Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Life changes.

I need something from YOU!!

Life changes, doesn't it, after you experience a loss?? And I'm talking all loss - - a parent, a friend, a spouse, a child. Let's get grieving out in the open. This is how we're going to do this.

ALL comment are to be shared anonymously. I will change my settings for this specific post. This is what I am looking for: I want to know how your life has changed during your grieving process. It's all out there: marriages change, friendships change, your family dynamic changes, your personality, feelings, dreams - - it ALL changes. It's private. It's heart breaking. It's hard to talk about it, share about. It is for me. The really secret stuff.

This is your time to let it all hang out. Tell me how your life has changed. After all the comments are in, I'm simply going to post them.

Let's not travel alone in this.

I'm ready to share, are you??


Pokeyann said...

For me grief changed everything, permanently. I cannot go back, I cannot lose what I have gained. By that I mean that through my losses and grief I have learned and journeyed and grown. I would rather have stayed the same than suffered my losses.
I have learned to live with the special pain that is my grief for each and every loss. While I can go on and do day to day life and live, maybe even better because of it, it is there.
The most frustrating thing for me is that most of what I feel and think and experience, I cannot express, I simply lack the words and ability to express the depth of it.
When faced with grief I've had to think hard on questions of my belief system, of my own weakness and strength. I've had to deal with the complete and utter lack in those that I desperately needed. And the shock of those that are capable of helping, the ones I never knew were able.
The rawness of it, can at times still overwhelm me. I've learned to not dwell on it. To keep it close and tightly bound in my heart. One day, after this life is over, I may finally be big enough to let my grief loose, until then, I fear that it would break me beyond repair if given full steam. I have survived things that I thought would surely have broken me. I have achieved peace, even if for only precious small moments, that I've felt it at all is a miracle. Grief never leaves me, it walks beside me. Loss and grief are so complex and woven so deeply into every part of my being that I cannot truly explain or express it. Nor can I convey my empathy and/or sympathy towards others. I simply know the pain, I've lived through it, I continue to live through it. Until Heavenly Father takes mercy on me and lets me return to his bosom to receive true peace, I will continue to live. That is my reality, I am only waiting for Heavenly Father to take mercy on me. That is the truth in my soul that I have never admitted to, not to my spouse, not to anyone. I hope to do good enough with the time I have, but I also hope the time will be short. I wonder at how much the human spirit can suffer, it seems to be bottomless.

Rebecca said...

Well it won't be perfect...but it's mine.

I am continue to mourn the loss of my parents. That loss has changed me profoundly and forever. It is a pain that cannot be described. It's changed the way I trust and the way I listen and the way I love and the way I react to things. Without a doubt.

Dad died in 1992 and Momma died in 2006. There is NO ONE to take their places. I love my eternal companion with all my heart, mind, might and strength. But he is NOT my Dad or my Mom. Try as he might to love me in any way I will allow/need him to - it's just plain different.

There is no one who can hug like Daddy did becasue he was the one who had that place in his arms and body where I fit perfectly. And, there is no one to call in the middle of the night and no one to give it to me straight like my Momma did

I give thanks that I know where my precious parents are. I know that they are home where Heavenly Father and Christ walk and that they are nestled together preparing a place for us. Without my faith, I couldn't survive the loss of them. No way. No how.

I continue to grieve the loss of our home. Foreclosure is not death to some. It's just lfe. To me it was death. Death of the place Joe and I fell in love and death of the place we built together. Death of the place where we came in to the same faith walk and shored up the foundation of our marriage. Death for me of the some of MY most private and personal hopes and dreams for the future.

Grief is tragic and painful and raw and dirty and cruel. But, as I grieve now after all these years, I can recognize that I am growing. I am evolving and becoming the woman those who love me dearest always knew me to be. The person I could never see. I have grief to thank for that. The toughest lessons are the most important and the most profound. I will never be the same and I am glad. But not one day goes by that I don't ache for them...not one day.

Klin said...

My grandpa died the end of October in 07. Worst Halloween ever. I sat home and cried while trying to hand out candy. My hubby took the girls to the trunk or treat. I didn't get to mourn it. My grandma was so jealous of the relationship that grandpa and I shared that she turned her pain on me. She is bitter about her childhood and she has used that bitterness to bring pain and suffering to others. Grandpa and me. Some cousins. Many others, too.

