Wednesday, December 24, 2008

No more school!

Done...go figure, a Masters degree taking too much time :)

Keira just had her second birthday. She's definitely not a baby anymore. My favorite moment, I sneezed and she said "Bless you mommy"...it was so cute.

Sean is so big now. He just amazes me with all of the information he retains. I asked him if he wanted to enroll in swimming class and he said "when I'm a daddy", so I asked why this fascination with being a daddy...his response, "because daddies are cool".

Mostly, I love that they play together. I love when they interact. I love when they hug each other.

So as I head from home to help my son make Christmas cookies for Santa, I pause because as excited as I am...I know I'm going home to a house with a missing child.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Changes...

I'm sick of being MIA...I left consulting so I could get a better work/life balance and what do I do with the 20 hours I gained...shove them into school. So I have decided that school needs to wait until my kids hate me. I'll finish this sememster and let it sit for a few years and re-evaluate it again.

Keira is just talking up a storm now. She repeats pretty much everything even if she doesn't know what it means. She is definitely going to be my little sassy girl.

Sean read his first page at pre-school. Only to be followed that night with "Mommy, I'm going to be a daddy one day"...which just made me cry right then and there.

What does it say about me if I look at them and think ... this is truly my biggest contribution to the world, Sean and Keira living life, when Connor is not.

Friday, September 26, 2008

MIA...

Yes...I've added getting my Masters in Computer Science to my plate. Now granted, I'm only taking one class a semester (which will equate to 5 years to achieve this goal) but I wanted to finally start going on it. Unfortunately, 15 hours of school and homework doesn't not allow for much else.

However, I had to post this morning...so it happened. The first "I don't love you mommy"...why...because he was being punished for his bad choices. I stayed firm...I did not give in. But I did cry myself to sleep, because my thought was "what if he died and that was the last thing he said to me". I know that sounds horrible...not worried about him dying but how I would feel. But this goes back to the best moment was to hear him tell me he loved me...to lose that, is just too much.

Luckily, I woke up this morning to my little boy climbing into my bed and telling me he loves me. Whew...I made it through but I hate that my mind goes there. I hate the fear. I hate knowing true reality of life.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The first question

So it happened...last night during our bedtime routine I received the first follow-up question...

Me: What was the best part of your day?
Sean: Playing with Naomi (friend at pre-school)
Me: Really, what did you play?
Sean: In the sand
Me: Cool. Ok, let's read our last book for the night
Sean: Where is Connor?
Me: Well honey, he passed away. He's in heaven with grandpa.
Sean: Ok. (lays down for the last book)

Now the emotions that immediately overwhelmed were insane. The question was out of the blue. The one line response prompted no additional questions. The simple acceptance that it was a normal response. No need to discuss the thousand other things I've prepared in my head for this question.

The aftermath has left me wondering. When will he ask again? What will he want to know more about? Will I scare him? Will he not care? Will he understand?

And for the deep secret that I'm ashamed that I found myself hoping for...they he may say something that would make me feel like he had some special connection/understanding that I long for. Instead it was a simple "Ok".

Friday, August 8, 2008

Truly is a physical pain

So I went to an IT conference this week in Toronto. The conference was actually really good and I had quite a few interesting professional conversations. I went solo so I was able to live in a world that appeared wonderful...happily married, with children, enjoying my job...I chose never to mention Connor this week.

Then I drove home from the airport...an hour drive...a very long hour drive at night. Before I even made it to the expressway, I was bawling. Why? Because I was truly feeling a physical ache/pain to see Sean/Keira and I knew that I was going home and would be able to get rid of it. There was no getting rid of the pain I feel for Connor. It's constant. Sure, sometimes it's overshadowed by other events in my life but in those moments it builds. It builds until I have that break...that period where I scream and cry until there's nothing left again. That period where I beg for a sign that he's still with me, that he loves me, that he knows I love him.

I love that I now have children to go home to but I do hate that they draw attention to this physical pain that most people dismiss as just mental. So as I cuddled with my children this morning when they woke up, I cuddled just a little extra hard hoping Connor knew that was for him too.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Isaac

I'm a Aunt again! My sister gave birth to Isaac Matthew on July 23rd...weighing 8lbs and 12 oz.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Children update

Sean absolutely loves pre-school. I can tell already how many things he's learning and picking up from new teachers and friends. For the most part, they have been good. I think my little boy may even have his first crush. Her name is Naomi and she is adorable.

