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Archive for the ‘death’ Category

Reoccuring Dreams

It all began just over 5 years ago, just after my dad died.

I had dreams so realistic, so emotional, I sometimes wondered if they were dreams or just memories.

Only if they were real they would be awful.

I dreamt last night that my dad was alive.  Again.

He had died.  I did his eulogy.  I led my family in planning the funeral. These things happened in real life and were a part of my past in my reoccuring dream.

But then, somehow, he was alive again.

Walking, talking, alive.  Still sick and dying, but not dead.

And then he died again.  And I am stuck dealing with all these emotions all over again.  The disbelief, the shock, the anger, then overwhelming sadness.

Even as I type, tears stream down my face.

His death was such a significant blow to my immediate family.  It destroyed each of us – my brother, my sister, my mom and I.  We each went our own way in dealing with it.

And I haven’t had to relive this (in a dream) for quite some time.

This dream was an indicator of how deep my depression was and always meant my meds needed to be adjusted.

But I am at the end of it all!  It isn’t fair or right to have this dream again.  I was done with dealing with the grief of losing my father.  How dare I have a dream of him living and dying again??

In this dream, I was surrounded by childhood friends, laughing and having fun.  Then my dad dies.  I am so angry by this that I refuse to participate in the funeral planning, much less give a eulogy.

I woke up from this dream, with the feeling that I had been sobbing for hours – the same feeling I had when my dad did die.  The feeling of sublime reality – is this what my life is to be like from now on?

I hate this dream.  I much prefer the ones where I have to go back to college to finish up a class (in spite of having a graduate degree – which is strange because I keep saying in this dream that I have a graduate degree but that I must finish one class to get my bachelor degree).  Or the classic forgetting your locker combination in high school.

 

 

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I’ve started and stopped and erased and edited this quite a few times.

I’ve tried to be clever or witty or funny.  It just ain’t happening.

We are planning on moving mid-March.  (I am pretty sure the tickets are booked.)

Things are moving along here, as best they can.

My depression is kicking my ass today.  I spent a few hours this morning sobbing.  There’s lots going on, but nothing I really want to discuss openly here (only because I have made some incredibly stupid mistakes that made me feel good at the time but have impacted … oh hell … I spent money I shouldn’t have.  It is stressful.  And on top of everything else, it just was bad timing on my part.)

Sometimes I just feel stupid.  Like life stupid, not book-smart stupid (though throw too many big words at me and my eyes will glaze over).

Today was definitely one of those days.  It’s almost 8pm and my eyes still hurt from the crying I did this morning.  I haven’t cried like this since my dad died.

Ironically, the things that have me upset do not include our impending move.  Rather, it’s just the stupid mistakes I make again and again.  And let me tell you, I love the stuff I buy.  I buy great stuff.  I get great deals.

But as BJD pointed out, had I not spent that money, we would have more than enough in SAVINGS to have a vacation.  Perhaps not fancy-schmancy, but a vacation nonetheless.

Knowing that we are both pretty maxed out – I mean, PPD is (normally) well under control for me, but the long-term effects of it on both of us are starting to rear their ugly heads.  (Why can’t their heads be pretty?  or sexy?  or something that we would like to see?)

It’s hard knowing that while I know what I went through, I really have no clue how BJD has dealt with it all these years.

Surviving preeclampsia twice wasn’t easy for me – but I didn’t have to witness my spouse fighting a disease that could not only kill our child, but also my spouse.  I haven’t supported him in fighting postpartum depression or chronic hypertension.  Or all those other things that I have been going through.

I’ve been too busy being engrossed in it all.  Sitting in it.  Lathering it up and washing myself in depression and sadness and feeling guilty for feeling this way because I did survive – as did both of my children.

I know my blessings.  I am thankful.

But why do I think that surviving, having two living breathing children, means I can’t be depressed?

Sofia turns 2 at the end of this month.  She has been very clingy and crabby lately.  It’s probably a combination of her 2 year molars and her being a mini-me.

But I can’t help but think of those lonely days during her pregnancy when I was hospitalized, fearing her premature birth every day.  Every hour.

That fear weighs so damned heavily on my soul.  It brings me to my knees, asking God why can’t I just be thankful for what I have instead of focusing on what I have gone through to have what I have?

