When Will The Pain Ever Stop?

Do I have to carry this pain with me forever?

When will it stop?

When will I be able to just live, like all the normal people out there who aren’t coping with the death of their mom and sister their screwed up family relationships and the deaths of their wanted and loved children?

When will I not face these emotions on a daily basis?

These are the questions I asked my counsellor the other day.  Clearly, based on all my posts this week, it was a loaded session.

Her response was simple: If I could answer that I probably have a lot more money!

Of course she went on.

We discussed how new grief likes old grief.  By that, I meant that new grief tends to bring up all the old stuff, and makes you re-process it.  And deal with layers maybe you hadn’t before.  Similar to how our miscarriages and losses have brought up so much for me with the death of my mom and sister. In fact, we discussed stages of my life, generally speaking –

  • my teens were defined by The Accident and simple survival.
  • my 20’s were likely defined by trying to live and the accident wasn’t front and center in my daily life.
  • my 30’s have all been about miscarriage and death and my mom and sister are a bigger part of my daily thoughts again.

We also discussed complex grief or complicated grief, but that part of the conversation didn’t stick of me since it’s not what’s really going on with me.  So I cannot paraphrase it very well, but if you are interested I think google can.

But, the real answer to my big question, is that I will probably always carry this with me.  It will ebb and flow depending on my life circumstances and events at the time.

But, simply, I will never just close the door on any of this.  My mom and my sister, our lost babies, all of them, they will never vanish from my memories.  I will never be able to pack it up in a box and put it away for the rest of time.

And so I’ve thought about this more over the last few days.  And I think, as much as I don’t want to live in the place of daily painful memories and thoughts, I also don’t want to fully move out of it and part of me fears that moving out of it will mean I’m forgetting.  I don’t ever want to forget my mom, my sister or any of our babies.  I want to remember each one of our children who never took a breath for who they were and would could have been.  I loved them, Mr. MPB loved them and they deserve to be remembered in their own right.

And, I also want their memories to remind me to embrace life.  I want their memories to remind me to encourage our future child(ren) to embrace life, because no matter what happens we have something to be thankful for – we are living!  By the very fact that I’m living, I have an opportunity to make the most out of life, and so, I simply must!

I guess I know it’s not always going to be easy, but I am hopeful that it will get easier.  And one day their will be more easy days then there will be hard days.

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23 Comments on “When Will The Pain Ever Stop?

  1. I’m sorry it’s been such an intense week of remembering and processing for you. I’m glad you have such a wonderful counselor to help you through it, and to help you understand how the new grief is bringing up old layers of grief. It also seems to me that sometimes new joys can bring up old layers of grief, and I wonder if when your adoption finally goes through (hopefully soon!), you’ll have to deal with a new layer of grief about not having your mom and sister there to help you celebrate the new addition to your family. These are huge losses, and you’ve been processing them with amazing grace and strength — in a way, it’s evidence of just how much your mom and your sister and your babies are still a part of your life, even though they can’t be physically in the here and now with you.

    Thanks for sharing all of this with us. I learn so much from you about healing and hope in the face of these terrible challenges.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Intense week is a very good way to describe it! But you know, it hasn’t all been bad. It’s been cathartic in many ways just to work through some of these emotions. And you know, I expect you are right about having some very complex emotions around our adoption when it happens (hopefully soon!) – I expect one of my first appointments when we get home with our baby will be with my counsellor because I really do think you are right about that being a pivotal time with probably many emotions some of which I cannot even predict.
      And I want to say, thank you so much! I am honoured to have your support and am always so grateful for your advice and encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Grief is such a complicated thing. Some people are so quick to just let it go and move on and somewhat forget about it (me), and some people live and dwell in it and can’t let it go (Callie) and some people have an ebb and flow that comes with the circumstances of their life (you). It doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect us all constantly and similarly though. I don’t think there is any one way to process and deal with grief, and I don’t think that there is a right or wrong way either. Regardless, you always show so much grace and strength in the way that you deal with the things that have happened in your life, and I have nothing but respect for you. Thinking of you friend, and hoping that this journey of self discovery continues to help you with some of the grief and heartache that you have experienced…all my love to you and the Mr.

