Happily Sad

Today, my Facebook has been full of sad things.  Like, chock full.  People just won’t stop posting things that make me misty-eyed.

I don’t know what makes today special, but I have been a blubbering mess all day.  I was a bit weepy and sad from the start.  First it was this, a thoroughly heartbreaking story about a woman losing her baby during labour despite the best efforts of her nurses and doctors, and how the loss heavily touched everyone present.  Then it was hearing about a woman who lost her 4-year old daughter to an ongoing battle with cancer.

Then, the icing on the cake, was this – the story of a family’s tragic loss of their three children in a car accident, and their subsequent pregnancy that ‘replaced’ all three of their children – two girls and one boy – via triplets.

This article rubbed me the wrong way by suggesting that new children can ever replace lost ones, and I wanted to badly to post as much.  I started typing a furious rebuttal.  Then I started rereading what I was thinking about posting, and one of my sentences hit me like a tonne of bricks:

Nothing I do will ever bring Brock back.

I felt like I was crushed under the weight of a sledgehammer made of grief.  I started bawling.  I went and pulled out Brock’s things, hugged his urn, crawled into bed, and cried some more.

And you know what the most unusual thing about this episode was?  Even while I was crying, I was relieved.  Almost happy, even.

It had been at least a month since I’d cried for Brock.  I have been so distracted and preoccupied with life – expecting again, getting through school work, and everything else that has been going on – that I just felt so distanced from him and what had happened.  Some days I feel like it was just some terrible dream, and it takes touching my stretch marks or looking through his things to convince myself, yes, it really did happen.  I had a positively adorable son, and, because of totally preposterous circumstances, he’s not here with me.  It’s messed up, and I found myself frequently feeling bad about how little his loss seemed to touch me on some days.

Crying for him felt good in a way I can’t really explain.  I think there’s two main reasons for it: one was that it came about organically, in my own time and in my own way.  I have tried to ‘plan’ grief in the past, to try and keep it from getting to me at inconvenient times, and it doesn’t work that way (I’ve ranted about this in the past).  Secondly, it just felt right.  It was cathartic and dealt with a lot of pent-up emotion that I didn’t realize I had until it was coming out.  I feel refreshed now, like a terrible weight has been lifted from my chest.  My emotional state has been reset, and now I can move forward with things – for a little while, anyway – without feeling that I’m doing something wrong by not being extremely sad.  (I know, I know – a strange concept to try to wrap your head around, isn’t it?)

I’ve begun to feel an odd attachment to the grieving process.  It’s a part of life now, something that is second nature to me.  Grieving my son appropriately is one of the only ways that I feel close to him, and, as awfully depressing as that is, I have to try to find the peace that I can in the fact that grieving is a healthy process, and anything that helps me to honour Brock’s memory is a good thing.  I would much, much sooner have him here with me, but since that is not an option that’s available to me, the best I can do is continue to love him, even though it’s at such a great distance.  If that means crying about the unfairness of it all once in a while, so be it.

I don’t think I ever anticipated being in a world where I could find comfort in overwhelming sadness.  Grief is a complicated beast.


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