"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, June 9, 2011

Fear and Anxiety..

...both reared their ugly head at me today. Actually, this week has not been a good one. Fear and anxiety have been hovering all around. It's been terrible. Some days, I really just don't want to get out of bed for fear of, well..fear.

Fear and anxiety are very similar, at least they are for me.


noun /fi(ə)r/ 
fears, plural

  1. An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat
    • - drivers are threatening to quit their jobs in fear after a cabby's murder
    • - fear of increasing unemployment
    • - he is prey to irrational fears

  2. A mixed feeling of dread and reverence
    • - the love and fear of God

  3. A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety and well-being of someone
    • - police launched a search for the family amid fears for their safety

  4. The likelihood of something unwelcome happening
    • - she could observe the other guests without too much fear of attracting attention

Wednesday, Ashleigh and I drove up to Carly's elementary to drop off the books I purchased to donate to the school library. It was such an eerie feeling walking through those front doors of that school again. It was fear staring me straight in the face. Or was it anxiety? A combination of both I think. I could remember so well, walking in to pick Carly up for appointments or even after school. Carly would see me, as she walked toward the office, she'd get so excited and run and jump into my open arms. What I wouldn't give to have her jumping into my arms again. ugh. And so, we went in and dropped the books off at the office. No big to do. Just walked in, dropped them off, along with a retirement card for the elementary secretary, who saw all three of our kids (well,,except of course, Carly), through elementary school. Got a hug from the secretary, and then ran smack dab..face to face, into that awful 1rst grade teacher of Carly's. Oh my god..I wanted to smack the crap out of that woman. She just smiled and said, "hi!" The whole drop off took about 3 minutes. We didn't see any of Carly's classmates and I was thankful for that. Because I feared them. I feared, that I would bust out crying.

Wednesday night, I went with Paul to his doctor appointment. I mentioned the fact that I'd been having a terrible headache for several days. I ended up getting a shot of Toradol, for a 3 day migraine. It helped, for a bit. But, of course, my head is booming again today. I'll be back to the doctor soon. And likely back on my oral migraine meds. I haven't had to take migraine meds in years. I also found out that the anti depressants that I take, are soon to be, no more. Lovely. My doc informed me that he's going to have to switch my meds up. I HATE the thought of changing those meds. I don't like the side effects of new meds. I don't like the way your body has to adjust to new meds..especially these kinds of meds. I've been on this particular med since 2006. So now, I have all sorts of anxiety going on,,,just because of an upcoming change in medication.

Today, I had the mother of all panic/anxiety attacks. It was crazy. I was out mowing the yard and as usual, Carly was on my mind, but that's really nothing new. All of a sudden, I couldn't remember what size shoe she wore. It threw me into a tizzy. I just freaked out. How could I forget my daughters shoe size? What the hell is wrong with me? And why on earth would I even be thinking about her shoe size? Then I got to thinking, who would ever forget the size shoe that their child wore? I did..that's who. And it stung my heart terribly and then it pissed me off. I did eventually remember. She had just gone into a toddler size 9.

Now, I'm left wondering, is this the first of many things that I am going to forget? I don't want to forget. I want to remember every. little. thing. about Carly. Her pant size, her shoe size, her giggle, her pivot-off one foot as she pranced around the house. I want to remember her, "huh huh" quick little laugh she'd do when she turned the channel on the TV or cranked out her boom box,,even after being told not to do either. I want to remember, forever, the way she would sneak her food to her dog, Penny and the way she would wave her hand in front of her face, while wrinkling up her little nose and sniffing..when something tasted bad to her, or if something smelled. And just now, I remember how her underpants drove her nuts. Carly had no butt. I'm not kidding, she had a teeny tiny little butt. Which caused all her underpants to be a little baggy on her bottom! I constantly had to fix her underpants. Poor kid. As silly as the underpants memory is, I don't want to forget it. Ever.

