November 3, 2010
Pete and I went to our first joint support group meeting last night. This one was a little different because while everyone there had lost a child, they had all been infants so we had a little more in common. It was very sad. You sit there and look at other people in the room who are all about the same age as you and married and look like nice people and you think, this is not a club that any of us want to belong to.
It was a little awkward because we didn’t know anyone there and other people all knew each other because they had been going for awhile. Plus, we actually wanted to talk a lot. I don’t think we dominated (much) but maybe that happens on your first visit. It was good for Pete because he hasn’t really ad anyone to talk to except for me and Mom so I think he was trying to get it all out at once. We are so used to being judged and analyzed and stuff when we talk that we really restrain ourselves around a lot of people (not everyone, just a lot) so being in a setting like that was really comfortable.
Of course, I can’t talk about what anyone else said, but I can say that most of the people are going to try to have subsequent children. This made me feel a lot better. I am finding it kind of odd that if someone has a miscarriage or stillbirth one of the biggest (and worst) things that people say to them are, “You’re wrong, you can have another one.” Yet, if a child dies and you say you want to have another one you get, “Are you sure your body can handle it? Are you sure your mental health is okay? Shouldn’t you wait at least a year?” There seems to be a stigma attached to those who have lost a child that lived and now want to have another one in comparison to those that suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth where having another one is almost pushed on them. Just an observation. I say do what you want.
One thing that the moderator said, and I’ve said it over and over myself, is that you should grieve how you want to and in the way that’s right for you. There is no “right way” or “wrong way” since it’s all personal. I grieve differently than Pete and Mom yet it’s all kind of similar. Things that make me sad are not necessarily the things that make Pete sad and that’s okay, too.
So it was good to get out and see people and stuff. I also bought some Tylenol PM on the way home and took it last night and slept like a log. Woke up this morning feeling a little fuzzy, but at least I got up before noon so that was something. I am hoping to get my sleeping pattern regulated again.
If anyone else out there is looking for a perinatal support group, then they meet the first Tuesday of every month at the Hospice of the Bluegrass Grief and Education Center in Lexington. Next month, however, they are having a candlelight ceremony at the Beaumont Presbyterian Church.