Friday, May 28, 2010

Tainted by grief?

I was waiting in Von's supermarket yesterday, standing in the magazine aisle, surrounded by gossipy rags, which I'll admit I do peruse through occasionally as an escape. :)  I couldn't see where Dempsey was.  For a second I looked, then looked again, she was leaning next to the card stand, picking out cards and reading them.  I smiled to myself, thinking how lovely it was to see her reading all the fun stuff, then I frowned......it wasn't the birthday cards she was reading, it was the SYMPATHY ones!  I automatically shook my head, thinking "NO!"  And I had to ask myself, has all the death and grief and loss in our family tainted her forever?  Has grief changed her and ruined her too?  My questionable thoughts were answered not by a shrink or a counsellor or a so called expert book, but by my wise beyond her years, seven year old daughter!

I wandered over to her, "What are you reading Precious?"  I asked, trying not to display any sort of emotion so as not to taint her answer, so that she would tell me honestly what she was thinking.  I wasn't sure what would come out of her tiny mouth, but what she told me didn't disappoint, I was so proud of her and who she is....yes, even at the ripe old age of seven! 

"Look at all these cards Mommy, some of them are sad.  I think we should buy this one and send it to Emmy and Charlotte(her cousins, my sister's twins)."  In her hands was a pale pink sympathy card with red roses and a rainbow on the front - "For the loss of your Mother" it said it big bold letters. 

I asked her why we should send it and she said "Because it's so sad that they don't have their Mommy with them like I do."  I put my arm around her and squeezed her tightly with tears in my eyes.  In that instant, I knew that everything we've been through as a family, has changed her too!  However, thanks to grief and what she's been exposed to, she will always be compassionate and thoughtful towards others who are suffering.

Our gorgeous Demps!

Sometimes I get lost in my own pity party and I forget that Dempsey too has missed out on so much through losing her Aunt, then Nannie and of course her sister whom she asks about every few days and who she wishes was here and who she promises me she wouldn't fight with if I could bring her back!  Death and loss and grief rips parts out of your life that other people take for granted......I know I did before I lost my loved ones. 

There was a time when Dempsey would beg me daily for a little brother or sister, increasing my pain and guilt that I couldn't give her the one thing she wanted more than anything else in the world.  But over time, her requests have slowed down, she only mentions it occasionally now, which relieves my guilt just a fraction.  We did try for her, for us, for Savannah, to bring another happy soul into our damaged family, but for some reason it wasn't to be.

For three years Peter and I subjected ourselves to the invasive roller coaster ride of invitro fertilization pre genetic diagnosis testing(where they harvest only healthy embryo's), but for us, for some reason, it wasn't to be. 

And I question why this path in life isn't for our family.  I go over and over the excuses as to "Why NOT us" and I wonder if it's so I can be there for my sister's children, or if Dempsey is meant to have all the attention that she missed out on for the first eighteen months of her life?  But, I have learnt, sometimes there are no answers, or none that make sense anyway, and I'm okay with that now after many soul searching sleepless nights.

We did get some healthy embryos, and we did try, and in the end there came a point where we had to ask ourselves.....When do we give up?  When do we stop trying and be grateful to have HAD two children when some women I met at the clinic had files as big as Bible's...and still no child!  For us, at the time, that whole IVF experience was another thorn in our relationship, another trip down grief lane, more stress and so much heartache, but then that's another story........................................................

The above article was published on the website    http://www.hellogrief.org/tainted-by-grief  they have some interesting and helpful articles for anyone suffering loss or grief.

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