saifsnicujourney

A story of premature birth and the NICU roller coaster

How I spent my birthday last year…October 17th

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This was the best and most memorable birthday thus far. Thank God I have pictures and video.

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Gloomy weather makes for a tough day

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Why do the gloomy, rainy weather days brings such sadness? Maybe it is this fall weather when the days are becoming shorter ,or maybe it’s because I was holding my son this time last year being told he was coming home soon….either way I’m feeling slightly depressed and sorry for myself. I am trying to give myself a pep talk…others have it worse then you, he’s in a better place etc. I know this is par for the course but it honestly sucks. My moms birthday is on the 25th also and I’m missing her terribly as well. This was her favorite time of year. She would make pumpkin pies and soon her many varieties of Christmas cookies and chocolates. My birthday was the 17th and I was looking at pics of my son and how adorable he was when I spent my birthday with him last year. I’m praying for better days ahead but so far I’m in a funk. For now I will continue to try and talk myself out of this funk but I’m also trying to convince my husband that it will get better. Lets hope for both of us that we can get each other through these tough times.

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The truth about what grieving parents think, at least I agree….

This pretty much sums it up….I found this on a chat forum….while its nobody else’s fault that my son died and their life goes on after the funeral, I am still figuring things out and knee deep in grief and confusion.

My child has died – what can you do to help?

Please don’t ask “how are you?” unless you really want to know the answer…
How are you?” has become a meaningless greeting to which the expected answer is “fine”. But I am not fine. At best I’m a bit fragile and a lot of the time I’m far worse – I feel upset, hurt, bewildered, angry, guilty. But these and other normal feelings which follow the death of someone you love are not the things of polite conversation. So if you are not prepared to hear about them, choose another way to greet me.

Don’t expect to much of me too soon….
If I’d broken my leg I’d have a plaster cast on and you wouldn’t expect me to get back to normal for months. you can’t put broken feelings in plaster and you can’t see the scars. But they need time to heal and I need time to come to terms with the realization that “normal” from now on is life without my child.

Don’t ignore the death or the child that died…
You wouldn’t have any trouble talking about good news. If I’d just won Lotto it would be the first thing you would mention. Bad news is different – you probably don’t know what to say or how to say it. But the death of my child is the most important thing in my life and it helps to acknowledge that.

Be honest, and try to avoid platitudes…
“This is awful, I don’t know what to say” is far more help than cliched phrases that aren’t true anyway. Time alone doesn’t heal, the fact we’ve got each other is irrelevant because two drowning people can’t save each other and there is no comfort in the thought of this misery being God’s will.

Don’t think that having, or being able to have, other children will lessen the pain of my child’s death…
A child who loses a favorite toy will not be placated by a substitute. And so it is with people. I loved my child for who he was as an individual, not as an interchangeable piece in a set and mourning for him, at least at first will strain rather than strengthen bonds with other children.

If you want to help, make specific offers not empty promises…Saying “if there’s anything I can do” might make you feel good, but I’m unlikely to take you up because I probably don’t know what I need and I’m unsure what your “anything” means. However if you turn up with food, an offer to babysit, or just a listening ear, your kindness will be gratefully accepted.

Practice, don’t preach…
However weak or strong my faith, and whatever your beliefs, this is no time for sermons.

Be sensitive…
I find it hard to believe life in the outside world is still going on when my private world has collapsed. I hope my child’s death won’t leave me bitter. But it will take me time, months, years, before the weight of my own feelings lightens enough to allow me to share your joys or sorrows.

Don’t expect me to follow a prescribed pattern of grieving…
Denial, anger, guilt, depression and acceptance are all stages in the grief process but no two people will go through them in the same way. I’ll have good days and bad days, sometimes I’ll cope with a lot, at other times I’ll be phased by little things. It may seem illogical to you, but then feelings often are.

Don’t confuse control with coping…
A stiff upper lip probably means I’ve got a tight rein on my feelings, not that I have come to terms with them. You may not be comfortable with crying or screaming but they are far healthier than numbness, which is a sign of denial.

Keep in touch…
I’ll always be grateful for the practical and moral support you gave immediately after the death and I know you have to get on with your life.
But grief doesn’t end with the funeral and occasional phone call, note or visit will let me know you haven’t forgotten.

The death of my child has left me emotionally and spiritually shattered. It will take time to put the pieces together again, to rebuild relationships. But when things get really bad, knowing there is a friend who cares may be all I need to tip the balance in favour of recovery.

Written by Elspeth Ludemann. First published in “North and South” (New Zealand) in March 1991.

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Tired of having to be sensitive to others feelings

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I’ve been silent most of the time when I’m around family, friends, or coworkers. I don’t bring up my son. When I try to or even just make a passing comment , people have walked away from me. Sometimes they change the subject as if they didn’t hear what I was saying or maybe they don’t think it’s important. I know other parents have gone through this, but most people seem lucky to have supportive people around them….people that want to help you remember your child. A big part of me starting this blog and posting pics and videos is so I can openly and freely discuss what happened and how I’m feeling about it. My family and friends have actually said its to much for them to handle. Well then, how is it they can’t consider my feelings? I have been more than accommodating with them, being careful not to show pictures or talk about what he went through….because they can’t handle it. I know a counselor is paid to listen but should that be my only outlet, should I be forced into the dark, kept silent…I don’t think so. Am I wrong? There was a period where my son was at his best…sucking his thumb, holding his pacifier, smiling etc, but nobody was around. Some of it was that people were busy with other obligations but most of it I think was people being afraid to become attached to my son only to lose him in the end. Isn’t that a risk we take in life? Was my son not worth rallying around? I can’t help but think if he had more than just us, his parents, then maybe it would have made him feel more love around him. As I’m typing, a family member just called me to see if I had some books that I borrowed from them awhile back. What angers me is when I called them a few minutes prior, they told me they were to tired to talk and they were going to bed. When I start talking about my son, how I’m missing him….suddenly the person gets sick, or tired, or suddenly recalls something they have to do other than just listening. If I talked only about my son, I could see it becoming a burden on someone, but I’m only able to talk to my husband and strangers. This seems so wrong to me. Does anyone else out there have similar stories or feelings about this topic?

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