And Still, I Hurt

It’s one of those weeks.

Nearly every time someone has asked me how I am doing, since Clara died, I have said “I’m okay, I guess. Some weeks are better than others.”

Well this is one of the others, the bad weeks.

The bad weeks have gotten a little further apart, allowing me more days when I can do more than just go through the motions of a productive life. I’ve had more days when I catch myself belly laughing at one of the girls’ silly jokes, or planning what we’ll do for vacation over Spring Break. There have been more days when I don’t realize until I’m going to bed that I only thought about Clara once or twice all day, or that it’s been a whole week since I last cried.

A couple of weeks ago, I was running errands and I sang along to more than half of Semisonic’s “Closing Time” before I remembered that it was the song that was playing when Clara was delivered and it was confirmed that she had died. I think maybe that was the beginning of my current state of depression, the realization that I had almost forgotten, just for an instant, and the suffocating guilt and despair that came with that realization.

And now the world is full of seven month old babies, everywhere I look. They’re giggling at the grocery store, hanging over their mama’s shoulders at the post office, gnawing on their fists at the yarn store… even gazing at me from the backseat of the next car over when I’m getting gas. They fill my Facebook feed, their beautiful chubby cheeks and bright eyes making me smile while my heart is breaking and my eyes are overflowing with tears.

So I stay home. I avoid the computer. I blog in my head, but can’t bring myself to sit down and type some days. I help my husband rearrange furniture so that we have a small TV in our bedroom, and my first thought is, “now I don’t even have to get out of bed if I don’t want to”.

This week will pass, and hopefully the next one will be a better one. Hopefully I will feel more like engaging with my daughters, and my husband, and even my neighbors.

Hopefully next week, everything won’t hurt.

I Lost My Child Today by Netta Wilson
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I'm Heather, a married mama of two teen girls, a stillborn baby girl (7/1/12), and a sweet and wild preschool girl (4/2/14). I've been blogging at The Destiny Manifest since 2001. I like to write about appreciating all of the beautiful little things that surround us, particularly in the face of grief, infant loss and mental health issues. Every day is an adventure!

Latest posts by Heather O. (see all)

  • Heather, I can only imagine what you are feeling. I almost lost my second at 22 weeks of pregnancy and thank god being put on bed rest and taking it easy for over a month did the trick, but sometimes I look at her now and still am amazed and thank god for sparing her. After all I went through, I won’t even consider having another baby to worry that that could happen again and I wouldn’t be so lucky, but still sometimes I wish for one more, but then remember and know it isn’t worth the risk. That said I really do feel for your loss and please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • I’m so glad that you don’t know exactly what this feels like, Janine. I wouldn’t wish this loss and pain on anyone. I can relate to your feelings of wanting another but fearing the potential loss of that baby… I want another so badly, but I am terrified of how terrified I am going to feel, right up until the minute that baby is placed in my arms. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers.

  • I can’t even imagine. Deepest condolences to you and your family. That poem is just too much. Right on target.

  • Thanks Christine. The poem was sent to me by a friend who went through a similar loss, and yes, it is spot on for how a grieving parent feels.

  • Kat Biggie

    I’m so sorry Heather. The shock of losing a full term baby is so unimaginable… just know that you are not alone. I had a bad week too. I don’t even know why. So I understand what you are going through. Big, big bear hugs!

  • You are so good at expressing your emotions and feelings. There are times that I find myself “happy” and it’s scary. Being happy should not be a scary thing, but it is when you’ve had a loss. Scared that you’re starting to forget. Scared that things almost feel “normal”. It’s easier to breakdown when you’re already low, but when you’re high and feeling happy, it’s a much longer fall when you realize things aren’t the old “normal”.

  • I’m sorry you are having a bad week. Not that it helps, but it’s normal to start healing and forgetting things like the song that was playing. I really think it’s a sort of defense mechanism because if you *don’t* forget some of the painful and minute details, you’ll never be able to move on from it. Notice I don’t say that you’ll get ‘over’ it – you won’t. But, you’ll heal over time and it won’t hurt so much every day. I hope one day you’re able to start healing without feeling guilty.

