No one ever gets up one morning as says “Today, I want to stay in my grief and not ever find a way out”, well some might, but that’s not me. The hardest thing I have faced over the last nine months is learning I am not as strong as I thought I was before losing Big Bubby. I can’t always just push aside thoughts and feelings and go on with my life. For those who know me best, you relate to what I am talking about.
When the call came that our baby had died, it brought me to my knees on the inside. I tried to hold it together as long as I could because my husband and I were at the airport trying to get to the counter to get on a plane to fly to Dallas where our baby was gone.
It was if we were in slow motion and everyone around us was going at normal speed. The sad thing? Not ONE SINGLE PERSON stopped in the airport that day to ask if we were OK. We had tears streaming down our faces, we were in somewhat of a daze trying to figure out what to do (I have flown all my life, I know what to do at airports), not even the ticket counter personnel. It was just another day in someone’s life, who had their own problems, who didn’t recognize the grief stricken parents standing there trying to absorb what had just happened to them in the fraction of a second we lost our child. When we reached our gate, I went to the counter, explained our situation, and the nice lady at the counter gave us pre-boarding passes so that we were one of the first to board the plane and get off the plane so that we could get to our family.
I read a really good article from Michelle E. Steinke in the Huffington Post this morning that truly sums up what the Western world expects of grieving parents. I have linked it here for those who would like to read it. She very precisely wrote every feeling I have gone through or now see I will go through:
The name of the article is Stifled Grief: How the West Has It Wrong
If you take the time to read it, really truly read it, I think it will help those who have not lost a child understand where those of us who have lost a child are at. When we tell you we are having a good day today but tomorrow you call and we don’t answer, it isn’t because we don’t want to talk, it’s because we have taken a few steps back from where we were the day before and must work to get back to a good place. If we cancel plans with you, its not that we don’t want to spend time with friends, its that something that day triggered our grief and we don’t want to let you down by not being our “happy” selves in front of a group. Sometimes, we just need to be by ourselves and get through the day the best we can.
For those of you on the journey with my husband and I, I know we don’t tell you enough how much the text, calls, emails, etc mean to us. We may not respond timely but know that without the support team we have around us, we wouldn’t be where we are today.