Keira is having those true mini-language explosions that Sean never really had. In what feels like just two weeks she tripled her words. She's even putting multiple words together such as feet shoes, when she wants me to put her shoes on.


I think the part that still gets me the most even 19 months later...how different and how similiar they are. I almost dread figuring each milestone out as one or the other because it's just this big sign that reminds me that I don't know what Connor would have done. Would he have been a shy little guy like Sean or a pistol like Keira? Would he have been an observer like Sean or a talker like Keira?


I know most people say that the first smile is one of their favorite firsts. Mine is really much later. My favorite moments from Sean was the first time he gave me a kiss (18 months in St. Louis vacation) and the first time he said I love you (2.5 years old in NY vacation). Keira also gave me her first kiss at 18 months in NY vacation)...I'm anxiously waiting to see when the I love you moment happens in the next year. I think these two moments are so important to me because it's what I long most from Connor...to hear/know/feel that he loved me as much as I love him.


Anyway...can't change it and don't want to think anymore about it today!


Here's new pics...


Monday, July 7, 2008

You're so blessed...

I'm just getting back from a week visiting the in-laws in New York. I think I have my new all-time favorite "I'm going to kill you" statement...

You're so blessed to have one of each!

Blessed...BLESSED...are you freaking kidding me! First, I have two sons and a daughter. Second, what part is blessed when I only have two of three children living. Third, how did you imply that my life is wonderful and perfect now that I living children...their birth did not erase the pain!

Did I say any of this...nope, I sat there with a stupid smile on my face and just nodded. Didn't want to correct the well-intention family member. So instead, it's been 4 days later and I'm still thinking about this.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Things from other blogs...

I finally did some reading this evening and two things really jumped out at me...

1.) A mother was expressing the jealously upon hearing news of twins (she lost a twin).

"Sometimes it's quiet and only whispers. Sometimes the whispers become screams. "

It just seems to sum up so many things!

2.) A short questionnaire that made me really think about Connor:

1 In a word, how would you characterize yourself before your loss, and then after?

Before: Planner
Today: Educated

2 How do you feel around pregnant women?

For women not a part of the deadbabyland or infertility: Jealous...of the innocence...of the happiness...of their success.

For the "club" women: Hope and fear that they will get that deep breath when they hear their baby cry.

3 How do you answer the 'how many children' question?

For the most part, I pretty much answer with 3. The only alternative when not a direct question like this is "I have two at home".

4 How did you explain what happened to your lost baby to your living children? Or, if this was your first pregnancy, will you tell future children about your first?

I plan to tell my living children. I just hope Connor means something more than the answer response to "what's your brother's name".

5 What would another pregnancy mean to you, and how would you get through it—or are you done with babymaking?

We are done!!!!

6 Imagine being able to step back in time and whisper into the ear of your past self the day after your baby died. What would you say?

I'm actually going to change this question into three parts:
What would I whisper to myself the day after...it's ok to ask to hold him again if you want to.
What would I whisper to myself the day I delivered him...don't be afraid, take as many pictures of him as you can
What would I whisper to myself the day I found out he was gone...this was not your fault and preventing people from being a part of his birth would be your biggest regret

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Change is good...

As I received information from old co-workers regarding some of the decisions my last project is now making (which I would have been going nuts over), I received a "good job" email from not only my new boss but one of the more difficult individuals on my new team. I can safely say...this was a great week! My decision to switch jobs was a good one. My sanity is returning. My hours are more normal. I enjoy my job again!

The introductions are still not easy. Pretty much everyone has changed the topic shortly after any reference to Connor. But I'm actually ok with that...because it is difficult and at least they are not ignoring me and walking away. The bad part is that I think I still find that until someone connects (talks) with me regarding Connor, then I don't really feel the need to invest in much more that standard hellos...which I know is completely the opposite direction of making someone comfortable enough to talk to me. I guess the being burned by so many people has definitely impacted me even more than I care to admit.

On the parenting front...