  • Agh … Heather…My heart breaks for you and I wish I could take your pain away. I hope that your grief dissipates so you can enjoy your life. There really are no words.

    I am so sorry.

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.·*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    http://www.raising-reagan.com

  • Kerry Kosky

    It’s not the same and yet it is: I lost my husband of 43 years just 2 years ago…I went through the stages of grief and got stuck on acceptance…of course, I accept that he is gone…I do NOT accept that it is okay and I will “get over it”…or that in time it will get better…it will NOT get better. I will go on, I will put one foot in front of the other (most days)…I have no choice but I will always feel the hole in my heart…nothing will ever fill that hole. You will go on but a part of you will always miss Clara and you will always hurt for her. This is what we have to accept…this is our life without your Clara and my Walter and we will try to make it a good life, in their honor.

  • I am so sorry for your loss, Kerry. I feel like you do, that I do accept that she is gone, but I do NOT accept that it is okay that she is gone. It is not okay, it will not ever be okay. Thank you for your kind words. May we both have beautiful lives, in honor of Clara and Walter.

  • Thank you. You’re right, and it is normal to heal and forget the minutiae that brings so much pain, but it feels like betrayal or abandonment. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s an overwhelming feeling that I can’t forget even a second of her short existence, or I am not loving her enough. I appreciate your words and your support. It doesn’t feel like enough to say, “I appreciate that you read what I wrote”, but I really do.

  • Oh Missy, I knew that you would know how I feel. It is scary to feel those moments (or even hours) of happy. I don’t want things to feel normal and okay, because they aren’t, but at the same time, I want to feel normal and okay so that I don’t always hurt, so that I can have another baby and not feel like I’m betraying Clara. It’s such a confusing and twisted path that we find ourselves on now. (((Hugs))) to you, my friend.

  • Thank you Alexa. I’m sorry you had a bad week too. The stars weren’t aligned for us this week, or it was something in the water. A full (or is it new?) moon? I don’t know, but I hope we both have better days, starting now. Hugs to you!

  • Thank you Lanaya! I appreciate your words.

  • Heather I am so sorry for the loss of your Clara. Thank you for sharing the poem, it will be 6 years on the 13th since we found out our Joshua was gone due to a cord accident 22 weeks into my pregnancy. I do have a rainbow baby that i was a nervous wreck carrying and finally made them induce me at 37 weeks cuz i was so scared. I can totally relate to the good and bad weeks. Blessings and peace to you and your family.

  • Chrissy

    My goodness, I am so sorry.

    We almost lost our third son, multiple times actually. I started dilating at 19 weeks, was on bed rest the entire pregnancy, and then went into labor with him on Christmas, he was in the NICU for over two weeks and his now home. The only thing that helped me during that time was the know that I wasn’t in it alone, my husband was there the whole time by my side.

    I cannot begin to imagine what you might be going through, but I hope that through time you can find those around you who lift your spirits when you are down and help bring you through this tragedy.

  • Heather I want you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers almost daily. Since coming to know you and your blog I’ve read your posts about losing Clara and my heart breaks for you. I can’t possibly imagine what it’s like but for whatever it is worth I do think about you often and lift you up in prayer. I hope the pain eases soon.

  • Joana Dougherty McGee

    Hello Heather, Though this was written years ago, and comments are older, I am compelled to write. Thank you for your beautiful words. I found this excellent poem of yours on Pinterest; thank you so much for sharing. I am a bereavement counselor whose specialty is parents, especially Mothers who’ve lost a child. I am a counselor for children who have cancer, and so, sadly, am close to many children who don’t make it. It followed to continue walking the path with “my” Mothers, into the years following their losses. I am honored with the gift of intimacy and the privilege of knowing their children, both in life and after death. Now I work with all types of bereaved Mothers, and do a lot of his work on the internet. I have a YouTube video that many Moms and others have found helpful — should you –or any reader like the link, please feel free to message me, and I will send it along. (joana@heartcomfort.com — you can also look up my name in YouTube search). May you be hanging in there. The pain never “heals.” You just learn to put one foot in front of the other. And no, though most pray for it, you will never be the same person you were before. With warm regards, Joana Dougherty McGee 8.28.15