Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Time & A Place

I had an appointment with my GP this morning. After we sorted out why I was there, she took the time to sit and talk to me for a short while. I know how busy her office can get so I appreciate her taking the time. I gave her Toren’s photos for my file. I told her a bit about SLC and what we are hoping to achieve. She didn’t say too much in response to this. Then I said that I was on my way to my next appointment which was with my psychologist. When I said this, she became much more animated and advised me to live my life. Everyone has difficulties in their life, everyone experiences trauma – “not like yours, but” – and I should just try to be happy in my life. In other words, permission to grieve: denied!

I decided I felt up to doing some gentle education, and she’s a very nice person, and very professional, so it was “safe”.  I said that I want to make sure that I grieve properly and fully, and that I felt my greatest chance of real happiness in the future was to make sure I attend to my grief now. I also said that no parent who loses a child ever gets over it, they just learn to live with it so this was what I was trying to do, for my own happiness and for my family. I don’t know how much of this was absorbed but I’m glad I said it. It was a friendly chat, not very deep, and I don’t know if it will influence her, and her practice of medicine, in any way. But it was good practice for me.

Every parent whose baby dies knows the frustration of having to defend and explain their grief over and over and over. It’s just part of the territory. I know that fear of grief in other people because I felt it so strongly myself in the first few days after Toren was born. I was terrified. Scared of how bad it could get. Then I had no choice but to let myself be pushed in.

That’s one of the reasons I started this blog. I want to immerse myself in my grief and let the outside world know about it without having to hear back. Nobody on the outside of this has anything to say about grieving the loss of a child that I need to or want to hear right now. In eight short months, I already get the gist of what the non-loss world thinks.

I told my therapist about all this but it was like preaching to the choir. I’m guessing it’s what pays her salary. We talked about how the world sends us the message that we need to be happy all the time and that sadness is a negative emotion, instead of just an emotion like all the others. It probably explains why I’ve had comments from people that it’s “still” so sad, as if they are surprised that they don’t feel happy about it yet. I can NEVER feel happy, or anything other than sad, about my baby boy’s death, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t ever experience happiness about other things in time. 

Two doctors’ appointments, two totally different experiences. I had had a full day by 11:30 in the morning! Then my purse got stolen.