I have been working hard at distracting myself lately. It’s never more clear than when I set foot in a support group and previously suppressed tears leak out before we even get into the meat and potatoes of discussing our losses. Once or twice monthly support groups are a pressure release valve for the building pressure of grief in my life.
We have reached the difficult time. We received massive support immediately following our loss. It has now been over two months and on the surface life is mostly “back to normal” and no one acknowledges that we are still grieving, or asks how we are doing. It seems that in general people are ready to forget and move on. We smile and make small talk, but no day goes by that I don’t think about the boys. Sometimes I wish I could; I could use a reprieve. Grief is so TIRING.
In August I will hit the 3 month anniversary of their birth and death, as well as the original due date. I have been told by someone who works with bereaved couples that the buildup to the due date is worse than the passing of the due date itself. I suppose this could be true, partially since I would probably never have reached 40 weeks with twins anyway. We were advised to take the day off work and have no expectations of ourselves.
The crushing part is that no one will remember. Not that I would want attention, but thinking about the day passing unremarked by family and friends in our lives makes me really angry.
I cope by staying as busy as possible, jumping at activities I might otherwise normally pass up.
We went out of town on a whim for a long weekend. The distraction was wonderful, except when I allowed myself two pints of beer with dinner one night and was crying and emotional for the rest of the night. I have created a rule for myself now: I can have no more than one serving of alcohol in the company of others or else I risk crying. If I can avoid alcohol altogether, so much the better. This makes it slightly awkward when around people who, I’m sure, are speculating on whether or not I’m pregnant again… because in their minds there is no other plausible explanation for not socially imbibing. I’m already dreading upcoming dinner parties. No one expects us to go out binge drinking for a night on the town, which is a relief, because even if I weren’t miserable company, night life just doesn’t appeal anymore. I want my night life to involve breastfeeding and diapers… getting drunk with friends just doesn’t seem fun anymore.
I am trying to work myself up to being more honest with people in the future. “I’m not drinking because it makes me sad,” or some other party-killing phrase.
C.S. Lewis wrote about grieving the death of his wife that resonates with me. When our grief was fresh, we wanted to isolate ourselves. Now we want to see people again, though (for me at least) it’s not quite the same.
“At other times [grief] feels like being mildly drunk or concussed. There is a sort of invisible blanket between the world and me. I find it hard to take in what anyone says. Or perhaps hard to want to take it in. It is so uninteresting. Yet I want the others to be about me. I dread the moments when the house is empty. If only they would talk to one another and not to me.”