Grief is a tricky thing. It’s a sneaky thing. You think that you have a handle on things and boom! You totally do NOT.
When my mom passed away early in my pregnancy with Matthew I was struck by such powerful grief over the fact that she would not ever get to see him or hold him. People told me she would see him from where she was and would know what it was like to hold him before he was born- she would hold him before the rest of us got to! This comforted me for the duration of my pregnancy. While I was still pregnant, it wasn’t like he was really here, because, well, he wasn’t. There was no one new to meet, so there was no one missing out.
When I was in labour with him, I had a moment of revisitation from these feelings. My doula noticed something on my face or in my demeanour that led her to ask what I was feeling at that moment. And I told her I felt sad. I said that I was feeling overwhelmingly sad that my mom was not here to see him when he was born and that they would never get to meet. I had some tears and she gave me a hug. She told me that my mom was here and that she was giving me the strength to rock this birth like I was. Okay I thought, I can handle that. And I quietly, in my heart, said thank you mom. And that moment passed.
The weeks went on and I didn’t really dwell on it. I was so busy with a newborn and a two year old in the throes of her “terrible twos,” I didn’t have time to pee, let alone think, LOL! And then my grandparents came to visit us and meet Matthew for the first time. The grandparents are my mom’s parents. When Everly arrived, my mom was living with my grandparents and they all drove down together to come meet her; my mom always came to town with my grandparents. And since I hadn’t yet seen my grandparents since I had Matthew, I guess it wasn’t real yet. It wasn’t real that my mom would not be coming with them. And of course she didn’t.
That night, after they had left it all sunk in. She wasn’t coming. And this she wasn’t coming feeling brought me back to being a little girl waiting on her for visits. My mom had a bad habit of not showing up for our visits, drugs are a powerful pull unfortunately. I guess in a way I was just waiting for her to come like always. And she let me down again. But this time through no real fault of her own. I had no one to hate to deflect the feelings of loss and rejection. If I was a religious person I guess I might have hated God. I cried as I nursed Matthew to sleep that night. I cried for him, because he will never get to meet his maternal grandmother, I cried for my mom because she will never get to meet her first grandson and I cried for myself, because I miss her.
Ah grief, you sneaky bastard.