Wednesday, 20 April 2016

I wish I knew then what I know now

I haven't written for a while. This loss had been really tough on us and is combined with tricky times for us both with family and at work.

One thing that I have been really aware of is just how lucky (blessed? I don't like using the word, but maybe it fits) I am to have such a supportive partner. I have seen a lot of ladies in my loss forums saying that they feel like their partners don't understand, that they don't grieve, that they are mean or say hurtful things. Many of these women are experiencing their first loss and I can totally relate to those feelings.

I knew that my husband felt something of our first losses as he was diagnosed with depression shortly after and started taking anti-depressants. What I didn't feel, however, was love, support or understanding. We actually went through a horrible time where I even started thinking that maybe we shouldn't be together anymore.

I can't say for sure what changed. I know I refused to stop talking to him about what I was thinking and feeling, and if his responses were hurtful or he told me he didn't know how to respond, I told him what I needed. I didn't expect him to guess. I also made an effort to actually ask him more often how he was feeling and what he was thinking. At first he didn't really respond, but once he did, my heart just broke for him.

I realised then that the main reason I hadn't felt loved, supported or understood was that he was doing all he could just to hold himself together. For example, he went straight back to work instead of staying with me because he needed to feel some sense of the world continuing and life going on. Once he admitted this, we were able to fully support each other instead of grieving alone. Now, after our most recent loss, I think we have been fully there for each other and I understand that he feels and expresses his grief in completely different ways to me. I think that is the key for so many of these women I see, they are so wrapped up in their pain (and understandably so) that they say that their partner SHOULD do, say or feel certain things. There is no SHOULD about grief and every person feels every loss differently.

After a conversation last week when someone told me "everything happens for a reason" we were talking about this latest loss. We both admitted, somewhat guiltily, that we were feeling this one a little more. Perhaps because it is still such a new, raw pain, but perhaps because we spent more time with this little one. Did that mean we grieved our other losses any less? I don't think so. They're all different and they all hold a seperate place in our hearts.

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