And then, I feel guilty (yet again) for the delayed gratification (aka shopping) I have not yet learned … but didn’t I?  I mean, haven’t I been through a hellish 4+ years, with my dad’s death … blah blah …

This pity party is stopping right now.

This is how I am feeling today.

Not one of my good days.

But thankfully, I have fuzzy warm socks, comfie stretchy house-pants and a wonderful supporting husband who doesn’t care if I keep a clean house or not (I don’t).

I am excited and nervous about Minsk.  I worry about how Henry will adapt – though I am confident he will adjust fine.  And so long as I am there, Sofia will be too.

Here are some pics of Henry finally finding some confidence in his bike-riding skills (he insists the training wheels stay on the bike because that’s what the picture on the box looked like)

 

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In remembrance …

Wow.  So I just typed this up in my email browser because I couldn’t get wordpress to open up but when I tried to copy paste over here, the little blinker thingee just kept blinking at me, as though it was saying ha!  you want me to do what?  (I mean, really, I deal with that all day from a 1.5 year old and a 4 year old.  Can’t I just get one minute where I don’t get hassled??)  🙂

Okay.  Enough sarcasm.  (Though if you know me well enough you know that I deal with awkward situations with sarcasm and humor – or at least my version of humor.  And my spell check is telling me humor is spelled humour but doesn’t it know I am an american and we don’t use the -our ending unless we’re trying to be pretentious or in denial of our americanness.)  Again, enough sarcasm.

I am enjoying the silence that comes when BJD comes home.  He has been travelling weekly for work, to the same country (not ours).  I have been managing okay and the children miss him – which makes my disappearance when he comes back that much nicer for all of us.  I get to escape for a bit (and stay up till, well, let’s see – it is 1:18AM right now).

I am writing this post specifically to women whose children have died.  (wow, that sentence took me about 10 minutes to write)

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

I don’t need a specific day to think of you and your child.  I think often of the struggles you have shared and the burdens that you walk with.  I think often of the heaviness of life.  And I am so very sorry for all the pain you have.

I wish I could make it all better.

I wish your child didn’t die because of preeclampsia.

I wish your life could be filled with the joys and sorrows of having a toddler running your life … of a preschooler filling you with awe and amazement every day.

I wish that life were as simple as we imagined it to be when we were younger – when wishes were something magical and special and the world was full of possibilites and potentials.

I wish I could make it all better.

But I can’t.

Instead, I can continue to offer my shoulder to cry on, to lean on, my heart to have hope and faith when you can’t and my hand in friendship.  From one mom to another.

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As a young girl, I share a room with my sister.  I was 15 months younger and relied heavily upon her for my feelings of security and comfort.  It was such a dependency that if she woke in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, I would wake and cry until she returned.

Once I hit college, I began to appreciate time alone.  It wasn’t that I wanted to be alone all the time, it was simply that I began to recognise the simplicity in solitude.

A friend recently commented to me that she thinks there is some correlation with my father’s death, my pregnancy with Bubba Joe and my depression.  My response to her was duh!  (with a bit of eye rolling)

But that got me thinking.

I miss my dad horribly.  I have talked about that.  But what I think fail to realize is that my dad is dead.  Dead and gone.  Long gone and buried.

Now that might sound harsh or cruel, but it’s the truth.

I watched him die.  I held his hand.  I listened to his heart fail (I often listened to my dad’s heart, especially after he had open-heart).  I know in my head that my father is gone.

But in my heart …

and then I got pregnant with Bubba Joe.

While my family as I knew it was falling apart, my family was growing.

I still don’t know how to process it all.  And sometimes, I think it’s okay to not process, but to just keep going.

And when you are pregnant, and then that pregnancy gets complicated quickly, forcing real life and death decisions, there is no time to process in the here and now.  Just like that Sunday evening when I realized it was the last time I would see my dad alive.  There was no time to process what it all meant, or how tomorrow would feel like.  I could only get the doctors and nurses and send BJD to pick up my mom and call my brother to tell him to stop fighting with his wife and get here because dad was dying.

And then my beautiful little boy was born … six weeks early.

My world crashed.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was the beginning of the crash.

Since then, we moved over the great big blue … no, I say we moved but the truth is we ran away.  I ran away from everything in hopes I could leave it all behind.

But it is now catching up with me.

And I feel so damned alone.

