I began this blog more as a journal for myself. A way to express myself and put into words all of my raw emotions. It was very cathartic. I know I could have just written in a journal, but it helped to publicly talk about Luke. It made his existence seem more real. Just to think that someone else knew that he was once alive and that he made a difference to us was very healing.
But now that doesn't seem enough. I need to do more than just tell of Luke, I need to know that others feel what I feel. I need to know I am not alone in my heartache.
6 weeks after Luke passed away, I went to a local support group for parents of pregnancy and infant loss. I was suffering from severe anxiety attacks at the time. Being in public was excruciating for me. I was a weepy mess and I was afraid of showing others my emotions. And most of all, I was afraid of leaving my husband and two remaining children. I lived in fear that something terrible would happen to them. I hoped the support group would be good for me, but it was actually very overwhelming. As we all sat in a room sharing our tragic stories, I felt all my strength leave me. I was barely able to handle my own loss and now here I was grieving over others' losses as well.
I think I was in major denial over Luke's loss. Here I was in a group of people who had all lost children. I don't belong here, I kept thinking. This can't be happening to me. This isn't how my life is supposed to be.
I wish I could just make friends with women at the park. But instead, I have made some of my greatest friends at the NICU - both with other mothers with NICU babies and with my children's nurses. I also have become friends with Sam's speech therapist. I have even made friends with women across the country through email support while they were on bedrest for high-risk pregnancies like mine.
In a sense I belonged to several "exclusive" groups - the mother's-on-bedrest club, the mother's-of-NICU-babies club, the mother's-with-a-child-in-need-of-early-intervention club, and the mother's-with-a-broken-body club. I never anticipated being in these groups, but now that I was here I might as well make the best of my situation and make friends with those who could understand me best.
But this was too much. I didn't want to be a part of the mother's-who-have-lost-a-child club. I wanted to be a part of the club that everyone in my neighborhood and church were a part of, the mother's-with-enormous-bellies-and-no-worries-in-the-world club. Okay, maybe not everyone was in this club, but about 10 women that I associated frequently with where. Most due at the same time I was. The majority also having boys. This was the club I desired to be in. But I had been kicked out without any prior notice. And no one asked if I wanted out. I had no choice. I was kicked out, never to return.
I came home from the first support group vowing to never go back. I didn't want these friends. I didn't want their lives. I didn't want to belong. But my emotions have been very raw again lately, so I finally started searching blogs in hopes of finding a friend. This was a big step for me. I've finally accepted that I am a part of this club, whether I like it or not. And since I'm here, I might as well make friends with those who can support me the most.
I still have a hard time reading other's blogs. I hurt so desperately over other's losses. But I've also found strength and great hope in their stories. It's nice to know I'm not alone. There is such power in crying with others, in sharing our emotions, and telling our stories. If you are part of this club, I'm sorry. I wish none of us were. But if you are out there and you know how I feel, I could really use your strength right now.