Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Week in My Shoes

My grief cycles. I go for a stretch when my emotions are pretty even. Then out of the blue the sadness creeps in and the tears threaten at the most inopportune moments. At times I can't shut it off nor do I want to. It is part of the process I must face. There are times I wonder how much I can handle and how much more will be thrown at me. This week was one of those times....

It was a week of Scott leaving, coming home and leaving again. Spencer starting kindergarten. My mother-in-law having knee surgery. A wonderful co-worker and friend moving on to another job. My dad having surgery to try to fix an extensive blockage in his thigh. Attending a picnic by the transplant network for donor families. Spencer slamming his hand in the car door. Dealing with a screw in my tire on my trip home from Kansas City and then trying to get someone to fix it on a Sunday. Oh, and sinking into Palmer's grave up to my calves. I think that about covers it in a nut shell.

Tuesday seemed to be my breaking point. It was open house night at school for Spencer. I went in nervous for him and for me. This is the time where your parenting skills are put to the test. You want your child to be respectful, listen and get along with everyone. You can no longer be with them and make sure they are doing what you have taught them to do. I don't want my child to tease anyone or to be teased himself. I don't want him to be the kid left on the playground that no one wants to play with. I remember how that feels. The feeling of rejection and not being 'good enough' will stick with you for a lifetime. Then I started to see the others walking in as,dad and siblings. Let me preface with this: I have really tried hard during and after my pregnancy to not focus on what I would be missing out on with Palmer's death. Seeing families as a whole pushed me to the edge. Jealousy is a word that has several components to it.  Am I envious? Yes. I want siblings here on earth for Spencer. Am I bitter or resentful? No. How can you resent someone for being blessed with healthy babies. Sadness and defeat would be more appropriate. Sad for Spencer for not having a sibling to grow up with. Feeling like a failure as a mom and wondering what I did wrong to loose two babies in a little over a year. 

That same night, I found out that later in the week there would be a burial a few plots over from Palmer. We had a storm a few nights before and I needed to stop and tidy up his flowers. I was already on the verge of tears and as I was walking around the edge of his grave, I sunk in to my calves and half-way fell down. Spencer and I went home, loaded the car up with a bag of dirt and headed back to fill in the holes. After he was in bed I couldn't stop the tears.

Fast forward to Saturday. I told Spencer that the picnic was a party of sorts for Palmer and other people who had gone to heaven. We haven't explained about organ/tissue donation and won't for a while. But I wanted him to know that people other than us felt his brother was special. This opened the door for more conversation on the way home from Kansas City. He again asked why his brother's head didn't grow right and if I would grow another baby in my belly. He went on to tell me that the other kids in school had brothers and sisters and he wanted his brother back so that he could tell him all about kindergarten. Today I found Spencer talking to God. He was asking Him to fix his brothers head and send him back down because he missed Palmer. The words combined with the pleading look on his upturned face was more than I could handle as the tears started again. 

Those tears have run dry and my heart aches a little less. Tomorrow is a fresh start, a new week begins as does a new cycle of grief. 


Lucy said...

Oh sweet Jenny, how my heart feels and understands your grief and your words could be my words 16 years ago and some still today.

My words of comfort are these: you are not alone in your grief. You may feel all alone physically but you are surrounded by those of us who have walked this path before you, those that are walking it with you now, and those who will bravely face it in the future and have the added benefit of reading these precious, honest, and pure words.

May the "peace that passeth all understanding" (Phil 4:6-7) surround you tonight, tomorrow, and throughout the days ahead.

Love and prayers my friend. Love and prayers.

Holly said...

That just tugs at my heart him pleading for Palmer