Recently I posted a photo on IG that said I was “the kind of tired that sleep can’t fix”. A lot of people would just read this photo as myself being tired from having a newborn. Sure, I can understand that, but the caption I wrote said so much more, and I feel like this really goes to show you that people try to understand, but they are completely unable.
I received comments like, “You’re just tired from having a newborn”, “Have you tried talking to someone?”, or my personal favorite…” Diet and Exercise help grief so much!”….
I appreciate all of the support that I get, because quite honestly it’s overwheming and I know these people don’t HAVE to support me but they do. I know these people mean well (or at least I think they do) but, I just literally can’t with the responses. So, let me break down my latest IG post in a little more detail to try and help people better understand.
I’m Tired. I’m physically tired. I’m emotionally tired. I’m mentally tired. I’m ALLLLLL kinds of tired. My body hurts. My brain hurts. My eyes constantly burn from either tears, lack of sleep, or both. No amount of sleeping is going to change the fact that my daughter is dead.
I have tried talking to someone, yes. Talking to a therapist about what you’ve gone through undoubtedly helps, sure. Shane and I saw one for 8 months after Kenley died. You know what though? She can’t relate to the way I feel, either. She has not been here. “Here” is such an awful place, and I truly believe as a therapist that this “situation” would be a hard thing to deal with. Our therapist was never able to offer us “ah-ha” type of advice; there was never a time where I felt that she truly helped me figure out anything.
Diet and exercise will help grief. Oh? Most days I forget to eat a meal, or literally have no appetite. Yesterday I forgot to eat dinner, so from 11:30am until 8:00am today I didn’t eat anything. Or sometimes I feel like eating everything in my face. I drink way too much coffee these days, and not enough water. Worrying about diet and exercise is the last thing on my mind. Somedays it’s a battle to get out of bed. Maybe once I can tackle that better, I’ll start to jump back on a diet, or start walking and taking hikes again but for now, no. For now, I’m going to focus on getting my feet on the floor in the morning while the darkness inside is begging me to just lay back down and not get up.
I’m not sure how to make someone understand the pain that a mother who lost a full term child feels. Most the time I feel like a broken record. I’m still sad. I’m still angry. I’m still depressed and anxious and emotional and broken and feel hopeless most days. Having Alden did NOT take those things away, and sometimes I think that it actually made them worse. She is here, and Kenley is not. I see a picture of Landon with Alden, and I see the space where Kenley should be.
A space where my middle child should, but never will be.
This is another thing that often comes up. “You have Landon and Alden, you need to be strong for them! You are so lucky!”.
For real? Of course I need to be strong for them, and I am. I wake up every day don’t I? I cannot tell you how easy it would be for me to crawl into bed and not get out again. Grief is awful. Coupled with depression, and anxiety it’s a nightmare. Just because I have them, does not make the hole in my heart any smaller. It honestly exacerbates her loss.
I had Landon and watched him grow into this amazing 6 year old boy. I watched him get his first tooth, eat mushy food, use a sippy cup, take his first steps, talk, laugh, coo, and now he gets in the shower by himself. I’ve watched him every step of the way. I was fully prepared to watch Kenley do those things, and never for ONE SECOND doubted that I would get to be able to. Until she died. As a parent, I grieved her death, and her role in our family of little sister. I wouldn’t be able to watch her do those things. Now, with Alden here, she is smiling and cooing.
Yes, I LOVE watching her, and it fills my heart with so much joy. But, there is always a sadness. She is not Kenley. I know that there a lot of Loss Moms who might feel this way too, but feel guilty saying it. I do too. I feel guilty that sometimes I hold my newborn daughter and can’t help but think about my dead daughter. I can’t help it. Some times I walk past her Nursery and glance in wishing I could see Kenley’s colors instead. As I write these things, I feel guilt, but I know that I’m not alone in my feelings and I know they are valid.
Sometimes you don’t need to say anything.
Sometimes all I need is a hug.
Sometimes I just need a text saying you miss Kenley; say her name.
I don’t need your grieving advice, because this is my timeline.
This is my grief.