    Liked by 4 people

    • All I can think to say in response to you right now is, thank you. You said exactly what I needed to hear today. You made such a wise observation about different ways of grieving and sorting through emotions, and we all grieve differently and that’s okay.. You are spot on with your assessment of me, I ebb and flow.

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  3. Oh my friend. I love your approach to this. “By the very fact that I’m living, I have an opportunity to make the most out of life, and so, I simply must!” This right here is exactly on the money! It’s not always easy to focus on this on the bad days, but it is so important. I do think it will get easier, I really do. It’s hard, though. This stuff is SO HARD. And you have been through more of it than most. But you have a beautiful spirit, and all of those hard times have helped make you the amazing person you are today. I’m glad you had such a productive session with your therapist! Xoxoxo.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your kindness and your love my friend.
      I think you are right, with time it does get easier. And with the work I’m trying to do, hopefully that time will come sooner rather then later. With how I process things, I know I will always have bad days, but I also know the good ones are more frequent and hope that the good ones will continue to be more frequent.

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  4. I like what Sammy said above – about how we all grieve differently and there’s no right or wrong way. I think the “new grief loves old grief” thing is SO true, and I had never really thought of that! But it’s true…when I lose someone else in my life, I am once again reminded of my dad.

    The truth is probably – yes, you’ll always carry sadness with you and miss your children who died. But I truly believe that when you’re actively parenting, some of that grief won’t feel as acute. It won’t disappear – in fact, it may even come more to the surface when you begin parenting because you’ll long for the babies you don’t get to raise. I know this isn’t AT ALL the same, but when Evelyn was born, I missed my two first born children more than ever. Because in those moments, I knew what I had missed with Noa & Dahlia. So you might unexpectedly grieve again once you have a baby.

    Grief is really a part of who you are (and who I am) because you’ve lost people who are the most important to you in the world: your mom, your sister, your children. It will always be with you and I suspect it’ll ebb and flow over the years.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, What Sammy said about is spot on. It really hit a cord for me when I read it first thing this morning, we all grieve differently and that’s okay. It’s all about doing so in a healthy way, and my healthy way is to ebb and flow and acknowledge my feelings as they come. But, just because that works for me, doesn’t mean it does for others. And like you, it seems that no-matter who dies in my life, it always brings up my mom and sister because that’s my association.
      Also, I really appreciate your reference to Noa & Dahlia. The emotions that you experience are something I probably will too in my own way. I suspect for any women holding her child, it will remind her of the ones she cannot hold in the same way. And I appreciate the heads up that I may have this experience too, I hadn’t thought about it but it makes perfect sense.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I sometimes have a hard time thinking of what to say on your posts about the grief you’re still experiencing, and I think it has to do with what the ladies said above: everyone processes grief differently. I’m one of those who grieve heavily for a short time, then I get past it. Doesn’t mean that I don’t think about those that I’ve lost, or that I don’t get sad when I do think of them…but I don’t sink back down into grief and depression. That doesn’t mean that I don’t empathize and understand how you feel, it just means I don’t always know what to say to make you feel better. Maybe there isn’t anything I can say to make you feel better? Maybe all I can do is say that I’m sorry, and that I get it? I’m so glad though that you have your awesome counselor to help you get through these tough days, and help you work through why you feel the way you do. Just know that I’m here for you whenever you need anything! Sending you lots of love, my friend! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are spot on Amy, everyone grieves differently. And that’s okay. And you know, I still have no idea what to say to people when someone in their lives die (or experience a miscarriage/baby loss), I’ve come to believe there is nothing right to say. But, what does matter to me is that I know I have people who support me through it, whatever it is. And I always know I have you on my team and I am forever grateful!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t truly know what to say anymore, either. I used to know, but words don’t seem to come as easily to me lately for some reason. I just try to let people know that I’m there if they need anything. Of course that includes you!!

