my grief

 

Control. I thrive when I feel like I am in control of my emotions. Its why I am able to speak so openly in public about our journey. .. because I know its coming. Because its on my terms.

Surprise. I do not do well with the surprise grief attacks. When it comes and attacks me unexpectedly. I try to always be prepared. Never really relaxed with other people around.. Vigilant against the potential for attack.

That’s not life though is it?

I especially hate that the surprise hooks of grief seem to grab onto me at the worst possible times.. Surrounded by people .. when I should be anything but sad. When I should be celebrating somebody else ..

It’s a piece of this whole life long journey I felt so unprepared for. The guilt and shame that seems to come with the sometimes overwhelming and dark emotions of child loss.

Sometimes I think I have it under control. I think that I am in charge. I don’t. Its all a lie. One I guess I will continue to tell myself for the rest of my life.. Because when they rise up.. its so strong now. Not everyday anymore. But when it comes it completely sweeps me away and I have no chance to even begin to toughen up against them.. Push them down until a more appropriate moment.

do i share? i used to always know what to share and what to keep private. control. 

One of my many nieces graduated from 8th grade this past week. I am so impressed and proud of the young lady she is growing to be. The party was fine. I had no reservations about going. Sitting at a table I looked up as music started playing and pictures of her flashed across the screen.

I felt it then. It was grabbing at me. From the inside crawling it’s way up. I felt its claws digging into me..

quick.

and destructive.

and hungry.

My grief.

These images flashing.. I should have been smiling at my beautiful niece. I should have been looking lovingly at my own children.. how quickly time will pass.. .

I love these children. And I see how quickly time is passing.. This glory years I am gifted with them..
I love these children. And I see how quickly time is passing.. These glory years I am gifted with them..

quick.

and destructive.

and hungry.

My grief.

I couldn’t contain it. I tried. I really really tried. I know it wasn’t about me. I tried to shut it down. Hold it in. But quickly I knew I couldn’t. It was rising and growing faster as each picture flashed.. even looking away provided no respite.

So I got out of there. I moved as quickly and quietly for a side gate as I could. Tears already falling. By the time I made it to the front of the house I was overtaken. No longer in any control .. I remember my hand cupping my mouth.. trying to stifle.. trying to force it back down. ..

My grief.

I felt so desperately sad. I ached so deeply for my daughter. I grieved the loss of that moment for her and with her. Of that video.. Of pictures to share of her. Of  parties never thrown in her honor. In people wanting to watch a video of her.. of people smiling when they do.

Such a silly thing to be so overcome over. The loss of videos. And pictures. All the ones I will ever have of her have been taken.

only 6. she was only 6. my baby. she was just a baby still.

she loved a good silly faced picture. so does Charlotte.
she loved a good silly faced picture. so does Charlotte.

That first year I started to make videos for her. To have her included for the holidays.. I didn’t even get through the first year with them. Too sad. Too hard.

I get it. I do. I swear I really do.

Still I am so damned jealous.

I know when its not your child,  not your sister.. . When its not your everyday.. your every moment (even under my control its always there) I know it can be too hard to be faced with it.

I huddled behind a car and sobbed. Over a video. So many layers of loss. Layers of grief exploding out of me. For the loss of graduations and years of pictures.. and celebrations. Of her future. Her life.

Of the loss of joyful celebrations. I hated it. So much in that moment I hated myself. For not being able to separate this joy from my loss. That every damned thing is intertwined.

And I was scared.

Will it always be like this? If I can’t survive a graduation when I have been to them since she died.. how will I ever stay upright at a wedding? .. so many graduations yet to come.. So many weddings.. and babies to be born.

She was truly made to be a mother. I will never understand why we were all cheated out of seeing that.
She was truly made to be a mother. I will never understand why we were all cheated out of seeing that.

I don’t want to be this person. Jennifer wasn’t this person. She would be ashamed of me. I eventually found my legs under me and I walked to the park. I cried and I talked to her.. I asked for her to forgive me. I asked for her to help me.

Cancer. It will never stop stealing from me. 

The only good thing with the depths of this grief is that it cannot last. It comes quickly and forcefully and it leaves.. It retreats back.. slowly.. leaving its path carved out. It always seems to take a piece of me with it.

But I refuse to let it stay that way. I look at it now and I regain my control. By sharing. By not allowing my embarrassment my distain for my thoughts to shut me up.

Cancer. I will never stop fighting back.

and i will never stop missing

you.

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..until there is a cure..

 

6 Responses to “my grief”

  1. Oh, there is no timetable for grief! You are doing your best and that’s all anyone can expect. A friend lost her grandson to cancer when he had turned 4 and other friends asked “When is she going to get over it?” The answer: It was her grandson, maybe never!! I can only imagine (and now fear) it being your own child. LOVE4JLK. #readingoften

  2. Jennifer will never be ashamed of you, Libby. Still reading, still supporting and still trying to spread the glitter. Sending love always.

  3. Libby: You have to believe she knows how you are helping to fight pediatric cancer. There is no timetable for grief, just take a day at a time. Every time I read one of your blogs, I get a lump in my throat and pray for healing and comfort for your heart. Sending a hug your way.

    Val.

  4. Grief causes a huge, deep chasm. It hurts and it also allows us to feel more, more greatly. That’s why an occasion that once filled you with only love and joy can fill you at once with that same amount of love and joy, but also deep, bitter grief, which is unfortunately a much sharper feeling. There’s no shame in this. Living in love means living in everything that comes your way. Even if you don’t like it.

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