Sunday, April 17, 2011

Motherhood, re-creation and grief

To say that my journey to motherhood is nothing like I thought it would be is quite the understatement. My journey, so far, has been filled with fear, acceptance, acute sadness, great joy, intense financial concerns and overwhelm. It has required that I re-create myself in the experience. I have always felt fairly strong. This journey has brought me to my knees as it was forced in my face that I had little control on the outcome of many things. I must say though that I was often amazed when I was feeling my weakest and most insecure was exactly when I was told by others that they were impressed by my strength. Interesting how that happens...

It is in this re-creation of self I am forced to rely on things and people in a way I never had. I believe that many/all parents carry a certain amount of fear concerning their children. I also believe that once you have lost a child this fear is intensified. It can cloud my perceptions and take over my decisions, thoughts and experiences. It is within that experience that my re-creation is happening. I must function differently so that I am not swallowed up by my own fears. I must allow myself comfort where and when I can find it. I must allow myself to feel and honor my grief and my son, Eli, and not get lost in it.

One of my re-creations of self is my interest in grief and how it affects us, all of us and just how much healing so many of us need for so many different reasons. I read a paper on the use of hypnotherapy for traumatic grief. It described how the trauma actually delays or can stop the grief cycle in it's tracks, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Having your 11 day old son die in your arms can bring along PTSD. Even though I wanted him to be in my arms at his passing, hearing me, feeling me, I did not want him to die. PTSD intensifies grief but does not allow anyone to move through, leaving the person experiencing it stuck. The PTSD must be managed, healed, released before the grieving person can move forward into healing themselves.

There is too much unhealed, unresolved grief in this world. It makes us strike out at others in loss and keeps us stuck so we fear change, no matter how much we hurt. Sometimes we can't even see another way of living. How do I work within that and not be over taken with it? I believe that is what I am being called to do. Is this how I can honor Eli AND my grief over his loss?

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