Sunday, March 22, 2009

Grown Stronger and yet . . .

I have grown significantly stronger since Caitlin died. I've gained much on this journey, but I've noticed also that with that strength there are a few things I've lost. Yes, lost.

I've gained an ability to intellectualize more readily painful and challenging situations. Many times, I can actually see my emotions and discover where they germinate and then make a rational decision about how to proceed. Not all the time, but more frequently. With that intellectualism, I've lost some sense of emotional connection to Caitlin. In grief, tears and sadness felt like all I had with my daughter in death. These were real and tangible, reason---seems less real and, feels, sometimes cold.

I've gained strength in recognizing during casual conversation when talking about Caitlin fits. And I've lost the fear to talk about her most of the time in those casual conversations. I've lost the fear of making others uncomfortable. If the talk is about babies, I share what I know about my baby. If the talk is about special needs, I share what I know. I don't stay there, as with other "normal" conversations, I allow the conversation to morf into other topics. And I allow others to share whatever loss (though sometimes stretched "friend of a friend that I heard about") they have experienced. After all, everyone wants to connect in some way.

I've gained introspection, and lost some of the poetry that came so vividly in the acute stages of grief--when words tasted and came to my mind in images and combinations that I didn't know I had in me.

[ICLW friends, welcome. If you haven't been here before, you can read 25 Things about Me (Bereavement Version). That will catch you up!]


  1. I found myself nodding while reading this. We do gain things and lose things along this journey. The last paragraph particularly felt close to home. I knew from the begining when I started writing the poetry would one day dry up, that the words were just visiting briefly.

  2. I have only read a little of your journey but I just wanted to say how sorry I am your daughter is now in heaven. I can not begin to understand how you feel. Your DH sounds wonderful though with all the hugs etc. ~ICLW

  3. Thanks for commenting on my blog!

    Just caught up with your story. What a strong person you are! I admire your determined attitude and your attempt to find the silver lining.


  4. I've realized that we can definitely gain a lot, in terms of strength. But, it seems we must make a constant effort to become stronger instead of becoming bitter. Bitter is easy. It takes so much work for me to not fall into that trap.

  5. I just read your 25 things post, and I just want to slap the acquaintance you mention.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Here from ICLW

  6. You are an amazing woman. The loss of a child, to me, is the most painful loss there is. It's almost as much a loss of hope as it is of a loved one. Your journey is a tough one, but so incredibly beautiful.