Friday, April 29, 2011

The grief time clock...does it get any easier?

Recently I've been in therapy. Nothing ground breaking there, I'm sad & anxious & you would be as well if you survived my life, but it's been happening. Truth be told, I really wanted to get in somewhere just so I could see a shrink as well to continue my zoloft. My OB was going to cut me off soon & I didn't want to be without my little blue crutch.

I was happy when I met this woman & she wasn't annoying. I didn't dislike her. That's awesome because I dislike a lot of people. And she wasn't some overly happy rainbow & sunshine chick, which was nice. I don't want to just be told “but look on the bright side!” That's annoying.

Anyway, she referred me to their in house shrink a couple weeks later. That, my friends, was an adventure.

I didn't go in with expectations of compassion or support. He was an older foreign man, I didn't expect his hear to bleed for me. But damn, once I shared with some people what he told me I think many of my friends wants to hunt him down & bash his brains in.

Obviously, Joel came up in my entire history. Or, as he kept calling him, “the dead baby.” Fun questions like, “did you get to see your dead baby?” & my person favorite was, “so he was dead, he never lived, so you never had to bond with him or anything, so you shouldn't have many issues with that.”


I just kinda stared at him thinking, “is this really happening?” but it was. He said some other zingers as well. He also asked some more entertaining questions like, “you don't think anyone is following you....mafia, terriorist, or anything like that? How about when you watch they talk to you or about you?” He asked if I drank, I answered that I drank socially. Not sure what that answer really means, but I always use it as a way of saying, “yeah, I drink, but I'm not a wino or anything.” He asked me to clarify, how often & how much. I told him a couple times a month, 2 or 3 drinks usually when I did drink. Then he asked, “how about first thing in the morning?!”

Long story short, he explained that after 6 months of having a baby I'm not longer postpartum, so I can't blame my crazy on that. And I also can't blame any crazy on Joel being dead because grief like that should only last a year. that again. Last a year. My dead baby...I should only need a year to work through that?

He thinks I think about Joel too much. I think about him every day. I don't think that's weird. Because I have vivid flash backs, for lack of a better term, he also thinks I'm dealing with some post traumatic stress. Gee, you think? He said my main goal should be to work through my dead baby problems & focus more on my new baby than my dead baby.

If anything, that pissed me off more than anything. That implies I'm too wrapped up with my dead baby problems to think about my new baby, which isn't true at all. That's comparing apples to oranges.

Now, before you join the kick ass gang, please know that my therapist is not an idiot & doesn't feel this way at all. Honestly, she seemed a bit mortified by my experience. I, again, wasn't. Which got me thinking...why not?

Then I remembered holy shit, that's really not a lot different than what other people have said. I'm use to people being insensitive fucks. That in itself is sad, that I'm so use to people saying awful things about my dead kid.

Which brings me to my main question...does it get any easier?

Well, time heals all wounds.

Who ever said that was not a dead baby parent.

The truth is that yes, it gets easier. But it doesn't. Allow me to explain.

I obviously don't walk around crushed & hysterical as I was once I saw Joel being rolled out of the room for the last time. You can't function like that & eventually that intense does diminish. And in that respect, time does heal those wounds.

But the problem is that there are constantly new wounds added. Or maybe the scab gets picked off the original. However you want to look at it.

For example, every time I see a kid that is Joel's age I think about what should be. That he should be there with that little boy, playing & laughing.

New wound.

When I think about how Joel should be all over the place & learning to talk up a storm?

New wound.

When I think about everything that he should have been doing & could have been doing. Each thing. Small things from rolling over for the first time to getting married. Every single thing, it's gone. When your baby dies, so does this entire life you planned to have in yours & the dreams you had for it. So it's not just a person missing, it's everything. And that never stops. Never. So, how I wonder, is time suppose to heal wounds that aren't even yet really created?

I think of Joel everyday. Every. Single. Day. He's usually the last thing I think about before I go to sleep. He'll likely be part of my thoughts the last moments of my life. If that deserves a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress syndrome, then so be it. I'll hold onto what I got. I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't think that means there is something wrong with me...I think that means I'm the mom of a dead baby. I'll never move past it in many aspects. I don't believe it's possible. I think we cope, we deal, we move on because that's what life calls for.

Little man with his heart so pure
And his love so fine.
Stick with me and I'll ride with you
Till the end of the line.

