Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Supporting a bereaved parent.... Or How to avoid sticking your foot in your mouth....


And on her facebook the question was posed of "well, how do I support you?" so I wrote this;

  1. No time limits, don't assume we should be done in a certain period of time
  2. Dont bring God into it. Just don't. Even if the person is known to be religious. For some God is a huge comfort, for others God is not, and at different points in healing even the most devout believer could be on either end of the spectrum. Don't talk about them being in "a better place." Just leave the spirituality about it alone, if the parent brings it up, listen WITHOUT JUDGEMENT or CORRECTION. 
  3. Be present, use your poker face, simply tell the bereaved "Im here" if you are capable. If you're not capable of simply being there, be honest and don't waste our time. Speaking for myself I'd rather have an honest aquaintance and know I can't talk to about my son then the anxiety of you ignoring me when I reach out to you.
  4. Hold no expectations of us, speaking for myself I'm flaky because triggers will knock me down and continuing with plans can be physically impossible. Today I broke down sobbing while we ate lunch downtown. We rarely meet our own too high expectations, how dare you shove your expectations of us down our throat. You're the only person you can control, so work on that.
  5. Ask about our special person but don't press for stories/information/details. Respect that when and if we are ready to talk about anything about our special person, that you previously asking has allowed us the opening to talk (or not) about them. Knowing you're willing to listen to the good and the gruesome is a comfort. Like taking off a restrictive bra that has under-wire poking you and knowing no one around is going to care and they may even be as relieved as you are! 
  6. Don't tell us what we "need," do offer to help fulfill the needs we articulate to you if possible. We lost a child, we did not become a child. We know what we need, but better than that we know what we DON'T need, and we don't need people telling us what we think. 
  7.  Don't tell us we'll be happy again(see previous blog on the subject). It's like nails on a chalk board when I hear "It's good to see you smile" or whatever, I know your intention is good but there is unintended implication there. So think it but don't say it. Do be happy to see or talk to us, because that feels good. 
  8. Don't tell us were doing it wrong, because there isn't a wrong way. Do remind us if we're struggling of just that, there is no wrong way to continue on this path of grieving
  9. Don't whine about your kids doing normal kid things to the bereaved. I'd give my own heart to have that back.
  10. Practice unconditional love. Treasure your children and don't be afraid to express your love for your children in front of the bereaved parent. Speaking for myself seeing a mama love her littles fearlessly because of my special person fills my heart with love.

    That's about where I ended on my friend's facebook, but I've since though of few more
  11. Do not tell a bereaved parent they can just have more children. It doesn't work that way. People are not replaceable.
  12. If you have supported your bereaved parent friend, or find yourself in a position to support a bereaved parent, do not bring up later how you supported them. It sounds like you're stroking your ego, and without knowing you've treated that parent like a pet project. 
  13. Don't be offended if we do not immediately accept your offer for help. I know for myself, I figure I've done something so wrong to have deserved the ultimate punishment then I certainly don't deserve support. So keep offering. It's appreciated even if we never take you up on it.
I hope other loss mamas, warriors, will chime in on how to support the bereaved parent. <3

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'm gonna talk about Bram all I want....

More irked than I wish to admit by that comment from yesterday so: Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram, Bram. K.

And I love my sons, all 4 of them, I'm the mother of four and death will not stop that. And today I was sad, and I'm allowed to be sad OK?! When you see your child's SKULL and them BLEEDING, and feeling their PULSE FADING, then you get to have a freaking full time wallow fest until your own death. And I NEVER EVER EVER EVER claimed to be the only mother who lost a child. But I am the only mother who lost Bram. Just like my friend's who have lost their sweet perfect babies are the only mothers who lost their sweet perfect babies(you know who you are warrior mamas, your sweet babies names dance in my head just thinking about you, sending you love, and even if I don't know you I'm sending you love). I don't know what it's like to ache with every breath for their babies, but boy can we relate to that ache. SO PPFFFFFTTTTTT!

Bram Xavier Venn, my chunkin'st, plumpin'st, heafiness, zestiness, my perfect boy; I LOVE YOU! Your brothers love and miss you. Your daddy sees you in EVERYTHING. We can't wait to hold you again, our sweet brave boy, who knew better than anyone how to love fearlessly, how to enjoy every second and make a life no matter how short count. You are loved and I will NEVER STOP TALKING ABOUT YOU.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Did you really say that?

