Saturday, August 9, 2008

Protection vs. isolation

One morning at the breakfast table while we were reading the Bible, Isabel came up. I had been feeling bad because no one talks to me about Isabel. This includes my immediate family. Whenever I do mention her, I get the deer-in-the-headlights look. Everyone stares at me in silence. Most of the time no one says anything. My middle son occasionally says things to try to comfort me like, "Well Mama, maybe you can have another baby that won't die next time."

"Yes son, that would be nice."

It really makes me chuckle, because his heart is so sincere in his attempt to comfort me. He has no clue how horrible what he is saying sounds. It makes perfect sense to him.

I told the kids that I know they feel like they can't talk about Isabel because they don't want me to be sad. My 8 year old concurred with this. One time my daughter mentioned Isabel and he told her not to talk about her because it might make Mama cry.

There's a fine line between protecting and isolating someone in grief. Right after Isabel died, there was a lot of 'shushing' of my middle son. I know my husband told him that if he wanted to talk about Isabel to talk to Papa because Mama was too sad. And I was. He would casually say very inappropriate things that were very hard to hear when the wound was so raw, in his innocence of course.

On this day, I told them that whether they talk about her or not, I will still be sad. But I wanted them to know that she was and is a part of our family. She will always be our daughter. She will forever be their sister. If we can never speak of her and include her as a part of our family, that would make me even sadder.

Then my 8 year old was able to express how he felt that day at the ultrasound, the day we first found out. He said, "We were so excited about our baby, telling T3 that she was going to have a baby sister, and then BOOM a huge cannon went off! A huge explosion."

I thought that was such a poignant way of explaining what happened emotionally to us that day. It was like a huge explosion. In fact, when I wrote about that first ultrasound, I likened it to a bomb being detonated. How funny that he could articulate it so well, so similarly to my post.

It's sad. The boys must feel a torn. They want to protect me so they keep these hard feelings bottled up inside.

1 comment:

meela said...

Thank you for sharing this Debra..I have so been there...and still am.