It's been a while since I've posted anything and its mainly been because there are things I have been working through that I wasn't sure how to put into words out loud or on here. I should preface that I am still working through some of this so I may ramble a bit through this post. Also I am fully aware some of this is irrational thinking on my part and completely normal for someone going through grief. I have to say that being a woman that went to college and studies psychology, sociology, and the like I have had a difficult time wrapping my mind around parts of my grief. I have this head knowledge of what is completely natural to be going through and at the same time this knowledge of how some of the things I'm feeling are irrational and unrealistic expectations. I almost have to remind myself that it's ok to not be ok.
So here are some of the things I've been thinking and feeling...
That I need to appear fine...
How could I possibly be "just fine" right? I do have days that I feel great and up to shopping, hanging out, baking, and so on. Other days I do not. Yet on the days that I do not feel this way if I have to go out and run errands I have a need/want to appear ok. This doesn't mean I put on my Sunday best, but it does mean I may pay more attention to my hair for a run to Walgreen's than I use to. It's a concern (that shouldn't be there) that someone will associate my appearance to how broken I am that day. As if my hair, makeup, and clothes could truly cover what's going on if I were to get into a conversation with someone.
In our society perfection has become (and has been for a while) an enemy to who we are meant to be.
And back to the work broken I just used. I'm sure there are people that would say "oh honey you aren't broken...". But lets face it I am and I don't see that as a bad thing. When Meredith passed away my heart broke... I broke. See, I 100% believe God allows us to break so that He can rebuild us into something better. He is mending all these broken pieces back together to create a masterpiece.
"The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." Psalm 147:3
"...by His stripes we are healed." Isaiah 53:5
Communication has become difficult...
I have noticed since Meredith's passing I'm not as social as I was. Now I still go out and see friends and have people around, but I feel this need to space it out. I've never been a friend of large crowds or tight spaces to begin with, but I've noticed it bothers me more than it use to. There's a feeling of wanting to retreat that almost takes over. On Sundays I find myself in the sound booth or balcony even when it's not "my Sunday" to volunteer. I like being at home way more than I use to. Grocery shopping is scheduled for days and times I'm more certain that less people will be there (which really I did before, but I guess I'm even more aware of it).
Talking to people in general has become more difficult. When I'm asked how I'm doing in passing I have settled for "I'm doing okay" when it's not a good day. I have done this because apparently that response has been a signal to more than one person that I'm not my usual self. This started with running into my Uncle Jay (he's not really my uncle, but honorary I guess) and when he hugged me and asked how I was doing I could tell he had no idea what had happened, probably never knew I was pregnant in the first place. When I used the word okay, I can't remember how he responded exactly, but he basically looked at me and wanted to know what was wrong. And even though others have been less direct, I can tell they know that's my bad day response.
Also talking on the phone has become a chore. I want people to check in, but then when they do I contemplate if I want to answer the phone. I don't know what to say and I really really hate crying around anyone except me, myself, and I. Healthy, right!?!?! (insert sarcasm here).
A part of me wants to talk about Meredith all the time, but on my terms. I don't like getting upset in front of other people (regardless of who they are). I don't see it as a sign of weakness to cry in front of people, I just tend not to. It may be because before Meredith I usually only cried when I was angry, not sad, so crying when I'm sad is almost new for me, I'm still processing this concept myself.
I feel like I failed...
This is the part that has been the hardest to express and to comprehend. I logically know there was nothing I could have done to change the events that took place. Yet a small part of me feels like a failure. As women our bodies are designed to bring new life into the world and yet my body can't seem to get the hang of that concept. This isn't something I necessarily fixate on, but it is a thought that runs through my mind on tough days or when social media reminds me that other people are having healthy pregnancies, great deliveries, and healthy babies. Yet, I'm also sure this will be something I take the longest to moves past.
My prayer life has changed...
I feel like my prayers have became more earnest during my pregnancy and just after Meredith's passing. After her passing there was a lot of crying while I prayed.
Then my prayers almost felt routine. Let me explain, I noticed I was praying for what should be prayed for and what needed to be prayed for and when I should pray. And it was becoming less frequent throughout the day. I prayed for others, but I avoided praying for my own needs and situation. It hurt to bring those things up, even in prayer. It didn't take long for me to realize what I was doing. Like in everything else I was avoiding what was really going on.
I had expected my grief to go a different way. I had thought the first couple of weeks I would be immovable and depressed and then gradually get better. Instead I wanted nothing more than to move around and be active and had harder days later on.
Sometimes I feel like when I pray it's the only time I can express how I really feel because God doesn't respond with clichés and He already knows what's going on. Through my prayers He is healing me.
My prayer life has once again become filled with energy and pouring out to God. I don't always have the words and my prayers seem silent, but that's ok because I know that it's not silent to God.
I'm not really looking for responses or comments on any of this even though I know they will come. I mainly wrote this out because I know there are other women that feel this way too or have thoughts they have a hard time expressing. I'm not sure if any of them will ever read this but if they do hopefully they will know they aren't alone.