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Beth's Grief Journal
In Memory of Alyssa Kaye Bradford
July 12, 2000 ~ August 10, 2000

Entry #3 ~ November 24, 2000
~ Platitudes

I'm not coping. I'm not coping at work, at home, anywhere. I am wondering what my purpose is in life now at times. Christmas is closing in like a horrible nightmare, and my Alyssa should have been 4 1/2 months now.

We got Kyle's table and two chairs out of the storage today. He sat down at the table, and looked at the other empty chair. It broke my heart. Alyssa should have been joining him in that chair, playing with him, fighting over Legos and causing mischief.

The days have been a blur since Alyssa's death. I can't seem to get into a routine, nor do I want to. People at work and friends keep telling me, "You have to go on for your husband and Kyle's sake." I grit my teeth. I am going on. I am living, aren't I? How could anyone expect me to "get over" this and go on? No, you will never get over this, but you have to be strong for your family. Are we living in the dark ages? Do I have to put on an act that pretends I am ok, that I am strong, that we should probably just avoid this topic completely?

No way! For such a modern society, we have pushed Death and Dying topics aside, because basically we as a society are uncomfortable with death and dying because it is final. So those of us who are forced down this road of grief, just have to buck up and swallow it down. I don't think so.

"At least you didn't get to know the Baby . . . it should be easier for you to get over this."

So a Baby is more insignificant than a grown person? A miscarriage is just a bunch of cells that didn't survive? That is garbage, and I need to vent about these statements because they seem never-ending. Of course as I said before, my friends and co-workers are saying it with the best of intentions but it's so painful and distressing, I would be rather lie underneath the safety of my sheets then have to face this every single day. I am feeling so emotionally exhausted. Too exhausted to do anything.

I watched The Truman Show this morning. I feel like Truman. Stuck in a world that I cannot get out of. Truman does get out, but I can't get out until I die naturally. No one will let me go now. I'm sick of waking up every morning in fear . . . fear that when Kyle is not awake that he is dead in his bed. I am up constantly every night checking that he is still breathing. What kind of world are we that we cannot find a cause for SIDS? We are classed as a Modern Society, yet we still cannot protect our children from dying in their beds. How many more people will have to go through this? The trauma of finding Alyssa blue and limp and too cold is so fresh in my mind, I want to will it all away! I hate this!

Death and dying have been put on the back burner in our Society, I feel. People are too uncomfortable with finality, with the reality of death. The topic is shunned even to this day. The beginning of a new life is rejoiced and openly talked about with happiness. But because the ending of a life is so tragic and sad, let's just move that topic aside and talk about "happy" things. How horribly vague our world is! And yet we, who must grieve are told how to grieve, how to be strong, how to change the subject. But Society won't do that to me. I will opening talk about my loss . . . my sadness . . . my loneliness . . . my life that is in turmoil.

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Today has been a horrible day. My husband is angry because he is so afraid we will lose Kyle. He is into everything. We try to put things away so he cannot reach things that could be dangerous for him to touch, and as he grows taller he is able to reach them. We are so scared we will lose him too, even as we move those things away so he can't possibly get to them.

We also bought fish the other day for our fish tank. We sat there and gave the fish names and laughed at the funny things they did. Steven called his fish "Bubbles" and I named my fish "Bonnie". We found Bonnie dead this morning. I am such a failure. I cannot even keep this damn fish alive. How can I stop crying? How can I ever come to some place of healing? Damn SIDS for making me fear life! I can't cope with this life. I can't stop thinking about her, the life she would have had. I can't come to terms with my powerlessness.

I am still waiting for test results to come back from the Coroner. I am hoping for an answer, something I can hold onto. SIDS is too unexplainable to be the answer. Then again, I hope she didn't suffer any pain.

Oh I miss her so much. This loss is the hardest thing I have ever had to face. Our lives feel so empty . . . our family incomplete. I don't think that will ever change. It feels like our family is falling apart. I am crying, my husband is angry, my son is confused. I know we will survive. I know there is hope. But getting there is another story.

If you are reading this and have never experienced a loss, I hope it helps some to understand how deep this grief goes . . . that it never ends.

If you are reading this and have experienced a loss, I hope you don't feel alone. I must cling on to that hope, otherwise I will never get through this storm.

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