"Grieving the loss of a child is a process, it begins the day your child passes and ends the day the parent joins them."

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quick sand.

Lately, people tend to ask me, quiet often; "so, things getting easier"? or "how's life these days"? Or they assume that since nearly three months have now passed since we kissed our sweet girl goodbye one last time, that things should be back to normal.

What is normal anyway? Other people think that back to normal means, getting on with life as you would normally do. Keeping your house clean (which is NOT happening around here). Going back to living life, because life goes on. Well, of course my head knows that life goes on, but my heart is broken in to a million tiny pieces and my heart just isn't wanting to let life go on.

The best way for me to describe how I'm feeling these days; quick sand. A feeling of sinking in quick sand. I've never actually sank in quick sand before, but that's the analogy that I'm using today.

When one sinks in quick sand, I can only imagine, he or she becomes very panicked. Anxiety would likely set in, along with great fear. Fear of how to survive. How to pull yourself out of the quick sand. Grasping at anything within arms reach.

Is there a right way to pull yourself out of the quick sand that you suddenly find yourself sinking deeper and deeper into? I'm not sure. Who's to say, what the right way is. The right way to pull yourself out and survive. What works for one, doesn't always work for another.

Every single person in this world goes about their life in their own way. Not one person would likely pull themselves out of quick sand in the same manner. Therefore, to suggest that I need to be going on with life as it was before..well, that simply will not be. It wasn't my choice to have life play out in this manner. Now I'm left to try to figure out how to go on. I'm left trying to figure out how NOT to sink in to the quick sand.

I don't think people realize how I struggle each morning just getting up. I literally have to force myself up. The ache inside of me is actually just that. An ACHE. I find myself having anxiety/panic attacks throughout the day. More so than in the beginning. Likely due to the fact that I was in complete shock for the first few weeks.

Sleep hasn't become any easier either. I find myself laying awake till about 3am each night. I'm getting up earlier in morning though. I was sleeping till at least 11. I just didn't want to get up and do anything. Now, I'm normally awake by 8:30. Notice I said "awake"....not actually up.

I struggle even going to the grocery store. I can't deal with all the people. I feel as though everyone in the store is looking at me. I try to put a smile on my face, but any one who knows me,,just has to look into my eyes to see the pain. And possibly strangers can see it too. I sometimes see people and think, "wow, their eyes look so sad". So then I wonder, is that what people think when they look at me now? Am I one who now has those sad eyes?

What I'm doing to keep busy these days...well, I hate to admit, but I'm playing games on facebook. Mostly at night and I mean late at night, when I'm not sleeping. Something I swore I would NOT do because I didn't have the time. Sadly, now all I have is time. However, I do spend the majority of my days outside. I've been putting in a flower garden. Quite a large one at that. I didn't intend to have it so large, but that's just the way things work out sometimes.

Normally, I'm outside all day long. Usually I head out around 11 and water flowers, plant flowers & pull weeds. I make my rounds feeding animals. Filling the bird bath & bird feeders. Cleaning the pool and usually sometime in the afternoon I'll get in the pool, where I spend a couple hours. Eventually, I find my way to my lawn chair where I tend to sit for hours. In between all that, I do laundry and hang it outside each load.

Paul eventually gets home from work ~ quitting time varies for him. At that time, I will then start dinner. Normally eating between 7-8. Which really needs to start happening more toward actual dinner time, like maybe 6ish. I'm still not eating much of anything throughout the day. I have been drinking more water, so at least I'm having something. I just don't have the desire to eat during the day. I'm not hungry, so why eat?

So to me, I'm grasping at things to keep me from slipping completely down in the quick sand. Much the same way as one would if they were actually sinking in quick sand. Except that I'm grasping at my flowers; watering them, planting and weeding them. I'm grasping at busy things that revolve around me being outside. That's how I attempt to stop that sinking in quick sand feeling that continues each day.

Not sure if one who sinks in quick sand ever actually gets out of it safely. But I do know that they likely give it their best shot. They do their best to survive a seemingly impossible situation. That's what I'm trying to do too.


Regina said...

I am so sorry for your pain. I really don't think it will completely go away. It's like you said. You just have to find a way to get on with life. Not back to the way it was, but different. I'm still praying for you and your family and hoping you can find some sort of peace in all of this.

Nicki McFadden said...

Love ya Joany!

I Just Love You said...

i think people just don't know what to say to someone who has lost a child. i have a good friend who lost their boy last october and i still don't exactly know what to do. i say things that i know sound stupid but didn't mean to come out that way. for those of us who haven't felt your grief, it's hard. our love for you is large, but our capacity to show it can be shriveled up in fear of upsetting you. keep writing, keep gardening, keep living, it's all you can do.

Kristen's mom said...

Wish I was there to pull you out, but I am not too strong these days either. I sleep with Kristen and have for almost 2 years now since the whole cancer thing started again, the other night I just sat there and watched her sleep. Each time she took a breath I let our a sigh of relief. I was sitting there watching her sleep and this song kept playing in my head,
"Tell me how am I supposed to live without you
Now that I've been lovin' you so long
How am I supposed to live without you
How am I supposed to carry on"
Joany, I need you to figure it out so you can tell me what to do.
Sorry to whine, It's been a hard couple of days.
I do know one thing, You are stronger than you think you are.