My mind continued on, during my mowing. I thought about the last time I played with Carly during the month of June. Then I had chills running up and down my spine. It was the year before last. The freaking year before last. How can that be? Then fear came out..as I rode along on the mower. I was thinking, oh my god, before we know it, we're going to be saying..5yrs..10yrs..20yrs. And that takes my breath completely away. The more years that go past, make me fear that our memories will fade. And that really scares me.

The sad thing about fear and anxiety, for a bereaved parents is---you have to face both. There is no way around either of them. You have to live through each of them. You can't avoid either one. It sucks that both, will be with us for the rest of our lives. Sure, they both may fade a bit from time to time, but from what I have been told...both stay uncomfortably close, never leaving your side for very long.


noun /aNGˈzī-itē/ 
anxieties, plural

  1. A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome
    • - he felt a surge of anxiety
    • - anxieties about the moral decline of today's youth

  2. Desire to do something, typically accompanied by unease
    • - the housekeeper's eager anxiety to please

  3. A nervous disorder characterized by a state of excessive uneasiness and apprehension, typically with compulsive behavior or panic attacks


Heather said...

Sending you love my friend.Tonight and always ...

MichelleH said...

I think of you often Joany and unfortunately can relate to these exact feelings. I have an ongoing list of "Nate's Traits" that periodically pop into my head....things I don't EVER want to forget. Every once in a while one of the kids will bring up a "remember how Natey..." and I frequently have those same feelings of anxiety if I even have to pause to recall each of these things. I don't ever want to forget his smell (which was usually syrup following his morning mini pancakes), his "huh huh" laugh that seemed to encompass his entire body, his chubby little hands, or the way he looked into my eyes as if I were his entire world!

I like to think these feelings are "normal" in the most abnormal situation we can find ourselves in. I now hate that I don't know what his interests would be now as an almost 7 year old. I hate that I don't know what size clothes he would wear now or what his new little mannerisms would be. I hate that it has been nearly 4 years since I last held him or heard his voice.

I wish I could hug you, Joany. I know sweet Carly is!


Unknown said...

I know you don't know me, and yes I don't have a DS child of my own but I have worked with these wonderful children for the past 7 years and they are so presious. I ran across this blog and just began reading. I'm sorry that your wonderful daughter passed away. It is hard lossing a loved one. My husband lost his brother very unexpectally this year and we recieved our first baby boy too. It is never easy and though through time you might lose some of her memories you won't lose them all. I wanted to also try and coffort you. There is a God and though it is hard to believe that He would take someone away from the people that love them, He does so to help us witness to others just how great He is. I know, it doesn't make sense and after lossing someone I can fully understand your full anger but please try to understand that the good Lord has your princess in His hands and she is smiling and wanting you to remember the eight years you had and try to reach out to others and witness to others about DS and other disabilities or just regualr people. Think about every one she touched and how she made a difference in peoples lives. Try to life out her memory by witnessing and doing things she'd like to do. I don't mean to offend you or upset you, I just wanted to try and give you comfort in knowing Carly is in Heaven with the Lord thy God and is waiting for you. She is watching over you and wanting you to be happy and share your struggles with other families. I do hope this helps a little and you and your family will always be in my prayers. What a lovely and sweet little lady! God bless!

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog (I have a little guy with Down syndrome) and your post took my breath away. I can't imagine your pain -- God bless you -- I wish there was something I could do or say to ease even a tiny bit of your grief.

Laura P.

Anonymous said...

I just came across your blog (I have a little guy with Down syndrome) and your post took my breath away. I can't imagine your pain -- God bless you -- I wish there was something I could do or say to ease even a tiny bit of your grief.

Laura P.

connie said...

I'm sorry. Unfortunately, I can relate, too. I don't have words to express what I feel the way you do, though. It was helpful to me to read this, and feel someone else understands a little of what I feel.

Dawn said...

Joany, was just looking for an update from you on FB and couldn't find you on there. So sad. Found this here. Praying for you, thinking of you. Hugs to you,

Cathy said...

Joany...You came to my mind tonight and I went to leave you a message on FB and you were gone. Please continue to advocate and share your heart about Carly. You remind all of us how important it is to NEVER, EVER take our children for granted. You remain my thoughts and prayers.