Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Faded, Fraying Photographs

We know that Abigail was with us for 116 days.  From the time I *knew* we were expecting till we found out we had lost her was 141 days.  The time from the day she was stillborn to her due date was 116 days.  Today marks 141 days since her birth.  No matter how you measure it, our daughter has been gone longer than she was with us.  We are further from her than ever.  Details, that I don't have captured in pictures have begun to fade like the yellowed fraying edges of long forgotten photographs.  Unfortunately the pain of her absence hasn't faded as quickly as those details, it hasn't just disappeared like she did.  I'm grappling with the realization that it never will disappear only diminish with enough time.

My days continue to be ups and downs.  One day I almost feel normal, tackling housework, working on school with the kids, even cooking supper.  The next I don't want to get out of my fuzzy pants, I wear the prayer shawl that was made for me after Abigail passed, and if we actually eat two meals before Daddy comes home to take over, I think it's a success.  I still don't feel angry with God, like everyone claims is a part of grief.  Maybe I'm just weird.  I am struggling with alot of anger toward medical professionals.  And some anger when I watch the way others parent... or rather don't.

Most of all though I'm floundering with depression.  I have struggled for years off and on with being depressive, as I've called it with Gary.  But this requires a lengthy pep talk before I even get out of bed.  I eat because I'm suppose to rarely because anything tastes good.  I HATE being around people for any length of time, the anxiety and internal pressure to keep it together is astronomical.  There isn't much I feel like doing.  Other than grief stuff I haven't read in months, I have no clue what's going on with our regular tv shows, because Gary's been watching them without me.  I don't care much about how the house looks.  The only thing I've been able to keep up with is my writing, and that's because it's my one good grip on normalcy and sanity.  Most of all she remains constantly in my thoughts, but is the one thing no one wants to talk about.  The biggest change perhaps even bigger than the depression and anxiety is my sleep.  I've always been one that wants to sleep 10 hours a day.  Part of that might be the hypothyroid, but a large part of it is the grief.  It takes absolutely forever for me to fall asleep, up to 2 hours of laying in bed listening to Gary snore (which by itself is enough to drive anyone crazy).  Then when I get to sleep I sleep fitfully and wake up early.  And that's when I don't have the dream where we are pregnant and lose another child.  It feels inevitable that we will lose the next one too.  To the point that I see-saw between NEEDing another child and being terrified to bury another one.  The constant internal conflict of such polar opposites makes me feel like I'm going crazy, though I've been told that's normal even if everything about it is totally irrational.

On top of all of this is the constant concern that I not needlessly burden others.  The worry that I'm becoming insanely morbid.  The pressure real or imagined that everyone else is ready for me to move on and be over this.  The jealousy that Gary has adjusted and I'm stuck.  I don't like being like this, and I don't have a fix. The anger I feel when he says that we have 3 children, while I'm screaming in my head, no we have FOUR.  Navigating grief is bad enough, without wondering how I'm affect others.

Then when I wear out that mental rollercoaster, I get down to what really gives me trouble.  How is it that I stink so stellarly in my Christian walk in this.  If I really have the hope that scripture shows forth, if I really understand what Christ has done for me, then why am I so lousy at laying hold on that peace.  We are suppose to in everything give thanks.  And while that doesn't mean I should be thankful that Abigail died, back at New Year's Eve I got really mad at the notion of thanking God for this past year.  One I'm happy to be rid of.  Of course the momentary anger is just a disguise to avoiding bursting into tears.  If we are to do right, whether we feel like it or not.  And if being a Church is the best cure.  Why do I still feel so lousy when I do what I should.  Why is my anxiety 10 times worse when I go.  Why do I go home having been through the emotional wringer during preaching?  If we are to bring glory to God in our daily walk and the way we handle trials, why am I such a disgrace.  How can I accept and move on?  If there was some formula I'd be all over it.  I HATE feeling this way.

Instead I continue to grapple each day to make it through everything necessary, without any answers, hoping that one day the details of loss will fade like old photographs.

1 comment:

MrsJOFCIII said...

I sincerely wish I had answers to give.

Part of me wants to respond to all of this, bit by bit, and another part of me knows full well that my words aren't adequate. That part seems to be winning at the moment, because I don't want to cheapen what you're going through with my inadequate, potentially cliched, ivory-tower, theoretical, colossally unhelpful words. So, all I'll say (besides the many words I've already used to say I'm not going to use many words) is that we are praying, and He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and as our pastor likes to say, underneath rock-bottom are His everlasting arms.