Sean's night time routine is not working. He actually starts to get more wind up as it progresses from bath to teeth brushing to story time. We have tied so many different things. Each one works for about a week and then we're back to square one. We have ZERO problems putting him down for a nap and anyone else has ZERO problems putting him to bed at night. So I totally know it's a game that he's playing. I just can't figure out how to stop it. Especially without waking his sister that is in the next room. I get so angry and then I end up feeling even worse because at least he's breathing so why should I care if he doesn't want to go to bed immediately. Then I get annoyed because I just want five minutes to myself and then I feel guilty because I don't want to be with him every second of the day. Aside from this issue, everything else is great. He's seriously a very well behaved adorable three year old!

Keira is doing well also. I am finding myself getting a little anxious about her thumb sucking. Neither of my kids (well living ones) took to a pacifier. Keira started on her thumb at about 6 months. For the most part it's only right as she is getting tired and going to sleep but she will do it when she is really upset too. I would have preferred the pacifier...I can take that away...I can't take her thumb away. I guess I should look up when thumb suckign becomes bad for their teeth. Why is that we keep having teeth problems!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Basic Introduction is not easy

My name is Tricia
I'm married to Pete for 5 plus years
I have 3 - wait 2 - wait 3 - children

Do I become that person the first day? Do I alienate new people right from the start? Will people understand? Will I be ok if I don't acknowledge?

In the end, I said I had young children at home during the mass company introduction. Then during my team, acknowledged all three children. I don't know if it hurt my relationship building - probably some of them yes considering I work with mostly men. However, it just felt right.

I put up my family picture and Connor's footprints in my office. I am going to be proud and not hide my reality.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Work Place...

I made the leap...I will be giving notice at my current work place on Friday. I will be headed to a high tech (bleeding edge) high caliber company as a project manager. The interview process was extensive and I do have this feeling of honor that I was chosen. I will give two weeks and take one week for myself, so my start date will be 5/13!

My current co-workers are not going to be happy. I really don't want this to sound like I'm full of myself but I truly know that for the most part, I was a big part of the reason for the project's successes so far. People knew that they could depend on me to get the job done. My staff knew that I would protect them. This is the only bad part to this move, I feel like I will be letting them down. However, I know this is the right decision.

In fact, I'm having a very hard time already not wanting to tell numerous people what I truly think of the company and some of the "policies". For example, when I was interviewing they said "oh, you vest immediately"...what I didn't know is that really you have to be here for one year to qualify for match...then you have to be hear for another year to be eligible for match and then upon manager's discretion sometime in the summer they will match (smaller percentage) of your 401K. So I've been here for 2.5 years and received ZERO match so far...but I'll vest immediately if it were to be matched...LOL. I even pointed out that this is essentally a 3 year vest program and they just didn't get it. The worst part is if they do it to try to keep people, they really need to match at a much larger percent to make it worth it. Plus, money I've never seen on my statement is a ton easier to walk away from. This is one of MANY examples.

I always have a little fear when I start a new job...what if they figure out that I have no clue what I'm doing...what if they don't like me...what if I don't like them...what if they lied about average work week of 40-45 hours...what if I fail. The difference with these fears is that I have control over making them not turn into reality. I like fears that I can control.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Where's Sean?

I leave for work or the gym each weekday about 5 in the morning. This leaves Pete to taking the kids to day care. This is the story I got when Pete arrived to work...

So after you left, I woke up about 6 a.m. I noticed Sean's door was open but he wasn't in our bed. I went into the kitchen...nope not getting a snack. I went downstairs...nope not watching tv. Now I'm freaking out and can't find him. I go back up to our bedroom and happen to hear the dog (note: our 80 lb black lab/boxer) move in his crate (which is always open but he uses as his security corner/blanket). So I look inside and there is Sean and the dog both sound asleep.

One part of me says...how cute. The bigger part of me says...is this a sign for therapy already.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Implied Judgement

So I called my friend A last night (she's the one that is due with her second child in June that I posted earlier). She proceeded to tell me that she fell down a flight of stairs and that she has some issue with her pelvic area now but that she proceeded to handle a 4 hour surgery (she's an OB-GYN) and then flew someone for a presentation.

So what was my first thoughts...ok, they were not:
a.) Is she ok?
b.) Is the baby girl ok?

