Coping with grief and loss

2:34 PM

It’s been a really rough couple of days recovering from a tragedy that occurred the previous week. My mother took her own life a mere week after my baby shower, on July 12th. It was devastating to say the least. I had received an email from her only a few days before she went missing and never showed up for work. Nothing was amiss or out of the ordinary and there were no indications of what was to have happened next.

But my Mother was bipolar. All her life before being diagnosed manic depressive in 1994, after what I had thought was her first attempt at suicide, had always suffered with bouts of depression and dissatisfaction of her life. I wrote more about it on my other blog (*which I've sort of abandoned since having a baby).

Since this is my pregnancy blog, I’m gonna try and focus on the effects of this on myself as a mother to be and my growing family. I may occasionally write an open letter to my mom like I started to on my other blog. I am looking on joining a local support group and reading a couple of books, like Mothering Without a Map: The Search for the Good Mother Within and Motherless Mothers: How Mother Loss Shapes the Parents We Become. I find it very therapeutic to publicly write about this even though it is so personal, but in doing so I have already connected with 2 wonderful people who shared their own life experiences with me.

I of course was stressed and didn’t sleep much during the week of July 13th, having to take command and take care of whatever was necessary to get a proper service for my Mom and to handle whatever it was that follows after something like this, because it was the most natural thing for me to do. I was basically running on autopilot, something I had experienced before when something traumatic happens in my life. My Mom had left letters – one to each of her children, one to her husband, one to her sister, one to her mother and even one to my Dad, her ex-husband. She also had two brothers – one older and one younger and well…I’ll just leave it at that.

I suffered only two major breakdowns during the first week, like I said I was running on autopilot mode and being “strong” and mindful of others. The first time I really cried was when I saw her for the first time laid out in her casket. It was uncontrollable and exhausting. My brother was by my side and held me together. The second time was returning home and walking into the nursery room. It was all too much. Baby clothes and diapers that my Mom had given me and then the thoughts of my son never having the chance to meet her. My son would have been her first grandchild and how I regret I never said to my Mom that because of this new stage in my life, the birth of her grandson carried the hope that we would have the relationship that we had both wanted for years.

I took home some of my Mom’s belongings; she never liked to throw anything away it seems. We still haven’t unpacked everything from the car. I know from this day forward I will encounter many questions and a lot of pain over this. Some of which I will not have the answers for at least not right away nor handy coping techniques. Thru all of this Amy and my husband have been a great source of support. Thank you Amy for dropping everything that day and putting your life on hold to drive me down to LA immediately after I heard the news. And thank you to my husband who continues to be my rock during this difficult time. Thank you to the friends and family who sent their love, thoughts, prayers and support. It was all appreciated and needed.

Also to let you know that baby wagner is ok. he is doing well, still head down and healthy. A perfect little petite baby (what our midwife has said). Heartbeat is as strong as ever. I worried that all this would cause terrible repercussions down the line for my son. Would he come out completely unhappy and stressed? Would he ever smile? Etc. Our other midwife had made a great comment about my worries, I only wish I could remember it fully and repeat it here. But they said not to worry, as long as I remind myself and him (while rubbing my belly, of course) that he is loved and safe.

oh, my baby, you are loved and safe. You are loved and safe.

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