ears and yell "LALALALALALA" as loud as I can. Or even worse I want to tell them to shut up, give a dirty look and storm out of the room. Grief's irrational like that. But please! I am not okay with talking about these things, it's painful, VERY, painful. And the hardest part is that those who don't know, don't know, and it's not their fault. I can't expect them to understand it. I can't expect someone who's never grieved their baby to know what the triggers of grief are. And honestly, they're different from griever to griever.

Yes, once bereft always bereft.

And you know what else this bereft Mama always feels called to do? Fund raise in Everett's name. I feel an overwhelming drive to do big and beautiful things in his name, to give purpose and meaning to his brief life, tangible, comprehendable meaning that is, to make sense of the mere 20 days I had to know him outside the womb. God had a purpose, this I know to the core of me, God had a plan and he executed it flawlessly. God and Everett are right and squared, they understand each other and what went down perfectly. But I got left out. I don't get it. I'm not informed and I don't understand it. So, I'm driven to make sense of it in my own way.

I lost Everett, that caused me grief, my grief made me sensitive, so I sympathize with other bereft parents and want to make them hurt less, so I want to fund raise for them, to make the process easier, in some little way for them. Everett made it possible for other families to hurt less. That=Good. And good, we can all agree, is good.

Grief makes you crazy you know, you can never be quite certain if your new quirky take on life will be interpreted as an insightful and genuine take on life after loss, or just plan strangeness, I'm not even certain myself. Grief also makes you care less, so I won't lose any sleep over whether or not I'm strange or not.

See this boy?

He holds up a mirror for me, and shows me each day what Everett would look like, and it stings like rubbing alchol on a too fresh wound, but it hurts good, like the pain that diminishes an itch, the itch was far worse then the pain itself.

He reminds me of so many truths I needed to know....

Life goes on

God is good

Somethings are not to be understood here on earth

Flowers grow from dirt, and good grows from bad

Everett was, he existed, he's still here in a sense, in our hearts, in our memories, in our dreams, and in Landon's precious face.

And Landon speaks now. He talks up a storm.

He speaks, and he says his brothers name. Almost perfectly. And again, it hurts in the most welcoming way.

Once bereft always bereft.

But thank the Lord that He teaches us to live with it, love through it, and grow by it.


1 comment:

  1. Katie,
    Wow, that's all I can say. I could have written that exact post. It's exactly how I feel. I am sitting here stunned because your words describe my entire state of mind right now.