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

Entry #8 ~ May 19, 2001
~ Exhausting Work of Grief and Pregnancy

Oh where to start. This last month has flown by so fast.

It's been an exhausting and tiring last month, mainly due to the pregnancy progressing, and it has brought many strange feelings. I cried so many tears for Alyssa this month, imagining her sitting up with Kyle trying to play and keep up with him. Crawling madly after him. I think thinking that way, really makes the grief much more raw. I sit here with tears in my eyes just thinking about her. Missing my little girl, wishing that somehow things could be different. Wishing I had some new photos of her that I could display with Kyle's new photos.

I have been very withdrawn from this pregnancy, and now at 11 weeks, I still feel as if I will lose this child, that God will be utterly mean to me. I think once I pass the 12 week mark, I will be scared that this baby will also die of SIDS . . . a natural thought obviously. I am trying to enjoy this. And in another instance I feel relief that there is a shimmer of hope, something to look forward to, instead of nothing but gloom ahead.

I must admit, I am dealing with Alyssa's death much better. People come to the house and see Alyssa's urn and don't speak about it. I would rather they did. I don't know how my husband feels right now. I know he misses her. I know he wishes things were different, and at times he seems angry for no reason.

I can say my main feelings right now are sadness and at times acceptance. Other times I just stare deeply into Alyssa's photo and wonder if she knew that was her destiny, or how unfair it all is. Society gives a concept that grief "fades" away after several months, and to some it's after the funeral. The bereaved are left suffering in silence, only to contend with the feelings of isolation, despair, incredible sadness and adaptation to their non-existence for a very long time.

What a hard road we have had to travel.

Alyssa's birthday is in only a month and a half. I am dreading the day.

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I shed many tears yesterday. This is all just too hard to understand. I thought we were good parents, I know we try to be, but I thought we deserved much better then this. The most rewarding thing this month was the ability to help two other ladies who came to the hospital I worked at, because they were miscarrying. It was horrible and devastating watching them cry and unable to leave the room they lost their baby in. But in another sense it gave a sense of hope to me, to be able to offer a hug, an ear, and maybe some information to help them through. It gave me hope, in my hopeless situation. I think I am destined to work with sick and dying children and their parents. I don't know; there is just something there that draws me. People can't understand why I would like to work in that field, but I feel I can give something of myself.

The SIDS red nose day is coming up here in Australia. I am planning on raising some funds. I found that helping and doing something for charity always makes me feel a little better in my own grief. Grief has been hard work. I know I have been so terribly tired from it. The advice I can give for you if you are grieving is to rest. Rest as much as possible, be very easy with yourself, allow the feelings a time and place whenever they need it. I remember crying hard in the shopping centre, into my husband's shoulder. Those emotions deserve your full attention, no matter where you are. You will feel alone and terribly scared at times. Remember reach out to your partner, your family, to a professional. I did so many times. But most importantly, you need to take care of yourself. Don't just read these words, put them into action. You deserve it.

Until next time ~ hugs,
Beth

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