Friday, 29 July 2011

Kitchen Table Questions- From Glow

The lovely ladies over at glow in the woods have posted some questions as part of their at the kitchen table project. The theme is time as it relates to our grief. I'm joining in so here are the questions, and my answers.

1. How much time has passed since the death of your child(ren)?  Do you mark grief in months, weeks or years? Does it seem to be going fast or slow?  
It's been 11 and a half months. Only two weeks away from a whole year. In the beginning I marked the time in weeks, now I'm marking it in months. Sometimes it seems like it's gone very quickly, but most of the time it seems like it's been 10 years already.

2. Do you have an end goal to your grief?  How much time do you think that will take?  How much time did you think you'd need to get there right after your loss?  How much time do you think you need now? 
I don't have an end goal. To be honest I'm so caught up in coping and getting by that I haven't thought that far ahead. I don't think there will ever be an end to my grief. I think it's something I will live with forever. Hopefully I get better as time goes on.

3. Rather than a clear end goal, is there a milestone or marker to indicate that you are feeling grief less acutely, i.e. going to a baby shower, listening to a song that made you cry early in grief, driving past the hospital?  How long did it take to get there?
I am able to look at babies without feeling like someone is stabbing me in the heart so I consider that to be a milestone. I think this has been happening slowly for the past 6 months or so. I'm also getting very broody again but I wonder if all the IVF hormones in my system have something to do with it. 

4. How do you view the time you had with your child, either alive (within or outside) or already deceased?  Before you all answer "Too short! Not enough!", did you have time to "bond" or develop a future imagination about what this child would be like?  Perhaps depending on whether yours was cut short, how do you now feel about the nine-month period of gestation -- too long or not long enough?  
I wouldn't trade the time I had with my son for anything in the world. I would however change the ending.

5. One grief book suggested that it took 2-5 years to incorporate your grief into your life.  Where are you on this timeline, and you do you find that to be true?
Well I'm one year in so halfway to where this book seems to think I need to be. I don't think anyone follows the same grief timeline so it's impossible to say. I have not put any pressure on myself to get better or get over it. I am allowing myself to feel whatever I'm feeling. Some days I'm good, some days I'm not and both are OK. 

6. There's a familiar saying, "Time Heals all wounds."  Do you think this is true?  Or do you subscribe to Edna St. Vincent Milay:  "Time does not bring relief, you all have lied"?
No I don't think that's true. Some wounds never heal, but we get better at living with the pain. We find ways to incorporate it into our lives. We get to a point where it doesn't bring us to our knees. We move on in spite of our wounds because in the end we have no other choice.

7. Has your relationship with the future (immediate and far) changed since the death of your child(ren)?  How about your relationship with the past?
I have always said, "Life is what happens while you're busy making other plans." However I never realized just how true this was until my son died. I know even more clearly that we really don't know what will happen in the future. We don't have control over things. We need to appreciate what we have now because in a second it can all come crashing down. As far as my relationship with the past goes I don't think anything has changed really. I try not to let myself play the "what-if" game. I understand that the person I am today is a direct result of the past. In the present I am getting to know her all over again. I hope in time I will like the woman I am becoming.

8. How long did it take to answer these questions?
About 20 minutes. I approached this with a very stream of consciousness mentality. I simply read the questions and started typing. I wanted the answers to be my first instinct, not what I thought I should say or what people wanted to read.


  1. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful answers.

    "I understand that the person I am today is a direct result of the past. In the present I am getting to know her all over again. I hope in time I will like the woman I am becoming."

    This comment struck me particularly - almost three years for me and I'm still working on that particular project.

  2. Thinking of you. I'm sure that you are bracing yourself for the one year anniversary of your son's death. Are you going to do anything special on that day?

    These are very difficult questions to answer about the death of a child, but you answered them all honestly and beautifully.

  3. So glad you shared.. thinking of you and the big days that are ahead.

  4. We are almost on the same timeline, but as you said so rightly that anyone doesn't follow the same GRIEF timeline - so many things to relate to and so many differences - thank you for sharing your perspective.

    I'll be thinking of yourself and your family as you near your son's birthday, keeping my fingers crossed for you too

  5. Glad you answered these--thanks for sharing them.

  6. Thank you for these answers. Coming up to 1 year, especially when not pregnant again, is incredibly hard. Wishing you peace - and some luck :)