May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face, and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
-Irish Blessing

Thursday, June 30, 2011

How Long Do I Get?

It has been almost four months since the day of Eli's birth and death which has set my mind wondering how long I will get to excuse, if you will, myself using the guise of grief. Is anyone still willing to extend me the courtesies of grief by telling themselves its only been four months or did those courtesies expire at three, two or God forbid one month, perhaps even weeks? I still find myself excusing things I've said or done in my head as the result of my grieving.

Obviously I am still grieving. Intense grief after the loss of a child can last up to two years. Grief itself is always present. I guess what I'm looking for is a number, down to the very last day if need be. When is my time up? When will people no longer tolerate anything less than normal? After losing Wyatt I coped by getting pregnant very quickly because I felt that was the only way I could ever begin to feel normal again. It kind of worked. Getting pregnant was absolutely the right decision for us. It lifted me out of a deep hole of grief and gave me a purpose in our quiet life together. I gained something in the wake of such tremendous loss. However it was not without its downfalls. My pregnancy was on a very near timeline with Wyatt's and so too often dates were weighed down by memories. I gave birth one year and four days after Wyatt's birth, the one year anniversary of his funeral and burial. People also stopped seeing a grieving mother and replaced her with an expectant mother which changed the dichotomy of my expected behavior.

I do not have the luxury of getting pregnant again so quickly after five full term c-sections. Nor do I have the peace of mind considering we were told Wyatt's Potter's was a fluke and clearly Eli's was likely not a fluke.

Only time will tell me what I want to know about time. Until then I will try to control those thoughts, words and behaviors that I need to excuse with grief and allow myself to continue to grieve in my own time.


  1. People are always going to give you problems for grieving, no matter how long it's been. Or at least that's been my experience.

    Praying for you.

  2. Mandy,

    I think it's sad that as grievers, we are aware of these "time restrictions". That people make us aware. That they tell me that it's time to "get over" "it"...

    Perhaps you were asking a rhetorical but if you weren't, and assuming that my therapist is "in the know", she told me that the general populace who don't "get" loss tolerate grief for, are you ready, sitting down, one month or four weeks or 28 days or 672 hours.

    Thankfully, what they think isn't as important as what we think (although, let's be real, their thoughts definitely can and do impact our lives).

    As for me, I will be grieving until the day I die. My grief has changed. Or, maybe how I deal with it has. Regardless, I know that it will continue to change. That's life.

    Thank you so much for bringing up this topic and reminding me that I too will grieve my way and I don't need to make any excuses for that.

    Peace, Sarah

  3. I am currently 24 1/2 weeks pregnant with a potters baby and every day I wonder how am I going to get through and handle this. My husband and I both have a son from a previous relationships. They are our worlds and I couldn't imagine life without them. I am so glad I came across your posts. Knowing I'm not the only one doing this and reading posts from others moms are helping me. I'm sorry for the loss of your boys.

  4. Thank you all.

    Sarah, I'd never come across that statistic, four weeks makes our grief so much more sad I think. I'd like to think that I would be more compassionate if I were "them" BUT I'll never know. The death of my sons definitely has intensified my sense of compassion.

    Christina, I pray that your little one will grow strong within you so that you will have some time with him/her at birth. It is an awful experience to carry a child when you know that child won't survive. You are not alone. So many have walked our shoes before and will after us. Sending you strength - let me know if there is anything I can do/answer for you.



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