Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I hate grief.

I hate grief.

I hate the way it leaves me feeling vulnerable and exposed.

I can't go into what happened today, but I got the sense that someone used the sadness of my story for their own benefit and it just makes my stomach turn.

Maybe they did.
Maybe they didn't.
Either way that's the feeling I was left with.
The feeling of being used.

I hate grief.

I hate that I have never mastered the art of sugar coating my feelings about what happened to Peyton.

My daughter was born very, very sick.
My daughter suffered a tremendous amount in her short life.
My daughter died, struggling for breath, in my arms.

How the hell do you sugar coat that?

How do you sugar coat that for the rest of your life you are going to miss this little being who could have and should have been somebody?
Who could have and should have been given the same shot at life as the rest of us?

Yes my life is full of many joys.
Yes I am grateful for the blessings that each day brings.
Yes I am looking to the future with a renewed sense of hope.

No that does not erase what happened to Peyton, or the fact that her absence is permanent.

I hate grief.

I hate that I can't hide my grief, even when I want to.
I hate that if a stranger learns of what happened, and asks me about my daughter, I am going to cry.

Why do I do that?

A stranger is not worthy of my tears.

I have earned my tears.
In every hope I had for her, and fear I felt for her while she was here.
In every terrible decision that had to be made.
In every moment of this life that I should be sharing with my daughter but can't because she now lives in the cold earth.

I have earned my right to my tears.
A stranger has not.

I hate grief.

I hate the judgement that sometimes comes in that moment.
I hate when they say, "I am sorry," 
but their eyes say "You still cry over this?", 
or their tone says, "What is wrong with you?"

I hate grief. 

I hate that the only thing I have had to cling to through this journey is my honesty, and today I felt like someone twisted that honesty into something else, something perverse.

I hate that my tongue got tied in that moment, and what I wanted to do was scream and tell them how inappropriate they were, or that it must be nice to live in a world where the worst day of my life is just another bonus to something they were trying to accomplish, but I couldn't. 

I froze.

I hate grief.

All of it.

I hate that people can't get that grief IS what it is.
The definition is "a reaction to a major loss." 
That's what grief is.

I hate that people always want to put some damn title on it.
They want to summarize it so they can feel more comfortable about it and separate themselves from it.

The inability to move on.

"Oh I don't have that," they can tell themselves,
"I've never been in your shoes, but if I were, I am sure I would handle it better."

I hate grief.

I hate the stigma that surrounds grieving a baby.

I want to know what exactly society considers a "normal" and acceptable response to losing your child?

Pretending she never existed?

Would that be a more "normal" response?
Or just more convenient?

Either way, if you see the devaluing of the life of a child as "normal," and grieving their absence as "abnormal," then you are the one with the problem, not me.

I hate grief.

I hate it more than anyone watching me go through it ever could.

Grief is messy. 
It is tiring. 
It is forever.

Not the darkest days of course. 
Nothing compares to those early darkest days.

But if you somehow think that a year or two years or ten years or fifty years later, my daughter's life should no longer matter to me anymore, than I don't want to associate with you.

I do not see her as any less deserving of my love because her life was brief.
If you do, than I consider that your shortness of character, not mine.

I hate grief.

I hate feeling like I have done something wrong for experiencing it.

My child died.
I didn't seek that out.
It happened to me.

Nothing about this is a choice.

If I could, I would go back to September 3, 2008.

I was 42 weeks pregnant.
I was excited for her arrival.
I had no idea what was to come.
My life was so good.

The implication that any part of grief is a choice frustrates me.

I hate grief.

Most of all, for making me defend it.


  1. Amen. One of the worst things to do to anyone who is grieving is to judge them. Especially a grieving mother. Nobody else knows what we know about what life really means. And by hurting us, disregarding us, they lose part of what it means to be human.

