Friday, June 3, 2011

Right Where I Am Project: 7 months, 9 Days

Angie at Still Life with Circles is having a blog hop of sorts. The purpose is to write about where you are in your grief right now. It doesn't matter if you have only just started down this path, or have been on it for 20 years.
Thank you for doing this Angie. It's not something I like to think about. But it's necessary.


This is a really hard thing for me to write about. Not because it's upsetting or sad- well it is, but that's not the reason. It's because I don't really know. I don't really have an answer.

I'm a little bit of this, a little bit of that, all at the same time and not at all. I'm up and I'm down. I'm confused. I'm lost. I'm kind of in No-Man's Land.

Some days are still so exceptionally hard that I feel like I'm suffocating. Going through every day without my girl, it's almost impossible. I still get angry a lot. Some days I still feel bad for us. Some days I want to lay down on the floor and throw a tantrum, straight-up toddler style.

I never feel ok that Ellie's not here anymore. I never will. But some days, I think that life is going to be ok. And that we can still have a happy life. Every day, I am grateful that I got to spend every second with her that I did. Do I want more time? Hell yes, I do. But at least I got what I did.

It still seems unreal that it all happened to us. Sometimes I am still hit with the fact that I had a child die. It still doesn't seem real that she died in the horrible way she did. Memories from that day are still fleeting. But lately, they try to sneak in. I have to make a conscious effort to keep them out. I don't want them. It's usually late at night, or early in the morning when they try to come in. They scare the hell out of me. I am terrified of what will happen if I allow myself to go there. Every day, I pray that some of those memories don't come back. Some of them are so ugly, so completely horrifying, they are beyond words. The memories my mind has mercifully locked away, are memories that no parent should ever hold.
I often think, what's the worse that can happen if those memories can back? It's not like she can die again. I think I am scared of the feelings that will accompany them. I am scared if I remember them, my mind will go to a place that I won't ever be able to come out of. I feel like I have done a pretty good job of keeping it together. I fear that if those memories get me, it's all over. It sounds insane, but to me, those memories exist in a place from which there is no escape.

Lately, Ellie feels so far away. I feel very removed from her. This is a place that I have feared since we walked away from her body that night at the hospital. If I feel like this, how do other people feel that weren't around her like I was? If my memories of her are fading, are the others' nearly gone? The other day, I had to watch home videos of her to feel her again. It's a strange, scary and totally upsetting feeling, to feel your child slip away from you. It's hard enough to watch them die in your arms, but it's another thing to try and hold on to the smells, thoughts and memories you have left.

I am tired of grieving. I'm tired of always being scared of coming across something that's going to upset me. It's exhausting to always have your guard up. Can't people just leave their 9- 15 month old girls at home with a sitter for awhile? Can't Target quit making girls clothes? Can't well-meaning strangers quit asking about peoples' children?
I'm over being anxious all the time. I hate that feeling of your heart pounding in your chest, the tightness in your throat, the welling of tears in your eyes. I hate not being able to relax. I hate that my hands and mind have to be busy, because I am scared of what will happen if they're not. I'm tired of being anxious about being anxious. No that wasn't a typo- I have anxiety anxiety. I'm exhausted. Really, really exhausted.
My mind has just started to process Max's autism. I suppose there should be some sort of grieving process involved with this too. I definitely have a lot of feelings about it, but it seems like small beans compared to what else we've been through this year. Max has special needs, but he's still here. We can do something about it, we can help him. Ellie... we tried to help her. We couldn't. And now she's gone.

I still wonder what the hell happened to our life. Last year at this time, we were blissfully happy. We were starting to suspect something was up with Max, but mostly blamed his tantrums on an early case of the terrible-twos. Ellie was perfect. Seriously. PERFECT. Such a good baby, adorable. Smart. Funny- hilarious actually. Loving, caring and sweet. Perfect.
It was just a year ago. And at the same time, it was a whole lifetime ago.

So... where am I at? I miss my daughter. I miss her so much that sometimes I would give anything to go to her. I don't understand why this had to be our life. My anger towards her dying seems to be fading. But I think my anger towards how she died, is rising. I am anxious. About everything. Too many changes in such a small time period, it's a lot.
I am incredibly proud of my girl. I have no a shadow of a doubt, that Ellie was given to us for a reason. Her joy, happiness and complete innocence were undeniable. In just nine months, Ellie made a difference.
I think we are going to be alright. I think we can get through this. And I think we can make Ellie very proud of us. But at the same time, I don't want to be alright. You shouldn't be alright without your baby. There is nothing "alright" about this. It makes me feel like a traitor. It makes me feel like a bad mom.

I don't really know where I am. I'm all over the place. Your guess is as good as mine...

Ellie's Giraffe


LauraJane said...

This struck a chord: "You shouldn't be alright without your baby. There is nothing "alright" about this". I completely agree.

I think it's all about lowered expectations now, unfortunately. Makes me bitter we can't have 100% ever again. That we'll never be where we should be. Ever again.

crystal said...

The picture is so sweet. I am so sorry that all of us have to go through life without our Angels. Its a hard process and something that no parent should have to go through. I am praying for you!!!

Missy said...

Your last picture with your girl breaks my heart. I'm so sorry Ellie is not here with you. I too will never feel okay about my son not being here, but even in allowing myself to understand that I feel okay. Strength and love to you~

Hope's Mama said...

Heartbreaking post. I am so very sorry. To lose a child at that age - I simply can't imagine.
I'm so sorry Ellie is not in your arms.

Kelly said...

I am in the removed from Adam stage right now. Like he feels so very far away, blurry even. I HATE it, and it makes me feel like a horrible mother. I totally feel you on that aspect. I'm tired of grieving also, yet I don't think we'll ever be done.

I'm gonna do this on my blog. Thanks to you and LJ for posting it. :)

brigette said...

Your right where you should be!! I feel so stinking close to the same as you some days are easier than others... its a constant roller coaster ride but you are doing a great job!! Your a strong mama!!

New Year Mum said...

Such a heartfelt post... there is certainly no right place for such intense grief after an unimaginable loss of your gorgeous child. My heart always goes out to you and admire your strength and love. Thinking of you always xoxo

lissasue3 said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

still life angie said...

I get this post on a very deep and personal level. That point where I got so sick of the grief and felt so far away from Lucia. It was suffocating. You are right that is the perfect word. Thank you for sharing right where you are. I am finding this project comforting and hopeful just to be able to see a bit further ahead from me in my grief, and know that this place is not forever. I was so afraid of getting stuck in my grief. I don't think stuck is possible. My grief changed. I was grateful it did. Sending love.

erica said...

I'm so sorry to read about your Ellie. I've been looking at some of your posts, and she is so beautiful, such a bright spark. I wish she was still in your arms.

It's a strange, scary and totally upsetting feeling, to feel your child slip away from you. It's hard enough to watch them die in your arms, but it's another thing to try and hold on to the smells, thoughts and memories you have left. - This makes so much sense to me. I really panicked when I first started feeling like this, and I still hate it.

Thank you for sharing this post.

Fireflyforever said...

I have been reading all the posts in Angie's project. It has been powerful and sometimes painful reading. Yours struck a chord with me, perhaps because my second darling daughter was born still in October 2008 when Max was born and we welcomed our second son in January 2010, right around your precious Ellie's birthday. I cried when I read her story and yours. She is beautiful, mama, so beautiful and I am sorry she is not in your arms right now.

I completely relate to not quite knowing where you are - that bit of everything - all the stages of the grief cycle all at once. It's just so hard.

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