Sunday, April 25, 2010

The World Outside Linda Street.

There’s this whole world outside of Linda Street. I had to go out this weekend for one of the first times since Maelee died. It was tough. Most people out there don’t know the sadness I’m experiencing. They don’t know that we had to experience the worst moment of our lives in an ultrasound hearing the words “I don’t know how to tell you this, but there’s no heartbeat.” They don’t know I delivered my beautiful baby girl less than three weeks ago but that she wasn’t alive when I did. They don’t know the countless expectations we had that are completely crushed. They don’t know I wake up and fall asleep remembering what it was like to hold my daughter, flashes of her face filling my mind.

The people out there don’t know the dark cloud hanging over me. I know the cloud will someday lift or lighten… but it’s going to take time, take healing for that. And I just can’t fake it. I can’t fake being happy or smiling about something dumb. I don’t have it in me to be nicey-nice when I don’t mean it.

So how do I interact with this world now?

I can’t go around just being a jerk. But I want to be authentic. I can’t expect the world to all come under my dark cloud. But I can’t stand the thought of Maelee being forgotten. I can’t expect to never see babies or happy families or children laughing. But it hurts to see what I lost.

So apologies to the world*… I will not be a jerk (hopefully) but I will probably not look you in the eye. I won’t say more than a few words. I won’t spend time chit-chatting. I know that may come across as rude but my dark cloud just hasn’t lifted yet.

*World = waitresses, clerk at the grocery store, dude walking past me, other random people. To those of you that care enough for us to be reading this (not the “world” but our friends and family), I will hopefully be able to interact more with you than with the world (and interact more authentically). Just know I may not be “myself” for awhile and know I will never be normal Heather again. I have heard that eventually a “new normal” will come. But right now, I have no idea what that looks like.

-Heather

PS- I just realized that you may be wondering where I went as I ventured out into the scary world. Greg and I took my mom to Charlotte on Saturday for her flight to MN and we went to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. I saw a handful of strollers in our very short time there… I had to dodge my eyes so I wouldn’t start crying. I didn’t look away fast enough and saw the cutest little feet once. I ached. We came back to Columbia and I had a few hours of despair and sobbing – being out was hard, seeing my mom go was hard, seeing Greg get angry is hard. We also went to church this morning which was also tough… since we had so looked forward to bringing Maelee there, sharing her with our new friends.

12 comments:

Maria said...

Heather, my heart breaks to hear your pain. You continue to be in our prayers. Thank you for being authentic and sharing with us how your heart aches at the "world" and how something so small like little feet tear you to pieces. We are excited to be part of Maelee's name book and have a few ideas we are going to try. Here is my prayer for you, "To bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair..." Isaiah 61:3
You and Greg were a big impact on our lives in GF and continues to be as you share with us your life.
We love you and Maelee! Maria Olson

Babe and Autumn said...

It was great seeing you both at church yesterday. Please know however long it takes for a "new normal" we are here for you and continuously praying. I am trying to find a creative way to add to Maelee's name book and creativity is not my thing, but it will come eventually. Love and miss you guys!!
Autumn

Erin said...

Oh Heather, I love that you said you can't be nicey-nice when you just don't have it in you. You just are who you are - with no pretenses, and this is one of my favorite things about you. You're so real, and no one expects fake happiness from you. My heart aches for you and so I pray for you and Greg all the time.
Erin

Anonymous said...

Heather, every time I start to write something, something profound or comforting, I erase it, back up and try again. Words just don't seem to come, though I want them to so badly. I guess I want to say, It is okay, don't worry about what anyone else is thinking or not thinking. This really isn't about them. Mourning takes a long long time. So cry when you need to, even when it feels awkward. I woke up and prayed for you again last night. I love you both, no...I love you three. maxine

Katie said...

Heather ~ I would love to contribute to Maelee's name gallery. Would you like us to email you our picture and if so, will you please send me your email address? Mine is katier7@cox.net

Our sweet Reese went to be with Jesus when she was two days old Aug. 13th. I'm so sorry your precious baby girl is not here with you.