  2. I hate how vulnerable it makes me feel too. You are right, we will NEVER get over losing our children. And it is horrible that someone would think you should. ((hugs))

  3. I hear you sister. I'm so sorry you had to write most of this. I know people can't ever know what it is like unless they have walked in these shoes, but I wish some would try harder to understand or at least show a little empathy.

  4. I have never felt what you have felt. But I do feel for you! I think how you cope, and help others to cope, is amazing and honestly don't know how you do it so well. Those of us that haven't felt what you have should never pass judgement. Obviously that person's true colours have shone through loudly and they are not worthy of your guilt, tear or time!

  5. It is permanent, she will never "re-appear" and everything will get better. Why do people not get that? Grief may wain or change, but it will never go away, because love for this little girl won't go away. So sorry, for you, for me, for all of us who understand every word in this post...

  6. Why do people insist on setting a limit for grief? In the old days, you respected people and allowed them to grieve as long as they liked. Our society today is too big on "getting over it", which I find disturbing, especially when it comes to babies. I am very sorry you have to deal with this, on top of everything else.

  7. Thanks for reminding me that unfortunately, I'm not alone.

    I too have someone that enjoys the attention that Alexander's death brings them. They are one of the few people in this world that should protect me and they don't...

    I say nothing. I figure that it's better to talk about him than not at all.

    It must suck to be them.

  8. I hate it too.

    And I am so, so very sorry for what happened today to bring to mind just how much you hate it too.

  9. AMEN!
    Grief is ugly and scattered. It's a teary eyed person with mask on because of society. I'm sorry that something bad happened to you. I just experienced a cold hour of a lashing because of my grief. Not only that but the person was one of the people in hospital room as my daughter took her final breaths. Society has become a sick and non-feeling place. No one will ever understand until they go through it. But you know that the next time something makes you feel like your grief is uncalled for, you can remember that you have every reason to grieve- for as long as you will. You will be stronger the next time and you will make us BLM's proud. We fully support you in those horrible times.

  10. I hate grief too.

    I wish I didn't have to know what it was to hate grief.. I wish none of us did.

  11. You could not have said it any better, as always. You are very strong and have every right to grieve and cry and have any feelings you need to have at any given moment. You lost your baby girl and were left with a pain that many will never understand and are entitled to grieve the way you need to.

  12. Yeah, me too. I hate the grief mongers and rubberneckers and the people who have used my daughter's death to make them feel like better people, or better friends by showing up. I also hate that anyone made you write this. Hate. It.

  13. I hate that you had to write this. I'm so sorry you had need to, but you put it perfectly. x

  14. Thanks for putting all these feelings into words.

    I recognized myself in your words. And it gives me the feeling of not being alone although I wish we all would be in another situation. Warm wishes from Germany.

  15. When you cry over Peyton, when you cry to strangers - that is you MISSING your precious baby. Those tears are for Peyton; not for the stranger. You have every right to cry. I cry often just thinking of Peyton and the other babies no longer here. I never met her, held her, cuddle her, carried her for 42 weeks and yet my heart aches that she is not here. TRULY.

    There is NO normal response to losing a loved one; especially a precious, beautiful baby girl.

    For what it is worth, my mother passed away when she was in her 30's. My grandmother, 98 years old now, cannot talk about her without tearing up (and I am sure crying her heart out when the rest of us are not around). The loss is always there with us.

    I wish I could come through the computer regularly and hug you, support you, give you a shoulder to cry/lean on. I wish I could change things..................

  16. Have you ever read something and your heart was beating out of your chest and you're trying to hold it together..your post just did that to me.. I hurt for you, I hate that people don't get it. You should never have to explain your grief, none of us should.. I ask people what time limit they would put on grieving a child (((the couple times I feel judged for tearing up over Ella)))

    I hate grief for you and with you..((hugs))

  17. My heart just breaks reading this because death is final, and that doesn't make you miss anyone any less! I'm so sorry this person made you feel badly, but you certainly don't have to justify your feelings, you don't have to feel guilty! You lost the hardest thing there is to lose, and you're still moving forward, you're still a positive great person, you're still believing, hoping, and persevering! Don't let anyone take that from you! You are strong and amazing and help people constantly with this blog, and even emails and questions when we need help :) Thank you for that!!!!

