Saturday, October 07, 2006

The mixed bag of feelings: Empowerment and burried grief

We got home from the Share walk, held in Edison, NJ, around 12 noon. It was a wonderful experience to be there, despite the gloomy skies and the chilly air. But, I was finally able to feel validated for the feelings I have had over the past year - like I finally belonged somewhere after this long journey toward healing.

Before I really get into the nitty-gritty of my current mixed bag of feelings, I need to thank all of those who sponsored Hubby, my mom, Chris and I as we walked the 1.5 mile walk this morning - with their help, we raised over $300 for SHARE:

  1. My parents
  2. Linda (my sister) and her family
  3. My IL's
  4. Hubby's aunt and uncle
  5. Hubby's grandmother
  6. Dawn from FertilityFamily
  7. Fred, my Center Director
  8. Mel, Tami and Brenda, my Center Associate Directors
  9. Sarah, my Center Administrator
  10. Walter, my Center Unit Computing Manager
  11. Barb, a friend in another University department

All were so is really nice for everyone to think of this walk in such a positive way. I hope that, as other families go through their losses (unfortunate as they may be), SHARE will be able to give them the same guidance and peace as the organization has for me.

After registration and picking up my shirt for the walk (which had my angels listed on it), we were serenaded by two fathers who lost babies of their own as they sang so many songs of loss...songs that were very relevant to the day. After everyone was registered, a small rememberance service was held - poems were read, our babies were honored by a name-roll calling ceremony, and the singing of the following song...

Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)
by the Dixie Chicks

Dragon tales and the "water is wide"
Pirate's sail and lost boys fly
Fish bite moonbeams every night
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch
Goodnight moon, we'll find the mouse
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

God bless mommy and match box cars
God bless dad and thanks for the stars
God hears "Amen," wherever we are
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

This song, alone, ruined me. I cried in front of everyone, for the first time - but, luckily, I was not alone. And, as good as this release was for me - despite how guitly I feel that he has to be this initutive - Chris held onto me the entire song as I cried. I love this little boy more than words could ever express... He understood why I needed his hugs, and gave them to questions asked.

Now, onto the even more emotional stuff...

It was very comforting for me to know that I am not alone in my sorrow and grief - there were at least 75 families at this walk who, to some degree or another, feel the way I do. Some families are farther along the healing path than I am....some have just begun. Some families were even attending who lost their babies well before the SHARE organization began 27 years ago. I stopped feeling like an outsider - I was "home."

It was sad to see so many of us mourning out lost babies...young or old, single or married, living children with them or not. Yet, there was a sense of strength in numbers as each baby's name was read off the list...including the Three Spassione Angels.

I feel empowered now. Since this was the first day I have ever publicly cried about my babies lost, I don't feel I need to hide those feelings anymore when they creep in. I have a place and people who can understand these tears I shed - and no one judges why I need to let these tears go free.

But, some of the families who attended the walk and D's loss this week have reminded me of one important thing that I will never be able to have from my losses:

A final resting place for my babies.

My first angel was miscarried naturally...and the loss was unknown at the time. So, I don't have a thing from that miscarriage...not even the data from my FF chart (which was lost due to a stupid technical error). My second and third angels were literally removed from my body by scraping or suction, and what was taken from me was just sent off immediately to run genetic testing. I was knocked out and when I woke up, they were gone - and feeling as if they were never there in the first place.

I had no baby to hold and kiss and say goodbye too.

I had no baby to hold a service for and give a final resting place too.

I have tried to create things for my angels...a place where I can go to "visit" them when I need to...a place to know they are "there." My memory boxes were supposed to serve this purpose. The flowers we planted in June by Hubby's great-grandfather and great-grandmother's graves were supposed to serve this purpose too....and, unfortunely for us, did not survive the extreme heat of August. At the end of the day, it is just not the same for me. I have no grave to visit, no place to bring momentos too.

Why is this so important to me?

I don't know. Maybe it is the product of my Catholic roots? We learn your soul leaves your body upon your passing for a more holy place, and you are honored here by friends and family at a wake and burial service. I fitting tribute to a life passed. Maybe, in some sick and weird sort of way, I am jealous of those families who could go through the motions of having a funeral service for their precious angels and have that formal (and public) step to say goodbye? I can never have that... One baby was not even known about, one baby never even formed, and one baby was so small, tiny, that you would never be able to hold it.

How do you mourn a baby you never got to hold, thank for being with you as long as they could, and kiss goodbye?

That has been, I think, the hardest thing to get past as I finally come to a point of acceptance of my life and the events that have surrounded it. I have my memory boxes for my last two angels: ultrasound pics, cards sent in sympathy, flowers received, hospital bracelets from the procedures to lead them on to their heavenly resting place. But, it is just not the same thing as being able to hold the babies I could not have here with me. It is just an aweful feeling to have to carry with you... There is no formal goodbye.

So, to bring me back to some sort of empowerment... I am going to inquire into volunteering some time at my local hospital about the program they run where people come in and hold the babies who need to be held: those abandoned, sick and whose parents cannot be there 24/7, those in need of a little motherly love and closeness. Maybe, through holding these babies for a little while, I can get my chance to resolve these feelings...and help them thrive with feeling love, comfort and tenderness.

I am very glad I went to the Walk to Remember... At least, through this walk, I had a public way to honor my babies. I finally had a place to publically honor them and mourn for them.

1 comment:

dawn said...

So glad that you were able to experience such positive emotions in light of all that has happened. I am glad you have a place to honor your angels. You were in my thoughts on Saturday.