Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Last week was my co-worker's birthday. Our typical birthday celebration at work is for everyone to bring in snacks and desserts and we graze through the day. Other co-workers from other departments stop by to wish the birthday girl all the best. That's the part that makes me sad. As I sat near Kelly and heard people joke with her (Sweet 16? You don't look a day over 21! And the like...), I didn't think I could just grin while others good-naturally tease me. That day I imagined how I would react and the tears started welling up.

I also work with a woman Shannon. Her son and his girlfriend are pregnant. I've tried to ignore her discussions/family drama surrounding this pregnancy. The couple got married last week, they told Shannon, but didn't invite her to the courthouse ceremony. Shannon has been paying several hundred dollars a month for this couple's apartment and bills. Last night the girlfriend/new wife's water broke. They went to the hospital and Shannon joined them. She was not invited into the private room, although the couples' friends were. She was pissed. Understandably! The baby was delivered around lunchtime today. Shannon didn't leave work early to meet her first grandchild. Thoughout the day, I had to hear about this family drama, other women shared their delivery stories. I kept to myself for the most part. I was polite and asked the baby's name and congratulated her. But I was emotional all day. I couldn't wait to get home and shed a few tears.

I feel myself becoming more anxious, honoring Sara as her day approaches and how will I respond to working the days leading up to her day.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Grief groups

I recently discovered that our local hospice offers a "Loss of a Child" grief group. This past Monday I went for the first time. I was looking forward to it. Twisted,uh? The meeting was held in the evening after regular business hours. When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a few older people. I thought "maybe there is another group or meeting tonight too.". When I got inside, I didn't see any young couples, it was just older couples. I asked one of the men if this was the Loss of an Infant group. He said it was the Loss of a Child, for any parents.

Right away I recognized the parents of an high school classmate who died in an accident in March. I said hello to them, the mother said that she was glad I spoke to them, to remember their son T. There was another couple there, I think I recognized her as my 9th English teacher. She transferred to a different high school after my freshman year, so I haven't seen her since the early 1990's. I didn't talk with her directly, I'm not sure if she recognized me either.

There were 5 couples, me and the group leader. (My husband stayed at home with Ethan.). We went around the room, everyone sharing a brief history of their child. They all lost adult children, 20 - 35 year olds. I felt alone as the only one with a stillbirth. They all shared stories of their children, I don't have any to share. When it was my turn to share my loss, I cried. I've been feeling OK lately, so I was surprised to be crying like that. Maybe it was because I haven't shared my story with many strangers lately, maybe it was just being back at a grief group after a 2 year break.

We watched a video based on the book "Tear Soup". It was about grieving in general, not just the loss of a child. I think it made us feel better about the grieving process, that we will each do it differently, different lengths of time.

I'm not sure if I want to go back next month. These people are old enough to be my parents, or at least my aunt & uncle. They have experienced a loss of a child, so we can relate there, but they all watched their children grow up - first dates, high school graduation, college, careers, for some - weddings and grandchildren. I've considered sending a note to T's mother, explaining why I wasn't comfortable with this group, but that she & I could get together to chat if she'd like.

Any thoughts?