So I just got this comment:

"Perhaps when you learn to let go, realize that your other living children really need you to be present for them, and stop feeling sorry for yourself, you will heal just a little bit. You wallow in self pity, acting as though you are the ONLY woman who has ever lost a child, but you are not. No, you'll never forget it, but there comes a time when grief becomes misery and ruins ones life. Live for your children and family, let the moments of grief turn into something else. You blame and blame and blame, but you never share what you really are thankful for. Count your blessings and the days will change slowly. "

I'm sure my friends will pick this apart as well. But geez person, this is not helpful. I'm not forcing you to read my blog, and if you noticed the frequency off postings have slowed considerable. I blog so I don't have to keep the negative in my head allowing it to interrupt my daily life, or interrupt my kid's lives. You've assumed an awful lot about me. 

I get to have this pity party as log as I want and Im still present with my kids. The living AND dead. I'm not going to live for other people, I've already lost so much of me, Im not going to lose the rest by living for others. 

P. S. I'm pretty thankful, all the time, and I was on the up swing.....

Monday, July 22, 2013

You'll be happy again!

You know whats something that bothered/bothers me so much. People telling me I'll be happy again, comparing it to a non-child loss, and telling me how they were happy again.

1. no I won't
2. didn't lose a kid? you have no idea
3. I'm glad YOU were happy after you lost a loved one, but you're not me.

I'm telling you now. I will not ever be happy again. Experiencing happy moments does not make a happy person. A child going to Disneyland, but living with a child abuser does not make for a happy childhood, Disneyland was a happy moment in hell.

I remember happiness. True happiness that swells from with it, that makes the crappy dark world bearable, that you can feel radiating from your bones filling you with joy and hope. That died with Bram. Now my happy moments are tainted, like my dna, like my soul, with that looming pain and darkness.

I miss Bram, in every moment I miss him. And there are moments when the weight of that isn't enough to knock me down. I keep standing not because the pain is less, I keep standing because I anticipate the pain to come crashing on top of me and can brace myself. When I don't expect it though, when I haven't braced myself and it hits me, it floods my body and spirit, I can feel it filling every space within me burning and choking me all at once.

I won't be happy again, things will not be ok, and I hate admitting that. I'm sorry not to offer any comfort, I'm sorry that this life that I never wanted is uncomfortable. And if you're reading this and know what I'm talking about better than the rest of the world, I'm just sorry.

Friday, July 19, 2013

A mother's ache

Sweet child
Born from my heart, born from love
Coveted
Complete
Bringing forth joy
Bringing forth fullness
In a second
life taken
body crushed, body destroyed, perfection ripped apart
family crushed, joy destroyed, fullness ripped apart
Sweet child, come back to me
Sweet child such a blessing to me
Never ending 
the ache comes and swells
consuming
devastating

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

8 months..

http://www.gofundme.com/3lk3ig The day approaches, help us get to Legoland for Bram?

I can't say much. I've shut down mostly. Running on autopilot. I'm so broken without him. Our family is broken.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Afraid of what's to come

I feel ok most of the time. Not a forced ok, not just functioning. This ok-ness is like a baby learning to walk. I can't do it on my own. I'm wobbly, I might take a step here or there just to drop to my knees and go back to crawling again. I need a hand, I need support, I need cheerleaders, and I need to be soothed when I fall hard on my butt and break down. 

But Im afraid to live. I'm afraid to really be ok and I don't know that Im yet capable.

I'm afraid that if I enjoy life, if I dare say I'm happy people will forget the gravity of the loss, the chunks of our souls (as individuals  and as a family) that have been ripped from this earth. Im afraid people will forget the sadness and pain that bubbles just under the surface aided with the perfect image or sound or words will knock me over and I won't be ok. I'll blow up, or shut down. 

I'm afraid of this new chapter. I'm so insecure and unsure of what to do with this life. To lead a life well lived for the life Bram didn't get. 

I'm afraid to talk about Bram. I'm afraid of being a downer. I'm afraid the boys will think I love Bram more than them because I talk about Bram. When really I love all of them with every cell in my body (and considering how fluffy I am that's a lot of cells!)

If I do find happiness people need to know the happiness that exists now is nothing like the happiness in the before.  But I will be grateful to feel something that Bram shined on all those he knew everyday of his life.