Instead my first thoughts were:
a.) Is she trying to make me feel bad for not knowing this?
b.) Why is she putting her baby at risk?
c.) Is she just be dramatic

My first statement was not:
a.) Are you ok?
b.) Is the pregnancy ok?

My first statement was:
a.) Why don't you call me when these things happen? To which her response was that she didn't need to bother me with these things.

Recap of history:
- Friends since 1995 (college)
- In each other's wedding
- She was one of only 6 people that held Connor
- Struggled with our friendship during Sean's pregnancy (she was pregnant with her first)
- She is Keira's godmother

So why do I have negative responses to her comments (or to the fact that she told her daughter she was pregnant before even the second trimester). Yes, partially it's the history. Yes, partially it's the dramatic way that she has always been.

But really it's because I interpret that as implied judgement. Nothing will happen to her pregnancy...she knows better, I didn't.

Let me be clear. I can use my friend A in this instance but it really relates to most people. A is an OB-GYN...she knows all the bad things. In fact, I can put almost anyone's name in there and still I feel the same way. That although they use all the right words and deep down believe that I didn't cause Connor's death, they still don't believe it will happen to them.

I asked another friend how far along was she when she told her 3 year old, she too said right away. She knew what happened to me. She knew what happened to her other bridesmaid (cord accident at full term), she knew about my friend who just had a miscarriage...yet she told her daughter right away. I couldn't bring myself to ask the follow-up question of "did you think about what you would tell her if you had a miscarriage"?

I wish I could say it was just jealously. I am jealous of their innocence. And yes that is a part of it but it's more. I feel intense judgement. That it happened to me but it wouldn't happen to them. I feel like they think I could have prevented it. Do I really believe they feel that way towards me...no...but I do believe they feel that way towards themselves.

Then there is the aspect that I worry about the result of the aftermath. What if A went to the conference after falling down the stairs, went into premature labor on the flight and the baby died? What would she live with then? Why would she take that risk? Why would she not be freaking out?

Then when all these questions stop going through my head, I'm left with...she isn't worried about her baby. Hence, implied judgement that I had to be worried that I had a reason.

I know that's not what is intended. I know that it some ways it's completely illogical. But I also know it's my interpretation and I have to face it...I still look for that judgement...I still expect it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sign away your first born...

the joke: "I feel like I'm signing away my first born. "

I know I used this "joke" often. I can even remember one clear time when we were signing all of the various papers to close on our house the year before Connor was conceived.

But was it a joke or was it a statement?

I know that I cringe when I hear anyone make any kind of reference to this "joke". So on some level, I guess I do wonder if I signed him away. Typing that I know how stupid it sounds but it is there for me.

As I meet other people who have suffered a loss, I can easily believe that they didn't deserve their loss. Yet for myself, I can't stop from wondering if some deal I tried to make with God, resulted in Connor's death. I guess that would have to assume that I believe in God...and I'm not sure if I do but I'll save that for another post.

The worst part is no one can say for sure if this thought is ridiculous or not. The only fact is that this is about beliefs and faith and maybe the whole concept that everything happens for a reason. I'm not very good in those areas.

So just in case...Connor, if I did do something that caused this path for us both, I'm sorry.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Remembering Connor

Today is four years...four years since I had to say goodbye. No matter how much better I think I'm doing, I always feel completely empty today.

We went this morning to the hospital where you were born. We took a little blanket and preemie outfit to donate in your memory. I hate that another family will need it but I hate worse that I needed one of those donations. This year, I was actually able to say "Our son, Connor was born silently here four years ago" before I started crying. This is progress as last year I only got to your name. I know this is suppose to be a festive day and I hate that I set the tone first thing in the morning for the nurses with having to hand me tissues but this is my reality. Today sucks. I don't feel like celebrating or laughing. I want to cry. I want to curl up and sleep the day away. I want to hold you tight.

This year, Sean looked at me and started crying because I was. He gave me this huge hug and I just breathed him in for a minute. From the outside world, we look perfect. From the inside, my heart is forever broken.

My sister sent us a white rose for your first anniversary and then the second she sent two. Last year she sent three. Unfortunately, this year she sent only one. I still completely appreciate the gesture and thought, but I made my husband go out and buy three more white roses to mark his anniversary. I felt like an idiot but I knew I wasn't going to be better unless we just did it as it was a tradition that I really liked.

