Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The pit

The day my child died, I fell into the pit of grief. My friends watched me struggle through daily life, waiting for the person I once was to arise from the pit, not realizing "she" is gone forever.
The pit is full of darkness, heartache and despair, it paralyzes your thoughts, movements and ability to ration. The pit leaves you forever changed, unable to surface the person you once were.

Some of my pre-grief friends gather around the top of the pit, waiting for the old me to appear before their eyes, not understanding what’s taking me so long to emerge. After all, in their eyes, I've been in the pit for quite sometime. Yet in my eyes, it seems as if I fell in only yesterday.
Not all of my pre-grief friends are gathered around the top of the pit. Some are helping me with the climb out of the darkness. They climb side by side with me from time to time, but mostly they climb ahead of me, waiting patiently at each plateau. Even with these friends I sometimes wonder if they are also waiting for the pre-grief me to magically appear before their eyes.
Then there are the casual acquaintances, you know the ones who say, "Hi, how are you?" when they really don't care or really want to know. These are the people who sigh in relief, that it is my child who died and not theirs. You know...the "better them, than me" attitude.

My post-grief friends (and a rare pre-grief friend) are the ones who climb with me, side by side, inch by inch, out of the pit with me. They are able to reassure me when I need reassurance, rest when I need resting, and encourage me to move forward when I don't have the strength. They have no expectations, no memories and no recollection of how I "should" be. They want me to get better, to smile more often and find joy in life, but they also accepted the person I've become. The "person" who is emerging from the pit.

Author Unknown

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Bitter old hag

As I've been sitting here for the past little bit reading some caringbridge sites of kiddos we either knew when we were in the joint, or who we have come to "know" through those we knew I have been reflecting and thinking about me, my positions on things...

I notice I've been bitter lately. Lately being the past couple years or so. Alex would be coming up on turning TWO now you know. TWO! It astonishes me that 2 whole years have nearly gone by... anyway back to my point.

I've been bitter, I've been angry, I've been downright pissed off. But you know what? Who wouldn't be? I have to talk to people, see people, and hear about people who take what they have for granted. They go about their day. They go to work and spend 2 hours a day with their families and somehow that is ok. They just don't realize how quickly EVERYTHING can be gone.

I'm simply sick and tired of people who take it all for granted. Every single morning I wake up and nearly cry because my kids are still here for one more day. Every night I go to bed begging God to give me another day. I have learned the hard way that people don't stay here forever. So many people don't think they take it for granted but they DO. You can see it in their day to day lives.

I guess I get so angry about certain issues because I know what it feels like to just wish you had that 1 more day. I wish I didn't need to sleep during those 7 weeks, I wish I didnt' leave him for a second to eat, use the bathroom, whatever. But I did. Those things I really did HAVE to do. People walk away from their kids every day for things they don't HAVE to do and I can't fathom making that choice.

People worry about such stupid shit. They worry about sports games and shopping and if their dry cleaning will be ready by 5. Why? What the hell does any of that stuff matter? It consumes people's lives and I can't figure it out. WHO THE HELL CARES?! Is your home standing? Is your heat working? Is your family safe and healthy? Then get down on your damn knees and thank the lord above.

It's just really frustrating. Yep I'm angry and bitter and all that other stuff. But I'm grateful and happy too. I don't take one minute for granted anymore. It's been said that I am a changed person since Alex died. Well of course I am! I'm a whole lot different than I use to be. I know I've become a lot less tolerant and likeable. My mission in life isn't to make everyone else happy, i'm sorry to say. It's to make my life and that of my family the most rewarding it can be.

I'm still learning. I'm learning who I was, I'm learning who I am, and I'm learning who I want to be. Forgive me if I confuse or anger you in that process but it's a ride you can't join me on. It's a ride that won't be over for a long time and maybe I'll never figure things out. You have the choice to ride it beside me or to stray away. I don't have any choice in the matter but you do, use it. Don't pretend, don't patronize, and don't make my grieving/learning/growing process about you, it's not. It's about me and it's a very difficult path to follow because there's never a straight line........ the path zig zags, loops, and sometimes just simply turns around and goes back where it came from. All I know is that for right now I am sorting things out and I am keeping those close to me as close as I can.