Monday, October 1, 2012

Thoughts on Grieving

My mom sent me some pictures the other day of Rowan's grave. Even though we are so far away, we have had numerous friends and family send us pictures of her grave decorated with flowers. Thank you so much!

I was thinking back to the day that we brought Finn home from the hospital after he was born. When Dennen and I were leaving the hospital there was a nurse's aid that walked us out to our car. She had to make sure that we put the car-seat in correctly (which of course we hadn't because he was 3 weeks early). On our way out to our car I asked her if she had any children. She told us that she had recently had a stillborn baby and that today was her first day back to work. Partly because of all of my hormones returning to baseline, but mainly because of sympathy I sobbed the whole way home. How unfair was it that we were going home with a baby when she didn't get to. And what a difficult job she had. Having to work on the Labor and Delivery Floor, and seeing new baby after new baby, when she didn't have her own.

The other day, a woman from my old church congregation contacted me for some words of advice. She told me that her twins were going to probably be stillborn, or if they did make it past delivery, not live for more than a few days or weeks. She said, "we know we will lose them and I was wondering how you found peace in this whole horrible process."

Many people probably wonder why I write down any of the experiences and feelings I had after Rowan's death. Part of the reason is because it helps me, and I want to have a journal of it. A bigger part, is because I know that others will have similar heartache to pass through. Having someone that can empathize with them can be helpful.

My heart aches for you... It is never easy in any circumstance. I was able to read a lot of very good books and other things that slowly brought peace back into my life. One of the hardest parts of healing for me, was coming to terms that life could be livable again with happiness.

I didn't have to endure any stress during my pregnancy with Rowan because we didn't know that anything was wrong until she stopped moving. I can't even imagine how you are feeling right now. I am so sorry.

I didn't sleep well after I deliverd Rowan for sometime. I was able to get a prescription for a sleeping pill that I took for about a month on and off. It helped. And I'm glad I took it because Dennen had no problem falling asleep, and I would just be laying there crying (although sometimes I woke him up). Writing was what helped me heal and feel the most peace. I would sit down in the middle of the night or early morning and start writing in my journal or on our blog, and just sob. I would cry, and cry, until I was so exhausted that I would finally fall asleep.  

Although it may be easier to be private during this seemingly unbearable heartache, I know that others helped me through, and that they will be able to help you through as well. Sometimes it was a complete stranger, or someone that I barely even knew, who knew what I needed to hear and how to help me best. I guess that's part of the reason I write on our blog. I want others who may have to pass through similar heartache to be able to read my posts and to contact me if they need a listening ear. Which is why I'm glad you wrote me. 

Family is amazing and nice to have, but many times they don't even understand. Even though they love you, they don't really know what you're going through. They can sympathize, but can't empathize. I would get frustrated sometimes that they just didn't "get it". Dennen didn't have to pass through the emotional pain as well as physical pain that I went through. That's where Christ came in. I never thought I would be able to feel the atonement play such a big part in my life. I've never done any grievous sins. But I guess I didn't fully understand the atonement before Rowan died. It truly is for everything. Although it took time, all the pain and heartache was able to be lifted from my shoulders. It was a miracle. That is the only way to explain it.

I did find it difficult to take care of Finn after Rowan died. I would get upset with him easier than before. I wasn't able to take care of myself and Finn. That is where my family and friends came in. They did so much. I can never repay them for how much they helped us out. My parents and Dennen's parents would watch and play with Finn. Finn's aunts and uncles stepped in to watch him as well. I would have friends call me up to get out and do things with them and their kids'. That was another thing that helped me (when I was ready). Getting out and doing things. At first it seemed pointless and I also felt guilty for doing anything. It was almost as if I felt like I was dishonoring Rowan's memory by trying to hold myself together and enjoy life. It does help though. Being around people helped me heal. Although they don't always know what to say, and may sometimes say something that is inappropriate or seemingly rude, they mean well, and they love you. Let them help.

I will send you a book, and a list of some others as well this week. I know that time seems to stop when you're in the midst of all the heartache... Please don't hesitate to write me again. It can be very lonely sometimes, even with Heavenly Father and Christ.

When we walked out to our car with the nurse's aid that day, I know we were meant to meet her so that we could appreciate our new baby, Finn. But also, that we would be able to know that people loose babies and children everyday. There is always someone out there going through heartache. It is something we all need to remember. 


Marie said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I know that your words probably help more people than you know, even people who haven't dealt with the same type of loss that you have. Hope you are doing well.

Gwendolyn Fullmer said...

Wow this was really a special post. It helped me understand so much. I haven't buried a baby but I have watched four of my friends do it. You are so strong. I really appreciate your post and your ability to write such strengthening words. It sounds strange but reading this helped me with other struggles I've had, thank you for being able to write and in doing so bring hope and strength to those who read your words.