Friday 30 January 2009

Getting on with it.

We got the letter today. Finally. The letter that was promised soon after our follow up appointment with the obstetrician on the 16th December. The letter that sums up our appointment. The letter that tries to explain what went wrong.

I haven't read it yet.

My Mum is having a hard time with my Dad. His memory is getting worse and she has to remind him of almost everything a minute after telling him. It's as if she's losing him a memory at a time. She finds it frustrating at times and sometimes needs to get out and away from my Dad.

She came to our house to tell me off this morning because she's only seen us twice since Christmas and that's not good enough. We don't live far, walking distance in fact and we should, I should go to see them more often. Oops, tears and more tears, I was holding them in from thinking of the contents of that letter. I tried to tell her that sometimes it's all I can do to get up in the morning and then she started on at me about depression and counselling. I must call, I must do this, I must do that. Ooh my Mum can be bossy! I will call the counselling service by the way, but in my own time. She's bossy, I'm stubborn. What a combination!

I love my Mum to bits and pieces and she does understand but she simply can't allow me to be sad and grieve. In her mind I have to get over it and move on. She comes from a time when getting on with it was the norm. She grew up during ww2 when so many people died that all that was left was to get on with it. Grief was buried and life was lived. When she had her miscarriage she was told by the doctor to stop crying and get on with it. So she did. I suppose she just can't stand to see her daughter unhappy. But I'm NOT depressed. I am grieving the loss of my beautiful son and I WILL take as long as I need.

Mum and I went shopping together after that and then for a (decaf for me) coffee and I tried to explain. I am sad, but I'm also so happy to be alive and to be with Ray. It's a fine balance that I'm working on and it isn't easy and sometimes it means I neglect my parents and for that I'm sorry.

We're going for lunch on sunday.

Today is a two-post day.


  1. Moms- goodness, I could fill up your blog and then some talking about how my relationship with my mom has changed since we lost Kai. One of the things I've learned through all this is that the hardest thing in the world for mothers is to see children in pain and need that they can't protect them from. And sometimes all they have left is "Cheer up. Take a walk. Get some counseling.", because they are so helpless in the face of their daughters' pain, just as we were so helpless when it came to our own sons. So I get it a little. Still makes me want to tell mine to butt out some times, though.

    Wishing you and Ray strength as you read that letter in your own time.

  2. Like Danielle, I too could fill pages about my relationship with my mom and how its morphed since Ezra. You are doing exactly what you should be doing...feeling the pain, living the pain....anyone i've talked to who has done otherwise after a traumatic loss has always come to regret would just bite us in the butt later. As my therapist keeps reminding me, grief and depression may look a lot alike but they aren't the same thing, not at all. Wishing you strength and love.

  3. well, you've got the paper now, and you can tuck it away and read it when you read it.

    The parental units are difficult. Different times, different outlooks on how to live. I think my grandparents 'got over things' but those things always had a way of being held over others, or kept as secrets only to be revealed in less than appropriate ways. So, to them, their ways.

    Maybe, too, she doesn't understand that you have a support network (ie *US* here in the blogosphere) and that you can know yourself well enough to see if you need immediate help, and will go to the counselor when, and if, you need it. We went early on, but found that she was pretty much just listening. It was more stress for us to go (but I think you should still give it a try, to see if it helps differently than than blogs, and to ask the therapist for techniques in healthy ways to carry your grief.

    Anyway, I hear ya.

  4. Times have certainly changed from when families couldn't grieve properly. Grief has its' own timetable and agenda. It's like a train ride, sometimes bumpy, sometimes through a dark scary place, sometimes you can feel the warm sun on your face and see the beautiful green trees and feel at peace. Thinking of you all.

  5. I tell my mom exactly what I needed from her in order to be supported. Sometimes it works, and sometimes the controlling mother from the get with it era comes out. Somewhere between stubbornness and bossiness is pure unadulturated mother's love.

    I'm thinking of you Barbara. Blog away.

  6. Depression is another term for stress and your description of your work situation sounds stressful.

    A stressful work situation, grief, and worrying about your Dad's deterioration make for a big bundle of emotion.

    Of course you can research the symptoms yourself and decide whether you're clinically depressed. But if you decided you were, then I wouldn't be shocked.

    People care and support helps, but nobody except you can "make it better."

  7. If you're anything like me, you're going to have a hard time getting back out into the world for a while. So many people will try to say it means you're handling this wrong and need to fix it. The truth is, there us no way to fix it. As long as you feel like you're getting through most days, you're doing wonderfully. It did help me some to talk to a counselor for a while, so that is always something you can try if you think it might help you. I do think some of your mom's issue is like Dani said... it is hard for them to watch their daughters hurt.

    I think you are doing everything right. You acknowledge your loss, remember your son, and allow yourself to work through your emotions. Hiding them or trying to ignore them would just make it worse.

    I hope the letter offers you some answers. Read it in a time and place where you will feel free to mourn George. I will be thinking of you!



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