Thursday, April 30, 2009

The bug

Here's the insidious thing about grief: it's like a parasite.

At the very beginning grief is wrapped up in fear. Whether you admit it or not, grief is already there, skulking and sneaking around the edges of the unspeakable fear that you struggle to keep at bay from the moment you hear someone you love is ill.

And only when the unspeakable happens and grief rushes over you like a tsunami do you dare admit that you have been entertaining it for ages: that a small part of you started grieving at the very beginning, that all along you were taking grief's measure and testing yourself against it in small bits, preparing yourself for the day (the inevitable day?) when you would be forced to face it head on.

And when that day comes, you wonder if maybe it was a good thing that the grief was always there, living in the fear. Perhaps that means that a fair bit of grieving is already behind you. The absence of fear is a such a great relief, you think perhaps, on its own, the grief won't be so bad after all.

But then the grief takes up residence elsewhere. It burrows into your day-to-day trials, but even more troubling, it finds a home in your happiness.

It whispers in your ear: "You can't possibly cope with this without her help," and then, even more menacingly, "This is a lovely moment you managed to create for your son: how she would have loved this."

I am sleeping more than I have ever slept in my life and yet I awaken every morning in a fog of exhaustion. I am struggling to cope with the major life changes Rob and I set in motion before Henny's death and I am, I fear, an attractive host for grief.

I have so many stories to tell, but unlike last year, when blackness also descended upon our house, I cannot seem to summon the energy to tell them.

I want to make you laugh by writing a series of posts about Rob and my antics at the 2003 Emmy Awards (did you know Rob was nominated for an Emmy?) I want to make you misty with the tale of my extended family's recent return to Ireland, where my people are from. I want to try and justify why Graham is STILL sleeping in his crib. (I KNOW! Please don't judge!)

But I can't.

I have always been proud of my ability to write my way through anything and yet right now I can't.

I fear my energy, my confidence and - oh how I fear! - my coping mechanism is slowly, but surely being eaten away by grief.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

35 comments:

Reluctant Housewife said...

Take your time, try not to worry, you'll get there.

I look forward to reading all about it when you do, but no rush.

Congrats to Rob on his Emmy nomination.

OHmommy said...

I wish I could come over with a plate of brownies and a bottle of vin. Oh, how, I wish.

I'm so sorry you are going through this my friend.

Jaina said...

You'll get there. ::hugs:: You and your family are in my prayers.

Aunt Becky said...

Grief is just so...ugly. I'm so sorry, my friend. I understand, I really do. And I wish I could make it better.

Kat said...

Continued hugs and prayers.

a kelly said...

so true, so true.
know that it is early yet.
grief has it's own timetable...but it will one day be exhausted.

And the crib reference made me smile...my daughter was really large (she's a strapping 6 feet tall now) and her crib just started to implode one day: all the joints just came undone! So the transition was the mattress on the floor...out of necessity!
Children have their own time lines too...

Melissa said...

No advice just lots of (((hugs))) Grief has no schedule or time frame. Do the best you can and in the meantime be kind to yourself.

We will wait.

Lisa (Jonny's Mommy) said...

Hug your child close, take a deep breath and do the best you can. one day at a time. I've been dealing with anxiety and darkness lately too. It's scary and I feel out of control some days. I have no reason to other than financial stress and worries, but yet I do.

Rachel said...

Kelly,

it will return and you will come out of this.

We will be here waiting when you do.
Just the mentions of the crib and the Emmy's those are signs... it's still there. Just napping.

Hugs.

Magpie said...

I'm sorry, sweetie. Some day...

zelzee said...

There is no right or wrong way to deal with our grief......nor is there a set time.

The day will come when you can think of Henny, and even though your heart aches for just one more day with her.......you will really be able to be thankful for the moments you did have.

Mandy said...

When you are ready, for all those other stories, we will be here.

Corey~living and loving said...

I'm so sorry to hear that your grief has you all out of sorts. Be patient with your heart.

and don't worry a lick about the crib. My sugar told me the other day how much she misses her crib. :(

kbreints said...

I am so sorry. Grief is an ugly demon... but so natural and so very neccesary... I hope that you can navigate through these merky waters to a peaceful place soon...

Oz said...

I'm thinking of you. Be kind to yourself.

As for the crib, no justification is necessary. If he likes the crib, let him stay in the crib.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I thought I knew what exhausted was--then my mother died. It was like nothing I'd ever felt. You will recover, but it will take time. Hugs.

Tara R. said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Take your time and tend to yourself and your family.

Whitenoise said...

Hey Kel, it's okay. Feel it, share it in your writing. We'll be here.

Pregnantly Plump said...

I am so sorry. I think it takes time. So, so sorry.

KELLY said...

I've been there - I know where you are and it's tough. Be strong. Keep writing. Your words will get you through it.

Tracey - Just Another Mommy Blog said...

But You ARE writing through the grief. You ARE! Simply by writing that you CAN'T write what you feel is chipping away at this mountain of grief that is residing upon your heart.

Sweet Kelly, you have my love. Isn't this grief a testament to how loved and how integrated into the very fabric of your life she was? Of course you will feel the loss every time you try to patch the hole she left behind. You may never fully patch it. You may always grieve for her. But it WON'T always be this bad. You WILL heal, slowly.

You just do what you have to do to keep yourself afloat. No one is expecting anything more from you guys. Keep your head up and remember that you are loved...

flutter said...

oh, beautiful girl

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I continue to pray for you and your family.

Your writing will help you sort out your feelings, but God will see you through.

"The LORD is good,a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him." Nahum 1:7

InTheFastLane said...

Sometimes, even words, can fail us. You will find your words. But, give yourself some time. They will be there when you are ready. And so will we.

torontocitylife said...

A well-written, thought-provoking blog with longevity -- how rare!

I'm starting up a directory (*very* simple right now) of great local Toronto (and GTA) blogs (by locals or about the city). Specifically, I'd like to collect an index of interesting local blogs with original content -- and yours more than fits the bill. Would you consider adding it to the directory?

http://www.torontocitylife.com/blogs

Cheers,
Patrick

caramama said...

Everyone has already said what I am thinking. But I just wanted to add my voice to the support. Take your time. Grieve the way you need to. Take it easy on yourself. And no need to justify Graham still in a crib--if it works for him, it works.

Dawn said...

Hugs...I'm so sorry.

Mimi said...

Prayers and hugs. It's ok to grieve, and to be in a dark space.

Ellyn said...

The words will come. I will still be here when they do.


Mark slept in a crib until he was 3 1/2 years old. He was happy so I was happy. If Graham is happy why rock the boat. At least until high school. The other kids may start to pick on him.

metro mama said...

You need more time. I'm sorry. I'm thinking of you.

xo

Mrs. Chicken said...

The first few months are horrible. Really horrible. It wasn't until well after a year that I felt well enough to write. I was thinking last night how so many of my memories of my daughter's first year are bound up with sadness and mourning.

I am so sorry, friend. It never goes away, but the edges do dull. They do.

Lisa b said...

I'm so sorry Kelly.

mamatulip said...

I felt similarly when my mother died. I looked at writing as the thing that was going to get me through - lift me up and get me through the loss of my mother - and when she died, I couldn't write. At all. It was a really, really difficult thing to deal with; I understand how you feel.

It will come back, your passion for writing. It will. And while it will never be the same again, it won't always be like this.

Karen MEG said...

The words will come, sweetie...they will. Let me know when you're up to that drink...

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Oh my goodness. You read my mind.,Put it in words and posted it. This is EXACTLY how I feel right now. Every single WORD!

KEEP BELIEVING