Saturday, January 25, 2014

grief the hidden journey

Recently life dealt it's hardest few weeks or months, it all culminated and I felt punctuated by two appointments with specialists and surgery. To be honest at the time I was physically and mentally exhausted, after two full on days then we were hit with news, information that seemed to rock me big time. What eventually made me cry and properly was an ill timed moment with a cafe worker at a hospital. One of the only moments I actually had been able to speak back to someone who had treated me wrongly but promptly burst in tears once I got back onto the ward.

One part of having children or a child with any different needs, or special needs is the hidden journey that we all walk, called grief. It's invisable and creeps up on you usually disguised at jealousy over someone discussing their child's success, or feeling cut up because a family member mentioned something that hurt, or realising in a tangable moment that your child has to do it tough. 

Stages of grief when anyone discovers they are in the midst of grief the 5 stages of grief can be the first point of reference in understanding the process and I think honestly people want to know when is it going to end. As a parent and in most cases grief is not accompanied by death, grief can come in waves and be a continual process. The stages are as follows, denial, anger, depression, bargaining and acceptance. 

Honestly at first I didn't recognise what was going on, it's been coming for a while and I didn't see it. But for about a week I couldn't stop crying anytime I had any moments for myself I would burst into tears. I felt vulnerable, raw and like I couldn't even answer the phone. Like I didn't even feel understood. Brokenhearted was how I felt, like I could just keep crying and crying and I felt so depleted. Was it tough, yep, but I knew it was important to get it out of me just for a little while. It was a little ugly yeah I'm a Mum who's trying to lose weight that went out of the window for a week or so or maybe more. It looked like a cake of some description each day, even a chocolate too, I think one night I may or may not have consumed a block of cadbury's popping candy jellybean chocolate. 

It was back to first aid, it's a phrase I think of sometimes when it gets down to basics. I start with good sleep, good eating, and exercise and a little me time. What also helps me is my faith, straight after I realised how I was feeling I made a beeline for church the very next service they had. What helps me is the music, often intimate and open, often when I put up walls (you know what I mean) in those moments they come crashing down. I find when it gets tough I run to God and pour it all out to him (Read Psalm 62:8) lay it all out, cry it out even scream it out when appropriate. It's my go to when I don't know what to do. When I am at home, I just listening to some quiet music and just had a bit of space, a great place is also the shower who knows why it is nice to cry in the shower too. Next I take time to spend alone with my husband, chances are we are going through this stuff together, so a few date nights were in order and totally helped us get some refuge in the craziness. In the midst of tending to our boys one of which was in quite a bit of pain from the operation that he had. 

So what did I learn through all of this, sometimes being a parent is really hard work, secondly sometimes it doesn't hurt to say no when were not coping, I need to listen to myself more and lastly I really need to organise respite better for 2014. The bad news that I did have, I really won't know what will happen until a few months away, so for now I need to chill out and not worry about the what if's in the meantime. Besides I have got enough to do anyway!