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

Entry #6 ~ March 2, 2001
~ The Good Vs. the Bad Days

I can't believe it is almost seven months on. As I read back through my journal entries, the time did go fast, but in other ways it went too slow, as this grief continues to trudge its way through my life.

I have learnt one very important thing:

You cannot fight against grief, cannot push it down deep within your soul until it disappears, cannot run away from it or sleep it off. Grief needs a place. It needs time, and the more time you give to grief, the more positive the outcome. Grief that is repressed only bubbles back up later from the core, it can be 10 years on. But at some stage the grief needs to be worked at.
Things as usual have been busy. I went away for a week to start the Midwifery Course. The first few days were very exhausting and draining, and I almost walked out the second day. One student brought in her son for the day, who just happened to be 6 1/2 months old, the same age that Alyssa should have been. It was all too much 'in my face'. I wondered who is playing this terrible game with me? Isn't it hard enough that I am here let alone having to see this all day?

Oh don't get me wrong, I coped well learning about pregnancy and newborns. But the Baby Boy who came along just threw me right off. One good thing, the week away really helped my relationship with Steve. We both have calmed down a lot and have learnt to deal with this in a different way.

I had been coping well last month. Too well I thought. Every day had been great, I kissed Alyssa's urn as usual each day without a tear in my eye. But, last night it all came flooding back again. I was watching a documentary on TV called "Losing Layla". It is about a couple who videotaped the entire pregnancy, after having an incredibly amount of trouble conceiving. The baby was born in distress. They did not explain what had happened, but the baby was struggling to breathe and died that evening . . . and I thought, "Oh, how am I going to handle this as a Midwife? Why does this #$%^ have to happen to innocent children??! " The couple kept the child for four days. I thought it was so beautiful. They took so many photos (I wish I had taken more, and I wish I wasn't rushed so much after her death), and it was such a moving story. I was balling my eyes out. I couldn't stop; I was sure the neighbours could hear me. But I didn't care. That pang of heartache just flooded back, and I was desperate to hold Alyssa just once more. As the raging tears came, I took out her box with all of her clothes inside. I haven't gone through this box since I packed it away, but I just had to last night. I felt so distressed because I could not smell her smell in the clothes, probably because of my blocked nose. I felt totally devastated as I did the day she died, seven months on. I looked at the car seat she should have been sitting in. I imagined her next to Kyle, and cried even harder that I couldn't work out what she would look like.

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I am angry with God. The literature I have read about why this happens still does not cut it for me. He knows I love Him. He knows I blame Him sometimes. I am angry because I specifically asked Him two nights before she died to put His angels around my children, to keep them safe here with me. I cried last night, for the experiences she would never be able to feel, smell, hear, see or taste. She will never be able to live out her dreams here on earth. The only comfort I can find is that she can live out her dreams in heaven.

Oh God I miss her so much.

The words I write just don't even touch base on how deep I feel about her. All I can say is that when in the worst of this grief, it is indeed like a violent storm. You cannot see, blinded by the rain belting relentlessly over you, the tears. You feel numb from the pounding of the rain. You cannot think straight because you're being blown around in every single direction possible all at once, as each emotion hits you at the same time. You feel totally inadequate and powerless, because your strength is no match for this grief.

I have allowed grief a place in my life, I have thrown away the mask I wear when I am feeling down in front of other people and pretend I am fine. It was just so unfair on myself. When the good days come back around, I cherish them. My goal is to cherish every moment every day and to fill my life with peace.

I miss you Sweety.

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