Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The sad moments

Dear Stevie,
Last night was our annual Bowling for Backpacks fundraising event at work, which like all of our other special events, I am in charge of organizing. I've been working on this event since March. It was supposed to be the last big thing I had to do before going on maternity leave. I'd always say things like, "I hope the baby is born at like 37 weeks, because she's gonna be huge like her dad," and everyone in the office would say, "just as long as she waits until after Bowling for Backpacks!" As I was planning the event, I'd try and imagine how big I would be by the end of July. I thought about how I needed to be sure we had plenty of big, strong guys volunteering to help set-up, since I wouldn't be able to lift much, being almost nine months pregnant and all.

Well, last night, I was able to do all sorts of heavy lifting. I was able to fit into a size small event T-shirt. I was able to stand on my feet for hours without getting tired. I was able to drink all the Diet Coke I wanted, without worrying about things like caffeine and aspartame.

And, somehow, I was able to make it through the evening without dwelling on those things too much.

It's not that I'm not sad anymore. In fact, I think the "sad moments" come just as often as they always have since you died. I'm just getting better at dealing with them, I guess.

If I'm being completely honest, I don't think I've yet to go more than five minutes without something "triggering" one of those "sad moments." I see my reflection, my flat stomach in a window. Sad moment. I take a bite of Pad Thai, your favorite. Sad moment. Someone mentions something cute their kid did. Sad moment. I see a mom taking pictures of her little girl crawling around in the front yard on my way home from work. Sad moment. I walk past the "first birthday" party decorations while looking for raffle tickets at Party City. Sad moment. I trip over dogs toys, not barbie dolls. Sad moment.

Right after you died, one of these sad moments could last all day, maybe even put me in a funk all week. Something would make me think about you and it would be all I could focus on for a long while. The sad moments would consume me. They basically controlled my mood, my life.

Now, the sad moments are just...there. They're something I expect and have learned to live with. A part of this new life, I suppose. A sad moment comes, I acknowledge it, and I move on. I keep the sad moments contained to one tidy little area of my heart, and very rarely do I allow them to spread out and multiply inside of me. With each sad moment, my heart aches, but my overall mood stays the same. The sad moments used to have free reign over me, and now, they're like a dog confined to its kennel, or something like that.

Maybe this is me "faking it" for most of each day, but I see it more as a survival mechanism. I mean, if I allowed each sad moment to truly soak in, I'd be a blubbering mess all the time. I'd never be able to function.

Sometimes I wonder, will the sad moments ever come less frequently? Or do they just sting less and less as time goes on?

In a strange way, the thought of ever losing my "sad moments" makes me, well...sad. I don't want to imagine a day where you're not present in every thought that goes through my mind, where the sight of a baby girl doesn't secretly take my breath away. In a sad, sick way, my sad moments are what keep me so connected to you. They hurt like hell, but I'd rather feel the pain of the sad moments than to feel like your memory is fading away.

I love you so much, Stevie. Please know that. Please know that even when I'm smiling and laughing and having a good time, you're still on my mind and in my heart. Even though I've gotten pretty good at keeping the sad moments tucked away, deep in my heart, out of sight from the rest of the world, they're still there. I still miss you so, so much. I always will.

Love always,


MamaE said...

It is true that you will never be the same, but your life will get busy with many things... and it won't come to mind every day. I only know because it has been more than 4 years for me. There is a permanent scar on my heart, but my days are filled with a 3 year old's musings. I think my angel boy gave me a lot, and he wasn't born so that I could be sad forever. I used to feel guilty, but I don't anymore. Amazing how such little babies with such short lives can stick with us, isn't it? The lessons they teach us will last a lifetime!

Danae said...

I too think I am learning how to deal with the sad moments. I still have an occassional day in which they consume me, but for the most part, I can keep the emotions "in check". I think as we learn to deal, and as time moves on, the sad moments will become less. We will never forget though...never.

Dana said...

I have an event like that on September 20th that was going to be my last big even before having Jacob. I've been wondering how difficult it will be to be there as I'll keep thinking about how huge I should be, how the person who would be taking over my job while I'm on mat leave would be there to get used to doing an event, I would have had to get some nice maternity dress or blouse, etc, etc.

