Coping differently

One thing that our social worker at the hospital and our therapist both warned us about is that Dave and I would probably cope differently, and we wouldn’t always be in sync grief-wise. One of us may be feeling badly while the other isn’t. This wasn’t really an issue at first because we were both sad all the time; however, over the past week and a half or so, we’ve been falling more out of sync. Usually it starts with one of us crying and ends with both of us crying. It’s difficult to see the other person sad, but I know for me, I feel bad for bringing him down with my sadness. It’s okay, obviously, because we need to support each other, but it’s definitely not the easiest thing in the world to be at different places with our feelings.

Another thing I’ve noticed through the healing process is that different things make us feel better. Talking about all the events of Jillian’s birth, life, and death help me. The problem with this is that not only does it not help Dave, it usually upsets him. Twice this week, I’ve been talking to friends who have been visiting, and I’ve been reliving both the c-section and finding out about Jillian’s brain hemorrhage. The first time, I didn’t realize that it was upsetting him, and the second time, I noticed and quickly changed the subject. He knows it helps me, so he would never ask me to stop talking about it, but at the same time, I don’t want to do something that makes him upset.

Today has been a relatively better day. I keep thinking about how when Jillian was still in the NICU, the doctors and nurses told us that life was going to be like a roller coaster. We may have a good day one day, but the next day may have setbacks. There would be a lot of ups and downs. They weren’t kidding. We had so many ups and downs in the short time that Jillian was in there that those 90-some hours feel like a lifetime. In a way, I feel like we’re still on a roller coaster. This moment feels fine, but in a few minutes, I may be sobbing my eyes out. When I’ve had tough moments today, I’ve reminded myself that life is getting a little easier, and it seems to be helping a little bit. I’d still sell my soul to make things different, though.

5 thoughts on “Coping differently

  1. I would imagine it adds stress to an already stressful situation. I hope both are able explore this in the support group. More hugs and love.

  2. I am so very, very sorry for the downs. My husband and I have had the same experiences – I find solace in talking about Maddie, and I think it's more natural for him to shut out the topic, so I find myself not talking about it. It's a rough balancing act – I don't know if you're interested in it at all, but I know that I found a great counselor who specializes in grief, and that it helped me immensely. It was helpful to talk to someone without the topic hurting them, and she gave me coping skills. Whatever you do, just nurture yourself.


  3. Thanks, AKD. We see a therapist together who specializes in child loss, and I have my own therapist I've been seeing for a while, so I have some outlets. Thank you.

  4. *hugs* My husband and I for the most part were always at different points. Through my counselor and support groups I have learned that men just grieve differently. They have a more private grief then we do. I think we tend to grieve more openly because we carried our babies. Its a bond that our husbands didn't have. Praying for peace for you. *hugs*

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