We also went to the Detroit parade yesterday. It's so hard as a.) Detroit is a complete dump b.) St. Patrick's Day is a day for drinking and hence not the best group of people to expose your children to c.) the actual parade consists mostly of high school Detroit bands. I just find I want the world to cry during these two days not be all happy and carefree. However, this is the tradition that Pete wanted to do each year, so we went. Keira loved the action and Sean was terrific.

It's 4 p.m. and I'm still waiting for a number of people to call. I'm so afraid of people forgetting that I dread going into the evening. What if they forget...if it's only been four years and they already forgot who else will in another 4. I wish it was enough for me to just say I remember but it's not. I want the world to stop for him. I want the world to remember my son. I want the world to honor my son.

I don't know what you would be doing right now. I don't know if you would be writing your own little birthday note. I don't know if you would have had a preference of a birthday theme party. I don't know what toy I would have picked out for you. I hate that I don't know and I hate that I'm not creative enough to guess.

I do know that your grandfather is with you telling secrets and making sure you enjoy yourself today. But I would really appreciate it if the two of you would just send me a little sign that helps give me a little peace (the kind where I would feel nuts if I told anyone). Please...I desperately need something...anything to help with this emptiness.

I love you.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Time before anniversary

I hate the time leading up to an annivesary. I have always felt ten times worse before and by the actual anniversary, I'm usually so spent that I'm just glad the day has arrived and I'm beyond it.

So I started thinking back to my general feelings I had as I approached:

1st anniversary: The angst set in the minute we were into March. I was very much in the "I still don't believe this really happened" shock. I was completely physcially and mentally exhausted. Essentially, I had zero drive to get out of bed. There were non-stop tears all day and night long. Although, I guess it's fair to mention that I was also dealing with post partum emotions from Sean's pregnancy and safe arrival.

2nd anniversary: The angst set in during the first week of March. I remember getting upset that NCAA basketball season was coming to an end as it meant, we were getting closer to Connor's annivesary. I had fear of people forgetting (which did happen). I was anxious and highly emotional. There were non-stop tears all day long. I did not feel any better after his anniversary passed because so many people forgot...I spent the next few days yelling at people.

3rd anniversary: The angst set in about the same time during the first week of march. I had extreme fear of people forgetting again (which did not happen after the not so friendly yelling from the previous year). There were non-stop tears all night long. I was exhausted but I was also dealing with post partum emotions from Keira's pregnancy.

4th anniversary: The angst set in about 10 days before his anniversary. There is just a general funk that I'm walking around in. No tears have fallen but I have the weight of being on the verge of tears at every moment. I'm in a general "I don't care and I'm not motivated" mood. I keep finding myself trying to associate it to work because it scares me how quickly I can go back to this place. How easy I can go right back to zombie land.

Seven more days...please don't let people forget this year so that his annivesary is a good day.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Anniversary Donation

This is where I will be donating for Connor's anniversary this year. Although I have pictures...I wish I had professional pictures that I could display.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21134540/vp/23481435#23481435

http://www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org/

I guess I made it to 10 days prior before the angst is starting to really set it. I just feel sick to my stomach and on the verge of tears at all times.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Sean!

Today you are three!

You were so cute at your birthday party this weekend. I'm not a very good mama in that I didn't do this whole party theme but I did order a blues clues cake, which you just loved. I guess I have to do this next year.

I watched you play with the other little kids and you are just a really great kid. You share. You take turns. You seek out to include all the kids in the game. You use your polite words. You are just wonderful and I am so very proud to be your mother.

I'm exited to see what you will do this year. To watch you start writing letters and shapes, I know you will love pre-school. I look forward to you continuing to make me smile!

I love you.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Living Children Update

Since we're moving into the time of year when my mind really starts to dive into all things related to Connor (ok, more than the rest of the year), I figured some updates of Sean and Keira would be nice...and a happier blog post.

