Saturday, November 15, 2014

Hit a wall

I've been on a downward spiral for a couple of weeks now.  I can't seem to escape, not even for a few seconds, the constant replay of Zachary's life, illness, death and all the incidents and details that surround all of it. I know at my core that he is dead and nothing (but grieving) can be done, but somehow my brain and nervous system have been fooled to fight furiously for him anyway.  The grief seems to want to consume me.  I can't even organize my thoughts and emotions well enough to write about them, as evidenced by my lack of posting here. 

Friday was the eighth day in the last two weeks where I awoke with a painful headache and heart-racing panic attacks about Zachary.  As I attempted to push through on Friday morning, as I packed lunch and started breakfast for C.T., my mind and body finally hit a wall and gave in to the brewing breakdown.  I found myself, in the midst of putting breakfast on the table, completely unable to care for C.T. or myself.  Everything in me, except for my tears and racing, panicked thoughts, ceased to function.  Fortunately, B was there to step in and care for C.T. and me.  The few hours he spent at work felt like an eternity while I was home alone in my fragile state.        

I feel stable(ish) right this moment, although I'm still battling the same headache and panic attacks today.  It is fortunate for me that B is around for the weekend.     

I refuse to feel ashamed of this weakness, of my need for some professional help which I plan on seeking as soon as possible.  Zachary died just nine and 1/2 months ago, just as I had worked for years to reclaim a new life, seven and 1/4 years after B.W. died.  I have been through hell.  Of course I've broken down.  I am trying to live with this hell, to play nice, after watching my two-week old son suffer and die.  It is amazing that I have made it this far without the help of a professional. 

B reminded me today that he hasn't uttered the words Everything is going to be okay since the moments before we learned of Zachary's brain hemorrhage.  That's because everything is not okay.  Zachary is dead and we are not okay.   

My writing will probably be spotty as I regain some kind of foothold.     


  1. sending much love your way. It's not a weakness- it's simply reality. how is one supposed to cope when their baby dies? when two of their babies die? you deserve a medal for simply getting out of bed. hang in there as best you can and know that there is a wider community out here thinking of you.

  2. Thinking of you

    Even though i'm in another time zone, i'm there if you want to chat by phone

    Yes it is terribly imcredibly hard and unfair


  3. Gretchen,
    I'm sorry things have been so difficult for you. Don't be so hard on yourself (though it's easier said than done). There is nothing weak about needing help to deal with the compounded grief you are going through. I truly hope you find a professional who will be understanding and able to walk alongside you for as long as you need.

    I am thinking of you and your beautiful boys. xo

  4. Oh Gretchen, I had a slight feeling that things were off. I should have replied with more substance with my previous email. I'm proud of you for sharing this here. What can I do? We've got each other's phone #s- would a call help? I'm not opposed to bringing my E on a quick trip to Chicago ;) I have a feeling she & CT would get along well. Please let me know, whatever it is...

    1. What I meant to convey is "I would LOVE to pay you a visit"- but I didn't want to be too presumptive. Thinking of you non-stop...

  5. Thank you to everyone for your kind words of support and friendship.