Friday, July 20, 2012

Stupid Sesame Street

The grief counselor with hospice sent a Sesame Street movie called "When Families Grieve" for my kids to watch.

I am now watching Elmo and his cousin cry about losing the cousin's father, Elmo's Uncle Jack. My middle age kids are fascinated and barely moving. The littles are refusing to be quiet and actually watch.

I am grateful that my littles have an art therapist who works with our wrap-around program. That means a large portion of her clientile are dealing with a sibling with a life-threatening illness. They don't all die, but they are life-threatening. So, she will be here next week and will work with the little two in processing their grief.

Right now, L gets angry when we push too much talking about Micah and missing him. J is totally clueless. He feels grief.....but he is three and really cannot express it well. The Sesame Street movie was great for the middles who watched it. L just got angrier and angrier at the whole thing. Sigh. I would say she's okay, but she's having a LOT of tantruming behaviors. Last night, she was still kicking and raging past 10pm. The night before she came into our bed and peed it. She hasn't had a nighttime accident in a year but she did that night.

My children keep trying to move on as if nothing is happening, yet there is so much pain right now that it is palpable. The decision to put all but C into school was actually not about their grief but mine. However, I cannot help but hope that the routine, the getting around other kids, and the opportunity have school employees who can check in with them and support them can only help them right now. I couldn't do that if we were still in that horrible, inner-city ghetto district we were in the last time I tried putting kids into school. This district is SO much different than that past experience. This district is small and has been so respectful of our kids and our unique family situation. When we sent in the homeschool decleration and C was the only one on it, when they were expecting three kids to be on it, they actually called us to make certain it wasn't a typo. There was no mention that it was late because we were dealing with Micah dying.

I'm just so afraid that I will miss anyone who isn't a squeaky wheel. At least twice every day, I personally check in with each and every child right now. I take notes for therapists. I contact hospice when I feel the pain becomes overwhelming. We still have three weeks of hospice services before we lose the in-home services Micah allowed us to qualify for. What taxpayers decided four weeks were sufficient is beyond me, but that's the reality. All but two of the kids either already have or in process of having therapy services either individually, for those with mental health issues that complicate this, or through our wrap-around program therapy services. Of those two, R is still responding well to the hospice services. I told our case manager with the wrap-around program that I want her with a private therapist when she loses hospice. That only leaves A. I offered him the hospice teen support group. Thus far, he's been resistive to services outside of hospice. He's been getting one-on-one therapy from a hospice social worker. He likes that therapist. I just have to convince him to keep having someone to check in with at least once a month when he loses that therapist in three weeks. Yet, I still fear I will forget someone, or miss seeing how great their needs are right now.

As for me, I haven't reached the point where I can think about services for me. The wrap-around program provides me with weekly massage therapy. I searched online without luck for a support group for parents who have lost children and not suffered miscarriages. I did find the local hospice support group and I'm going to go try it this Saturday. II wants to go with me. Right now, I don't feel like I need individual therapy per se. I just feel like I need to find people who have been through this and tended to their children while walking through their own grief. I don't feel like my grief is dysfunctional. I am supposed to hurt. I am supposed to sometimes just sit down and cry. I'm supposed to be moved to bawling by a stupid sesame street character right now. I'm supposed to have trouble sleeping, and wake up in a panic that I didn't take care of Micah today. All of what I am dealing with is normal. I cannot walk through this grief any faster than I have walked through grief in the past. I have to walk this path. It feels so much different than other grief processes I have endured in the past. It's different than losing beloved grandparents, which I have endured three times now. It's different than losing adopted sisters who left my family as if dead. It's different from being raped, or giving a child up for adoption. It's different than three miscarriages, though one of those was a second trimester loss. It's different, though most similiar, to when II betrayed me and nearly destroyed our marriage. that grief I was alone and did not trust him. In this grief, we are together, hurting but holding onto each other somehow. So I focus on my children because that is something I know HOW to do right now. I still feel so keenly the words whispered to my heart when I laid Micah back down, "you have done all you can for this child, now tend to the living."

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