  18. Kristin I am sorry someone has hurt you in such a way. I have always found it so hurtful & ironic how much time I have spent defending my grief. Explaining my grief. Trying to get whoever will listen to understand. I gave up a while ago & accepted that some get it, some don't & never will & some choose not to understand it because well who wants to think of such things? Honesty has allowed me to survive these past 19 months & I know its done the same for you. I am sorry someone has taken your grief & used it in such a way. It makes me sick.

  19. I HATE it too!!!! I have to agree with Claudia's comment. I wish I didn't have hate it and people would just stop and accept it.

  20. Wow! What a post. I am saddened that you had to even write this post. I hate when people tiptoe around our grief or feel like it's been long enough and we need to get over it because they "know beter".

  21. i'm so sorry that you have been hurt in such a way. and i'm so sorry that your grief, the loss of your daughter, and all the pain you're feeling has been twisted in such an evil way. i'm sorry for the ways in which you - in which all baby loss mommas - have to defend grief, when is it's so painful for us to go through, when we would rather not have to live it. ((hugs))

  22. Yes dear lady....it is all of that. Beautifully and painfully stated. Thank you for your honesty. Your fierce and appropriate and heartbreaking honesty. I hear you. I hate grief too.

  23. I hate grief too. Especially since I have no way to set down my burden for even a moment. I agree with you that no part of grief is a choice.

  24. I don't have any profound words, just I'm sorry and I agree. Sometimes it all just really stinks.

  25. i just came across your blog from butterfly mommies. i am so sorry for the loss of your precious little girl. i recently (2 mo ago) lost my 4.5 mo old son to SIDS, so everything you wrote here (which was so well-written) resonated with me. i hate grief as well. these feelings are just so raw and so complicated, and so exhausting. we will never "get over" our babies. they are too important to us. i'm so sorry you also had to endure the pain of losing your little one. ((hugs))

  26. I hate grief too.. What an awesome post (((HUGS)))

  27. I hate grief too. I hate how it is so unpredictable at times. I hate never knowing when it is going to hit me. I hate that I feel the need to apologize to others when I cry, for making them feel uncomfortable with my tears. I need to stop doing that. I'd gladly feel uncomfortable because someone else is crying, it has to be better than feeling the pain that grief brings.

  28. I don't know what happened. I wrote a comment to you and it disappeared. You are a beautiful writer and you are so right...grief is awful and I am sorry there are so many of us who share in this.
    We had twin boys, Jamie & Royce. Royce died when he was 3 days old. Jamie is now 33 his brother is 30, Brandon. If you ever need a shoulder to cry on, please drop me a note. My email is ali1257@gmial.com
    One of the hardest things I have to deal with is the lack of acknowledgment of others that Royce will always be my son and will always be missed. I wish I could give you a hug in person. So glad your parents were able to celebrate Peyton with you and that you were able to go to the cemetery. I hope you don't mind me following along on your blog. I found your blog from bouncing from a couple of other blogs, forgive me for not knowing which ones. May you get good rest tonight and the next 14 weeks go quickly and you deliver healthy babies. In Christ's love, Ali

  29. No one in this world can't make a word for a mother who lost a child, there's no word that can give a meaning to that, the pain and sadness it's very hard to experience it but keep holding, don't lose your faith god has a plan and whatever it is you'll see in the future, I hope It will end soon. Advanced Merry Christmas. I'm pretty sure that your baby is a happy gorgeous angel.

  30. I am new to your blog... I lost my child- Cullen Liam on September 11, 2010. I cannot believe it already a different year since he lived and died. Thank you for the gift of your writing and for sharing it with your readers... I hope to find some light in your words. Thinking of your precious Peyton...

  31. You are not alone. Well said for many other mothers who face the same thing.