The Cost of Grief

We all know there are different stages of grief. For a long time, I feared I was the only one in our group who struggled with the anger stage. It seemed no one ever talked about that particular emotion. I’ve gradually realized that most of us feel it, but not many like to talk about it. Maybe we feel it isn’t productive, or attractive. Feeling angry is awkward, especially when there is no clear focus for that anger. Most of us don’t really have anyone to blame for our losses, though that usually doesn’t stop us from blaming ourselves. We can blame God, or the Universe, or Nature, or our own bodies. But where does that get us in the end? Knowing that it won’t help to be angry doesn’t make us stop feeling that way, though. Like so much of grief, it’s a necessary feeling to wade through. And it will keep cropping up, just when you think you might be ‘over’ it.

Elanor, my rainbow baby, is turning ten in eleven days. I’m looking forward to treasuring her special day. But I’m also feeling troubled by anger. This amazing child came into my life a year and two months after my last miscarriage. The general consensus among the Empty Arms Moms I know is that the first three years at least after a loss are a weird sort of blur. Nothing is normal, we are not ourselves, we have not adjusted to this new way of being. We’re going through the motions at best, trying to hold ourselves together when life is tearing us apart. This was the state I was in when my daughter was born. She brought such light into our lives, but I could only see it through a dense fog. Her early years are not as crisp and clear as I would like them to be. I know that I loved her intensely, but I can’t remember it as clearly as I can remember the early days with her brother. And it makes me angry. I fear I cheated her in some way, by not being entirely present, despite a desperate desire to be worthy of this incredible blessing I’d been robbed of three times over. I hope that she does not feel cheated, that she will understand why my memories are not as crystal clear as they should be. But I feel cheated. I would love to go back and relive those first three years of her life–not as they were, but as they should have been. I want to experience them without the filter, without the fog, without the constant fear that something would go wrong. I want to be fully present, fully myself, instead of the grief zombie I was. I want the unadulterated joy I had for her brother. She deserves that, and so very much more.

1 thought on “The Cost of Grief

  1. The anger stage was the hardest for me….. I struggled with how much anger I had at God, my family and just all the people in my life…. It was eating away at me…. I finally set aside a time to go and talk with our priest… It was very reassuring to hear from this “man of God” that one everything I was feeling and experiencing was “normal” and that God got it! He sent us Jesus so that we would better understand what those of us here on earth go through…. God gets it!!!!! And he understands and it is okay to he be angry with him….. As we all have been through this awful loss it is important to remember that the valley of death is complicated and when we first experience our loss we are in the valley non-stop but we begin or will begin to get ourselves out of it…. But it is important to remember that we will end up having a trigger and finding ourselves back there and that is okay too just as long as we don’t stay there forever or too long.

    It has been a little over 2 years since I found out my baby had no heart beat st 19 weeks and 5 days, and I still finding myself visiting that valley on occasion…. God is good and He is walking with each of us in this journey!

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