May GOD love on you and shield you and your husband as only He can. He truly does redeem. Katie

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather and Greg. I continue to think about your family. Heather, I keep picturing you as a little girl--I suppose that is silly, but that is how and when I knew you the most. I guess, when I picture your little Maelee, I picture a version of you Heather. I have not forgotten about your loss. I will never forget Maelee, a part of me feels that I know Maelee. Thank you for sharing. Love, Sarah Geltel Opsal

Kristi said...

Heather and Greg,
You don't know me, but my husband Eric and I are fellow CIU alums. I am so, so, sorry to hear about your precious Maelee. Peggy Manoogian in the alumni office gave me your blog address just today. She shared your story with me because just over a year ago, we lost our little girl, Naomi, in my 19th week of pregnancy. Although I don't know the pain of losing a child so close to delivery, we too have walked this road of grief, and I wanted to offer you another hand in this terrible journey. I wanted to tell you, too, about a couple of resources that may be helpful. One is a website, www.hannahsprayer.org, which is an online support group for Christians dealing with both infertility and pregnacy and infant loss (only for women - I'm sorry. But my husband and I will be starting one soon for both men and women.) Also, there are two real-life support groups here in Columbia. One meets tomorrow night at Palmetto Baptist Hospital, and the other meets Thursday May 13 at Lexington Medical Center at 7:00. I still attend that one, over a year after our loss. I'll be there on the 13th.

In no way do I want to intrude on a very personal and private time of grieving. But please feel to contact me if you want information about any of this, or if you just want to connect with another member of this "club" that none of us would have chosen to join. My e-mail address is kbothur@att.net. If you e-mail me, I'll give you my phone number, too.

Again, I'm so terribly sad for you. I am praying for you as you navigate these uncharted waters.

Kristi Bothur

TheSpeights said...

Heather,
It's perfectly understandable for you have that black cloud. You lost your child. It's impressive that you find a way to crawl out of bed every day. What you guys have gone through is one of the worst things a person could go through. You are not a jerk. You are making it through the day the best way you know how. Do not apologize. You are doing an amazing job. I know you know this, but Maelee will not be forgotten. One day, when you find a real reason to smile and be happy, it won't mean Maelee isn't on your mind. When you are able to leave the house and not be sad, it doesn't mean anyone will think Maelee isn't being remembered. That little girl has made such a huge impact on so many people. She has fantastic parents and there is NO WAY she will ever be forgotten. Don't stress about how you may seem to other people. You need to grieve and feel true emotion. Your friends and family understand that and we wouldn't expect any less. We love all three of you.

Erin Simon said...

Hey Heather and Greg-
I read your blog everyday and am so thankful you are both willing to share this with those of us too far away to be there to help in some way. I appreciate reading this and knowing how we can best lift you up in prayer-- please know we continue to pray for you daily and you - all 3 of you are in our thoughts so very often. I wish I could do something more- I wish I could just take a little bit of your pain away- to fix it to make it better- but like you both have said none of us except God will be able to heal that hurt- and Im sorry I can't do more.
Im sorry I haven't commented more- I simply don't know what to say. But we are reading your thoughts daily wishing we could do more!
Love you all!
the Simons

Anonymous said...

Love you Heather! Just thinking about and praying for you this morning on my way to work. Thank you for being so real. Becky

jillian said...

Precious Heather and Greg,

I, too, think you are both doing so well considering the loss you have endured. Heather, no apologies needed for us, but I think it's good that you have stated your position so clearly for us to understand a bit of how you are dealing with "the world."

We love you and wish, along with everyone here, we could ease your pain, lighten this cloud. But we also do trust that there will be mercy for you even underneath it for as long as it lasts (which, we agree, won't be forever.... and when the darkest of the cloud is lifted, Maelee will still be loved, still be remembered.)

We love you terribly much and we are praying with a desperate, solid confidence in His grace for you-

jill

Anonymous said...

I was both happy and surprised to see you at church. I know that must have been so hard. However, it is a testament to your faith. I kept a respectful distance - not to be rude by any means but I knew others were reaching out to you and I thought you may not have enough to greet all of us. I wanted to hug you and cry with you but did not think that was what you needed. Please know that all of us love you and you are covered in prayer. Tricia Wolfe