I wrote this last November, but the pain and the emotions were still to raw for me to post it. In light of my article on Forgiveness I decided that it was time to post this article as well. I am posting a lot of these articles to help others to understand that they are not alone in their grief, that others are suffering, and also to help those who support those that are suffering to understand what their loved ones may be going through.
I have rewritten this article to maintain anonymity of the people involved.
Walking down the hallway at church is a lot like walking in a mine field. I have no idea what I am going to run into. I try to stay focused on my kids and my tasks. I realize that everyone else has their own trials and really isn't interested in mine, or I’m not interested in sharing in such a public place and so I keep to myself. When I have time ... which isn't much, I am working on forgiving those that have hurt me, dealing with my grief, reaching out to others on my terms, and trying to heal.
I planned on being in my primary in class today. Usually If I need to go home I would have let someone know. I taught class last week, all by myself, so I had not reason to think that this week would be so hard. . . . I don't even remember exactly what happened, but I became very emotional and escaped out to the van where I cried for a long time. When I finally pulled myself back together and came in to go to the bathroom and freshen up I was greeted by an open door to our classroom and all our sunbeams kids looking at me.
I did my best to go to class but the kids were very restless and I was in no condition to be patient with them. I was very frustrated. They have no idea why their teacher has been a mess for months. They never knew I was pregnant, and I never felt like it was appropriate for me to explain to them about death and grief and stillbirth. They are so young, and it wasn’t my place. It hasn't been fair to them to have to put up with me.
I never know . . . It isn't like I plan to be upset. Something that doesn't affect me one day will really upset me another day. My hour in the car crying was actually really healing for me. I just have to take things one day or hour or minute at a timePart of the reason church is so hard is because there are so many people . . . deciding over and over what to say when asked "how are you ?" is so hard. Should I give the truthful answer, "I'm having a really rough time right now. My body aches all over, I'm not sure why. I'm still grieving the loss of my baby, she was due 2 weeks ago, and I'm pregnant again and I'm terrified that I will lose this baby as well. Other than that, we are all fed and dressed and at church today. How about you? Oh sorry was that to much information?
The other alternative is to lie and say "fine" when really although I may look put together and fine, I'M HURTING INSIDE and would really like someone to notice.
I don’t know if it was bravery, or anger, or just plain stupidity, but I opened up a little bit, and tried to let someone know about my hour crying in the car. It was a cry for help, love, and understanding. I thought the person I talked to would understood that I am still having a hard time. Instead I ended up hurting her feelings, and then turning and walking away because I didn't want to become a crying mess in the hallway again. I didn’t mean to hurt her feelings, I just wanted to be loved and understood.
Later I figured out what it was that upset me today, and it was such an innocent little occurrence. I saw a mother, with her brand new baby, a baby that was due the same week as Holly, who would have grown up and been in Holly's nursery class, been baptized the same month as Holly, and passed all the other milestones of life with Holly. Her arms and heart were full, and mine were empty and the tears came quick and I had to escape. I know as time passes I will be able to look at that little boy, or other little boys and girls that would have been Holly's friends and find joy in thinking of them, but today the pain was to raw, the emotions to great, the healing still to be done.
My husband informed me later that I had really upset my friend, and I have let that become a wedge between us, so much that we have only talked “church business” since then. I am now letting go of that pain, I am forgiving her for not recognizing my cry for help, and I am asking her to forgive me for hurting her feelings. I hope that we can now rebuild our relationship.