Monday, October 29, 2007

Roller Coasters

The Blue Streak. The Corkscrew. The Matterhorn. The Wild Cat. Space Mountain. Thunder Mountain. The Wild Thing. These are the names of roller coasters I can recall riding. I don't even know how many more I have ridden, but "Emotional" is the one I'm on right now and I have a feeling it just goes on and on. There are highs and lows, slow climbs and plunging dips at record breaking speed. Dark caves and rickety curves. The only stillness occurs at the very peak but then it crashes swiftly into the next valley and the anticipation of another climb and fall awaits. Sometimes it's fun. Other times you think you may hurl.

I've been wondering how I can be going along, thinking about Noah and missing him in a 'normal' fashion, to missing him with such intensity that my guts physically ache and I could care less if I existed on this earth. I've felt blind sided at times with the onslaught of emotional extremes but I have come to realize I literally am on a roller coaster, it is called life, and it does not stop until life ceases to exist. There have been some roller coasters that I have ridden and then hopped off only to run to the back of the line for another whirl. Each time I rode it I knew more and more what to expect around the next bend, yet the excitement and intensity did not lessen. I was still totally freaked out. The only problem with this roller coaster called, "Emotional", is that though there may be events in my life with subtle similarities, I don't get to hop on and off whenever I want and I won't ever really know what is around the next bend or over the next hill.

The past two weeks have left me feeling like I've plummeted down an 89 degree drop at 100 miles an hour. Why? I don't know. I do feel like I'm leveling out again, but boy, is this ever exhausting! One thing I shared tonight in grief counseling is that the anticipation of the one year mark on January 12th is HUGE! There will always be anniversaries, but this one forever changed my life, along with Jason's, Em's and obviously Noah's.

We talked a bit about our roles tonight. The facilitator had us think back to one month prior to our child's death and list the roles we were living. One month prior to Noah's death I was a mom, wife, researcher, caregiver, and doctor. Today I am a wife and mom. I know during the last year I have not walked appropriately in the many other roles I purposely laid aside while Noah was sick...sister, daughter, niece, aunt, granddaughter, friend, neighbor, etc. I am not sure when or if I'll ever fulfill those roles as I should.

Our assignment for the upcoming week is an interesting one. We are to assess the support people in our lives, people who have supported us throughout this long journey. Some questions posed are, "Who is a 'listener'?" "Who is a 'doer'?" "Who could you 'do without'?" "Who have you 'lost' through this experience?" "Do you choose to reconnect with them?" "Why or why not?" "Who have you gained?"

As I pray throughout the week, I will share some of my heart here. I think this assignment will be easy for me, even though the losing and gaining have been difficult...

7 comments:

  1. Ade,
    I love you so much and think about you everyday. I have been crying lately everytime I read the blog. I really miss our little guy and just feel extremely sad inside he isn't here. I am praying for you guys. Love always,
    Tonja
    P.S. I can't wait to see you guys!

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  2. I just read your post below about those ladies cutting Em off mid-sentence. SHAME ON THEM!!! I hate it when people totally ignore kids. I loved visiting that little bit with Em. She is so smart and such a sweetie! It was fun to visit with you and I am glad you guys made it back okay. Love you all!!!

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  3. Hi friend. I agree, life is a series of roller coasters. I think of those crazy people who compete to see how long they can stay on a roller coaster. One 2 minute ride might be exciting, but any more than that and it's nauseating. I think the ride is different, though, when we're not aiding and abetting our own roller coaster rides. You're doing the best you can with what you've been given. And during those times when you can't "do" anything at all, the people who love you are grateful to carry your burden.

    And as a side note...you are great. Period. No need to worry about shoulds and ought to's. :-)

    I love you!
    Erin

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  4. heidi jo x8:08 PM

    i pray your seatbelt stays tightly fastened... the belt of truth around your waist, the helmet of salvation... may you stay safe and secure on the ride of life.
    heidi jo w

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  5. That is some deep and intense stuff happening with the group therapy. It leaves me wondering how my sister and her family got through losing their 12 yr old, Zach, without it. Well... "got through it" isn't exactly the appropriate phrase anyway, and if they could have been guided along their journey of grieving it may have made a world of difference as to where they are now.

    Man, this stuff is so hard!

    Keep walkin' my friend. I just love you so much.

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  6. Dear Adrienne,

    Having gone through one anniversary of her death, two wedding anniversaries, two of her birthdays, and one complete cycle of holidays (including two Mother's Days) I have found that the anticipation is worse than the actual day. The four others in my grief support group who have lost their spouses agree with that experience. That having been said, none of us have lost a precious child as you and Jason have, and no one's grief is exactly like everyone else's. Know this: that we will pray for you both as these days of special meaning come and pass.

    Gratefully,

    Milt

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  7. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of our son James' "angel day". We celebrated his life by planting a tree at his favorite place - summer camp. It was sad, but oh so beautiful. A friend of mine and fellow traveler on this grief journey put it rather well when she got through the one year anniversary of her husband's passing. She said it was only the last day of the worst year of her life. I kept that in mind as Jimmy's day approached and it made the anxiety of anticipation much less.

    Just remember the roller coaster always comes to a stop on level ground.

    Keeping you and Noah in my prayers, Danika's (and Jimmy's)Mom

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