I nearly ended up not going to the funeral due to her hateful comments. Since then I have chosen to not have much of a relationship with her. It was just my breaking point. All the hurt, false accusations, rumors, hateful words came to head when my grandpa passed away. When she turned her hate on me the next day I felt as though I lost both grandparents.

My heart aches. I feel for my grandfather who lived with her for decades. We saw how she treated him. Her harshness. Her intolerance of his hearing loss. Her ungrateful attitude that he provided so well for them and their retirement. I am so angry with her for for the things she said to my family during the funeral prep and since. I got depressed for a while. My great mom, hubby, and children are what keep me going. I just keep swimming, as Dory would say, even when I don't want to.

I am one who ties to look at my losses and make them the gains for my family and friends. Sort of a pay it forward. I had the mother in law from hell. The sisters-in-law from hell, too. Except for one. Anyway, I have had many examples of what not to do so I do my best to be the opposite of them. I use my experience to help others heal.

I just re read my comment and realized that I cover almost all the stages of grief.

Sometimes I still go back through them. It depends on what triggers me.

Anonymous said...

HI Misty,
For me...
Grief is the result of loving much.
In a second, my life was altered.
My worst nightmare.
Finding Tucker, almost 3yo, dead in his crib. Healthy and snuggling me the night before, lifeless the next. Most likely a seizure, then suffocating post-ictal in his pillow. I was 4 months pregnat. Social Services held us responsible for his death, then autopsy took 5 months. Everyone kept living, I wanted to die.
Three years have passed.
I survived only because of Jesus. There is power in the blood of JEsus. NOt only did His death on the cross allow salvation and life in eternity for all whom believe; but His death, burial, and resurrection CONQUERED death. Because of Jesus, I have conquered death, in the aspect that it has not overtaken me. It cannot beat me, becasue I live with the power of Christ in me.
2) I have had difficulty trusting myself. My ability to parent and mother. Trusting my mommy isnticts is hard, as I missed that Tucker had a cold, which led to his seizure, which led to his death. This mistrust flows into aspects of my mothering now. I was always VERY confident mommy.
3) Fear and Anxiety. I have never been fearful or anxious. Now I can be. They are powerful emotions.
4) I eat too much food. I always have, but I now find myself cycling in and out of bad eating habits. Not sure of it all, I am analyzing it. I think to feel in control of something and fill some void?
5) I have embraced the gift of children. I was done having babies before Tucker's death, and my hubby as well. In the past three years, we have had three babies. Not to ever replace Tucker or that void - but to embrace the wonderful gift that children are from the Lord and we appreciate LIFE! IT's precious.
I am thaknful for our new persepective.
6) The craziness in my head: In my grief, I can often feel crazy. I have learned the power of the scriptures. Whatever the battle in my mind I am dealing with - I make posters and index cards of God's Holy WOrd. I read it outloud, over and over, telling myself the TRUTH, fighting my crazy thoughts. THere is great book - "Praying God's Word, by Beth Moore" that gives direct scriptures, organized by topics. I contribute the truth and power of God's Word to my survival, and return to living daily in Joy and Peace.
7) I was suicidal and would think of ways to die. I don't think I'd actually have done it - but I looked for all Tucker's seizure medicine because I wanted to go he with him. I'd drive down the road, and tell God to please take me now, so I didn't have to drive myself into this tree, etc.
8) I'd have cleavage tears - the wordless moans where tears fill my cleavage. I'd hide on the floor of my bedroom closet, behind the clothes, and all I could utter was HELP ME JESUS. It was an awful sight, HE heard my many cries, and I always felt much better!
9) "He Heals the Broken Hearted, and bandages their wounds." Psalm 147:3 We all can trust this promise, as we cling to Jesus and His Word that our deep heart wounds can be healed... on this earth. I will think of Tucker moment by moment, but the deep wombs of my heart and the agony are healed by the love of Christ. It's hard to put this into words, but I hope and believe that all in grief can experience this as well. Just read God's Word and tell Him all your thoughts... the good, bad, and the soul wrenching anquish... He hears and loves you.
Sweet Blessings

Anonymous said...

