Today’s Angel Wings is very similar to last week’s, but it’s a situation that I’m suddenly running into a lot. And I feel like I need to get my thoughts out there, not only for myself, but for others who have had a loss too, because I think this problem is fairly universal.
To sum up the last post: If you know someone who has had a loss, keep the door to friendship open, they’ll walk through when they can. Meaning, if you have a baby (or are pregnant) and you know someone who has had a loss, you don’t have to stop being their friend. Ask them out for a girl’s night (or a playdate if she has other children). If she’s not ready to go out, she’ll graciously decline, but will know that you’re there, ready to be a friend when she’s ready.
Today’s post deals with the second part of the last one, a part I only touched on. I’ve graciously declined to get together (because I’m not ready to see a newborn or pregnant lady), but the other person becomes very offended that I have done so.
Sometimes the other person goes out of their way to make me feel guilty that I don’t want to get together. And that’s just wrong. These people are making my grief all about themselves. In all honestly, it could very well be the end of our friendship (something you should know about me: I don’t put up with drama, and never have.)
Other times, the other person assumes that I’m depressed because I’ve declined (without bothering to ask of course.) But that’s simply not the case. There’s a difference between not being ready and being depressed. A difference between being saddened at the reminder of what I’ve lost and being joyless. I’m not going to break down into to tears seeing a baby at the store, but I don’t want to be in a situation when I need to hold one. Spending time with a pregnant lady won’t make me shut down and avoid people, but it’s not going to give me warm fuzzies either. These people, too are making my grief about themselves. They're projecting their feelings on me instead of finding out the real situation.
So here it is:
I’m giving my heart time to heal.
It’s a lot like recovering from an injury or surgery. You’ve been told to take it easy for 6 weeks to allow yourself to heal. But you start to feel a little bit better and stop taking it easy. And at first things are ok, but then you push a little too hard and you’ve hurt yourself. And your recovery is set back another week.
It’s like that with the heart, only a mother’s broken heart never completely heals.
I slowly start to put my life back together and feel normal, but then something happens and the grieving process starts all over, the wound is open and bleeding (Sarah Catherine’sburial, for instance, set me back to square one).
Since the burial, I’m again slowly starting to feel back to normal. Most days are pretty good, but some days, the thought of seeing a newborn or a pregnant lady is like picking at a scab. My fragile heart, still healing, is hurt again.
As I said before, not depressed. Not offended, just a little sad.
Maybe today I can’t handle babies, but tomorrow I can. It changes day to day.
Grieving is a process. It isn’t a straight road. There are loops and twists and turns.
So give me time. Please, please understand that this isn’t personal. Understand that I’m not inconsolable. I just need a little time. Let my heart heal in its own time. And call me tomorrow – I bet I’ll be fine.