Monday, January 14, 2013

Grief is very strange. Especially, the way it changes over time. That first year, I was in such a terrible place of upheaval - emotionally, physically, mentally, rationally, spiritually. Sometimes it felt like someone had taken a giant eraser and wiped everything familiar out of my brain and replaced it with garbled nonsense. I was completely baffled on how I was supposed to go on with life without her. Everything seemed so pointless and mundane compared to what I had just been through and I didn't know how to survive. I couldn't kill myself so I just trudged on, pushing my way through the nightmare that had become my reality. That was what the first year was - trying to figure out how the hell to get through the day and doing whatever it took in order to do so.

The second year is a bit different. I know how to get through the day. Hell, sometimes I can even do it without crying. I have perfected the art of wearing my mask in public - although sometimes I let things slip that I shouldn't and the crazy comes out. Especially if I've had a beer or a glass of wine. I can even find times this year where I am actually, for real and not faking it, happy. Granted, Rhone has a lot to do with that but I do believe it's also part of the change in my grieving process.

I do find, however, that the second year is filled with a lot more sadness then the first year. I know it seems weird to say. Don't get me wrong, I was terribly sad last year. But it's just a different kind of sadness, one that is really hard to explain. That first year, I was sad but I was also in shock, which I swear acted like a numbing agent. And that numbness really kept me from dealing with the reality of what had happened. The shock would not let my brain realize that she was dead. I mean I knew she was dead - I saw her die, I watched her being buried, I dealt with all of the aftermath - but during everything, I was still searching for her and actually believed I would find her and could change what happened.

After she died, I spent hours upon hours rehashing what had happened in my head and scouring the internet, searching for new information on what had killed her. I know it's not rational and I'm not sure I even realized what I was doing but I thought that if I could find new information, I could make it all go away. I thought I could save her.

I also spent everyday searching for her. I would spend hours sitting on her grave or out in my backyard staring up at the sky and hoping to feel her. I walked down the street, hoping that I would see her. I went to bed and thought that I could wake up in the morning and she would be there. I thought that if I wanted it enough, I could bring her back. I was desperate. I still kind of am.

But now, this second year, I know that nothing I can do will bring her back. I know she's gone. I know I can't do anything to change it. And that is where the sadness returns in a way that is almost more difficult than it was before. My brain is finally over its shock and is accepting the fact that my daughter is dead. And that is an excruciating reality to face. My tears are not because my daughter is dead. They are because she is DEAD and I now know I can't do anything about it. And it hurts.


  1. Unfortunately, I can totally relate to what you are saying, Jamie. I have been searching for the words to describe how this second year of grief feels, and have not been able to. You have done it for me though. I wish neither one of us had to go through this, I wish our daughters were in our arms. Hugs to you. And thank you for your words. It does help to know my pain is understood by others.

  2. I am showing my support by nominating you for the Leibster Award.

  3. I just found your site and I'm so glad I did. Our son, Samuel, died just over 10 months ago. When I read your description of the first year, I was nodding along with every word. Thank you for sharing, I'm so sorry we both have to live without our beautiful babies <3

  4. wow...I just commented on your post about "what not to say when a child dies" but I just read more of your blog, and particularly this post - I have had so many of the same feelings. My baby boy died one month ago. Especially the part about looking for him... being numb, and thinking he might come back. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's odd how comforting it is to know i'm not crazy and someone else has felt the same things. I don't know you, but I'm thinking of you... and everyone else who has lost babies. It's as if we're in another universe than "everyone else".