Three Truths 7 Months after Infant Loss

After my blogging series on grief leading up to the March for Babies, I wondered if I should keep blogging about my grief. Part of me hesitated because I needed some time to process my emotions in private, while another part of me didn’t want to continue making people uncomfortable. My decision to continue writing about my grief journey was made when I realized that this is my blog—I run this—therefore, I can write about whatever I want to write about 😉

Since the last time I wrote about grieving the loss of my newborn son, Izzy, I’ve realized a few huge truths that have been hard for me to accept, yet necessary to accept in order to move forward.

1) I have experienced a traumatic event and neither I, nor my life, will ever be the same.

A few months after losing Izzy, I was fortunate enough to start speaking with a clinical social worker about my grief. She’s extremely educated, keeps her short, relaxed hair laid, and shares my love for LUSH cosmetics and natural beauty products. I talked to her about my struggles with explaining my grief to friends and family members and finding the support I needed. She told me something that set me free, assuring me that I wasn’t going crazy, but simply grieving. She told me, “You have had a traumatic event happen to you.” When she said that, I felt a calm settle inside me, if only for a moment. It was perfectly normal that I felt like I was falling apart—my beautiful, much-wanted firstborn son died and I was in pain. This truth gave me permission to not only grieve, but to seek healing for something that was definitely worthy of grief.

 Dunes2) I will have to learn to live with joy mixed with sadness for the rest of my life.

Grief is sneaky. Even on those days when everything seems to be going well and peace tries to make itself comfortable in my soul, grief tends to show up and yell “Here I am!” For me, it’s especially during those times when I’m expected to be happy—holidays, birthdays, celebrations—when grief decides to show up and knock the wind completely out of me. Even on days that seem like they come straight from a storybook—clear skies, green tree leaves blowing in the breeze, the sun casting rays everywhere and just showing out–I sit and wonder, “How can it be a perfect day when my son is not here? How can it be this tranquil outside when there’s a storm brewing inside of me?” I’ve learned that even when there are things I am genuinely joyful and excited about going on around me, there’s still a longing and sadness inside of me. I can sit in awe of how much my 3-year-old daughter has grown and how proud I am of her, but still feel a weight in my chest and a longing for my son because I love him just as much as I love the daughter that is physically here with me.

 3) This is an incredibly hard and lonely road.

Any kind of grief is isolating; it’s something personal and completely unique to each individual. However, when people question the validity of your grief, it is even more isolating. Even in the year 2016, babies lost to miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss are not fully believed to be valid losses worthy of grief. Many times during the last few months, the silence I felt from those around me has been deafening. There were times when I wondered if I was to blame or if I was imagine that my son actually died because of the behavior of people around me. I’ve been ignored by family members that I was once close to and told the reason was they wanted to give me space to “get myself together.” I have listened to people try to minimize my son’s life and my grief by telling me that it “is normal and happens.” I’ve felt judged for my sadness and struggle to fit in despite the fact that inwardly I was fighting for my life every day because of the emotional pain I felt. I’ve felt like people expected me to move on before I even really started the grieving process. This is hard and it hurts like hell.

Even though I hurt, I am constantly encouraged by the women I see and connect with online who are celebrating their angel babies and doing phenomenal things in their babies’ honor. They are taking something that could’ve destroyed them and are becoming more compassionate people from it. These ladies along with my belief that all of this pain will somehow result in good keep me fighting to live life for Izzy every day. August 25, 2016 will be mark seven months since I met and lost my Izzy and I’m still here, fighting to live just as he fought to come here to say “hello” to me.

6 thoughts on “Three Truths 7 Months after Infant Loss

  1. nosyjosie says:

    I’m so sorry to hear how people have been responding to your pain and I wish you had more support and understanding from those closest to you. I hate when people want to give me space to “get myself together.” I don’t know about you but sometimes that’s not what we need. The way that people have tried to minimize Izzy’s life is horrible. You are always justified in feeling the way that you do and I’m glad you’ve found support in your blogsphere.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. poppedblackwomanblog says:

    Thanks Josie! There have been supportive people as well but you know how when you’re going through something, the negative can seem to outweigh the bad. I think the more issues like this are talked about, the more support parents in these situations will get because a lot of it is ignorance over how to respond more than anything. Thank you for reading and for your encouragement! ❤️

    Like

  3. KelsieLou says:

    You keep writing your blog as you see fit as it will help others who have suffered the same loss.
    I can relate to you on the grieving process after losing a loved one. You are right. It can sneak up on you an any given time. I just cried reading #2, because no matter what when we lose someone close to us our lives are never the same and we have to accept that.
    I’ve had emotions from sadness to more of anger now, then sometimes I laugh at memories. I don’t know how the holidays will be and other important dates.
    Just know that I feel your pain and as long as you have God, you are never alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Maia says:

    This was beautiful! Keep writing! Keep feeling! Keep expressing! Keep loving! Be inward! Be outward! But mostly be true to you! There is so much judgement, but it often comes from a small mind. Ppl tent to reject what they do not understand. And often do not even try. These words and feelings touch so many that can’t express as you do. Continue for as long as you can.

    Liked by 1 person

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