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April 30, 2013


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I was fortunate not to have experienced many stupid, hurtful, or ignorant remarks, but the ones I did hear came from a few people I thought would have more sensitivity or at least less ignorance. I still remember exactly who, when, and where these comments were made, along with commercials, or places, or situations that made me cringe. They are burned into my mind, searing images too easy to access.


It is all just way too hard. Even when people tried to say the right thing, I couldn't give them the benefit of the doubt, because there was no getting around the pain. I have felt very isolated from my husband and from my friends - there are some people I still haven't spoken to, and it's been nearly two years. I held a baby for the first time last week, and then another baby today. It was the first time I held a baby since I held Nathaniel, because I've been terrified. For a long time I didn't even want to hold another baby. For a while, I thought that I would never hold another baby for the rest of my life. I didn't want to get over it. I didn't want to get over the pain, because I love my son so much. It's still hollowing and desperate, and yet we keep going. I don't know who I am going to be tomorrow - I am not the person I was two years ago.


Oh, I can so so relate to all of this. My social landscape changed forever after my son died. Some people virtually abandoned us, (or worse, said or did things that diminished his very existence) because they couldn't take the heat, and I cut them out of my life completely. Others did nothing particularly unkind and I cut them out anyway. It all seemed so...extraneous. I didn't want their facebook updates or their dinner party invites or their offers to cheer me up. If I'm honest, mostly, I don't miss any of it.

It might be you/us, but sometimes, it also *is* them. As far as I'm concerned, there is really no excuse for the grief aversion that our society nurtures, and I truly believe that one of the richest gifts my son gave me was an insight into that, and a need to face grief in its awfulness, to reach out when others are in that place, to find compassion. But then again, there was/is nothing that people can say to ever make even a little bit of it ok, and I just hurt and couldn't tolerate the presence of anyone who wasn't in agony as I was. And so it is us too,I guess.

It's almost three years for me, and although most of the people who once populated my life are gone, I am slowly crawling out of the rubble and feeling like I want to build something new, to reach out to others again, to forgive. Also, the anger eventually became as exhausting as the rest of the grief. I can tolerate small talk at times. I'm not sure if that feeling of being on the margins, of putting yourself there, ever really leaves. It changes though, it gets softer.


Suzanne, I know exactly what you mean about becoming more isolated. I haven't held a baby since. I told myself that I wouldn't hold another baby until it was my baby. At the time, I didn't think I'd still be waiting with this much time. Sigh.

Sadie, You are right, that it does change your view and you learn to face things that you'd never have imagined what you could bear.

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