Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Until Hanukkah

Mostly written on Jan. 27, then finished today...

I've read so many other's grief stories... And every time I read about jealousy of other pregnancies, babies or children - I have found myself shaking my head. I just didn't understand this feeling at all. While I was in the hospital, I had seen several other pregnant women and new families leaving the hospital. All I could think was how beautiful their little boy or girl was and how lucky they were to have the miracle that is a child. After the hospital - if a thought of 'wish that were me' started to enter my mind - I stopped it dead in it's tracks. No child could or would ever be my Owen and I didn't want to dishonor his memory with such wishful thinking.

That is, Until Hanukkah.

When we arrived at my mother-in-law's for Hanukkah, after sitting down and seeing my sister-in-law with her two girls. I was instantly jealous. The whole family got to enjoy both of her kids... And ask about both of them. No one asked about Owen or mentioned that he was missing from the festivities. It wasn't fair! This one event brought back (like a flood) all the sadness that I had felt while I was pregnant with Owen.

You see, I don't exactly get along very well with my in-laws. I won't go into details, but I sufficiently suffered for a long time - not because of the person that I am, but for the person that I am not. I tried for soooo long to just keep quiet. While I don't agree with everything my in-laws want or do or say - I always bit my tongue. It's really just a respect thing. I've thought that there's right and wrong, but whom am I to cast the first stone? You live your life as you wish (just so long as you don't harm others) and, please - let me live my life the way I want too. Then, it happened. (A word of caution here - if you don't want my honest opinion, but you just want someone to nod their head and say 'sure' -- then don't ask me!) My in-law asked directly what I thought. If you know me, you know well that I am honest and let my opinion freely flow (especially if you solicit my opinion). This sometimes gets me into trouble, because some people ask for your opinion, when they don't really want it.

So, framed with that past (a rocky relationship) - it's unfortunate that when we could have been drawn together to weather the storm - they continued on their same selfish path. Even though Hubby regularly communicated what was going on with my FIL. While I was pregnant, my MIL + FIL + BIL never once said anything to me about what was happening. Then, while I was in the hospital, the biggest surprise of my life -- my MIL gave me a necklace with Owen on it. (not that I needed any material thing what-so-ever, it was just the thoughtfulness of what was given) I was like, "Oh my God, she does have a heart!" I felt like maybe there was a new beginning in there somewhere for us. But, since the hospital - nothing, nada, zip, zilch. MIL + FIL never talk about Owen. I'm pretty sure that they never visit his grave either. My SIL + BIL live in North Carolina, so we don't see them or talk to them all that often. BIL never once called, emailed or said anything about Owen to either Hubby or I. Not once. It really hurts. Of the four of them, my SIL is the only one that really showed a glimmer of compassion. She used to never call me. (and likewise, I never called her either. in our distant past, she made it very apparent that she was choosing MIL's side - even though I had never asked SIL to pick a side. i felt like it wasn't any of SIL's business. it was relationship stuff between MIL & I only. but she chose to pick sides anyway, even though she had only heard one side of the story.) My SIL has called and even came out for Owen's birth and funeral. Which is why I was simultaneously feeling a tremendous amount of guilt over my jealousy of her getting to enjoy her two girls.

I haven't felt the jealousy twinges again until last night.Hubby, BigBro and I went to the grocery store so I could pick up a couple things for dinner tonight. And, there before us (practically following us around the store) a family with a little girl about BigBro's age and a little boy about 3 months old.

Time is suppposed to heal these wounds, but really time's just so cruel. You forget details of things that you don't really want to forget. You realize that you'll probably continue to lose the details. You try to be in the moment and find joy in the little things in life and all of a sudden, boom! You're remembering how long it's been. How long your arms have been longing to hold your child. And how much longer you still have to wait to hold them again.

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