Monday, April 19, 2010

The wedding

Thanks for all your support following my little meltdown on Friday night. It really helped seeing as I didn't have the... what's the word? The 'altogetherness' (or something) to actually share it with anyone face to face.

The wedding, in the end, was great. Sometimes in this grieving thing you have to be strong enough to set your own tone... some days this is possible and some days it is not. But Saturday it was. Some people asked "how's your lighty doing? You were pregnant last I saw you" and similar such questions and I told them, frankly, what had happened. Others knew and asked questions and I answered and steered the conversation elsewhere, but somehow I managed to be normal and this seemed to allow them to treat me as such. (*as any other grievers will know this is not a simple thing that you can do at will, but every now and then you can and it's a relief to feel strong enough*)

Anyway, one thing I have noticed, which I found really interesting (in a objective, looking in at my experience from the outside type of way) is that men seem mostly a whole lot more comfortable around me and the topic than woman. Many woman are incredibly awkward and yet men will even just bring it up out the blue. Interesting.

So one guy who I haven't seen in years, so much so that I didn't actually even recognise him, started talking to me. He said something along the lines of "So I know about what happened and I just want you to know that there are so so many people around the world but certainly in East London praying for you. My prayer group has been praying for you since the day it happened."

Hectic, hey?

Turns out he can really relate to that vulnerable feeling of knowing you're the subject of converation and pity. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer and given 6 months to live (in 2008 - he is now in remission). He said it got to a point where he just wanted to actually move somewhere else because he couldn't bear the looks that he got all the time (you know: the head tilt or worse, the eye avoidance). But he said his wife gave him good perspective: she said that "yes, a lot of people are thinking about you, but even if just a fraction of those people are praying for you, well, then it's worth it, isn't it?"

I like that. She's right.

I am also quite interested at the evolution of my process. I know that many have lamented the reactions of other people and their awkwardness around us ('us' being those who've lost children). And up to this weekend it had actually never really bothered me. I wonder if that's one of the stages of this thing. Because this feeling of vulnerability in relation to others is certainly quite new to me.

This weekend I will be in East London and my mom wants me to go to church with her. I am dreading it. I know all those people have prayed for me, but now that I am showing they will all be looking at me with concern and saying "look after yourself" etc etc. Which is perfectly normal but it is INTENSE!

There was a conversation in the work kitchen a short while ago... a friend said something about me having an internal thermostat and the other people were like "Oh! so are you??" type of thing. Everyone is very happy etc etc but then came the inevitable stern finger wag and the "Jy moet rerig na jouself nou sorg. Jy moet aseblief versigtig wees!" (You must really look after yourself. You must please be careful!)

I KNOW!!!!!!!!! I KNOW THAT!!!! please please for the love of all things sacred PLEASE don't assume that I would be anything other than downright frikken paranoid! I haven't had a sip of alcohol, not a sip. Not a sip of coffee or tea. Not a sniff of real sushi. Nothing. I shout at drivers when I'm the passenger to ensure that they drive at snail's pace over speed bumps. SPEED BUMPS!! BUT(!!!) I didn't cause Sophia's death and I couldn't have prevented it and do you not realise that this warning implies exactly that to me??

Fear not, I smiled at the nice aunty and nodded. I didn't scream out the above paragraph. I was restrained. She means well. Course she does. But the above paragraph is what I screamed inside my head.

9 comments:

cestlavietlb said...

Glad to hear you are doing better :) I was thinking of you on Sat!

I think woman have a harder time dealing with awkward things because we tend to be more sensitive (hyper-sensitive?) while men tend to be more for straight talking and less likely to 'play games'.

B said...

i'm glad it went ok in the end!

i think people are just scared and want to pretend that we have some - any! - measure of control over all this. they don't mean to imply that you were at fault. but i would hear it that way too.

angel said...

Ooh ooh - can I come with you and shout for you!?!
I do hear you, but it must take immense control not to say anything.

AngelinAfrica said...

Like I mentioned on Twitter, I have been a very bad blog-reader as I have been reading your blog forever and never commented. I'm a bit shy like that. It's shocking. Promise to fix it!

I think you are *such* an amazing and strong woman to have been through everything you have and still come across with such a positive outlook on life. I totally admire you.

I can only imagine how difficult it must be facing all these people who try to show you sympathy and say stupid things.

I don't think anyone who has not been in your situation could know exactly what to say to you. I remember crying when I read about how you lost your little girl - your story touched my heart and yet I had no idea how to let you know. I did not have the right words. What I do know now is no matter what, Sophia Grace may not be here, but she is your daughter and your first born child. There is absolutely nothing you could have done to prevent what happened and people need to stop making you feel that you could have changed the outcome.

There are many many people rooting for you and your little Kernel, and I am sure her big sister Sophia is your little angel looking over you both. I cannot wait to meet your new baby girl.

xxx

Bananaramagirl said...

So glad you enjoyed it in the end. Must be difficult, but in 12 weeks time you will have a beautiful baby to show off to the world. So exciting! Bring on the maternity leave! 12 weeks for me and counting.

x

cassey said...

I'm with angel on this one, take someone with to do your shouting. I don't think that they mean well is good enough, it's rude to even imply that you did something wrong...especially, when it's as plain as their noses that you didn't.

Well done to you for being nice :)

Caz said...

Thanks ladies xxxx
really appreciate this x

Getting Legless with Lorna said...

Hi Caz
Sorry I have been awol for a while...busy studying etc...but Im sorry to hear what happened on Sat.I TOTALLY understand what you mean by peoples' reactions...it PISSES me off!And I hate pity...it really grinds my goat.Obviously,some people mean well and all and obviously I appreciate prayers,but shyzers,people can be such morons.ANYWAYS, I'm glad you're back to your happy self...but we all have moments,so just chillax...Oh,and go have a Freezeland for me while you're down in Slummies ;)

Gina said...

I gave you an award :) http://gnatj.com/2010/04/23/my-very-first-blog-award/