Life has a way of leaving you feeling overwhelmed. Things are going along like normal (new normal anyway) and bam! Out of nowhere it hits you. How did this happen?
I think it happened when I walked away from the second mess of the day. I say I think because I really can’t remember. My ability to focus on things has faded. I just know I felt a keen realization that I had just walked away from something. It felt familiar. So I stopped to take note.
It took all of my focus to evaluate the situation. It was there plain as day! The applesauce still on the table, spilled by the baby. How long had this been going on? As I looked around my kitchen the mess told me it had to be at least a couple of days. How did I not notice it was happening again?!
I’d say depression, but I refuse to acknowledge it by it’s name. I blame Cameron! OK I don’t really blame Cameron, but I blame grief. I’ve gotten too far away from it. This last week I stopped managing my grief. I’ve over committed myself and allowed distractions to swing my joy/grief scale way out of balance. It sucks!
This is when I realize how much I’ve changed in the last year. Since I lost my son, I can’t focus on things the way I used to. Even when things are good, I no longer have the ability to multi-task. It is extremely frustrating! The smallest things have me feeling overwhelmed. I used to thrive under pressure. Loved it! Now, all the baby has to do is spill her applesauce on the table and I have all I can do to clean her up and walk away from the rest of the mess. Not because I’m angry, but because I just can’t clean it up right now. It is beyond what my body can process.
I am extremely forgetful now, and that is an understatement. Returning text messages, remembering birthdays, why I walked into a room, a conversation that I had not 5-minutes earlier. It is all on the chopping block thanks to my grief. Even my “to do” lists can’t compete. I am rendered useless.
My exhaustion should have been a dead giveaway. The last few days I have been TIRED! Yet, I can’t go to sleep early. There is too much to do. Even if there wasn’t, I couldn’t sleep so it’s useless. I just want to crawl in bed, turn on the TV, and eat cookies. It might be all I can handle.
If there is one thing I have learned through child loss it is that I have to put myself first. I have to take care of myself before I can even begin to function on the half scale I am able to now with the rest of the world. I haven’t been very good at doing that lately.
The first step is acknowledging it. Now that I see it, I can take the necessary steps to fix it.
This is what life is like after. This is what grief looks like.
Oh, hon, everything that you described is a part of grieving your precious child. Don’t feel odd, don’t feel guilty about what doesn’t get done, accept it as what it is and know that over time it will improve. I sometimes think how it must have been for you to put him to bed one night having no idea that he had less than twenty-four hours to live. That nearly stops my mothers heart. Sometimes I’ll write you a letter and tell you about my boy…but not tonight.
Grief is a hard task master.
I often think about that fact too…that I had no idea we had just hours left until he was already in a coma and we were out of time. I don’t let myself go there because it drags me to a dark place. I try to focus on the love and our memories and that I know he is still here with me. It’s how he would want it. As for you, thank you. I know this is all part of grief. However, it’s nice to have someone else remind me of that, too. Someday, I would love to hear about your son. XO
I’m not sure how this got to me but I’m glad it did. I’m so sorry for the loss of your son. I lost my husband five years ago. While the loss is different, the symptoms you describe are the same. Forgetfulness, feeling overwhelmed, exhaustion. It does get a little better in time but five years later it is still there. My friends make fun of me and think I’m ditzy but that’s not it. A profound loss changes you. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in feeling this way. I wish you the best ?
Thank you for the reassurance, Stacy. You are so right that loss changes you. Those around us don’t always see just how much. I love that you are blogging about your loss (and life after), too. Much love to you!!
looooooveeeee this post! this is my life!!! i used to be so organized, able to multi task & did well under pressure, im sooooo forgetful about everything. my mind is constanlt stuck on our situation and thinking about Owen. but just simple things like you listed are sooo dang hard to do! i went thru a deep depression for 2 weeks and then finally got back on my anti depressant and increased my anti anxiety meds and im out of the depression rut, and probably 1/4 of the way back to myself before i had Owen. this post is my life….THANK YOU FOR POSTING THIS!!!! you just spoke my mind and i love it!!!
Megan – I’m so glad this post resonates with you. Yet, at the same time I wish it didn’t. It’s so important that we take care of ourselves and be patient/kind through grief. It’s crazy how much of our life is impacted in ways we never would have imagined. Glad to hear you’re feeling more yourself. Sending hugs as everything ebbs and flows.