The Game Of Grief

Yesterday was fantiddlyastic!

I crossed ten items off of my To Do List, set up appointments and meetings for the remainder of the week for derby stuff, managed to cook an abysmally bad dinner (I just loooooove cooking) and still made it to practice -despite not being able to swallow without wincing. To top off it’s ooey gooey goodness, we had our first snowfall in over a week (snow is the best) and I actually managed to get five consecutive hours of peaceful slumber! Woot!

Today, however, not so much ooey gooey goodness. More like yucky pooptastic sadness.

The first thought in my head when I woke up this morning was, Happy Birthday, Mom. You would be 58 today if you were still alive. I miss you. The next thought was, I’m going to be an auntie again in two short months. Life sucks sometimes. You may think that is an odd thought because a new baby is supposed to be such a wonderful and joyous occasion, but it doesn’t seem so wonderful and joyous to us right now. Greg’s sister is pregnant, due in March, and every time I think about it, I just want to scream, throw things, explode, curl up in a ball and cry until I pass out. Do I do any of those things? Of course not…well, not anymore anyway! Basically, she became pregnant right around the time Cora died and every time I see her big belly or even think about it, I feel like I’ve been kicked in the chest with a roller skate. What an unsubtle and constant reminder of not only what we’ve lost, but also of the happiness and chance to be parents that we never got to experience. Nothing, I repeat, NOTHING, is harder to deal with after losing a baby than seeing happy pregnant women or women with healthy, happy babies – especially women in your own family. I have tried so hard to find some happiness and excitement about becoming an auntie again, but I have completely given up. I just can’t find any of that inside me yet and I have come to accept that it may come eventually, but for now I just have to do my best to deal with it – ignore it when I can and try not to dwell on it too often. Greg, on the other hand, is happy for his sister and he is looking forward to being an uncle, but it also makes him very sad and although he does his best to hide it, I see it in him after we spend time with his sister. His shoulders droop and he sits on the couch and stares up at the mantle at Cora’s urn and sighs a lot.

This is how my day started – stupid overactive brain and out of control overthinking. 😦

I don’t understand why I continue to be surprised every time I have a day where I am plagued by unshakable sadness. I don’t understand why my brain can’t seem to register the fact that sad days are going to happen, probably forever, and I am not going to be able to do anything about them except ride them out and hope the next day brings sunshine and lollipops. It’s only been seven months since Cora died and I have to continually remind myself that I’m not immune to grief just because I’ve had a few good days. I’m the mother of a beautiful baby girl who died. A baby girl who truly was a miracle sent from I-don’t-know-where after seven years of waiting and who was only allowed to stay here with us for a very, very short time. What person in her right mind wouldn’t find that sad?

As today was dismally progressing, I found myself thinking about the Buddhist/Zen, etc., theory on suffering – If I’m suffering in my life right now, guaranteed it’s because I’m attached to how things should be, not how they actually are – and I realized that this was, indeed, why I was feeling so ridiculously sad. Greg and I deserve to be parents. We love kids and have been wanting them for seven years. It’s not fair that I have had to lose two live babies, not to mention all of the miscarriages I had before those, while other women who hate kids pop them out like toaster strudel. I should be a mother right now, but my arms are empty. Why do so many other people get to go through their lives with nothing bad ever happening to them? Why have I had to endure so much heartache and misery and loss? What have I done to deserve this? Why do I always have to be strong and push through and keep going and why, why, why…Wonk Wonk Wonk

Those were the kind of thoughts that started circling around in my brain from the moment I woke up this morning. It’s bad enough that Greg and I have had to endure this tragedy, but there I was making it even worse by perpetuating my own suffering by attaching myself to how things should be going. No wonder I’m so sad today.

Of course, recognizing those thoughts and stopping them is often like jamming in your first derby bout. You can see the holes opening up, but getting through them without getting knocked on your ass is often trickier than it looks. I work very hard to learn the strategy of this game of grief – I read, I go to counseling, I talk to others who are going through it too – but it’s still often more advanced than my intermediate gaming skills can deal with.

Today, the final score of the game seems to be Grief, 1: Jo, 0.

Tomorrow it’s on to a new strategy and another level of play. Wish me luck.

At least this guy can always make us smile!

One thought on “The Game Of Grief

  1. Wishing you luck and a whole lot more, Jo.
    My thoughts are with you.
    xo. I’m glad we’ve reconnected.

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