I am, if nothing, an overachiever.
I always have been.
I think my propensity to defy the most amazing odds (twice in one pregnancy, if I claim the odds of Matthew having one normal kidney and one pelvic kidney) helps substantiate this claim.
So, imagine my surprise (not) when one of my therapists (yes, one...John and I have one we see together and I have one who calls me once every three weeks for an hour) told me today that I was her poster child for grieving. She meant this, of course, in a kind, appreciative and complimentary way.
Even in grief, I overachieve.
She's highly impressed with the mountains of books and resource sites I've read and continue to read. She's pleased that I am aware of and have notified John of what to be aware of with regard to symptoms of depression that would warrant aggressive treatment. She can't believe that I am going out to dinner engagements or other things with crowds and do so without breaking down at each one. (At John's Test Pilot of the Year dinner, I got the dreaded, "So, Lori...do you have any kids?" Not once, but twice. I knew it would come sooner or later, and in a way, I am thankful it came at a dinner where some spotlight was on John and I just WAS NOT going to break down. PERIOD.)
She's tickled with the groups I've joined, the resources I access and utilize and the hurtful situations I expose myself to so that I can "feel" and "work through" my grief. She's FLOORED that we are going through the FET so soon. She's even happy that I seem to be effectively working through my grief in my dreams. She's just shocked and amazed that I am able to get up, get dressed, shower and function (me too) and gave me HUGE kudos for doing so. I was so glad to hear that...I don't think that people really realize what a MONUMENTAL chore it is--how much mental energy it takes--just to get up and function throughout the day.
She said the only thing she'd tell me to do that I am not already doing is to be kinder to myself.
In essence, she feels that I am doing such a good job of grieving, I may be cheating myself out of grieving.
That is to say, pushing myself to follow what society comes to sort of dictate grieving should be.
I thought about it, and I think she is exactly right. It has only been 11 weeks and 2 days since Matthew was born and here I was in a fertility clinic this morning getting ready to try and be pregnant again. While I want that pregnancy to happen, it *is* awfully soon. I refuse to do any disservice to Matthew by holding back one single tear I want to cry for him, ever. He was, and will always be, my treasured and precious first-born son; the answer to years of prayers and my hope.
When people tell me not to lose hope, or that they hope I don't lose hope, here's what they need to remember: Too late. I lost it already. I lost it with Matthew. And that's just the way it is. Psalms 13:12 says, "Hope deferred makes a heart sick; a longing fulfilled is the tree of life." Matthew was my longing fulfilled, and yes...my heart is sick. I am not only allowed but expected to be heartbroken and sad...it is completely and totally normal for me to feel hopeless right now.
My. Son. Died.
The good news? Psalms 23:18 says, "There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off." So just because all the hope I had in and for Matthew is gone, I am not cut off for future hope. It's just not the same and no one should expect it to be. I know people mean well when they tell me to hang on to hope--but that's a lot easier said than done. When one grows and carries her heart's desire for 10 months, only to tragically bury him a week later, mind over matter doesn't necessarily apply. Suffice it to say that I am trying.
So here I am...stuck....refusing to mourn Matthew any less than I want or need to in order to fit some societal framework of how I 'should' be feeling right now, no matter how long that takes, yet refusing to be anything but grateful and excited about Matthew's brother or sister--whenever and however he or she comes into our lives.
Wonder what kind of poster THAT looks like?