Alone not in that good solitude kind of way.  I just feel lonely in that empty, nothing is fulfilling in my life kind of way.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore my family.  Bubba Joe is one of the coolest kids I have ever met.  He’s strong and sensitive, caring and bold, and incredibly creative.  Giant Baby (who just turned 1 btw) is strong-willed and sensitive, observant and curious and intrigued by everything.

And BJD – well, he is the man I have always wanted.  He makes everything in my life worthwhile.

So why is it that I feel so damned lonely?

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As most of us know, doing the right thing does not always make us feel good.

Nor does it make us popular, nor pretty, nor rich … not in the material way at least.

But once again, Mrs. Spit has come up with an amazing post that addresses many issues – including one near and dear to my heart – preeclampsia.

Me, I am one of the lucky ones.  I have 2 living children who I can hug and cuddle and yell at and parent every day.  It was not my faith in God or a belief in Christ that allowed my body to tolerate preeclampsia – to prevent my kidneys from failing more than they already were, for my heart to function within a tolerable range (albeit my BPs ranged from lows in the 140/90s to highs well above 180/110).

No dear friends, it had nothing to do with God’s kindness or my being a good person.

Because trust me, while my faith is solid right now, it hasn’t always been.  And while I am a Christian, I do not believe there is but one way to God.

So there.  I am putting it out there, for all the world to read (cause, you know, there are oh so few blogs out there to go through to get to mine) that I 100% support a woman’s right to choose – even though sometimes it really is NOT a choice.

I, thankfully, did NOT have to choose between my life or my child’s.

But don’t think for a second that it was not a conversation that BJD and I didn’t have.  Because we did.  Twice.  Once during each pregnancy.

And while, in theory it may seem noble to say that I would die for my child to live, risking having a child so early that life is not without many many many complications, with many of them leading to death, no my friends, I choose life.

And maybe it is because I had witnessed my father’s last breath – I watched him suffer and die the same week Bubba Joe was conceived.

Either way, faith did not save me.

I was lucky.

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Here I am, thinking of all the things I should write about, all the excuses for not coming around and the bottom line comes down to me just not wanting to.

You see, it’s nothing personal.

Honest.

I just was working my ass off trying to keep my head above water.

And there was a time when I wasn’t sure I was gonna make it.

Knitting?  It has saved me.

I am officially a knitting fool.  Really.  I am.  I cannnot get over how such a simple thing as string and a stick can make such lovely creations.  There is a planning period, a buying period (always fun in my book), the trial period of casting on and ripping out stitches, and then the knitting.  I take great pleasure in learning new techniques – and as in so many other aspects of my life, I learn the hard way.

Oh I have made many many mistakes.  Even BJD was impressed (his words, not mine) that I was so willing to joyfully rip out stitches that I had so painstakingly knit.

But I knew it would be worth it.

I knew that in destroying my work, I would try to find the reason for my mistake, so I could learn to either 1) avoid it, or 2) more realistically learn to fix it (because I tend to make the same mistakes many times in my life before experiencing that duh! moment).

My postpartum depression is still here.  What can I say about it? Guess I don’t want to say much except to acknowledge its presence in my life.

I think I am turning into a loner.  I mean, being an expat stuck in small town Germany probably doesn’t help much.  But I am enjoying the solitude of knitting.  The aloneness that my depression cannot enter.

I have my first “real” therapy appointment next week.  I truly fear what will come.  I realize now that I have spent the last 4 years in denial of my dad’s death.  I mean, yes, I know he’s gone but moving overseas really helps avoid dealing.

I’d like to give a shout out to Mrs. Spit.  I have been a long time follower of her blog (because I like how she writes).  We are virtual friends, having both survived preeclampsia.  Mrs. Spit – while I was in hiding the past month or so, I thought often of  you and your precious Gabriel.  Your strength and courage (though I realize you did not choose to be strong or to have courage – that choice was not given to you) are a daily reminder to me that life is worth living.

Little Girl is asleep.  In our now family bed.  She is not little anymore.  Bubba Joe and his dad have nicknamed her Giant Baby – as in watch out Bubba Joe – here comes the Giant Baby!  (At 10 months of age she weighs almost 10kg, crawls everywhere and has 8 teeth.  Oh, and she likes to yell at her dad.  wonder where she gets that from???)

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Kayleigh’s fight ended yesterday.

She was  born premature due to preeclampsia.

My prayers are with her family.

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