Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Road trip

Just a quick note to say we're on the road, visiting my parents and then some friends. I'm sure I'll have some things to say when this is all over, but for now all my energy is being spent helping my mom pack up the house I grew up in. Love to you all.

(and b, I'm waiting for your good news)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Garden progress

Here is the site of the future "Reid ----- Memorial Garden". The trees are Tartarian maples and will develop red seed pods this summer and of course the beautiful red leaves maples are known for in fall. The one lonely plant is a hosta that I saved from the mess this area was before the new tress were planted. There are also some daffodils that I tried to save, but I won't know if it worked until next spring so I might buy some bulbs just to make sure I have daffodils next spring.

These three will be moving to a corner of Reid's garden shortly. We received them almost 10 years ago as a wedding gift and while we were a family of three (who weren't missing any family members) they were just right. Now, they are a reminder of what we aren't. I have my mom on the look out for more of the little birds. I want one for Reid now and hopefully someday there will be a need to buy a third one.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Right Where I Am: 1 year, 2 months and 10 days

(This is a very late entry to Angie's amazing Right Where I Am Project. Grieving has done wonders for my ability to procrastinate.)

I've had weeks to think about this but I'm still not exactly sure where I am in my grief these days. I still love and miss my son desperately, but that isn't going to change, ever, and I'm learning to live with that. At the very least, I've accepted that I need to learn how to live with it and I think that's a positive step. What I haven't figured out is who I am now and how I should relate to the rest of the world. The grieving process for the "old me" is even more complex than the one for grieving my child and the majority of this post is about me, not the son I lost.

I had to look at the ticker on my blog to see exactly how long it's been since Reid died. I stopped dreading the arrival of every Friday evening a few months in, but for the first couple months just the mention of Friday was enough to send me off the deep end. I remember that the 3rd of each month is an anniversary, but I no longer feel bad if I have do something more than get dressed and take care of my daughter that day.

I still cringe every time I see a family a with 2 or more young children. The closer the family is to the one I thought I'd have, the more painful the cringe is. I know some of those parents have gone through tough times to create those families, but I also know that the vast majority were able to do it without much effort at all and I hate them for it. (It sounds awful but I really do feel a rush of hatred and anger towards these random people. Once I'm away from them, it fades away but the feelings still show up.) I also still feel pain every time I see a pregnant woman. Whether that comes from missing Reid or the frustration of not being pregnant again, I can't say.

I have definitely been seriously depressed in the last year and had some very low points. I think my baseline emotional level has been reset to something sadder and darker than before so it takes a lot less to make me really upset and a lot more for me to be any kind of happy. I think I've gotten pretty good at faking something close to "normal" when out in public but I don't know for sure because I don't spend time with anyone who I could ask, "Do I seem like a normal person?". I still find the faking it exhausting so I pretty much avoid any social contact that I can.

After right Reid died and I recovered from the c-section, I actually spent quite a bit of time with a few friends. Then I was away for a couple weeks and noticed that if I didn't initiate the plans with these people, no invitations came my way. It felt like they had just been saying yes because they felt bad for me, not because they wanted to be with me, so I stopped calling them. Nearly all of my local social circle was people I met through mom's groups after my daughter was born and nearly all of them had babies just before or just after Reid died. There was no way I could make myself be around these people and their children in the early days and now I feel like I have nothing in common with "normal" people. Being around them would be more awkward and painful than anything else. I don't socialize at all and I don't know when I will even want to try.

Apart from a couple people who have made special efforts to keep in touch with me, I have also lost touch with most of my long distance friends as well. Their lives just moved forward and a "hey, how you are doing?" every 6 months doesn't exactly make me feel loved and supported, despite having known some of these people for most of my life. I am angry with some of them but as the anger fades, I just can't be bothered to try to reconnect with these people. They weren't there for me in the worst time of my life, I don't need them in my life. It seems that I am the classic example of the person who lost their child and lost of most of their friends too.

I definitely haven't put much effort into physically taking care of myself since Reid died. I know I dress like I need a fashion intervention, but don't care enough to do any better. I went an entire year without cutting my hair. I wish I could say I was observing some kind of mourning custom but really I couldn't face an hour of social interaction so I just didn't get a hair cut. Not cutting my hair was actually one of the few minor good things about the first year after Reid died because I finally managed to grow out my bangs. (Got to find the good wherever I can these days.)

Right where I am now is a confusing place. I don't cry everyday but that's mostly because I've figured out what I can and can't handle and I rarely let myself be pushed out of that comfort zone. Of course not everyone in my family thinks that this zone is a good place which causes more friction as time goes on. Really though, I am the only person who is living my life and when I'm ready for something different, I'll find a way to make it happen. I've found a way to survive this long, thanks in large part to the wonderful women in the on-line babyloss community, so I have to trust that I'll figure out how to keep on surviving and maybe even one day start living again.

Friday, June 10, 2011

What I've been doing

Work continues on Reid's garden. The new trees are planted and most of the old weeds/plants are gone. I have to replant some plants I tried to save and figure out what else I am adding for plants. I also need to need to do some shopping for garden "accessories" but that should probably wait until fall when things go on sale and D.G. has forgotten how much all the trees cost. I promise I will try to take some pictures this week.


I've moved on from books solely about grief, to memoirs about getting through shitty times. I read both of Michael J. Fox's books about his life since his Parkinson's diagnosis. (Both good books, especially to a Canadian who loved Family Ties, but I am petty enough that I envy him his family of 4 kids. I know I'm a mess.)

I finished a really interesting book this week, Lonely. It's based on the author's own experiences with loneliness. I know about the nicest thing my own behaviour in the last 9 months could be called is anti-social, so I thought that any loneliness I felt was mostly self-inflicted. There were a lot of interesting points about the way the depression and loneliness can coincide, but that they are separate ailments that need different treatments to over come. Clearly I can't say the the entire book reflected my experience as the author's life is very different from mine, but I definitely had a lot of moments where I recognized myself in the story.


As for what else I've been up to, really not a lot. I think I found a dress to wear to my cousin's wedding. I made a frame for my dad for Father's Day and have plans to help D make on for D.G. and to help D.G. make one for his dad. D only has one more week of preschool left and then somehow I have to figure out how to get her some social interaction that doesn't feel like torture to me. And cooking has been feeling like torture to me because I can't figure out what to cook for "summer" meals and it's too soon to let whatever is ready to eat from the garden/farmer's market decide what we should eat.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

They're everywhere

I have one of these. The stroller is in the rafters of the garage because we got tired of tripping over it and there's no one here who needs a stroller. The car seat is in the closet in the "baby room". Clearly I have no use for it, but why the hell is it suddenly everywhere? The grocery store, the library, and the park. There are 2 at D's dance class. We bought the damn thing over 4 years ago so why are there more around now than when we were happily using it?

Is anyone else surrounded by other people using the same things you had for your baby?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

It's June now, right?

I think I might finally be warm again. I spent Friday volunteering at the golf tournament fundraiser that my support group holds every year. (Last year when we golfed it was sunny and warm.) It was cold and rainy and windy and I was only prepared for the rainy part, not the cold part. Then D had a soccer game on Saturday morning and it was still cold. It was frickin' 5°C Saturday morning (41°F for the SI impaired readers) so I wore my winter jacket and long underwear. I didn't have time to dig out my mittens so my hands froze and it took hours of cuddling with my hot water bottle to get warm (I love you Merry.)

I don't know where I've been for the last few days. I barely read any blogs, I definitely wasn't writing anything. (I want to both read all the posts and write my own contribution to the Right Where I Am project but it hasn't happened yet.) I closed myself in my room and read all the non-Right Where I Am posts in my reader this morning but there were only a few comments written. (Sorry ladies I know I suck.) It's not like I spend all my time watching TV since all the season is over and hockey is down to the finals so there's only been 2 games in the last week. Time just seems to be slipping away from me.