Hi Misty,
I think for me (and it was not my child that I lost, but a child who was mine in every way that is important) it took almost a year to realise that I needed to forgive myself- that as much as I was grieving, I was also blaming myself, every one else around me and the world in general. I'm an atheist, so don't have a god to blame, but I'm sure if I had, then I would have been blaming he/she/it also. It took me a long time to get past that and get to the stage where I could say honestly 'I grieve, but it was just what happened.' The first few months, I honestly felt like I was drowning- my partner died in the same accident, so I was alone, we didn't have any kids together so I had noone to hang on for and I think in some ways if I had HAD to keep going then it might have been easier perhaps. Please hang on- it does get easier. Someone made the analogy to me- and I don't know how this would translate into christianity, sorry- that you make a place in your heart for them and keep the rest of your heart to live again, knowing that they're there. Hang on in there.

Anonymous said...

I started grieving once I found out my baby wouldn't live. It's not an easy thing to live with-knowing your child is going to die but I will never regret choosing to carry my baby to term and spending as much time with them as possible. It's the greatest thing I've ever done in my life.

I accepted everything and moved forward with learning as much as I could about my baby's diagnosis and planning for the future. If this is the path I had to walk then I wanted to make the most of it. But in also walking this path I felt the pain of knowing my baby would die and my dreams for my baby and for my family would never be fulfilled in the way that I wanted.

I clung to God fiercely and have drawn closer to Him through this road. I never imagined that could happen but it did. My marriage has remained firm and has grown even stronger I would say. We've been through the worst together and we vowed through better or worse. Friendships and family have had their rocky times as words have been said that hurt and things left unspoken. I've chose to forgive those who did or did not intend to hurt me. I know I can't remain bitter about these things or it will eat me up inside and then it will not only hurt me but pour out into my family. Although, it is harder to forget the things that have been said and done.

I find myself caring less about some things and more about others. My priorities and parenting have changed in some ways. I think of the things my baby should be doing but isn't. I imagine what my baby would look like. A piece of our family is missing and I know nothing will ever be able to fix that. Myself as a person has changed but many traits of the old me still remains. As time stretches further out from losing my baby I see more and more of the old me, but I know that the old me will never completely come back. That person died the day I was told my baby would die. I've had time to remember who I was and become that person and to also grow in my loss.

Every day I miss my baby but I don't find myself very sad. I do have moments where I get overwhelmed with it all and the tears fill my eyes. They seem to strike at any moment. When I look at pictures or keepsakes my heart is filled with love and joy for my baby. I wish so much that my baby didn't have to die but I also see all the good that God has done. Knowing that my baby's life has made such an impact and has drawn people closer to God is amazing.

I feel very blessed to have been given the gift of my baby, no matter how long a life it was.

I am worried and anxious about future pregnancies. I don't want to have to receive that terrible news again. But I know that God is in control and He'll be there for me no matter what. I trust Him more than anybody else.

Anonymous said...

My hardest thing is lossing my daughter even though we were told she was not compatible with life I carried her for 35 weeks and 5 days she passed away in mine and my husband's arms.Then I ended up with a hysterectomy! I have had times I've been so mad at GOD and then I get upset because GOD is the one who is carrying me through and HE gave HIS only begotten Son Jesus for our sins and it makes me sad that I was mad at the Lord.I get really sad when people have babies and and don't want them except for a goverment check! I think why do they have babies and they don't want them but those that do want a child can't have one or anymore babies!?
My husband always tells it's not for us to understand maybe GOD is going to use that child to change those parents hearts. Anyways I'm sure glad I have a merciful Lord that loves me even when I'm mad at Him.

Anonymous said...

I don't even know yet how it has changed me. I am not even close to the same person.

The tears are always so close to the surface, so quick to come, and I feel like I have to explain them somehow but I can't.

I avoid people, they mostly don't understand and think I should be over this by now. But I can't move on yet, even though I try so hard.

I am always on alert now. I used to be the one who never thought about bad things happening, they never did to me. Now I worry about everyone I love, I worry about me, it all seems so perilous and inevitable, and I feel like I grieve for what hasn't even happened yet.

I wish I had faith, believed that there was a God who could help. But I don't.

I have no one to share this burden with. And even if I did, I don't think I could.

