Grief is a funny thing. It seems to know when to strike and not always at the most convenient times. Grief can be frustrating and a blessing and is most definitely essential for healing.
Healing after placement
Placing your baby in the arms of another is one of the most difficult things a person can do. This decision does not come easily and typically is accompanied by pain and grief. The grief will come. It is a necessary process for the healing to begin. It is important to remember to not fight the grief. It has a purpose and can assist in the healing process. The grief might come at different times. The grief might begin before the baby is born, but it might not come till after the birth of the baby.
My own grief started after my birth son was born. The grief started off as a dull pain right after his birth, but it was something I could handle. The real grief started four days after he was born and the first day I was no longer with him. As painful as it was, I let the pain come. I wanted to heal and I wanted to move on with my life. I knew that I would never truly get over the placement of my birth son, but I did not want the sadness or pain to continue on. Allowing the grief to come allowed the healing to start. The healing process is not a fast one, but it does occur. Grief allows that process to occur.
Dealing with my own grief
I have a funny relationship with grief. I want it to come. I almost beckon it, begging for the grief to set in. I know that when the grieving process starts, the healing process is beginning. When I first placed my birth son, the grief began immediately. I decided from the beginning that I was not going to hold back any tears, thoughts or emotions. I found healing in many different ways during this process, but I will go into further detail in a future post.
I did not fight the grief. I would often find myself crying at inconvenient times or emotions bubbling up unexpectedly. This can seem awkward to some, but I embrace it because I know it has played an essential part in my healing. Recently, I was speaking with a friend about my birth son, and I started to cry. My birth son is almost 8 years old. It is not something that I suspect will just disappear. I think grief gets easy to bare but sometimes does not ever disappear.
It is important to remember that grief is a natural part of healing. Holding grief in might lead to issues in the future. In my experience, it is best to let the grief come so the healing can begin.
Grieving is personal and different for each person. What works for one person might not work for another. I found solace in writing poetry. As I mentioned earlier, I also allowed my emotions to be released whenever I felt the need. When I would feel overwhelmed and the emotion was just too much to bare, I would pour my heart into poetry. Eventually, poetry was not my outlet anymore. I needed to find a new outlet. I eventually started assisting and mentoring other expectant mothers and birth mothers. Helping others was very therapeutic. I was able to focus on their needs and that was healing to me.
I still try to assist expectant parents and birth mothers to the best of my ability. Serving others has helped heal my heart. Finding what heals your heart and how to grieve properly is deeply personal. Once you discover what heals your heart, dive in. Find multiple outlets to assist in the healing process. If you feel the need to cry, do it. If you feel the need to express your emotions, do it. Through expressing your grief through multiple outlets and letting grief into your life, the healing process will begin.
My Bleeding Heart
Right after placement of my birth son, I started writing my poetry. While writing my poetry, and analogy came to me that I still use to this day. I called my analogy the bleeding heart.
After my birth son was born, I had a huge gash in my heart. I put that gash in my heart myself. Just because I put it there does not make it hurt any less. As time went on, stitches were put over the gash, trying to close the gaping hole I had. Sometimes the stitches would bleed. Sometimes the stitches would need to be replaced. As time went on, the past stiches were removed and a huge scar was left on my fragile heart. The scar was so tender at first and would still cause great pain at times. Now the scar remains, but just as any scar, the pain has lessened but will never truly disappear. My bleeding heart has healed, but that scar is a reminder of the beautiful child that I gladly broke my own heart for.