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  6. New grief does love old grief. And I have experienced this too – that each bad thing seems exacerbated by all that has gone before it. Instead of focusing on one sad thing, you find yourself crying over everything that has ever happened. I am very prone to this and often feel like I have been dealt a terrible hand in life when I get upset – I will mull over things that happened to me as a teenager and my dysfunctional parents, my brothers drug addiction and our nine miscarriages, all at the same time, which of course, is crazy, but it doesn’t always stop me! My husband and I tell each other at these times that happiness is a choice. It’s a well-used expression in our house. And it is a choice. It’s not something we have to wait for, it can be found in the choices we make each day, right now. I hope you can find some way to compartmentalise the hurts so that they don’t keep dragging you under. Counselling is so good for this – it helps us process what has happened in a more objective way. I have been meaning to update about my own experiences with this, but I am still very much finding my way with a lot of very old baggage. Wishing you peace and happiness xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love your family expression that “happiness is a choice” – I am a firm believe in the power of choice and I may just have to adopt your saying!
      It sounds like we are two peas in a pod! I agree, about counselling being a good thing, I’m really glad I have found a counsellor who will push me, and get me to work through some stuff that I just refuse to bring up on my own. I do believe that working through these emotions, while hard at times, will benefit me in the long term. Like you, I’m a work in progress and am finding my way through a lot of very old baggage. It’s hard stuff, and I wish you peace with it all too!

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  7. What a flipping full on week you have had. Sounds like that therapist is doing a great job. It is just intense to go through it of course. This path she has you on now will help you with your journey. I understand you worry that moving in is forgetting but I don’t think any of those you have lost want you live in pain every day. I think these sorts of events are forever a part of you and that’s in too. You have had way more deep loss than anyone should ever have to experience. Xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Flipping full on week is a pretty darn good description!! I realize I may have sounded pretty emotional this week, but honestly, it’s not been bad. I have not been depressed or even crying, rather just fully engaged in working through this stuff in my mind.
      I have to say, I really like my counsellor pushes me, and she is willing to have these hard conversations with me. Very few people have the confidence to ask me the types of questions she does, and she knows that I need that to get me to dig into some of the stuff I try to avoid. She seems to know how to push me, but not push me off the edge, which is probably pretty important distinction! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This post really resonated with me. Especially the part about new grief bringing up old grief and your hopes and wishes for your future children. I know when I had my two miscarriages after the death of our son it was almost like I was reverting back to a stage of grief that was worse. I thought I had worked through a lot of things with his death but the two new losses showed that maybe I had not. Like you I have also focused on the fact that I want to teach our future children that they should be grateful for so much on a daily basis. This is something that I learned myself after losing our son. I wish it didn’t take catastrophic events for us to learn these lessons but I am thankful that he has helped teach me that. You have also helped remind me some days will be easier than others and that’s OK… It’s part of the process, right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • My friend, I was the exact same way with my miscarriages. I thought I’d work through them, then we’d have another one and I’d be back at square one. This is my biggest fear with the potential of a failed adoption – I don’t want to go back to that place and I’m just so scared of it. But, I also realize that I cannot worry about that now, we will cross that bridge if we have to.
      In my experience the lesson of living life is a hard one to learn because it usually takes a horrible experience to make actually learn it. But, I do think both of us, we’ll use the lesson to benefit our future children and help encourage them to live in the moment and smile and laugh. Maybe this is one of the silver linings. Love to you my friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Your posts always provoke such great comments. I don’t have anything else to add, but just want you to know that I’m thinking of you as you work your way through all of these feelings.

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  10. I was just having a very similar conversation with my therapist and he kept using the word “retraumatization” to explain why the old and new losses end up feeling so interconnected.

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  11. The pain never stops – or at least for me it doesn’t. It definitely ebbs and flows with life. I really wish our society was more accepting of the grieving process as grief is derived from love. Their is such beauty in grieving if you base it on true unconditional love and longing.

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  12. I remember when a friends 27 year old SIL died unexpectedly, I wrote to her, “Photos and the experiences of your family will never feel “right” again without her, and they shouldn’t really, and that’s hard to fathom. As much as this hurts, you also never want to feel ok without her.”. That’s how I see your situation, it’s so hard and so consuming, but feeling ok without your mom, sister, and babies is not something you want. Holes in our hearts as big as these need nothing to fill them, they just need some scar tissue to bring them together a bit so the loss doesn’t make you bleed out. You’re never going to “get past” these things, and I’d be concerned, honestly, if you did. More goodness in your life will close up the holes a bit… But just a bit.

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