Mandy said...

I don't even remember what I was like anymore before I had my first loss. I think I was happier...naive to what real pain was. I had not experienced any great losses in my life other than ailing grandparents. I remember that I was more carefree...I was a better mother.

For my marriage, I believe the first loss brought us closer in the end. Although he grieved in his own way, and perhaps a shorter time than I felt he *should* have. I was still sad for many months after. Still worried, and he had moved on quicker. Still...it did bring us closer. He was supportive and caring and understanding for the most part. The second loss has been different. I feel it has probably put a schism in our marriage more than anything. Even though this loss was a big earlier than the last one, and perhaps even I seemed like I moved on faster, I didn't. Because of my work I have not been able to grieve in the same was as I did for the first one, so it does seem like I have moved on with everyday life. He left for a trip (for funsies I guess) the day we found out. I will never forgive him for that. That is something I keep to myself...one of those marriage secrets I guess. Its not like he wasn't sad. I think he was. But I think he had the "been there, done that" mentality. And he was perhaps reflecting my attitude as well even..

Friendships...I think my friendships have stayed the same. Although I harbor some resentment (just being honest) against my friends who can just pop out a baby whenever they feel like it. Most of my friendships have gotten closer. There is a great kindredship with women that I never felt before. I find great comfort and peace talking to women who have experienced a loss, even if it was not like mine. I feel they understand, and I can cry with them, and I can swear with them about how life isn't fair and they don't judge me for it. I think some of my other friends just feel like I should have moved on already. In fact, I don't even talk about it to them anymore. They don't get it.

I think I am a different mother now. Not better. You would think I would be better..holding my babies closer. I mean...I love my children, but I think my capacity for closeness to others has changed so much, that I almost block myself from getting too too close to them. That sounds SO awful when you write it down like that, and I love them so much. But sometimes, I think I would have been more loving to them if I had never had a loss.

I have decided to not have any more children...so I dream big for myself now. Selfish as it sounds, I am creating a life for me that doesn't include newborn diaper fantasies any longer. I am trying hard to concentrate and love the children I have. To surround myself with them...to dream with them and for them, and work hard to get them where they want to go.

I am less forgiving and less tolerant of people now. I am sure that pisses a lot of people off. But I have no time for people who whine about their marriages when they have nothing to complain about. I have no time to listen to people bitch about the fact that their children don't sleep through the night yet. What I wouldn't give to be waking up with my newborn now. What I wouldn't give to be photographing him/her....feeding them, diapering them...and when people complain about the fact that their kids are messy or there milk is drying up, it just pisses me off.

The good things that have come out of this? I am stronger. I know what I can take. I know my limitations for grief. I know my heart can take whatever is dished out. I speak my mind...I have no ceilings to what I can do. My children are loved...in a different way...in a bigger way. I have greater appreciation for babies...even if they aren't mine. I have a greater appreciation for women in general. (for men, not so much...haha) I celebrate every baby and child. I didn't before...but now I see that they are the most amazingly perfect thing in this world.

Anonymous said...

EVERYTHING has changed. I started grieving from the moment that we discovered something was wrong. I can see shadows of my old self coming through now and again but there just a mist in the clouds, nothing really concrete.

It has changed the way I mother my children. I hold them a little closer and don't sweat the small stuff near as much as I did before. It takes them much longer to rile me up into a screaming fit, though there are days when it is closer to the surface than others. I also find myself worrying about them constantly. I was never one to have a doomsday mentality but now I can picture just horrible things that could happen to my children if I let them do ANYTHING. I have to constantly remind myself that even though we lost one doesn't mean that it will happen again and I need to give over my insecurities and let the kids be kids.

My marriage is steady though the boat has definitely been rocked. Neither of us is really the same any longer. Since our loss is so fresh I'm not really sure how it will affect our marriage. I am scared that it will break us. I worry now because there is a difference of opinion on having more children. I worry that that one thing will be what keeps us from staying united.

My friendships are nonexistent....at least with my older friends they are. I have found and fostered several friendships through my loss with other mothers who have also experienced loss. Without them I might just go crazy. The funny thing is that with them I can "let it all hang out" There is nothing that I don't feel comfortable sharing with them because I know that they understand me. I was never one to share on that level so easily before. But with them it just feels natural.

