Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

No Rules for Grief

Yahoo! Shine just posted an article titled "The Way We Grieve Now." The story opens with this: "Boarding a flight, Lisa Niemi pulled out her phone and texted "I love you” to her husband. It was a sentiment she'd often shared with her partner of 34 years, actor Patrick Swayze."

How. . . refreshing to read this. I'm a mother who has been without her second child for nearly seven years, and I still tell Ben, every day, how much I love and miss him.

Every. Day.

Every day.

For 2,447 days, I have said those words to my baby boy, even though he isn't here. And I have often thought that people would think I am crazy if they knew how often I talk to Ben. I've thought that perhaps I really am crazy, sometimes, maybe I am holding on too tight. This article put those feelings in perspective - maybe I'm not as nuts as I think I am.

The truth is, grief does make us crazy. Intensely, deeply, wildly insane. It changes us forever, and the craziness ebbs and flows and, eventually, tapers down like a candle melting, slowly burning the last of its wick. The flame is never quite extinguished but doesn't burn as brightly as it did when the match first struck the wick.

What's the thing you think people would not understand about your grief, might make them think you're crazy? Care to share?


Monica H said...

I tell them I love them every single day too. I kiss their blankets before turning out hte lights and I carry their pictures with me. EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

Perhaps we are crazy, but I'm okay with being that. I know some people say that the loss of our children should not define, but how doesn't it? It changes everything.

Becky said...

Thanks for posting this. I was in the car on my way to Ikea today. It's a long ride from where we live. And I caught myself thinking, "Did you know babies die? I didn't used to know babies die." Where did that come from? EVERY DAY I think about them. EVERY DAY I love them and tell them that. I thought I was a little crazy for doing that and I was poised to ask Derick if he did tonight.

Monica is right...it changes everything. EVERY aspect of my life is different. Things that I used to not think. Somedays I find myself wishing that life stopped 4 years ago, but if that had happend I wouldn't have Lily now. So how can that be? How can I want two completely different things like that? How can I be still so consumed with my boys while desperately trying to hold onto Lily's babyhood?

So...I guess that's what makes me a little crazy :)