Sean
In just a couple of weeks, he'll be three! I think my favorite moments with him are when he wakes up on the weekend and crawls into my bed and says "Morning mommy. I want to cuddle". So a quick highlight of activities this almost 3 year old is doing:
- Completely potty trained (actually wasn't that hard with him)
- Started writing his letters (O, L, N)
- Sings along to the Grateful Dead (don't ask)
- His shyness has reduced dramatically
- He only loves books before bedtime (unless there the ones you can write on)
- He now eats his vegatables without me asking (then says "you happy?")
- He gives eskimo kisses now

Keira
Just turned one. I think my favorite moments with her are when we put on the Grateful Dead (see above) and she wiggles her butt.
- Walking at 10 months produces running at 13 months
- Points to the sink to put her sippy cup away
- Says "go" over and over while reading Go Dog Go (final book before bedtime)
- Absolutely hates having her teeth brushed and strangers touching her
- The only thing she won't eat so far is cottage cheese (so different than Sean)
- There are no bedtime issues...we lay her down and she goes to sleep
- She seems to know that she can taunt her brother while he is in timeout






Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Typical post loss behavior???

So here are some of the crappy things I did post-loss that immediately come to mind (there are many more and some that I may even be blocking from my memory)...

- My first laugh was in result of watching a car accident occur right in front of us. A guy (in a brand new sports car) was side-swiped by some junker car. I just started laughing at this guy.

- My maid of honor told me she was pregnant (the day I found out I could try again) and instead of mustering any kind of happiness for her, I dropped to my knees in a drugstore and sobbed. To which I later received an email as to how my lack of response hurt her.

- My inability to ask this same maid of honor if she knew the gender for down right fear that she would tell me she was having a boy. I didn't want ANYONE to have a boy before we did. Hell, I didn't want anyone to have a baby before we finally got to take one home (but that's a whole other post). Upon finally getting the courage to ask, the response I got was "yeah, I've know for weeks" to highlight that I had not asked yet. After our blowout fight/communication, we healed and it definitely helped that her baby was a little girl.

- My friend's father passed away about 3 months after Connor. Although I did sit and cry with her, I admitted that it was very difficult for me to feel much more. The reality was that my father-in-law passed away just before Connor and we never had time to just grieve for him. Then when Connor died, I was thankful he passed away as that meant he was with my son. My viewpoint is that every parent should pass away before their child. Yes, some definitely go too soon but the pain is not the same. She acknowledged she didn't agree with me but didn't hold it to me. Now after a miscarriage and a year of subsequent trying, she knows what I was saying...it just wasn't easy to hear then.

- A friend called me just to tell me he broke his nose because he knew I wanted to hear about sucky things that were happening to other people.

- I looked at pregnant women and thought "you are smoking crack and you still have that baby"...and yes, sometimes I even gave nasty looks.

- Upon getting pregnant with Sean, I went out of my way to ensure anyone that acted as if this was a normal pregnancy, I would remind them of Connor's death. Innocent sales people asking if this was my first..."no, my first son died".

- After beginning to feel bad for causing people to be uncomfortable by the previous point, I created a two question rule. If you asked me two questions in a row and you received no eye contact short responses but yet you continued for the third, it was fair game. For example...Is this your first? No. How many children do you have? 3 How old? Well, my first son died. My second son is 3 and my daughter is 1. Right after the loss, reactions were painful but now I'm curious as to who steps up and who doesn't.

- I didn't attend my mother's 50 birthday surprise party. I was 28 weeks with Sean and just couldn't bare to hear the comments or really to deal with most of my family that had been MIA.

- I didn't attend my best friend of 20 years' communion...which to even say she had a communion into the Catholic church is still weird to me.

- I did manage to attend my brother's college graduation but all I did during it was cry (I should have had a one month baby at that point). I didn't attend his dinner afterwards and just headed home.

- I told my friend, who was due five days after Connor's due date that I didn't want to hear anything related to her pregnancy unless something negative was occurring. I basically tried to pretend that she was not pregnant and didn't see her for the rest of her pregnancy. We talked basically every day but the biggest part of her life at that time was off-limits conversation.