I wish I could say that there was a huge "life change" as a result of losing our baby. But there hasn't been one. We still go about our days the way we did before he was born. We still do all the things that we did before. We are just sadder and slower than before is all. We are like zombies performing our daily tasks without a real thought to how we are achieving our goals or what our goals even are any longer.

Amy said...

How has the loss of my baby boy changed me? How am I different than I was before? I am old. My spirit aged a hundred years in only a few months. I am sober. Serious. Grief has tempered me, refined me. The grief I endured enlarged my heart to nearly bursting—stretching it beyond what I thought I could bear. And yet, what remained, when the desperate ache subsided, was a heart capable of vastly more love and joy than I ever could have felt before. I feel the joy and beauty of life with far more real happiness, and understand the delicacy and miracle of life with more gratitude and wonder than before. I have had to finally commit to my faith—had to finally say once and for all “I believe”, and live my life within that commitment. I DO believe. I will see my son again.

Anonymous said...

My grief is somewhat different than most of these posted here. I have not lost a child, spouse, or parent...the closest person I lost was my grandma who I miss everyday...but that is not what I want to discuss. The grief I have felt is seeing friends and family suffer as they experience a great loss such as a child or parent. It is so hard to know what to say and to try and keep a friendship strong when I haven't experienced that same loss. Being a mom, I can imagine what it would be like but I can never know. I have had moments where I can't find my children and instant panic sets in wondering where they are, but I can't even imagine that it is the same at all. I get so angry sometimes that there are so many people in the world abusing their children through neglect or actual abuse and some of my greatest friends are unable to have children or have lost their children. It is so hard to sit back and see my friends suffering as they deal with their grief, knowing I can't do anything but tell that person I love them and wishing I could take away their pain. It is heartwrenching to me when I am talking on the phone to a dear friend who has just lost her baby and trying to keep my newborn quiet so I don't upset my friend. Trying and fumbling for the right words but knowing they are never enough. I HATE it! I'm sorry if I sound like I'm complaining, but really this is me...baring my soul...sharing what is hardest for me to go through. I constantly think about you Misty and what you are going through. There hasn't been a day since you lost Isaac that I haven't thought about you and what you are going through. When my little ones are crying and upset and I am getting frazzled, my mind constantly wanders to you and the thought that you would love nothing more than to feed your baby and rock your baby to sleep and yet here I am complaining that I'm not getting dinner made or the sleep I need. It's not fair, I know it's not. I try so much harder to love my little family and spend more time with them, and I get so frustrated with myself when I do blow up and get upset over something as dumb as them getting to bed on time. I wish more than anything I could be there for you and I have tried. I love being your friend and I love who you are. You are honest and strong and one of the best moms I know. I have learned so much from you and had so many laughs with you. I know what you are going through is probably the most difficult thing you have ever faced in your life and I know you have gone through so much. I can't even imagine how you make it through everyday as you do. I see the grief in your eyes and know you are a changed person. It may be hard to believe, but I become a different person everytime a person I love experiences such a great loss because a piece of me dies each time. I didn't realize how strong these emotions of mine are on this subject, but as I've been typing I've been wiping away the tears to keep typing and get my feelings out. It is so tricky to know what the right thing is to say, but being anonymous has allowed me to share me and it has helped a lot. I will always be there for you Misty, rain or shine...please know that I love you and even though I haven't shown you how much your loss has affected me, it really has more than I even realized until writing this. I truly value our friendship no matter how different it may be now...I value anytime I have with you whether in person or over the phone. You inspire me to be a better person and mom and I am grateful everyday for that. Thank you for this post. I have realized many things about myself as I have written and things I am going to change TODAY so I can live a better life and my family can know how much I value them.

Franchesca Cox said...

Grief changed

-my heart's desires
-my marraige for the better
-my relationship with my parents...
-my friends... (some just don't get it)
-my thoughts and opinions of the world... (I could care less what others think or say)
-my world (it feels like it rains most days even when its sunny outside)
-my time... (it takes me further and further away from my time spent holding my baby girl)
-my moods (sad ALL the time and don't even realize it most days)
-my walk with God... (I KNOW He is there)

There is so much more but these are the things that I can remember right now.

I hope all these comments help you.