Teddy Bear Tins

February 16, 2011

Oh it's you grief

Two weeks ago when I was stopping by at our old house on my way home from work, I discovered that a pipe had burst during an extended power outage in the recent snow storm.

Some quick background - we bought our first home shortly after we got married in 2006. It was a cute 1950s farmhouse that needed some work, and we have been remodeling it ourselves since that time. About a year ago we unexpectedly found ourselves in the position of buying a new house (an abandoned foreclosure that was such a good deal we couldn't pass it up). So we've been working even harder since then to finish the remodel, and had 7 days prior finished touching up the little dots where we had filled wood filler over the nails after we installed the last of the trim. We were D.O.N.E! Four years of effort had resulted in a beautiful home that held lots of memories. The final inspection was literally set for the next Friday. And what perfect timing, as we were ready to move on to a life with just one home to worry about, and more time to focus on our little guy.

So the feeling in my gut when I forced my way into the kitchen - couldn't open the door because the ceiling was now in the way - was upsetting, to say the least. Today the drying process has finally been completed, and we're left with a shell of a structure. Big fat START OVER.

But the intent of this post is not to talk about this particular event. I bring it up instead because it puts some context to something I've been experiencing but couldn't quite find a way to describe.

After that night walking into the house and discovering it destroyed, I now find that I pretty commonly get a bit nervous even when I'm walking into rooms in my new house. Or opening the garage door when I get home at night. We recently finished and painted the nursery (3 months late...), and I keep feeling like it's about to be ruined somehow. I think, based on what has happened, that people can probably relate to this or at least understand where I'm coming from.

So it's with that in mind that I'd like to try to explain that I think it's sort of similar to what I often feel with Jack.

Whenever someone talks about the future with Jack, I get uncomfortable. I feel nervous, like we shouldn't be talking about it. My husband says he can't wait until Jack is toddling around the house and causing mayhem, and how fun it will be to go on vacations to his family's farm. And when he says that I just want to change the subject because I'm irrationally afraid about thinking about the future. As if it's going to somehow be ruined, and therefore it's a lie for me to think like it will work out OK.

I know that every parent worries about their child. But I can't help but think that some of this is because I have experienced very closely what it would be like to lose a child. In a very profound way, I know what a gift I hold in my arms every day.

So, to summarize, I have been getting nervous, and feeling afraid, about everything from my house to my son. And I couldn't think of how to explain all this in a way that didn't make me sound like a loonie.

Until I read a post written by a beautiful mama whom I found through the babylost network, in which she discusses lessons learned from C.S. Lewis' book A Grief Observed. In it, he writes about a restless nervousness that makes grief feel like fear.

And that's it! That is exactly what I feel! Only I hadn't put two and two together for myself that the root of this was my grief. I am grieving the loss of my house, and of course I am still grieving the loss of my nephew. Grief is what I have been feeling recently.

Funny that sometimes when we are in the thick of things, we don't even realize we are...