Monday, December 15, 2014

On deaths and dying

I've had more time to think lately and I've been reminded of the time 3 years ago when we went through that third miscarriage. I also think more about it because we so clearly have a toddler now and not a baby anymore. (Later I think I may discuss my adventure attempting to get to the airport in morning traffic in LA and the hours spent contemplating a very different world, but for now, just the grief.)

The dying part is hard too. My friend who has been dying for some time is now at the end of hospice care waiting to die. She's in so much pain and not really eating any more and it's hard. Obviously not so hard for me as it is for her and her family but it's had me pretty frozen. It's a really good thing I'm not keeping track of how many brain candy books I've read in the past few weeks. I'd say it's about 50% escaping reality and 50% trying to fill the time with more cheerful thoughts rather than the gloom and doom and death hanging around everywhere. Happy Festive Winter Holiday to me?

I guess the two events, aside from both occurring in December, really bring up a lot of survivor's guilt for me. I never feel worthy to be on this side of things with a toddler and no cancer. My friend has the most perfect spouse and four awesome children and I wonder why her and not me. I never feel like I'm enough. It matters that I get these second chances and I'm trying to seize them and do some good in the world but it's a struggle to kick the feelings of unworthiness. I haven't descended into feeling worthless but it's hard to avoid that pitfall. I suppose I might say that grief has me standing at the edge of the pit of worthlessness and I can see how it would be easy to fall but also that the way to whatever is next in life is walking along the edge of the pit and not falling in or going across.

Anyway, the most intriguing thing happened last week. I was feeling mopey about life and how many of my favorite Festive Holiday ornaments have been ruined when yanked off the tree by Little Monster (and/or Fluffinella and/or the Kid) and then I was checking FB yet again (nervous habit I suppose?) and ran into a friend posting about the Mental Illness Happy Hour. It turned out to be the day a new weekly podcast came out and it was the above linked episode... about miscarriage.

I figured that I'd better share it with you all. The guest in that episode is a fellow infertile with multiple miscarriages and she talks about her experience with a full-spectrum doula. So much of what she says is so familiar and wonderfully put. You should go listen. Then maybe if you need it, read what she wrote about the closure ceremony part here as well.

So I feel better now. Still freaked and unworthy of all the amazing things happening in my life and totally unworthy to be applying for residencies but I'm trying to psych myself up and stop putting anything off. Today has awesome parts even if the transition to whatever happens after life is circling in close. On the whole, just getting to breathe is pretty awesome, let alone getting to snuggle a grumpy toddler for 5 hours while she watches the yellow hat dude and some critter wander around a city. Bonus!

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry you're at the precipice. I think it's completely normal to be there with all that grief roiling around you, but knowing it's normal doesn't make it any easier.

    Thanks so much for linking to that podcast. I had been wanting to listen to it and I appreciate the link.

    I hope you start feeling better soon.

    Abiding with you.