Monday, November 24, 2008

TV Emotions

A few nights ago I watched an episode of ER where a child died.

I can't tell you how this profoundly affected me.

People tell me how strong I am. It seems as if I've "moved on" I haven't I read somewhere that a mom who looses a child never moves on. Life gets easier, but the loss is always there. The what ifs and thinking about all that will never be.

When this little boy died on the show, I absolutely lost it. I was home alone and I broke out in a huge gasping sob/cry. Tears sprang to my eyes. I sat there sort of shell-shocked.

It always amazes me how close this emotion is to the surface. It felt as if my heart was breaking watching this tv character's child die, but it was personal. I was brought right back to the moment of holding my daughter as she passed away. And the grief that I feel and how much I miss her.

I'm not sure who wrote this, but it was very fitting:

1. I wish my baby hadn't died. I wish I had him back.

2. I wish you wouldn't be afraid to speak my baby's name. My baby lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that he was important to you also.

3. If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my baby, I wish you knew it isn't because
you have hurt me. My baby's death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my baby, and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.

4. Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me. I need you now more than ever.

5. I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you; but I also want you to hear about me.
I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my baby, my favorite topic of the day.

6. I know you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my baby's death pains you too. I wish you would let me know those things through a phone call, a card or note, or a real big hug.

7. I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over in six months. These first months are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my baby until the day I die.

8. I am working very hard on my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my baby, and I will always grieve that he is dead.

9. I wish you wouldn't expect me "not to think about it" or to "be happy." Neither will happen for a very long time, so don't frustrate yourself.

10. I don't want to have a "pity party," but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.

11. I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I am feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.

12. When I say, "I'm doing okay, " I wish you could understand that I don't "feel" okay and
that I struggle daily.

13. I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I'm having are very normal. Depression, anger, frustration, hopelessness, and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So, please excuse me when I'm quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

14. Your advise to "take one day at a time" is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I'm doing good to handle an hour at a time.

15. Please excuse me if I seem rude, certainly it is not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off. When I walk away, I wish you would let me find a quiet place to spend time alone.

16. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When my baby died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before my baby died, and will never be that person again.

17. I wish very much that you could understand-understand my loss and my grief, my silence and my tears, my void and my pain. BUT, I pray that you will never understand.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you. I lost my baby at 4 month pregnant and sometimes people don't see that as a loss but it has affected me profoundly. I think the fact that I was able to find out that she was a girl and gave her a name makes her more real to others. No I never got to hold her or see her but I have always felt her around me. I have dreamed about her and I feel like I know exactly how she would look now 5 years later. Kudos to you!

Long time reader, Stephanie

Anonymous said...

I wish I could give you a hug.


skeybunny said...

ER gets me sometimes, too. I watched that episode you are referring to.

There was an episode about 3 years ago that really hit me hard. It was shortly after Evan came home from the hospital. The story featured a woman giving birth to her second or third child--she was a surrogate, and was carrying this child for the money, to help support her family. The baby was breech, but she was adamant about not having a c-section (supposedly because she wanted to have more children, and not have to have repeat c-sections, which doesn't make sense). Anyway, the baby ended up with brain damage from being deprived of oxygen during the difficult vaginal birth. The biological parents refused to take the baby because they said they didn't spend all that money to impregnate the surrogate for essentially "damaged goods." The surrogate mother didn't want the baby--he wasn't her child. The close of the episode showed one of the doctors sitting in the NICU next to the baby nobody wanted.

That episode affected me so deeply. I cried and cried. At the time Evan was born, I could have really cared less that his birth was not going according to my plan. I would have done anything to make sure he came into the world as safely as he could have possibly could--c-section or not. Evan was born imperfect because of a genetic disorder, something beyond my control. It absolutely sickened me to think someone could have been so selfish as to risk the health of their baby just to avoid a c-section. Although ER is fictional, I can only imagine this scenario has played out in a hospital somewhere.

Kendra's mom said...

I must say I don't tend to watch many hospital programs anymore. They always seem to have sick and dying kids/babies. Maybe it just seems that way.

I watched an episode of CSI the other day where a little boy was killed and could barely control myself when the mother was told. Just knowing how she is going to feel at being told her child is dead. My husband took one look at me and forwarded to another scene(thank goodness for PVR). Anything I watch where they show the parent's reaction gets to me. Even after 2,5 years! As you said, it is with you for life.

Amy said...

My sister-in-law's 31 year-old daughter took her own life this summer. I am going to share this with her. It applies just as much to losing a child of any age.

Kim said...

I haven't lost a child, but the mere thought of it is enough to make my emotions raw and racing. I know how much you love Corinne and how much you miss her everyday. You are so strong to be able to keep going in the face of such grief. *hugs*

The Microblogologist said...

My mom's coworker lost her 12 year old daughter about a year ago, think I might send her a link to this. Thanks.