July 3, 2012

Honesty Out Loud

I finally said it out loud today.

I finally told J something I had been pondering.

Something I had only really spoken about with Dr. D

At this stage in my grief.

I don't really care to visit Savanna's spot.

seems apalling doesn't it? seems awful. seems hateful almost. seems angry. maybe you're mouth is hanging open wondering how i could feel or think such an awful thing. or maybe..

just maybe..

you kinda get it. you kinda see it. you can understand it.

let me explain.

in the beginning, i wanted to go everyday, heck i NEEDED to go everyday. it's where i felt closest to her. her body is there, her final resting place.

without realizing it though, i always had an underlying unrealistic expectation. i think i've mentioned it before in past posts.

as i drove up the hill and around the bend, i wanted to see her sitting there, i wanted to see her crawling through the grass. sitting atop the stone legs swinging hair blowing in the breeze.

each time we would clean the stone, remove the clunky clay rocks, wipe the dirt from the angels, replace the old flowers with the new. each time, we would parent the only way we knew how. we took care of our girl the only earthly way we were allowed. we tended her spot, we brought her decor for the seasons.

but then something changed.

something happened within me.

it was christmas.

i was angry.

i was realizing i would never see what i wanted to see.

each time j would ask if i was ready to go, i would stall.. hoping, wishing, waiting, willing myself to see her physical body there. never will that happen. and i hated it.

in those moments, the moments of what is supposed to be the holidays of cheer and joy. i was angry hell i was PISSED! this was not OK, and what was the point of standing there?

nothing would come of it.

i didn't feel peace anymore, i didn't feel calmed. most of the time i didn't much feel her presence there anymore.

we didn't go back until March, her 2nd birthday. we brought her a beautiful and bright arrangement of flowers.

again, we cleaned and scrubbed, polished and tidied up her spot. only this time, there was a numbing empty that i felt.

in the past i felt some kind of fulfillment from carrying out these activities. i was honoring her, mothering her the only way i knew how to.

it wouldn't be until just this past june that i had an opportunity to visit her again. when the conversation first started my immediate thought was... i don't really want to.. i really don't care to.

followed by extreme guilt and sadness. how is it that i can think such a thing? how is it that i can NOT want to visit the spot where my daughter lies.

i talked to dr.d about this finally.. through my shame and through  my guilt i told her how i didn't care if she had fresh flowers. it was irrelevant if she had working whirly-gigs or pretty decoration.. at the end of the day, i would never get from that spot what i truly and really want.

so why do it. why put myself in a position to continuously wish for the impossible?

that was the first time i said it out loud... the second time was today. to J. we're going out of town this weekend and will be merely a 45 minute drive from her rather then a 3 hour. we talked about going, i told him i didn't care to. i was so scared so afraid that he would think less of me.

he understood.

maybe you do, maybe you don't. but at that moment of realization last month, i could understand why the little girl buried diagonal from Savanna who died 10 years ago, never has fresh flowers on her grave. only once have we seen new ones.. on the date of her birth 10 years ago.

so many times had i cursed those parents and looked down upon them. so many times i was hateful to these strangers.. but here i am now.. understanding and more compassionate.

i'll never see her in this life, the way that i want to. i have realized i don't have to go to a grave to feel close to my girl. forever since her funeral i have called it her spot because calling it her grave or the cemetery made it too real. made it too gruesome and traumatic. but that is the fact. and that is what it is. it is where we laid her body to rest.. but her memory of her life, her smiles, her spirit.. they're buried in my heart a part of MY soul and spirit forever, they're locked in the layers of my mind.

and that's something i can visit any day of the week.

so maybe now you understand. and maybe still you don't. but i have always promised to be real and true.. and as afraid as i am to hit the publish button.. this part of grief can be so incredibly ostrasizing. please know if you have these feelings you're not alone. you're not a monster.

Sweet Savanna,
I love you sweet girl.
Love, Momma

12 blessings, thoughts. &. feelings:

Simply Shannon said...

Your honesty is humbling. Thank you for trusting us, so many being strangers, with your inner feelings.

crystal said...

My heart is hurting for you!!! Sending my love your way!!!

Missy F said...

No judgement here, I cannot begin to imagine how completely devestating grieving the loss of a child must be. You do the best you can...you get points for breathing. Lots of prayers for you, your hubby & savanna. You are all in my thoughts.

Tiffany said...

Grief changes shape so much depending on where we are. Unfortunately most of the time we feel guilt because of it. You are amazing and so is your girl Savanna.

Dina Ochs said...

I have been following your blog, and admire your strength and honesty. I have not lost a child or grandchild, but I don't think I could of ever buried them. I find no peace at all when I go to the grave site of my 48 year old brother in law, just a haunting feeling when I look at the headstone with the dates. Stay strong, and never feel like you need to be sorry to anyone, most of the people with their remarks have not gone through what you and your husband have. Hugs from Tallahassee.

Rissa said...

I completely understand how you feel and I think you are so strong and brave to voice those feelings. Eight years ago my parents were killed in a car accident, it is nothing like a losing a child because it is a completely different kind of loss; however, I feel the same way you do. I used to go to the cemetary all the time in the beginning, thinking it was what I was SUPPOSED to do. I never felt comfortable though, I felt like I didn't know what I should be doing, how to honor them properly, or how to make myself better. I just did it because it was the "right thing." Over time my visits got shorter and shorter because I felt more and more uncomfortable being there; I too was hoping to see them there, and every time I couldn't - I would just get angry about it. We have always made it a tradition to go to their crash site and cemetary Memorial Day weekend, and this past year I just couldn't go to the cemetary. We went to the crash site because my husband made crosses for them, we have our kids clean up around the crosses, and I take the only pictures they will ever have "with" their grandparents. I just couldn't go to the cemetary though, and I felt awful for it. I felt guilty, like a horrible daughter, and I felt as though I wasn't doing something I was supposed to be. I still struggle with the guilt of not wanting to be there.

Sorry for such a long response, but while you are letting us know that we are not alone - I wanted to be sure that you know you are not alone either. I completely understand.

-Rissa, http://lifeforeverunexpected.blogspot.com/

Natasha said...

Our grief changes all the time. It's impossible to put any type of expectation on what should be normal in terms of our feelings. Completely impossible.

You are obviously a great mama and you have an amazing girl. And you're right- her soul and spirit are forever intertwined in yours. Nothing will change that.

Sending lots of love your way....xoxo

Kristina said...

I understand.

Jill said...

It's okay, each feeling, is part of your grieving process. You have the right to feel anyway. There should be no judgement ever. Hugs

Amy Silver said...

I am always praying for you guys :) Wish I could've met her.. You are such a strong woman and wonderful mom!

Ashley said...

I have reached this point as well. I don't need to visit my sons grave for him to know that I care...I realize that now. I completely agree with everyone you wrote about, I could have written it myself.

Bright Angel said...

I have ever known the loss of a child that lived and breathed outside of my womb, and I cannot imagine the horror of it all. I do not know what it is like to visit the grave of my baby. I have nothing to say that would ease any of your pain. All I can say is that I understand. You loved her well in life, as you continue to do now. Do not fear the judgment of others. Your grief is your own. Only you walk your exact path. You are amazingly strong, not only for waking up and living your life every day, but for putting the words to what so many must feel. My prayers are with you always.