Thursday, May 17, 2012

How We're REALLY Doing...

Because I love blog posts with pictures, I will start with one that I want to be preserved on my blog (though many of you may have already seen it when I posted it on Facebook).  It captures so many sentiments with no words...a true piece of art.


Slovakian Memorial to Unborn Children


And now for the writing part...

It breaks my heart to have met yet another wonderful mama who has experienced loss.  Erin said hello and goodbye to her sweet baby girl in November...you can read more of her story here.  Together we mothers are like a sad club...a club none of us wants to be a part of, yet - nonetheless - we are grateful to have found each other. 

Erin recently wrote a blog post that really resonated with me.  It shows two graphs about grief.  One graph shows how most people think the pattern of grief occurs and the other shows how most grievers would actually graph the frequency and intensity of their feelings.  Briefly click on this link to take a look at her post... 

Grief Graphs

I don't necessarily feel the pressure to be "over" Isaiah's death or to "move on" yet, but I almost feel the pressure to be sad around people.  It seems that in the fraction of time a person sees or talks to me, they might think they know how I'm doing based on that one interaction.  Some may think "she is doing so well."  Others may think we are grieving most moments of the day.  Others may think "she is doing too well" (and rightly guess that this is not how things are all of the time). 

The truth is that I love people!  (Bet you couldn't have guessed that, huh.) :)  Usually seeing or talking to you brings me JOY, not sadness (hence why I always seem to be doing well when I see or talk to you).  Some may isolate themselves to feel better -- I tend to want to see others.  I am most sad when I am alone - and have time to think about the boy that I love and miss so much.  I also don't grieve a lot with others...but mostly by myself or with Matt.  So I am learning that some things about grief are common to all who experience it, but personality sometimes makes a big difference in how one grieves.

I appreciate everyone's encouragements - that we are choosing to focus on our faith through this tragedy - that we are possibly grieving differently than others who have traveled this road...but know that we are still most definitely grieving (and I know most of you assume that to be true).  What you might not guess (and the graph shows) is that we will probably always be grieving.  When the waves hit - they are just as intense.  It is just that now the number of days between the waves are increasing, and the number of days of constant grieving are shrinking (praise be to God!).

If you want to know how we are really doing, feel free to ask.  Speaking for myself, I don't mind talking about it...I process a lot through people.  (Bet you couldn't have guessed that, either.) :)  I am honest with those who ask and will try to put into words how things are going...but interacting for a fraction of time probably won't give you an accurate understanding of where we are at. 

Thanks for posting these graphs, Erin...they really helped me clarify the feelings I've been having about this.  I hope they have helped others see that grief doesn't usually progress as most think it does.   Life will continue to move forward, and our grief will continue to change - but it may always be just as intense when it presents itself.

Also - thank YOU - to everyone who continues to pray for us.  It is because of your prayers that we are doing as well as we are.  Again - PRAISE BE TO GOD -- for your faithful prayers and for His constant faithfulness.

5 comments:

  1. I loved Erin's graft also :) The book I just read, In Faith fullness he afflicted me Lynette talked about this quite a bit. She said most of her crying /grieving was done alone behind closed door so people assumed she was fine. I ma a people person also and light up when I get around people so I understand what you are saying. Praise God for the prayers that carry us through.

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  2. When Jason lost his dad and Joyce lost her husband 4 years ago, we often talked about this. While there were times when it appeared to others that they seemed to have glimpses of their pre-grieving selves, they said there were experiencing a new type of normal. The new normal for them was like your arm had been cut off and you're trying to learn how to live life without your arm. People questioned the ways Joyce was grieving based on the things she was doing (like the details about life - house, her husband's things, etc), but in actuality she was learning how to live with this new normal. Thanks for sharing this graph.

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  3. Those graphs are brilliant -- thank you for sharing them here! My SIL, Fawnda, introduced me to your blog and shared a bit of your journey with me. My heart hurts for you. And if we ever meet in person, please know I'm going to hug your neck.

    I'm convinced grieving never goes away. only transfigures. (I wrote a post about it a month ago or so) It was a gift given by God alone. He who knows love and loss and what it does to a human heart.

    I delivered my son stillborn 2 years ago and still have days of hard grieving. why, just this morning in church, I was conversing with a dear lady I hadn't talked to before. She asked me if we only had the one child (my oldest son who was clinging to my knee at the time) and usually I just say yes. But not today. and out of nowhere I was completely overwhelmed with tears. Later it occurred to me...that's the first time I've expressed my grief like that to someone I don't consider family. I guess my heart needed to after all.

    Please know I have been praying for you and your family. If I can do more than that, I would be honored if you would let me know.

    All for Him,
    Nikki

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    1. Hi Nikki,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes - Fawnda told me about your blog and your loss - I'm so sorry. It is hard to know that we will always grieve, but God continues to give our family peace - even through the hard days. Thanks for your love - and if you ever want to connect, just let me know.

      ~Becky

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  4. That is a very powerful picture

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