Friday, October 7, 2011

Choosing Happiness

We are almost two months out from our loss. Some days are harder than others and I know I will continue to struggle with my grief for years to come but this week has been pretty good. Today I feel a rare moment of clarity.

I have several books on dealing with grief and one of the rules is not to compare your grief with others because the intensity and duration of episodes of grief is different for everyone.  Still that is what I have been struggling with this past week.  I have always been a positive, happy person and I have always felt like I had some built in natural ability to adapt to life's obstacles.  That idea I had of who I was and what I was capable of was shattered the first few weeks after Marcus died.  How could anyone adapt to this type of loss, it did not seem possible. I have never been faced with an obstacle that can compare with this one so I wasn't sure what was ahead of me. I still am not sure what feeling are going to arise as the days and months pass by but I can say that I am beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel.

I read the blogs of other mothers dealing with losing their children and compare their feelings with mine.  Most of the time their words sound as if they were reading my mind and reading their words helps me to realize that I am not alone in my thoughts and feelings.  However when I read their stories and I see the depth of pain still being felt even many many years out I start to feel a little guilty.  I feel guilty because I can already feel my natural happy self returning. I feel like this should not be happening so soon after losing our sweet baby boy.

Don't get me wrong my pain is by no means gone or lessened in any way. I still cry or get teary eyed many times throughout the day. I still feel a sharp pang when I see mothers out with their healthy babies.  There are moments I hear so clearly the NICU doctors voice repeating, "Marcus is brain dead" over and over.  I will always long to hold him and there will always be times I imagine what it would be like if he were here.  I do not think there will ever be one day in my life that I do not think about him.

With that said, I feel like I will be happy again soon. There are brief moments throughout the day that I feel my love for life returning, only now it is more intense.  A new appreciation for the things and people I have in my life has come over me.  I talked with Marc about this yesterday, I told him I was worried that I should not be feeling these happy feelings yet. I told him I was worried that maybe I was feeling this way because I was somehow burying my pain and not allowing myself to feel it.  Talking to him helped me to see that this is not the case.  We have all the same sad feelings and thoughts that many of the other mothers and fathers in our position have.  We allow ourselves to notice the babies which seem to be EVERYWHERE and think that should be us right now, the thing is we CHOOSE not to dwell on those thoughts.  What good does it do to dwell on all the things we should be doing?  We have both asked ourselves why this had to happen to us but how does it help our emotional health to constantly ask "why me?"
The bottom line is it doesn't! My insightful husband then said something that really resonated with me he said life is going to keep going on whether we are ready for it or not. The time we have left on this earth, with each other, with the ones we love, with our future children is not going to pause while we grieve so the sooner we feel ready to be happy again the better.  There is no reason to feel guilty about our ability to bounce back from this. The sooner we can accept that yes, this horrible thing happened to us and make peace with the fact that we cannot go back and change what has occurred the sooner we will be able to live our lives and be happy.

“History has demonstrated that the most notable winners usually encountered heartbreaking obstacles before they triumphed. They won because they refused to become discouraged by their defeats.” - B.C. Forbes

Marc & I after running our 1st half marathon Nov 13, 2010. I was about 6 weeks pregnant with baby Marc.

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