Hold my hand and I'll walk with you
Through the darkest night.
And when I smile I'll be thinking of you
And every little thing will be all right.


  1. It sucks, but it does help to know I am not the only surrounded entirely by insensitive fucks. I probably would have assaulted the guy so go you for sticking it out! I know you are quite a bit farther in the grief journey, but I cannot imagine a time when I won't think of my son multiple times every single day.

  2. That sucks! Do you have a bereavement group you can go to? Or a bereavement therapist? Those people are the only ones I have found helpful after my son died. They don't judge or think there is a time line to grief. Regular therapists still go by the old stages of grief, which are so untrue and ridiculous. My lady is very nice and always says everyone grieves differently and you will never just get over the death of your child. It's very helpful that she lost a son too. I am guessing you needed to go to this person though to continue your medicine and I don't blame you. I hope you can find someone who can better relate to you! (If you missed I introduced myself on another entry of yours)

  3. wow... just wow to that therapist guy... I am so pissed at his words that I just dont have the words to respond to him. All I can say is I hope that he never truly knows our pain and what we go through... because if he did and he remembers all the stupid crap he said to people... I cant imagine the regret he will have to live with... so very sorry. Im glad you know that is all crap.

    And you are right about the rawness of the pain going away... well I should rephrase that. It never really goes away. It evolves. And its sort of like a volcano... dormant for a while... then ready to erupt with raw emotion out of nowhere. Even if it is in a dormant status... there is always the hot lava pool (flood of emotions) below... waiting to be let out. Its been 4 years since Genesis died and I think of her every single day too. I will never stop thinking of her or remembering her.

  4. That shrink is an absolute MORON! My grandmother, who will be 90 this year, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy named Michael back in the late 1940's. He died a few days later. Because my grandmother is RH- and my grandfather was RH+, her OB recommended that they not have any more children... so they ended up adopting 2 children. My grandmother has shared baby Michael's pictures with me on more than one occasion. She keeps them in a manilla envelope labeled with his name, it also has his hospital bracelet, birth and death certificates. When she talks about him, she gets teary eyed. It's horrifying to think that your idiot head shrinker there would tell her that it's been over 65 years and she should get over it. Granted, she doesn't bring up the topic very often... but I know she does think about him and wonder what type of man he would have grown up to be.

  5. Fuck your shrink. I only hope that a year from now, I remember my baby that just died every single day (recent miscarriage, in case you didn't know) so he's not just forgotten. Asshole.

  6. I remember that when I told my family doctor about Ella, she replied, "well at least you didn't lose a three year old." I was mortified and never went back. But, you're right. What she said isn't a whole lot different than how most of society views baby loss. Ugh. I'm sorry. I think of Ella all day long, too. JOEL xo

  7. What a jerk!! And people pay this guy to be an insensitive ass?? Amazing.

    My heart just breaks for you with this. When I lost my baby, I was only 7 weeks pregnant. That was hard enough. I can't even imagine having to lose my precious little boy after going through an entire pregnancy! That makes me hold onto him just a little tighter. (((Hugs)))

  8. Wow. Just dropped in from another blog - don't know your entire story, but I can definitely echo that one baby does not replace another. I have yet to seek counseling but am about to do so after the loss fo one of my twins, and if a professional (like so many people I already know) tells me to just focus on the surviving twin, I will punch them in the face promptly.

  9. Sorry, meant to sign in: Not "Guest" but Not sure why my ID didn't show.

  10. My mom had a stillbirth in 1974. She never saw the baby, held the baby, named the baby or even had a service for the baby. She was told to go home and get over it. She went onto have 4 healthy daughters

    Fast forward to 2003 and my mom attempts suicide. one of the many, many reasons she did is because never got over that baby.

    That get over it advice didn't really work out

  11. My aunt had a baby who was full term and stillborn over 65 years ago. She went on to have 12 living children. She reared up when she told the story 2 years ago. I still think of Gracie most days, I agree with the above comment that it's like a dormant volcano of emotion that boils up now and then sometimes I'm so horrified at what happened and then it simmers down and I can manage myself ok. I get anxious often too though. I believe there are some recent studies showing the rate and duration of depression after a baby loss and it's a high rate and much longer duration than any other type of grief.

  12. A year? I still think about Jonathan. Argh!! There are so many things to grieve about especially when you have a baby after loss. I am sorry Jess that you had to deal with that.



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