Saturday, December 3, 2011

Husbands and Grief

It has been interesting to watch how different I am grieving than how Lucas is. I had kinda forgotten about how bad it hurt last time. Maybe this is because if I thought about it too much I would  never heal. But, I had also forgotten how bad it hurts Lucas, and how sometimes he is so good at hiding it that it becomes too easy to assume he is okay.

Because of my surgeries, Lucas used taking care of me as his outlet for his feelings. He is able to focus all his energy into making sure I am okay. Then  he went to work because for him it is helpful to be distracted and to go to work. He has a hard time spending time focusing on his own feelings. I think, to him, it feels selfish to really cry about all he is sad about. He, like a man, would like to be able to set a checklist for his grief and get it out of the way quickly so he can continue taking care of our family. I cant really blame him for wanting to skip the pain. Or ignore it. Or pretend it isn't there. But both he and I know it is there and its huge.

I dont even think he, like many grieving husbands do, consciously TRIES to ignore it. I think it is how they survive. I think moving on and appearing normal is their way of getting back to actually feeling normal. For me, I still hide in the apartment. I still get nervous when I see people. But for him, he needs to get back out there. He needs to feel like himself.

Sometimes, for both of us, we are numb. We feel perfectly alright. We can talk about Kellen and Molly with smiles on our faces and know they are happy and we are happy. But moments later we can be crying in public or walking down the street to try and avoid ripping up everything we own in a fit of rage.

So, I guess my point today is this, it is hard for husbands too.

Most of the time, even though intentions good, people come up to us and they look at ME and ask me how I am doing. They hug ME and tell me they are praying for ME. They email ME. They send ME cards. Meanwhile Lucas is left wondering how in the world people have forgotten that HE LOST HIS CHILD TOO. HE ALSO LOST A SECOND BABY.

I think, for some strange reason, this is thought to be my trial. But, I am only half of a whole. Many make the mistake, though not trying to be rude, of telling Lucas that they are praying for me. Not that they are praying for BOTH OF US, but that they are praying for me. Now he won't admit to it, but I know him. I know people. I dont think a single husband who is going through a loss like this would hear that and not think...Does anyone care how I am doing? Does anyone notice that my heart is also broken?

I guess I am hoping that for those of you who read this, please remember Lucas.
Next time someone you know loses a baby, or is going through a trial, please remember that BOTH husband and wife are crushed.
Please remember that writing your feelings down and crying are not the only signs that someone is hurt. Sometimes husbands are REALLY good at appearing okay.
But even if they seem totally normal, continue to ask them how THEY are doing.

For the friends who have written Lucas letters or sent him texts to see if he is okay, know that he appreciates it. A friend of ours wrote a letter just to Lucas and left it in our apartment to find after they left. Lucas carried it around and then read it when he was by himself. It is still sitting next to the bed. I think it meant to world to him. Others have called to see just how HE is holding up, and I know the fact that others recognize that he hurts too is enough to make him, even if just for a moment, feel a little better because of your love.

I know that his aching heart is just as in need of your personal words of comfort.
This wont go away overnight for either of us, so please remember him as you have always remembered me.  Thank you <3 <3

No comments: