Monday, October 22, 2012

What Grief Has Taught Me

No two people experience grief the same way just like no two losses are the same.  I have had my fair share of losses while on this journey and my grieving process has been different for each.  I am far from a medical professional but I do know what it is like to lose a baby and here are 5 things that I have learned through my experiences.
  1. Everyone grieves differently (even spouses) – We’ve all heard about the 5 stages of grief (Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance).  The problem with grief is that people don’t necessarily experience it the same way or in the same order.  I would like to say that I was the perfect griever after my losses and went straight down the line of feelings in order and was done.  Since I knew that I was going to lose the baby before the loss actually occurred my stages of grief during my last miscarriage looked something like this:  Denial, Denial, Bargaining, Bargaining, Denial, Denial, Anger, Severe Anger, Denial, Depression, Severe Depression, Depression, accept… I would like to say that I have completed the last stage of acceptance but I can't.  I can say that I am closer than I ever thought I would be.  Give yourself a break and allow yourself to grieve in your own way and your own time.  There is NO RIGHT WAY!
  2. Tell your doctor that you are having difficulties coping – This was a little difficult for me.  One, I didn’t want to admit that I was weak and couldn’t handle things.  Two, I was afraid of what Dr. L would think of me.   I was sure he already thought I was nuts so let’s throw hysterical crying and depression into the mix.  In typical Dr. L fashion he was great.  He was comforting and willing to help.  He had a referral to a psychologist already available for me.  Don’t be afraid to admit your struggles!
  3. There is nothing wrong with therapy – As I mentioned above, I was afraid to admit that I was weak.  If l let down those barriers people would know that I was vulnerable and couldn't handle it on my own.  This was the best decision we could have made to allow us to heal.  G and I began to see Dr. M about a week after this last loss.  Having a third party listen and let us speak openly about our feelings allowed us to grieve together.  Don’t get me wrong, we did not grieve the same way, but together.  Realizing that we were both feeling the same way and that we could be vulnerable together allowed us to make it through some of those darkest moments.
  4. Smile and laugh whenever you can – After suffering a loss we tend to withdraw further and remain in seclusion.  I know we can’t always handle being around others, but we can have some fun.  The truth is we need to have fun and we need to laugh.  There is no shame in laughing or enjoying yourself.  Fear not…those sad times will return, so celebrate the good any time you can.
  5. Grief is finicky and will hit when you least expect it – There are always triggers that cause us to relive our losses.  It’s hard to know what will set us off on any given day.  I have had moments I was sure would be a struggle for me that have turned out to be non-events only to be surprised when the announcement of someone famous getting pregnant brings me to tears.  It’s normal and it will get easier!
Know that you are not alone.  People want to help you just need to tell them what you need!

4 comments:

  1. These are great! I finally started seeing a counselor too and it has been very helpful. I think people are too worried what others will think abd not about taking care of what they need!

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  2. What a great post!

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  3. You are so brave and an inspiration!

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  4. I think people who seek counseling for an obviously painful experience are STRONG - not weak.

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