Thursday, December 2, 2010

Strength

over the course of the last month and a half, i have received compliments from many people regarding my strength. things like "your strength is amazing" or "you are such a strong person". usually when i hear something like that, my first instinct is to chuckle or roll my eyes {and i hope i have not offended anyone that i have done this to in person}. it's just that these days the word "strong" is not one that i would use when referring to myself. ever.

i am not strong at all. strength is something i wish i possessed. what i am is desperate. desperate to hold my baby one last time. desperate to wake up every 2 hours to feed someone. desperate to have to leave work at lunch every day to feed a baby that is too adorably stubborn to take a bottle. desperate to do diaper laundry and the tedious task of stuffing said diapers. desperate to deal with a fussy baby who is on the cusp of the dreading teething process. desperate to hold on...

what i am is weak. too weak to get out of bed in the morning without first writing a letter to my baby. too weak to brave the stores and shopping during this holiday season. too weak to do much else besides go to work. and i'm too broken to open his drawers, and look at his clothes. too broken to take the car seat out of my car. too broken to even drive by babies r us.

how can anyone even remotely classify me as strong? i know that looks can be deceiving some times, and the fact that i do get out of bed and get to work most days says something. but what that something is is not that i am strong. or that i have found the will to continue to live my life. it means that i'm going through the motions. that i'm existing. that i'm actually sick of sitting in my bed and staring at all of his things. that i'm trying to keep my mind busy in order to delay the next inevitable breakdown.

my hope these days is that one day, while going through the motions, i will start to find new purpose and meaning. my hope is that this cloud of darkness that is suffocating me will start to lift. my hope is that all of the thoughts and prayers that have been said for us will reach God's ears and he will have mercy on us. my hope is that one day, i may actually believe that i am a strong individual. but for now, i will just hope...

18 comments:

Our Journey said...

Oh Tiffany, I so understand. You are grieving and at any point that grief could look any way at any time. (Just don't let anyone tell you how to grieve or for how long...I made the mistake of listening to people who thought it was time to stop the tears...it really hurt) I never believed in the stages on grief until loosing Eden.
I stayed out of work 8 weeks after having her. When I got back to work, people commented on my "strength". But what they couldn't see is that really I was hurting so bad. My closest friends and family saw it. I think sometimes people think that because you are able to get up, write, or go about your day that your are so strong. What they don't see is all the moments in between when you find yourself consumed with the thoughts of your child. Very few people see us scream, or cry, or wake up in the morning with puffy red eyes because we have been crying almost all night. Very few people know how many things during the day remind us of our children or what could have been and it's all we can do to make it through the day. I am always thinking of you and here if you need me. <3

paula0277 said...

Whether you consider yourself "not strong" but "weak and desperate" is something I can't answer or make a judgement on. But what I can answer and know for a fact is that God does answer and hears all of our prayers and thoughts. There is this saying(not sure if you heard of it that goes) God answers all are askings. They maybe now,soon or not at this moment.. He(and only he) knows when the right time is. God will never let us down. We are all his children and he loves each one of us.

Rachel said...

My heart is broken for you. I've seen my boss go through this exact heartache when she lost her husband. After four years...she does have joy most days. Please continue to hope for those days....and I'll continue to pray as hard as I can that you will have peace! Love~

Kalialani said...

I can't tell you how much this post relates to me. I cannot stand when people tell me I'm strong. I appreciate the gesture I guess but it's not the truth. I'm NOT strong. Like you, I'm just existing. I absolutely despise when people tell me "you're SO strong, if it was me I couldn't be as strong as you." It's kind of like a slap in the face like they're telling me I'm not doing enough grieving or something. Then when I talk about my grief people get uncomfortable and tell me I need to move on. It's always like I'm being pulled in each direction, one telling me to be strong and then the other telling me I'm not grieving hard enough...I don't think anyone will ever understand the position we are in unless they've been through it. Not only have we lost our children but we're expected to act a certain way and it's tiring none the less. I try to be "happy" sometimes but when I even crack a smile people think I'm cured. I'm not. You're not. We will live with this for the rest of our lives and I hear it gets better but right now I don't see the end of this dark tunnel. I don't know how long this fresh grief will last but I still feel it after 8 months, so I don't really think there's a set time on it. I guess all we can do is "hope" that one day we will be those strong people everyone sees us as. Til then just FEEL however you feel. You're entitled to it.

Thinking of you always

rebecca said...

That was one of the most moving posts I believe I've ever read, it was so raw and authentic and had me in tears after reading it. My friend you said it perfectly, I too hope that you are able to find joy even if in small moments and that life is not only lived just in the motions. For now though that is enough, be gentle with yourself....you possess more strength then you know and the fact that you do continue to move forward speaks to that strength. So much love to you and hope that you begin to internalize the strength that is within you ((hugs))

BrownieGirl said...

