Letting It All Out!


Let It All Out

Let It All Out

Many things going on here, thus the absence of posts and tweets. But I think I’m starting to see the light at t end of the tunnel. I wanted to give a brief update and share with you my highly opinionated way to deal with loss. 

Not all loss is bad, as in the case of my grandmother. She led a very full life and as I grew older I heard stories of exactly how full ;)! She suffered several strokes in the last two months and was in a very poor state, physically and mentally. Now she is in a better place and I’m sure she is dancing and singing and so happy. This is not a sad time for me. We were raised with a positive outlook on the passing of the eldery. So much so that some considered it in bad taste when my dad and his brothers were cracking jokes and laughing at their father’s funeral. But they knew it was a great for my grandpa. That kind of set the tone for how we dealt with dying in our family.

I dealt with loss this earlier in my week when I packed up everything in the my old house. My Ex left for Hungary last Tuesday. I had to have everything out of the house by Tuesday. I had to go through everything he left behind to move in to permanent storage while he’s in Europe. He had nothing taken care of it was all left up to me. I was very sad as I looked at my wedding album before putting it away. Sadness brought about by the pictures soon turned in to anger for the fact he just left me to deal with the physical mess of the house and the emotional mess of his children wanting their daddy. 

Because I had the kids with me I had to stuff down all the emotion. And the more I stuffed it down, the worse it became and the shorter my fuse became in dealing with my kids. 3 year olds will be 3 year olds and they were living up to their age for sure. I knew it was getting worse and I sent out a cry for help and Gail Hyatt answered. (She is my secret angel. I think God picked her personally.) She took the kids and finally alone I was able to deal with the emotions.  When I picked up my kids at 4:30, I felt very healthy about where I was emotionally.  Had I not been able to deal with my emotions, I’m sure the day would have been far worse. 

In light of all this I wanted to post this note I left on a message board for a friend. She has just went through 2 unsuccessful IVF (invitro fertilization) treatments and was asking for help within our group on how to deal with the loss.  This was my response. She told me at dinner last night that it helped alot. So I thought I would share it here in case anyone else that is reading is dealing with a loss of any kind.   

Dear Friend,

You and I have discussed the IVF situation before. I was lucky with Emma & Jacob. But I remember when they went through the stats with me that using frozen embryos successfully is very difficult. But there is always a chance and we always have hope. Staying positive is the best possible thing to do in that situation. I’m so sorry that you are having to deal with the outcome of this. Given our previous conversations, I’m hoping you are ok with me giving you my real feeling about dealing with loss.

I think we’ve all been educated on the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. What I think we do an extremely poor job of is allowing ourselves to really go through those stages in our own time and way. Often friends/family don’t know what to say so they try to cheer you up or get you focused on the positive “You can always try again” “This doesn’t define you” “You have your son, you should just put your energy in to him” or they try to justify “Maybe this was for the best” or they resort to the ever popular “It was God’s will”. All of these things are true (in my opinion). But no one really talks about the pain. No one really gives us permission or encourages us to really grieve.

One of the things total strangers have said to me regarding my blog is it made them feel like it was ok NOT to be ok sometimes. One girl had suffered a miscarriage, she was young so everyone tried to convince her it was just life, move on, get over it. She felt like she was supposed to maintain this happy – oh gee, I guess i’ll have better luck next time – Leave it to Beaver attitude. No one told her to curl up in bed in a ball, pull the covers over her head and scream & cry about it.

It hurts!!! But dealing with hurt is ugly, so people don’t want to, but I think you have to. You have to embrace the pain. Let it wash over you like a flood. Cry, be angry, it’s not fair! If you’re spiritual tell God how angry you are, how much you’re hurting, confused and disappointed. (He knows our heart already!) Being angry & hurting is what you are supposed to be doing right now. The sooner you can wrap your arms around the pain and take it on, the sooner it will lose its energy and power. And the healing can take place.

Having a child to care for makes it difficult, I know. But you need to schedule time to be alone and deal. Use a friend, family, whoever is available. I would often take the kids to kid’s gym at the Y and go home and be on my knees crying the minute I hit my bedroom. It may sound funny, scheduling time to cry. But those releases/breaks from having to care for anyone BUT yourself, makes the time you are with everyone else bearable and more enjoyable.

I think we often try to stuff it down, suck it up and deal with it. Take care of our kids and try to pretend we are ok. That often makes it worse and prolongs the process. And then it becomes this thing sitting in your head and your heart festering. You’re never present in the moment because it’s a distraction. And that’s not fair to anyone, especially your son.

It’s just my opinion, but I hope it can help in some small way.  Call me if you want to talk further.

How do you deal with loss?

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5 thoughts on “Letting It All Out!

  1. The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Beers

    When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a
    day are not enough, remember the story of the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers

    A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front
    of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full.
    They agreed that it was.

    The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar
    He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the
    golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

    The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of
    course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The
    students responded with an unanimous “yes.”

    The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the
    entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the
    sand. The students laughed.

    “Now,” said the professor as the laughter
    subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The
    golf balls are the important things—your family, your children, your
    health, your friends and your favorite passions—and if everything else was
    lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the other things
    that matter like your job, your house and your car. The sand is everything
    else—the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he
    continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The
    same goes for life. If you spend all your tim e and energy on the small stuff
    you will never have room for the things that are important to you. “Pay
    attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with
    your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take
    time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another
    18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix
    the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first—the things that really
    matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

    One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the beer represented.
    The professor smiled and said, “I’m glad you asked.” The beer just shows you that no
    matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of
    beers with a friend.” Please share this with someone you care about.. I JUST
    DID.

  2. Wow! I stumbled onto your blog and have been moved by your situation. You are an amazing, strong woman who God is using in ways that you aren’t even aware of. May God bless you as you seek Him daily. Your children are blessed to have you.

  3. After 5 miscarriages, I loved reading “No one told her to curl up in bed in a ball, pull the covers over her head and scream & cry about it.” You’re exactly right. Everyone expects you to just be okay, to move on, to accept it and look forward to whatever is next, like it wasn’t really ever a baby, but it was! Each of my babies were important to me just as much as if I had given birth to them instead of watching them be flushed down a toilet or be taken to a lab for testing. I wanted so much to crawl under my covers all by myself and scream. I used my kitchen one night while Jim took Owen out to play. It was such a relaxing experience and made me feel so much better.

    You are incredible. Thank you for giving me the permission to “Not be okay.” I didn’t even know I needed it, but what a release it was to read that.

  4. This is a great post, can’t believe that your week has continued to be challenging, even on top of all this. I’m praying for you and your family. When you get back, I tagged you over at my blog and am looking forward to your random six things, so I can get to know you even better!
    Love the new template, it looks really professional, and yet so comfortable.

  5. You’re a remarkable woman.

    We hear all those platitudes, and while we handle the stress of whatever we’re doing, we can’t always take the time or the energy to “feel” how we feel. Because we think we should be stronger, because we don’t want to burden anyone by reaching out. Because society tells us to pull ourselves up, dust ourselves off and keep going.

    But sometimes, a little screaming, crying, sulking is appropriate. As long as you don’t spend all your time doing it, you’re okay.

    Do what you need to do and know that a lot of people are rallying around you, including me. If I can do ANYTHING for you and those adorable kids of yours, you just call.

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