New Year, New Necklace

 

My cousin asked me “Do you have any New Years Resolutions?”

I quickly answered, “No.”

But I’ve been thinking about this more as the days pass. I was never much one for resolutions. I do remember making some in college- one of which was to be nicer, which several of my friends are adopting this year (though I find it a little humorous, because they are my friends. I think they are nice anyways). A lot of people put exercise on their resolution list, and as much as I support good exercise, I sometimes get a little annoyed because, as a regular gym goer regardless of the season, my familiar territory becomes super crowded. As this article suggests, priorities change after trauma and loss and they can be reflected in our resolutions. Yes, I may vow to eat more vegetables, but I’ve been doing that everyday- New Year’s doesn’t change that for me. Instead, despite my quick response to my cousin, I might have a few resolutions.

 

When I first lost Mabel I was so hungry for support, especially from people who had been through something similar. I joined lots of facebook groups-Down Syndrome Bereavement Group, Grieve Beautifully, Loss Parents Walking Alternative Paths, All That Love Can Do <3, Remembering Our Babies After Stillbirth/Neonatal Loss and Life After Loss of your Baby/ Surviving Stillbirth/Neonatal Loss. These groups helped me immensely in the beginning, but I’ve found they bring me down lately- a lot of people in stages of grief that are painful for me to observe. So I’ve stopped following them.

 

I’m taking down Mabel’s sign at work. I originally put it up to help ease the burden of people asking about the baby and saying painful platitudes in response to the answer. Plus, I’m not sure people are reading it anymore. I still get an occasional “How’s the baby?” and I can now easily say, “I have sad news…” I can do it without being tearful and can redirect the conversation back to the patient. Oddly, I don’t always want to talk about her in the exam room anymore. I still have one month of overlap- last January I was heavily pregnant and so I may still see some patients who saw me last with child and they may ask, but now I’m readier.

 

I’m going to work on my anger. I find it’s turned me into a bitter, jealous person. Recently at my December babyloss support group, my anger was evident and there were new people at the group. Though it’s a safe space to be able to express our feelings, I fear that my anger scared some of the new people who are far earlier in their grief. I also heard of someone I know who not long ago had a miscarriage- and my thoughts about it were horrific. I, who supports loss is loss, had trouble finding sympathy because this person had a living child. I was angry that she had even tried for two children when I’m still waiting for one living one. What kind of mean, bitterness is that? It’s not who I want to be.

 

I’m going find some peace at work. I constant fear, especially as the one year anniversary approaches, that my job will pressure me to go back to doing call. All I can say is I’m not ready right now (will I ever be?). I need to address this fear so I can continue my job peacefully.

 

I’m wearing a new necklace. I have been so kindly gifted many necklaces for Mabel. The first one I received I immediately put on and wore every day since, despite the little carrot charm falling off every now and then.

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So I received a new one- very similar with the carrot, but this one with color.

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I think it reflects how I want to feel this year- adding a little more color into my life. Embracing gratitude, be less angry, finding some peace.

 

So my resolutions? New year, new necklace.

Do you have any resolutions?

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20 thoughts on “New Year, New Necklace

  1. What a beautiful necklace! I love the vibrant orange colour. Beautiful tribute to beautiful Mabel.
    I haven’t made any resolutions. I have a word for 2015: thrive. Where in 2014, after Hugo, I survived, and that was an achievement, this year I would like to do more than survive, but build on myself, and thrive.
    I’m with you on the new years resolutioners taking up space in the gym, really annoying.
    I get the anger, too. Much love to you xxx

  2. “Be less angry”, that’s a tricky resolution. It’s hard to work toward that while still showing yourself love, instead of becoming angry at yourself for being angry. How does that work for you? Where does your anger come from?

    I have a friend who’s working on a similar resolution, and we’ve been looking through info to help her figure it out. In her case, to be less angry she needs to more quickly and openly accept her own pain and vulnerability. If she doesn’t let herself feel whatever it is (fear, guilt, sadness, etc), that’s when she gets mad. As for myself, I’ve noticed that if I don’t spend enough time with my own sadness and hurt, I feel much more uncomfortable around other people, especially kids. If I cry while journaling in the morning, I’m less likely to freak out when I see a baby later in the day. The more I let myself cry for Sacha’s experience and my own experience, the less I panic and dissociate. Although some days there just aren’t enough tears or enough time.

    • a fine question. perhaps a better way to say it, is I need to work on my anger/allow myself the time and energy to be angry, let it out and to allow room for some more productive feelings (in my opinion). I think Ive been in this anger stage for a long long time and it’s hard because in some ways I feel like the manifestations of my anger are unacceptable socially and unacceptable to me- which might be part of the problem. letting myself accept my anger as part of my grief. so my more concrete plan is to talk more about it with my therapist and probably to write about it more here. I feel like maybe theres a better way to express my anger other than bitterness towards pregnant friends and those who had babies around/since Mabel’s time.

      • I absolutely share in your bitterness 🙂 and I’m sorry for asking such a personal, direct question — just wanted to make sure you don’t end up directing that anger towards yourself ❤ you deserve better than that!!

  3. Our goal words are Excellent Health and Compassionate Listening.

    Oh, how they are in full motion! It’s fun to live them and learn!

  4. I find myself at the other end of the spectrum. I don’t think I have ever been “appropriately angry” about A&C’s death. And sometimes I worry that this is s missing piece in my grief, my processing.
    Your new necklace is beautiful. Also, you look a bit like my mom 🙂

    • its funny how we seem to judge ourselves in our grief- i feel i have too much anger, you feel you dont have enough- as if there is a prescribed amount? all part of the process, right? figuring out grief and accepting where we are in it.

  5. I’ve been thinking about this a lot too. I think for me, it’s all about working towards letting go of anxiety. Yoga, mediation, etc. all help. We are also practicing reckless optimism :).

  6. Love the colored one. It is very pretty. My new year resolution is to lead a productive life in 2015. If 2014 was a year for me to recover, 2015 should have a new direction in life, where I find peace and joy, whatever it is. The non-progressing life is frustrating! I hope you will find what you are looking for too!

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