Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Things are not okay with me right now. I've been stressed about numerous things in my life lately and have been just coasting through my days. Things came to a head this weekend when two things happened, Shane and I had a heartfelt discussion about the state of our lives and Lorelei, my four year old accused me of not loving her anymore. I'll explain...

Since Calvin died, both Shane and I have been completely unmotivated in every area in our lives. His business has all but been neglected, we've stopped socializing, our house is a disaster and we hardly talk anymore about things that matter. We have made numerous attempts to get our lives back on track only to slip into the same old apathy we've been swimming in for the last sixteen months. When we moved to Vancouver during the last three months of my pregnancy, we packed up our home and Shane's brother Greg and his wife Trisha moved in to help us out. We needed our dog to be taken care of, Greg and Trisha took over paying our electricity bill and we paid the rent. We were only able to do this because of the help we received from local service clubs, The Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus. Those two clubs paid our rent in Vancouver so that we could keep our home and have a place to come back to. When Calvin died and we packed up and moved home it took months of walking around boxes before I finally began to unpack our things from Vancouver. During the last year, I haven't even made an attempt to unpack the boxes we left here at the house with our pictures, seasonal clothes etc and my craft room has been overtaken in a mess of boxes and disorganization. Shane has been working hard to find work and finally he is beginning a new job as of today. With his determination to get our lives turned back around we ended up having a discussion about where we've been this past year and why we aren't progressing. He opened up about his frustration with the lack of progress we've made in sorting out the house and the fact that we are still walking around things that are boxed up. He also mentioned that he felt we were experiencing a profound sense of disconnect from our lives and each other. He's right. I've had little interest in doing anything lately, including blogging which is the one thing that kept me going in the early days of our grief. While I am still weaning off the pain meds, I've done little else to change the things that are dragging us down. I cried when I realized that it's true, that I have been disconnected from him, from Lorelei, from my life in general. I don't know if it's because I'm afraid of living my life without Calvin and so I'm coasting through my days, not enjoying things or if it's just because the apathy has become easier than confronting the things that need attention. I wish I could undo all the hurt we've been through this past year but I can't and I don't know how I'm going to find the enjoyment that's been missing from my life again.

Not only did Shane bring up the disconnect between us and our lives but the same day my beautiful girl accused me of not loving her anymore. Since losing Calvin, I have been completely immersed in Georgia. She and I have a bond I never had with Lorelei as a baby. I think because I was so grief stricken over Calvin, I poured all my love into caring for Georgia. At first I attributed Lorelei's comments of "Mom, stop kissing Georgia" to sibling rivalry and figured that in time she would get over it. During the last months, Lorelei's behaviour has been at best challenging and at worst very difficult to cope with. She has become rude, defiant and full of attitude and in frustration I've taken to ignoring her tantrums and bad manners. She is difficult to love on days when she is being mean to her sister, yelling at me or giving me attitude. Oftentimes I have sent her upstairs to watch movies or deny her the opportunity to help me with the things I'm doing because she makes more work for me. When I was sitting feeding Georgia and she came and asked me to do something with her the other day and I answered my usual "Not right now honey, I'm feeding Georgia", she snapped. Pacing the livingroom she went on a rant about how I don't love her, I just love Georgia. She said that one day I would just put her out in the garbage and that I wouldn't miss her. I cried. I put Georgia down and gathered Lorelei into my lap and told her that I would always love her and that we would never put her out into the garbage. I told her that Georgia doesn't replace her or make me love her any less. I cried with her and told her how much I love her and how sorry I was for not making as much time for her as I should have and for making her feel like Georgia was more important to me. I felt terrible and I still do. My little girl has suffered from losing Calvin and from the things that have happened in our family since. She's seen me cry more than any child should have to see their mother cry and in my grief I have not been the mother I should be for her. I'm not the person I can be, not the wife, not the mother, not the friend I should be. I've been working on numbing myself to the pain for so long that I've numbed myself to the good things in my life as well. It was a terrible revelation and it made me feel ashamed of myself. I WANT desperately for my life to feel good again, for it to feel somewhat normal. I have to stop turning inward and isolating myself from my family, from my friends, from life. I'm scared. I don't know how to be happy anymore and any joy I have felt in my life has been shortlived. How does anyone find happiness after losing a child? How does anyone move forward with anticipation of good things to come? How do you get past the survival instincts and self preservation to be there for the people in your life that need you the most? I need some answers, some advice...Please.


  1. Oh Margaret, I am so sorry. I am at a loss for words. I feel so deeply for you. Grief is a crazy thing and can turn our lives into something we never wished for. I too want for your life to feel good again. It is scary getting back out there and trying to be normal again. It is all so hard and so unfair.

    Thinking about you!! xx

  2. I only wish I knew my dear. But I know that feeling of just wishing to be 'normal' again.

    I think if I had another, older child they might be jealous of J. I can empathise with what you say about pouring all your love into Georgia. I know that I absolutely dote on J, perhaps part of that is the love that I have for her twin that has nowhere else to go?

    What you said to Lorelei was absolutely perfect. xo

  3. Oh Margaret, I am so very sorry. I wish I could just immediately fix everything for you! I wish I had the right thing to say, but I really don't know what to say. It's so unfair. I wish I knew how to get back to 'normal' for you. I'm thinking of you. (((HUGS)))

  4. Oh hon... I dont know... I just dont know...

  5. Sending you love, if no answers.

  6. Oh Margaret i am so sorry you are feeling this way, but please know that it is all so has to be. everytime i read your posts it feels like i have written them myself. A mother i know who lost her daughter 17 years ago said to me 'i am not living anymore,i am just existing'.
    Love and hugs to you and pls email xx
    Angel's Mummy

  7. I am so sorry for all your pain, and I am sure after you talked to your daughter she felt loved. Hugs.

  8. Margaret,

    My heart aches for you. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a straightforward formula to 'recover' from losing a child. As you well know, there is no answer there. I think my biggest step forward was accepting the fact that I (we) would never be normal again. As hard as that has been, accepting that I'm permanently changed, permanently scarred, never to return to that 'happy go lucky' guy, accepting that let me refocus.

    I also know it's very different for my wife. She didn't leave the house for over 4 months. Only to go to the funeral or cemetery. She finally met outside the house with some friends for a couple hours a few days ago... 7 months post Olivia. She still can't go shopping anywhere in town, she has to go to the next city over for fear of seeing someone she knows and sending her into sobbing fit.

    We have really been helped by going to a local support group for parent that have lost children. It took us 5 months to work up the courage to go, but we've gone monthly for 2 months and it is VERY therapeutic and supportive. The first visit was very scary, but being surrounded by people who have been where you are, makes you feel not so alone.

    Being honest with yourself (which you are doing now) as painful as it is, brings you just a little closer to 'a new normal.'

    I wish I had more advice, but keep getting up every day, keep doing, living will come back, it takes time.


  9. So many things have already been said to you, Margaret, and I have nothing better it seems. But I wanted to say was that I'm sending all my love and strength to you right now. You are such a beautiful person and even in these hard times you can see your beauty.
    Sending you many, many hugs.