Oh, honey. I hope you know that when *I* say you're strong, I just mean that I'm so impressed that you're NOT hiding under your covers trying to shut out the whole world, because I think that's probably what *I* would do if I lost one of my children. In between the screaming and crying, of course. I know that this is your weakest moment, and well it should be. Any one of us would be laid low and broken by the death of a child, and I hope nobody has been implying that you should be past the "weak" stage or anything like that. So when I say I think you're "strong", it's just because as shattered as you are, you're still HERE, and I think that in itself is amazing. Much love~

Bex said...

I, too, was moved to tears. I have no words, other than my heart continues to burst with love for you and Juju. I love you both so very much.

Megan said...

You'll get there sweety, you will! :)
The empty piece of your heart will always remain, but you'll find peace. <3
Sending hugs your way!

Denise said...

I too felt the same feelings when people said I was strong. I felt anything but. I felt as though I was just surviving. I later learned that just surviving through the loss is strength. You have made the choice to survive, to get out of bed, to go through the motions and that alone is a sign of strength.

Joanie Shook said...

No words. Just lots and lots of prayers.

Angie said...

I think that there is a quiet strength that us baby loss moms have...it's not what others think or understand. Some days the strength is just breathing even when getting out of bed seems too much, and some days it's just getting out of bed. Right now you are still in sheer survival mode, but I think later you will see your "strength". It's not really something that others get and it's not what you usually think of. Time goes so slow those first 6 months. Big hugs to you.

Mauricio&Sanja said...

I think your hope IS your strength.

I wrote you few times how amaized I am at your strength,and I'm really sorry if that upset you.
The fact that you can get out of the bed every day knowing it all wasn't just a bad dream,face the struggles every day brings,your ability to be while hurting so badly is truly amazing to be.
So instead of saying that you are strong can I say that you are brave?:-)
Brave for not giving up the hope.
Embrace your grief,take your time but never ever give up home.Hope with time will bring you peace,I'm sure.
Love you,
beso!

Angie said...

Oh Tiffany, I think this all the time. I hate when outsiders tell me I'm strong when I'm not doing anything different than what they would be doing if our roles were reversed. From one BLM to another, I can honestly look at you and tell you what a beautiful mother you are to JuJu, I know he's proud of you every day.

Always thinking of you xo

Anonymous said...

My precious niece you may not want to here you are strong maybe we should say you are a inspiration to us but believe me you are strong. Anytime you loose a child and we can make another day with the help of God we are strong in some sense. Yes we cry and feel like we dont want to do anything but we do even though are days are full of pain. My child you have gone through one of the worst thing a mother could do loosing a child. You have been able to let other families know about SIDS you have made me feel better knowing that it is okay to still talk about JR. becaus he is with me everyday and the pain of loosing him is with me everyday. I use to think that no one wanted to here about how I felt and that they rather I move on but with counsling I know that it is fine to talk about my baby. I wish I had looked into more organization to help me deal with my pain. So you are my inspiration.

MrsH said...

Things are what they are, words like strong or weak are just words. You are doing a very good job taking care of yourself and keeping the bond with your baby alive. I think you need to feel good about the fact that you are going through the motions, that is very hard to do in itself. It always gets easier from here, you will probably never feel this bad again for as long as you live.

Rhiannon said...

I remember, especially in the beginning, people would tell me how strong I was and I would roll my eyes, too. I knew that I was just going through the motions, existing on auto pilot. I think that is a mechanism of our survival. Unfortunately we have to live this life that we are given...even though I would like to throw it out the window.

Sending lots of love, strength, and comfort to you. I think you said it perfectly, "for now, I will just hope..." That is what I wish for all of us...hope. (((hugs))) to you.

Angie said...

Tiffany, I feel so blessed to have met you in our time of sorrow, I love and look forward to reading your posts. I was given the Cherry On Top Blog Award, and want to pass it along to you. Check out my latest post when you get a chance and spread the love xo

the mommy said...

"The fragility of a crystal is not a weakness, but a fineness"

Tiffany, like a precious crystal, your heart is fragile right now. The strength in this lies within the holder of the crystal, who carries it with protective arms. The crystal inspires the holder to greater depths of strength and love.

This is your strength right now. In your loss, people have gathered to your side to hold you up for a while, to love you while you feel like breaking. My prayer for you is that their love carries you to a place of healing and hope.

I am so very sorry that you had to say goodbye to Julius. My heart hurts for you and tonight I said a special prayer for him and for you. Thinking of you...

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