I read a quote today that made me think a lot about the grief processes many experience after the adoption decision has been made…
No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear. – C.S. Lewis
In a lot of ways the grief process does involve fear, fear of the unkown, fear that the family will take the baby and run, fear that you will be forgotten fear that you will forget your baby…I’ve thought a lot about this over the past couple of weeks as I’ve watched a very special client learn to deal with her grief..
I’m sure every person is a little familiar with the stages of grief but in a nut shell they’re
denial/shockàsadness/depressionà Angeràfear/bargainingàresistance and Acceptance
the biggest thing to keep in mind is that they’re normal, always changing and not the same for everyone!
Here’s one birthmoms take on the stages…
Posted by Girl in Monday, November 2nd 2009
I don’t like any of the grief stages! This birthmom deal is not at all like I imagined it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change my decision. I know she was meant to be adopted into her family. I am still so amazed at how clear that was. It’s just that post-adoption is nothing at all like I thought, not even close. Not worse, not better, just different. I guess all I had to go on was my own imagination at the time! Come to think of it, I don’t know how I pictured it, maybe I didn’t fully, it just seemed much more “do-able” then. It still is, it’s just that every emotion that I think should be next, is always the total opposite in reality.
Usually my body starts aching when I am trying to avoid an emotion. I’m just all over the place with my feelings. It’s an overall weird feeling when time goes by and the memory of someone you can see slowly drifting away. It’s like you know that’s supposed to happen and it is how anyone grieves a loss and gets better over time, but I want to fight it inside with all my heart too!
I don’t want to reach acceptance and forget my daughter and I don’t want to be forgotten in the least bit. Even if she resented me for the adoption, I would like her to know I never went a second without thinking about her. But it’s not about holding onto it because I feel guilty and think it will hurt her to move n (that is the common response I get) It’s more selfish than that. Instead I can’t (or it feels I can’t) let go because I think it will hurt ME to do so. If it’s biological, then why try process anything, it’s ingrained in you. Maybe it is inevitable though, the mind just will forget… and that just, well, sucks. That’s my feeling about the dang grief processing model!
The reason I liked this portrayal is because the fears and concerns every birth mom faces are real but when looking at grief I encourage you to seek support and know that what you’re feeling is normal…ultimately the goal is to reach a peace in your decision not necessarily to forget your child and your very important role in their life!