I have not been on here for a while. I have been in self preservation mode. I learned when everything happened with Scott that there is only so much my brain can handle and process and that I have to do it in small bites. So with my cancer diagnosis, treatments starting, and all the dates about to hit with Scott's birth, death etc. I was just making sure I could keep my head above water without getting into my head too much. I have been taking things one chunk at a time and have learned for me the more research I do the more freaked out I make myself. So I know enough and when I need more I ask questions but I have stayed off the internet and have not broken the spine on the breast cancer book I received at the hospital. Things are looking good though I am almost through chemo and then the next chunk for me will begin and that's when I will ask more questions and learn more.
I have taken all that is happening in stride and didn't care about losing my hair. I will go out most days without a hat or scarf. I don't care if people stare or ask questions. Then it hit me...my newest journey is something VISIBLE. It's something that people can see and know my life has been turned upside down. In a weird crazy way it fullfills something in me...okay I know what your thinking at this point but keep reading it will make sense. Scott died 6 years ago this past June. After he died I looked the same, I acted the same ( because I became good at faking it) unless I had a spontaneous eruption of tears. No one knew the hell I had experienced the grief I was going through unless I told them. And I quickly learned that most days it was better to keep what I was going through to myself because I would get empty platitudes, and awkwardness. My journey, Scott's death was hidden and not acknowledge. I would wear MOD shirts or soemthing to try and get people to ask to get awareness that my life is hell, I have another child, he died. But it never worked. It was like I was walking around with this big secret. Time went past I learned to talk about Scott more and not care what people said. But I still learned that there were certain instances that it's just easier not to create that awkwardness like introducing yourself at the PTA mtg and sharing how many kids...You feel like people think you are trying to get them to feel sorry for you or at least I did. So it was all kept very close to my heart to protect me, my heart, and my precious Scott.
Well now it's obvious I am going through a new hell, I have no hair, I walk slow etc. People comment, they acknowledge they do kind things. It a weird way it's full filling that want I had from 6 years ago. I do not wish this current journey on anyone including myself. and if I were able I would choose option no for it. But since it's been dealt to me I am embracing it and the kindness it brings from people. I have strangers now give me hugs and tell me I got this. I wish that loss moms could get the same uplifting encouragement when someone hears of their loss without people trying to come up with words to make them feel better. It has made me realize just how far we still need to go to educate people on infant loss and how to respond to a parent about.
**and on a side note I think this is readable I have major chemo brain so things don't always string together when writing or speaking as I hoped it would**
This is such a beautiful post Nicki. This comparison, this perspective, just wow! When you talk about the invisible pain of infant loss unless someone asks or you decide to share. Like loss being a big secret you're carrying around and people fumbling for words of condolence. So true! I'm glad that you are receiving the hugs, the kind words, the acknowledgement on this new journey and somehow, strangely helping to heal one already in motion. I am so glad that you posted to let us know how you're doing. I used to tell people to take one moment, one breath at a time. Now, we're onto chunks. So, take one chunk at a time and know that we're here for you:)
I completely get what you are trying to say. When I lost Josie I was really young, only 23, and since she was so small, I lost the weight really quickly (I wasn't eating either) and I didn't "look" like a mom or someone who just lost someone. So I walked around just full of grief and heartache, that no one else could see, yet I always felt as if it was overflowing, and obvious. I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs "don't you see that I just lost my baby and I don't care at all about ___________" But if you do that you're considered crazy and that just doesn't work. I'm glad you are able to break up what you need to take on a little at a time. And I know that you have definitely "got this"!
Love and Hugs
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