I feel like my life is also a bunch of sad moments, things that would have made me cry all day a month ago now only make me feel terrible for 30 minutes (sometimes more). Sometimes they make me cry, sometimes I just feel really sad and don't want to move.

I'm also afraid of losing my sad moments. Although I hate feeling like this all the time, I wonder how I can be truly happy again, how things won't be a trigger anymore. My baby will still be dead, so how can I not have sad moments many, many times a day?

I guess we learn as go through this journey/trial/hell.

Julie said...

i find the same thing - that i am able to go about life as usual, with frequent sad moments b/c of things i hear or see - but those moments don't completely interrupt my day. i also feel sad to think i might someday not think of kenny so often, and yet i know it will be natural. i'm glad your event was successful and that you had a good time.

Andrea said...

So well said. I agree that the sad moments are more contained and controlled. They don't last as long. I also agree that the thought of not being sad with certain triggers is also sad. It is a way that we connect to our little ones. I think one of the hardest things is that there are no happy memories of them outside the womb. So I can't even say that those sad moments, will be thought of down the road with a smile. I think they will just become less and less frequent - but of course their memory will always live.

Antoinette said...

i just posted something tonight similar to this..."triggers and flashbacks" very similar to sad moments...I embrace my feelings I am so scared to like flip out in 10 years or more like my aunt did for not grieving right cause people "stopped" her...but I like to think you are doing great!..this is your way and everyone does it different. You have touched so many lives and put all our stories out there together. Sad moments are for I said once "what is so happy with this" how can all those moments be happy for a blm...they are triggers..and they SUCK...but BLMs hold on to sad moments cause those are the moments that remind them of the babies.....((hugs))

rebecca said...

I too feel closer to Lily when I'm in a sad moment & can't imagine not having them frequently throughout the day. I'm definitely getting better at holding it together, at least at work and as you said not letting it completely overwhelm me with sadness (or at least not show it visibly)!
Thinking of you:)

Shan said...

I'm dropping in from BabyCenter. Stevie's story... and yours, of course... hurts my heart. I wish you never had to go through such a loss. I have had my share of sorrow (this is my 8th pregnancy, third child), but all of my losses were early. It didn't make it better to not know who I was losing, but it seems to me that your loss is greater still.
I guess I'm rambling, so I'll stop after I say that you are in my heart and I wish you peace... that maintains your connection to Miss Stevie Joy.

Lucid Anne said...

So perfectly articulated, as usual. <3 You put into words a feeling I have been struggling to explain for weeks. Thank you.

Emily said...

I think this "not letting it slow you down" is how others perceive us "getting over it". And in a sense they are somewhat correct, but your wording is better. You are not 'over it', but you are not letting those 'sad moments' completely define your existence anymore. It's normal, it's healthy...but it is still sad. It will always be sad that our babies aren't here.

Lori said...

I agree!!! Whether it's faking it til you make it or're's surviving and that's about all anyone can ask considering the devastation.

Someone once told me it never is easy, but it gets easier...and I think she meant what you said...kind of like you learn to accept it, deal with it and continue to function...because really, what else can you do???


Aethianema said...

You are such an amazingly beautiful writer, Kristin. When I read your blog posts to Stevie, I almost feel like I'm reading something that *I* would say to my baby (although, to be honest, I doubt I'd be able to say it so eloquently). I'm glad things are getting easier for you, but I know exactly what you mean when you say you don't want to NOT be sad anymore either.

Keep up the blogging. You and Stevie are in my thoughts.

Hannah Rose said...

That's exactly how I feel, Kristin...Like I feel sad if the sad moments aren't there as much. It's all so strange.

Mina said...

This was a beautifully written post...

Andrea said...

Oh the "triggers"! For me, they seem to come less often as time has gone on, but if I see or hear just the wrong thing I am reduced to tears in seconds. And it can set the tone of my mood and last for seconds, minutes or days....there is no way to predict it.

SO...I throw caution to the wind and just "feel", as I was told "feeling is healing".

As for faking it, I don't think you are faking anything, your realism is more than aparent :) And its beautiful and helpful to many.

Happy Early Friday sweet friend...

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