Monday, July 12, 2010

Really, ME?!

(Charlie, 1 year old)

I finally broke the seal...the BIG cry that was looming but refused to spill, finally came. And it keeps coming and coming...and coming, with no end in sight. Just like the guy who drinks 6 beers and then suddenly realizes he hasn't peed all night, pees once, and then can't help but pee every ten minutes for the rest of the night...except my 'pee' has been days long.

I've developed pretty morbid behaviors the past week or so...or are they? I've been particularly drawn to grief websites and looking at open facebook pages of people who've lost children. I just feel the need to know what it really feels like to lose a child. I think I'm trying to prepare myself for the inevitable, but at the same time, I don't know if that's even possible. I've had a lot of mini heart attacks lately...looking at Charlie and then all of a sudden, seeing my future without her. And its horrible. I can't even fathom life without her, which is exactly why I'm trying to force myself to. I keep thinking if I picture it enough and set myself up enough to faux feel the grief, it might make it easier when I actually have to. I don't think it works that way though.

Grief and sadness are very lonely feelings. Matt and I are on different pages at different times, and that makes it really hard to feel connected all the time. I'm sad, he's optimistic, he's sad, I'm optimistic...the timing is almost always off. And when one of us is feeling scared or afraid, and the other happy and excited, we both seem to not want to bother the other with our depressive thoughts, worrying that we'll bring the other one down off of their temporary just doesn't seem fair. I want Matt to be happy, he wants me to be happy, so why burden each other with our doom and gloom thoughts? That's where the loneliness comes in. And the guilt...I feel guilty being bummed when Charlie is almost always so ecstatically it for later, I think. But then that anxious part of my brain chimes in and says, "PROTECT YOURSELF CHERIE...PREPARE!" hence the worry and the doom and gloom thoughts.

I was driving with my friend Anna today and I was trying to explain how awful this feels...I told her it felt like being in love with someone who never ever hurt you, and someone you've never hurt, someone who ONLY enriched your life and changed your life for the better...and like having a warning that the only person you ever really, really, really, loved was going to leave you, and having no control of it. And then I said, "Now take that feeling and times it by 100." That's really the only way I can explain it. Nothing but pure, untainted, real, genuine, love between two people, stolen from you. How will I ever recover from that? Who will I be after Charlie is gone? I seriously can't even picture it in my worst nightmares.

I told Anna that although I've always been somewhat pessimistic, when it came to what life has handed me in general, I've always remained fairly optimistic. I've always thought I had a pretty loving and caring family...I mean, things could always be worse...and I've seen worse, so, I felt fortunate in that regard. And, I know a lot of people who've lost parents, Matt being one of them, and family members, brothers, sisters, cousins...people who have lost friends, etc...but, I remember making a mental note (more than once) that I was pretty lucky, I'd been pretty unscathed by death and disaster. And then this happened. I always remember thinking this stuff just COULDN'T happen to me, I'm not like THOSE people, the ones that this shit happens to, not because they deserve it, but because they are strong enough to handle it. I know, I know, if it worked that way we'd all play dead and/or pretend we were exceptionally weak, so it would skip us...but, I'm serious...I just really feel like, "Is someone seriously kidding me? ME?! Really, ME?! You must not know ME, I cannot handle this!" Like, I really feel like this is the worst thing you can hand somebody. And if you do hand it to somebody, they better be pretty effing tough...and that's the last word anybody (including myself) would use to describe me. I mean, I've lived in Vancouver 11 years and you'll still never catch me on the skytrain after 8 at night alone...I'm that cowardly! I can't even sleep alone in my 5th floor condo without jolting awake, my hand on my phone, ready to dial 911 at the slightest sound.

Yet, this is me, and this is my life. And, I'm still here. And I'm still functioning. Believe it or not.


  1. who you think you are and who you actually are can be totally different. you have no choice but to handle what has been given to you and you are allowed to cry as much as you want. i go to forum and read stories there and read blogs about families who have lost their babies. i do it to remain connected to how close we were to losing rachel. i think it's only natual to want to delve into something that you know is in your future. to "try on" the future to prepare yourself. i think if you didn't, you would only hurt yourself more in the long run.

  2. I think you are incredibly strong. You and Matt are an emotional rollercoaster and I honestly don't know how you deal. I guess you just do what you have to do. I say, go with the flow. If you want to cry, cry. If you want to be angry then be angry and when you have the happy and good times enjoy those as well. None of you deserve this that's for sure. Charlie is an amazingly beautiful child and you and Matt have done an incredible job as her parents. Thank you for sharing your gift with us! Best wishes and hugs to you all.......Kris

  3. I keep saying it. You are stronger than you think you are. Charlie is teaching you that lesson everyday.

  4. I learned about your story through a friend... and what a story it is.

    I must say you are an incredibly strong lady.
    Charlie is such a cute little button! & so blessed to have such a real momma :)
    Cry when you need to cry, laugh when you need to laugh.
    Vent when you need to vent... all are so cleansing.

    You all continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Take care

  5. Cher:

    I have known you for so long and I have never seen you so complete. No one can fully understand the deep wounds that you are feeling but I tell you with all my heart you are completely incredible and so so very strong. We support you every single day. And I as an older Mom, worry about you from time to time because I seriously don't know how you do it. So if you need a break, a walk and a talk and maybe some red wine give me a call.

  6. Thanks everyone! And thanks Janet...i'd love to take you up on the red wine...and a sit and chat on your new patio...and hey, Christie can come too!;)

  7. I'm glad that what was bottled up came out. You are all so strong. Charlie's birthday was wonderful and it was such a treat to finally meet her! I can't believe how you find the strength of spirit to keep being such a great Mom, organize all the details AND do fundraising as well! I think you are way stronger than you think you are!!