Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lonely, But Not Alone

A year has passed since Bronwyn's death; a year, two months and almost 5 days, to be more exact.  I'd tell you how many minutes have also ticked by, but that would be putting too fine a point on it.  I've wanted to come here and write so many times, but honestly, it didn't seem appropriate.  What I've experienced emotionally during this time runs the gammut of all things dark, with light occasionally seeping through fine cracks.  The details of this darkness I didn't want to share publicly because I knew that people would worry for me.  Inside of myself, I understood that I was on a journey and that I would keep on walking, but you might not know that, and so I kept those posts to my old fashioned paper journal.  The one just for me and Bronwyn.

Originally, I started this blog with the hopes of sharing the details of my grief so that I might help others who are also on this journey.  But I've come to realize that grief is a deeply personal and lonely road.  For example, my husband and I are grieving the loss of our same daughter, but the way our loss is manefested is completely different between the two of us.  Of course it is.  Our relationship to her was unique and individual; why, then, shouldn't our grief be?  Whereas I have been quiet, morose, depressed, sullen, half-alive, he has been active, working, busy, depressed, and half-alive.

I remember when Bronwyn was a newborn baby.  At just two weeks old, she developed extreme colic.  She would start crying, on the dot, at five o'clock in the evening and wouldn't stop until ten.  She would scream as if she was being tortured and maimed.  As a new Mother, I was distraught, something had to be wrong, but what?  Nothing soothed her.  Not nursing, not a pacifier, not rocking, singing, bouncing, going outside, massage, special drops, nothing.  How many panicked calls did our Pediatrician recieve from us?  I didn't count, but I'm sure his nurse rolled her eyes more than once.  "It's colic," He would calmly explain.  "It will start to get better when she's 6 weeks old. Essentially, there's nothing you can do."  When her crying would start, I would take a deep breath and my nightly "soothing" ritual would begin.  I would hold her close, sing to her, rock her. 
She would wail. 
Inevetibly, by the end of the night, I was crying right along with her.  We'd look at each other, tears streaming down our faces, both of us hot and sweaty in this new battlefield.  My husband could hardly stand to see me so distressed.  "If nothing does any good, why not just lay her down?" he would ask me. 
But I couldn't. I just couldn't.  I needed to learn her language of anguish.  I needed to show her that I was never going to give up on her, especially not when things were hard.  I thought about my labor (still very fresh in my mind); how painful it was, and how nobody could take away the pain that was part of the process.  But I also remembered how helpful it was to have a soothing hand on my back during a hard contraction.  How much an encouraging word kept me going when I felt like giving up.  This is what I wanted to give to Bronwyn during her time of hardship, and this is what my friends and family give to me now.  Grief is lonely, but that doesn't mean that it's better to be alone.  Just having you here is helpful.  Thank-you for listening.  Thank-You for caring.