Saturday, October 9, 2010

"Fantastically Emotional"

You'll have to excuse me today... I'm having a rough day. I've decided to coin this as the "fantastically emotional" stage of grief. 

This morning was spent celebrating and honoring Aaron's life at the beautiful event 'A Walk to Remember'.  I am saddened that there were so many people to participate in a remembrance/celebration for such a sad purpose. I will post some pictures and thoughts about our morning at the walk, but that is for another day when I have a bit more clarity. I loved remembering our son alongside so many other families who can relate to our loss and understand our pain, but it left me on the verge of tears all day. 

If you know me personally, I'm not one to be very emotional in front of others, including family, and especially NOT in front of complete strangers. Grief does weird things. Today, the smallest things would set me off and before I knew it, I was melting into a puddle of tears. 

This evening I had to venture out to Target and I wondered what people thought when looking at, puffy eyes and all. I imagine they either assumed I was quite the druggie, or more obviously, I had been crying. Upon checking out, the very sweet clerk handed me my receipt and the stack of coupons that printed (based on past purchases), along with a very bubbly "Have a fabulous evening!". As I glanced down at the receipt and coupons, I noticed that they were for pampers swaddlers and baby formula. I looked up and made eye contact with the clerk; I stood there for what felt like an eternity and I could feel the tears coming, once again. "Do you need anything else?", she sweetly asked. With the "fantastically emotional" day I was already having, I wanted to throw a temper tantrum, break down sobbing and scream for the entire world to hear "Why in the hell do I need diapers and formula!?! Don't you people understand?!?  My baby just died!!" But, I contained myself.  "No, this is it..." I managed to muster. I walked off,  tore up the coupons and threw them away. Silent tears ran down my face as I walked out of the store. 

This inability to keep my emotions in check reminded me of another experience I had at the doctor's office just days after Aaron was born and had passed away. I found myself sitting on the exam table at my OB's office once again, as if three appointments each week prior to Aaron's birth and the last handful of days spent in the hospital weren't enough.  I was fighting constant, severe headaches and alarmingly high blood pressure. The nurse was in the room taking my vitals, discussing symptoms and making small talk with us; she knew of the nightmare that Dan and I had been through just a few days earlier. As she was running through her normal list of questions, she nonchalantly asked, "Any depression?". Now, this question should not generally elicit any sort of extreme emotional response, but I just kept staring at her and the tears were already streaming down my face. "Are you kidding me!? Our son just died! What kind of question is that?!" I managed to say through the sobs that had now taken over. I'm not a mean person and would never say anything to intentionally hurt or offend anyone, but there was no sort of filter between my brain and mouth before that statement came flying right out. All I could think of was "What kind of question is that? How about using some judgement in this situation? You should be concerned if I'm not depressed right now!"  I sincerely felt bad for making her feel bad; she was just doing her job. 

Just two examples of the tiniest of things that should be just that: tiny and insignificant. I'm reminded of the saying "making a mountain out of a molehill". That is what grief has done. Generally, I'm one to shrug things off and I'm not quick to anger, or to cry for that matter. It is in these tiny, insignificant and trivial moments that grief has brought me to my knees, sobbing, with my heart breaking all over again. 

Things I'm learning about grief and loss:

- It is a roller coaster of a journey.

- Grief is not logical.

- They change who you are.  

- Grief doesn't come in a defined order of "stages". I can hit all 5 of these so-called "stages" of grief, some multiple times, in a single day.

- I have very little control over those "insignificant" things that can bring me to my knees or turn me into a fountain of tears in an instant.

- I think there should be a stage of grief called "Fantastically Emotional" because I'm sure I'm not the only one...


  1. We walked yesterday in Atlanta at a Walk to Remember too. I also looked around and found it so heartbreaking the numbers of people who were there. So many lost babies. So much sadness.

    Since Jake, our first son passed away, I too look at nurses and doctors wildly when they ask if I am depressed. Yes, I am depressed. I don't think it is possible watch your child pass away and not be depressed.

    I like Fantastically Emotional - I will add it to my stages of grief too. Take care.

  2. Uuuugggghhhhh..... I dread all of those awkward moments and conversations for you! I'm so sorry...

    Just to warn you... much like coupons, there will be 'baby' mail too.

    Thinking of you and lifting you up through the minute to minute swings in the stages of grief!

  3. Hey Danielle!! Thank You for sharing even the so-called "tiny and insignificant things" that you have experienced recently...The fact is that they aren't insignificant at all!! Your blog just reminded me how important it is for me as a follower of Christ to put myself out there and ask people, even a complete stranger, if I can pray for them when I notice that they are struggling...
    Prayer goes a long way and I will continue to pray for you and Dan
    Love and Blessings,


Designed by Lena