Friday, September 16, 2011

Walk to Remember Dilemma

First, let me start by saying that I know it's been a while since my last post.  A lot has happened since then and I promise I'll update soon.

Anyhow, on to the reason for this post.  Every year, on the first Sunday in October, Rising Hope (the support group Tim and I attend) has a Walk to Remember.  It is held at the cemetery where Brianna is buried and we are encouraged to invite friends and family, basically anyone we feel can support us.

Last year was our first Walk.  We were only 7 or 8 weeks out from our loss, but I really wanted to be there.  Tim and I opted to not to invite anyone make it just for me and him.  The day was everything I thought it would be and more.  It was hard, it was painful, I cried a lot.  But it was also a day of hope for us because of all the children that were in attendance.  To see that these other families had suffered the tragedy of losing a baby and went on to have other kids.  To see that their lost baby was still important to them, that they still took the time to acknowledge his/her short meant the world to me.  I still remember one little boy, maybe 8 or 9.  I overheard him talking and he said that he was there to remember his twin sister, who died when they were babies.  He was so honest, so matter of fact about it.  His parents had raised him to know his sister.  She wasn't some un-mentionable secret, but a real part of their lives.  She still had a presence in their family.  If we are ever blessed to have take-home kids, that is what I want.  For them to know of their older sister, for Brianna to be a part of this family, not hidden away.

Anyhow, back on to my dilemma.  This year, the Walk to Remember is again on the first Sunday in October. Tim and I were planning on going again, just the two of us.  However, he found out yesterday that he has to be out of town for work training for the two weeks that straddle that weekend.  So, he's going to miss the Walk this year.  And while I'm sad that he won't be there, I understand why he can't go.  This training is important and will help him keep his job, which is really important in this economy.  But, at the same time, I don't want to go to the Walk alone.  Yes, there will be lots of other people there.  And yes, I've gotten to know a handful of them over this last year through the support group and even would call some of them friends.  But, it's not the same thing.  I feel that I need to have someone there with me, to support me, to remember Brianna with me.

So, here's the real problem.  Do I invite my parents?  I already know that they have out-of-town plans for the day before, so they may not be able to make it.  Do I want to ask them anyway, knowing they may have to decline?  Will that make them feel guilty/bad for not going?  Also, there's some unresolved things with my Dad over my grief (in a nutshell, he thinks I should be "better" by now, doesn't understand why I still see a therapist every 2 weeks, why I still go to support group every month, doesn't understand why I'd want to be around all the "sadness").  Do I really want my parents there and risk seeing their looks of pity, risk seeing their uncomfortable-ness?  Do I want to risk them seeing my tears, my sadness?  The "real" me that I hide away from them because I want them to think that I'm ok, that I'm "fine" all the time?

Or, I could invite some of my friends.  But, would the invitation make them feel weird?  If they decline, would they feel guilty (not at all what I'd want them to feel)?  If they go, will they feel awkward?

And in the end, the day is supposed to be about Brianna and the other babies.  And will having "outsiders" there as my support group take away from that?  Will I be so concerned with their perception of me, will I worry about their feelings too much that it will take away from the purpose of the day?


EmptyArms said...

I love the idea of a Walk to Remember. I think I want to do something like that as well.

I have already discovered on this journey that people can't face dealing with the loss of baby. Friends and family of mine don't call or talk to me so much anymore. Family members who I have always been so close to are distant and stutter over their words. I don't want that right now so I avoid them, but one day I hope to get them back.

You should invite your family and even your friends. The whole goal of this journey we are on is to rediscover life and love and all the beautiful things that we have lost. Give them a chance to at least consider going with you and it will give you a chance to maybe reconnect and help them see you are still grieving and will be forever but this is okay.

But if they say no or if you feel awkard walking with them, forget about them for that moment. Think about your sweet girl and know that your purpose on that day is to remember her.

Just the thoughts that popped in my head reading what you wrote. <3


Mandy said...


Thanks for your input. I think I will invite my parents. All I really can control is my actions and my reactions to them. I'll let them decide what they want to do and take it from there. If I don't ask, they never even get the chance to surprise me!

I wonder if there is a local group near you that does something like a Walk to Remember. I've heard that there are things like that all over the place (from reading other blogs, hearing from other babyloss friends, etc). Maybe see if there's a local Compassionate Friends near you (they are a grief support group - for the loss of a child though, not just babies). I know that they do an annual candle lighting thing in early December.

Susan Franks said...

Hi Mandy,

Love the Walk to Remember - went to my first one after Jordan back in 96. Missed a lot in between, but we started going back again last year.

As for inviting your parents, invite who you think you will be comfortable with seeing you grieve because we all know that we will be crying our eyes out during the entire thing and if your dad thinks you should be "better" by now, in my opinion, that won't help you. Do you have a close friend that has been there with you through it all and would support you 100%? Another idea is to go onto the Grieve Out Loud or Faces of Loss page and see if anyone else is in your area that will be attending as well. If I were closer to you, you bet I'd be right there with you remembering Brianna!

I sent you a msg on FB last week - hope you received it!

Thinking of you!