Detaching

The past few days have been about detaching.

Detaching is my made-up term for part of grieving.

I only know my grief, and I am rather inexperienced with the subject on the whole.  But I imagine that what I’ve been experiencing is shared by others in their own way.

So what I have been calling ‘detaching’ is the process of letting things that have become symbolic go back to being just things again.

This isn’t the same as the ‘purge and hide’ process.  Equally important, more urgent really, that was when we shut down our Facebook walls, put all the books, sonogram photos, and tiny socks in one room and shut the door, and unsubscribed from every bump.com or maternity store email list.

(And by way, bump.com, you really want to ask ‘Why are you unsubscribing?’  Really?!?  I can’t stop getting your emails telling me what size fruit my babies would be without having to write something in this box?  Because the reason I’m unsubscribing, bump.com, is that those babies are gone now and your cute emails make me cry.  As does having to write all this to you in your unsubscribe box.  And I know I could just write something else, but now I’m hurt, so I’m telling you the truth and I hope you feel a little bad.)

Harumph.

But detaching is something totally different.  There are all these things that have become symbolic of pregnancy and the life we thought we were moving towards.  In just a few months, regular old stuff took on an extra layer of meaning beyond its original one.

Example 1:  Coffee used to mean morning was here. Coffee went along with quiet reading and always came after exercise, meaning exercise was done. (Yay!)

But then, coffee didn’t sound good at all.  So for months the french press has been collecting dust.

Example 2:  Being someone who hates to be cold as much as I hate anything on earth, baths and hot tubs are my eternal friends.  What a great way to get very warm very fast.  And they’re relaxing and a great place to daydream.

But then, anything that could heat up core body temperature is on the no-no list.  Never mind the lovely steamy jacuzzi by our house.  The best it can do is heat my feet.

And the list of things goes on.  Little behaviors that changed to accommodate the pregnancy or things that we bought with the expectation that our new family would need them.  The larger floor rug that would be great for crawling on.  The super-nice camera I’ve wanted for ten years but could never justify buying.  And then my in-laws were so nice and got it for us to take pictures of the kiddos.

Now, none of those things, none of those behaviors mean what they did for the past 5 months.  I can order Diet Coke at lunch again.

Except that it’s really hard to order Diet Coke at lunch again.  Because ordering Diet Coke means I am not pregnant.

Sitting in a jacuzzi means I am not pregnant.

Making morning coffee means I am not pregnant.

So detaching is what I’ve named the slow process of getting back to a place where coffee is just coffee, a camera is just a camera, and Diet Coke is just Diet Coke.

Eventually, those things have to just be things, and not representations of what would have been.

11 thoughts on “Detaching

  1. Pingback: Steps of Faith « Meredith Miller

  2. i remember well this stage of grief…every “normale” thing i did was a reminder that i was no longer pregnant. something as simple as laying on my stomach for a back rub would send me into tears…and 2 years later I am still getting offers in the mail for diaper services.

  3. Dear Meredith,

    It has been many years since we’ve seen each other from Westmont, and I’m not even positive you’ll remember me 😉 But I stumbled across your blog and am so deeply touched by your beautiful words about a topic that is so tragic and incomprehensible that I just had to write you. Chris and I don’t have kids yet, but as we look forward to that time, it is so very difficult to understand how things like this happen in our world and how we can move on from such pain.

    Though I wish I had some profound words of comfort, I really just wanted you to know that tonight I cried with you and am one person in the world who’s praying fervently for you and your family for comfort & peace.

    With love and many prayers,
    Katie

  4. I don’t know you, but my in laws attend your father’s church (or is it your dad-in-law? I’m not sure). Any way, they forwarded your blog post to me. I lost a baby last April-at 20 weeks-a little boy, Micah. I just want you to know, I have been where you are and where you will be, and you and your family are in my prayers. You put the process of detaching beautifully and I remember doing the same thing-it is part of grief. I know you have a loving, supportive network around you, but if you ever have questions or just want to talk to someone who has been there, please feel free to contact me. I am pregnant again now with our rainbow baby (I learned that is what your first baby after your loss is called-a beautiful image in my opinion). I didn’t know if I’d ever want to get pregnant again after our loss and I wanted to offer to talk if you ever have questions.

    Any way, I am just offering my support to you. Love from one mama to another.
    Hugs.

  5. I can’t imagine the grief you are experiencing right now… you, Curtis, other family members… But you are already, through your own grief, being a great witness to others. I can see God working through you in the this terrible time and He will bless you because of it. I will keep you in my prayers…. Keep your eyes on Him and you will feel joy and happiness again soon. Hugs to you all…. ❤
    Sandi

  6. You so beautifully put into words what so many of us have felt. You come to mind so often and when you do, I say a prayer for peace, for contentment and for a new normal to come soon!
    Much love and big hugs to you.
    Tammy

  7. It seems weird and odd to hit “Like” to this on FB….and words seem weird and odd too. God Bless You for turning your words into expressions of grief. I didnt eat eggs for 4 years since I ate them the day my husband moved out. Now I can eat them. Now they are just eggs. With time and space, those things requiring detachment will be just those things…or maybe not. And thats ok, too. Grace and peace to you and Curtis in the life you have, just for today.

    Love, Jennifer B.

  8. Mer,

    You really impress and amaze me. Not just being able to deal with what you are going through, but to be able to open that up to the world and share, and then to do so in a way that is so eloquent and put in a way that anyone can understand and relate to.

    You are a very blessed woman. I know you know that, as does Curtis and your family and friends.

    Always remember that God has great plans for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    But I know you know that too.

    Love and prayers to you all, especially through these times.

    David and Stephanie

  9. Mer,
    It is heart breaking to read your words. You are a strong woman and I am very proud of the way you are able to share at this time in your life. Detaching is good and part of the “process ” of healing. Ed and I pray for you and Curtis during this heart breaking time… We pray gor strength, we pray for healing and we pray that one day soon you will not have to ” detach” anymore.

  10. Meredith I am sooo sorry for your loss!!! I did not know!!! I am sooo sorrry!! That is all I can say. My prayers are with you and Curtis!!! Jamie

  11. I am so sorry for your loss! My heart is grieving for you. No one should have to experience this amount of pain. I am praying for you constantly that joy will replace sorrow. Much love, Liz

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