I know there are so many other things I did/said, that were out of line...that were selfish...that a non-grieving person would think is just pathetic. Yet I did them and I know I had to.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Friendships

I've spent a lot of my energy focusing on the pain and anger I feel towards those individuals that I thought were my friends and who just abandoned me. Yet something that I've always noticed is that I don't carry the guilt over my behaviors that many grieving mothers have. This could be because of many things...
- I have always lacked the "need to conform" feelings
- I have always been very confident in my feelings and owning them
- I am not as good of a person in that I just don't care and did what I had to do

Yet, I'm starting to wonder if my lack of guilt is because the friendships that remained were very strong and supportive. They didn't make me feel bad despite whatever ugly behavior showed itself. Do I wish that I had done some things differently...sure. But at the end of the day, this wasn't about making them feel good. This was about me just surviving another minute.

I think that's even why I posed a "question of the day" when I was writing just after my loss. I was seeking those honest truths...the ones I knew that if they were said out loud in mixed company, people would think I had gone mad. But isn't that exactly what happens to you after a loss. You go mad...with what if's...with guilt...with sadness that is so deep you can't seem to breathe.

See I don't think when people get judgemental over a grieving mother's behavior, it is because of the actual behavior. I think it's because they are upset of what has been taken away from them. The more you talk...the less naive they can pretend to be. The more you balk the traditional aspects/behaviors of pregnancy, the less they can be the center of attention. The more you feel the injustice of the world, the less they can assume everything will work out for them.

I couldn't count the number of times that someone responded to my writing with thanks for saying what they were afraid to admit. And as much as I love my friends, those moments of not feeling alone and insane were worth so much more to me.

As awful as this may be to admit, I know the reason that I still have so much pain from those "friends" that walked away is not from the loss of their friendship. It really is because they CHOSE to walk away at that point in my life. Sure maybe the initial abandonment was done unintentionally but it was still there. They were more worried about their own comfort level then mine. Yet, at some point when you realize that you haven't spoken to someone for months, years...you are choosing to not talk to them again over dealing with the confrontation of what a sh*tty friend they were. So do I miss any of them...not really. Most of them that walked away were party buddies and my life is anything but a party these days. Unfortunately, the anger that they added to my grief at a time when I couldn't handle anything just disgusts me. The fact is I think I still hold on to this anger because I can direct it at someone...someone living. I can hold this person accountable for their actions. As for the anger related to Connor's death...I don't have anything tangible to yell at...well, beside myself.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Not enough hours in the day...

On the positive side, I am working out 4 times a week for an hour each time.

On the negative side, I've given up sleep/work time in order to do it.

On the positive side, I'm starting to see my body improve.

On the negative side, I don't seem to have any time and my stress has increased because I'm not getting everything done.

I know I have to continue the workouts. I know that if I want to improve my self image, I have to continue. I know that if I want to improve my health, I have to continue. I just wish my body didn't need 7-8 hours of sleep each day. I become very moody with less.

Let's see what on the parenting after loss side...

The following now takes place:
Me: What's your sister's name?
Sean: Keira
Me: What's your brother's name?
Sean: Connor

I wonder how long before he starts to understand what the word "brother" means and asks "Where is Connor"?

Monday, January 7, 2008

Holiday cards

I'm in great turmoil over the "holiday card"...you know, the ones where people sending you the postcard of their smiling children and wishing you a wonderful holiday season.

I HATED these for the first few years after Connor died. I swore right then that I would never send another holiday card (mine had been the traditional holiday card - no pictures up to that point). The first year...I got so many it was insane. But each year the number dwindles...that whole you didn't send me one so I don't have to send you one starts to happen.

Ok...so here's the confession. I only got a few this year and it made me sad. Upon replacing the pictures on my fridge with the new ones I did get, there were some that I've had up for a year and now won't have a replacement. I don't think I did anything to those people that just didn't send a card with their kids updated picture. Could I actually want that?

Then I find myself thinking, well I'll just send them next year and people will start back up. But here's the kicker...I can't. I can't put Sean and Keira's picture on a card and act as if that's all my children and isn't my life great. Crap, I still have a hard time signing friggin cards. Maybe there's a way for me to signify Connor on the card without being so bold about it...hmmm.

On another front, Sean asked me (completely out of no where) "where was Connor"? I was so taken aback I just spit out "In heaven". Done...end of conversation...he said ok and left. I don't know if I believe in heaven but it just seemed like the right thing to respond and maybe the fact that I said it so quickly a part of me does believe that. I'm now left wondering when and what the next question will be. I truly hope that my openness with him leads to the Connor's death in our family seems normal versus completely traumatizing the child.