Anonymous said...

joany we r all proud of u for hanging on for having the strength to grasp at what seems unreachable and trust me that is something u sould not feel any "quilt" about. u r an amazing woman more than just a mother. we as mothers revolve our lives around our children and it is just what we do . i cant imagine not having my child to revole around. So YOU MAKE THAT GARDEN AS BIG AS U NEED. ANYTHING TO GET U THROUGH AND REMEMBER WE R ALL HERE FOR U AND LOVE U SO MUCH MUCH FAITH AND LOVE!!!

Lacey said...

Joany, not many people know these feelings. We have a glimpse when we have close calls with our kids, but I can't even begin to imagine how you feel. At least I would have 3 other boys to keep me busy, if I only had Jax I would lose my mind! I would do the same things, I wish I had great advice. But are you talking to a counsler of some kind? I think you do need to vent to a professional. Love you Joany!

Denise said...

Joany.....I just want you to know that I am always, ALWAYS thinking of you. I don't leave a lot of comments for the exact reason you are writing about. Sometimes I don't know what to say because I don't want to say the wrong thing. Of course I always hope that you are having a better day but I don't want to ask you that, because I know you probably aren't and THAT IS OKAY. I agree that you can only do things your way and at your pace. Very few people can actually have any idea of what you are struggling with every day. I just don't want you to ever feel like you are expected to do anything a certain way...this is your reality and you are handling it the best way you know how.

JennyH said...

Joany, so many people ache with and for you.

Keep grasping for anything you can.
You're always in my thoughts and prayers.

Kristin said...

I think you are doing exactly what you need too. There is no time limit on grief. And I bet your flower garden is amazing. I'm sure Carly is looking down and loving it, too.

Cindy said...

I'm thinking of you Joany. You're in my prayers.

Stephanie said...

Joany, again I sit here wondering which keys to hit to form words that will help. I'm a lousy commenter!

Just keep doing whatever you need to do to stay afloat. And know we are all here to lean on.

Unknown said...

As I sit reading this post my heart aches deeply. I ache for you and I ache for myself. Every word you have written resonates within me. I cannot say "I know" because I don't. Laynee was not Carly, I don't know all of the things that you miss about your sweet girl. I don't know the smell that you miss or the silly girl antics. What I do know is that the pain is hideous and that it does not end in 3 months or in 11 months. I know the torture of opening your eyes to another day without a precious little girl. I know not having any idea how to even put one foot in front of the other. I know wanting to punch someone in the mouth for the ridiculous things they say.

I wish that I could tell you how to travel this awful road of grief, but I can't. I'm still trying to figure it out myself. You and I are different but one thing that is helpful to me is to write. I write my memories, my frustrations, my agonizing questions, and my pain. I wrote a blog post a couple of months ago about this very thing you have written about.......it it getting any better. You can read it here. http://lovinglaynee.blogspot.com/2010/05/increase.html

There is only one thing that I have found to be sure. Only one thing to grasp that does not move. I think that if I were sinking in quicksand I would look for something strong to hold onto, a tree branch maybe. Our Lord Jesus is the strongest branch we will ever find. I paise him every morning. Even though my heart often feels like doing anything but praising him. I tell him how angry I am and he proves himself to be unmovable. He is there in all of the grief. He is there in every flower that you water. He is there.

At Laynee's visitation, I really only recall the words of one person that came to pay their respects. The rest is a hazy blur. This person, a cousin of mine who's son died a few years ago in an accident said "Join the club, it ain't a fun one." I was appalled by these words. I prayed to my God right there. "Please Lord, don't let me be her." I don't want to turn into a bitter, angry, hateful person because my baby died. Laynee was never, ever bitter and angry and hateful. I want to be like her. I cling to the memory of this woman and my prayer. I don't know how to do this. I don't know how to go on without Laynee but I know what I do not want to become.

Lifting you up in prayer

Unknown said...
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my family said...

Wish I had the "perfect" words to say, just know you are in our thoughts and prayers. {{hugs}}

Rochelle said...


We are still praying for you daily. Nobody can know your ache. Not even other parents who have lost a child, it is all so individualized.
I am thankful that you are keeping yourself busy with planting.
I am truly sorry I can't imagine your pain. My prayer for you all is peace in your grief and that you have people around you to help you walk this path.
My good friend lost her husband 4 years ago (unexpectedly and out of the blue at age 43) leaving her with 2 kids age 3 & 7 at the time.
She now teaches a grief class for anyone dealing with loss whether it be a spouse, child, parent etc.
She uses the book A Grief Disguised by Sittser. I thought of you the other day as she was talking about it. I haven't read it but thought I would throw it out there for you. (If you aren't interested then just forget I mentioned it =)!

Becca said...

Joany, I just can't even begin to imagine what you're going through or how you're feeling. I don't know what to say, other than I'm thinking about you and your family. ((hugs))

Anonymous said...


Groves said...

It is hard to understand why anyone thinks that it is "getting easier." Do they say that to comfort themselves? Because it would feel better to hear that you aren't suffering anymore?

It isn't like you're trying to recover from the flu or something. Does anyone "recover" from the loss of their child?

Although "time heals all wounds" is said often, it just doesn't work out in real life. People enduring the kind of grief you're living through are a lot more honest about that.

Your honesty captures the *realities* of grief. They are hard realities, no question about it - but at least they are real. What is hard to understand is why this culture seems to prefer denial to reality.

Your real feelings are welcome. I hope you will keep writing when you feel like you want to.

That garden sounds like the best place a person could be when there are no answers that soften the pain.

Grieving with you every day.

Michelle said...

I can't imagine the loss of your child ever getting easier to deal with. Your world was unexpectedly turned upside down. I'm sorry you've received some unthoughtful comments :(