7.30.2009

Walking With You - The Ripples Flow to Our Marriage



Walking With You was created to help support those who have lost a child. Together we share our stories, helpful information, scriptures, encouraging words, prayer requests, and more. Thank you to those of you who have joined us for the past few weeks...for courageously sharing your stories. If you haven't joined us yet, and would like to, you are more than welcome. This week, we are sharing the impact our loss(es) had on our marriage.

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For those who don't know our story, Leila was born at 19w5d on May 21, 2009. A complete surprise. We didn't have any advanced warning, or a chance to grieve or plan ahead of time. Our earliest indication was probably 30 minutes before she came into this world.

I have so many horrible memories from that night. But one that haunts me so much is hearing my husband sobbing in the bathroom while Nikki, my nurse, was cleaning me up. I remember this overwhelming urge to get out of that bed and go to him, to comfort him. It's the first time I've ever heard him so distraught. And it was scary.

Yasar and I are blessed in our marriage. We have a love for each other that stems from years of struggles, compromise, and mutual respect. He is my gift from God. My rock. Truly the completion of me.

So when we came home from the hospital, I really expected that we'd grieve our way through this together. It got very hard when, a few weeks later, he no longer understood me. Or understands me. Lots of angry words were thrown around. Accusations and recriminations. It's hurt me so much that we can't grieve together. That he's not grieving, and not very accepting of my grieving.

My husband's Syrian. A WAY different culture than ours. A culture likes to shove this kind of situation under the carpet as fast as possible. They don't acknowledge it, and they certainly don't grieve for miscarriages. I'm pretty sure they're convinced that grief is something invented by American therapists to keep them in business.

My in-laws gave me a wonderful gift a few days ago. The phone service is spotty in Syria, so we don't get to talk to them often. In fact, Yasar last spoke to them to give them the bad news. So he called to chat with them for a bit, and they talked to him about his sister and her three stillbirths. And how grief can make it hard for a woman to get through each day. They validated my feelings for my husband, and I think now he understands a little better.

We're probably not going to emerge from this without war wounds. But God has a way of taking our scars and using them for His Glory - He's been doing it for the 11 years we've been together.

12 comments:

  1. I"m so glad to hear the In-Laws are supportive and understanding of your pain. And because of the culture your husband comes from, it's probably better that he hear such things from his own family, from that same culture. It better helps him to realize that reality is often different than upbringing without that reality.

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  2. What a blessing that God brought your husband together with his family to reassure him that what you're going through is natural.

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  3. I'm sure there are difficulties with him being of a different culture. I'm so glad his family was able to help him understand your grief. I hope things have been much better since then.

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  4. I know it's hard for the men. They want to fix EVERYTHING for us. And between fixing and grieving, they choose to fix. I think I'm going to blog about this, but I'm still working it all out in my head. I know how much I hurt, and even if my husband if feeling 1/10 of that, it kills me to know someone I love so much has to feel that pain. I don't let myself even think it, because it really does just kill me. I don't know- but I hope my husband's family is as supportive as your husband's is.

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  5. I'll have to post on my blog about this, but you're not alone for sure. My husband and I have had a lot of issues because we just grieve differently. I want us to be in the same place and act the same. He hurt me by trying to be "normal" and it made me feel like he didn't care. I knew that he was as devastated as I was, but I couldn't comprehend acting that way even if it was just an act. I also think it made other people (his family) think that I was wrong because of how "badly" I was taking things since he was doing ok. We're trying to understand each other more and put the pieces back together. I hope that you and your husband can work it out and find ways to support each other.

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  6. Emily...thank you so much for sharing your heart and the journey through your grief and it's effects on your marriage. Thinking of your husband sobbing in the bathroom tore at my heart. I know that it is hard to grieve differently than the one you love so dearly. Even though he is quiet, he is still grieving. It is so hard for many husbands to show those feelings...to visit that place of pain. Thank you for sharing your heart on this, Emily. Continuing to pray for you...

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  7. I think it's funny how different you say your husband is...I wonder if its because his folks are in Syria. My family is a very typical American family eventhough my parents were not born here. My parents don't shove things under the carpet and they have grieved as much as we have.

    babyparamore.blogspot.com

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  8. I am new to your blog and your story touched me so much....I will be back to read more....

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  9. when will this book be coming out? it sounds amazing.

    i'm so happy you are getting some sympathy from your husband's family. i think my husband is still grieving but he doesnt share it with me so it feels one-sided sometimes. not easy.

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  10. You know, once I found out that Logan died from complications due to Down Syndrome I started to convince myself that God took Logan from this earth because the earth wasn't fit for my Logan. He saved Logan from a life of pain. I started to think of myself as collateral damage. I still try to remember that, though honestly it's hard most days. I'm not sure how much of that I belive, that God did it for Logan and not to get back at me for something. But I think along with our hearts and dreams and hopes and innoncence and friendships and relationships, I think our marriages are all part of the collateral damage. Yea, it might bring some closer, and some further, but all of us experience "weirdness" in our marraiges at some point, to some degree. Men and women grieve at different times and in much different ways. I do not know how to help my husband who is full of tears for the first time in months, for the first time in out 14 years together. I think that a lot of the anger we see from our spouses is just frustration with themselves, with God and with the entire situation. Men fix stuff, this can not be fixed. It frustrates them, it makes them angry and a lot of men just don't know how to deal, heal or express themselves. I'm sorry that you have to experience the ripple effect in your marriage when dealing with a baby dying is so hard all by itself. It is wonderful that your in-laws were able to explain to their son the hardships involved with stillbirth and baby loss. I hope that things improve in your marriage. Thinking of you.

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  11. I am going to blog about this too. My husband always reads my blog and I think blogging about our changed relationship will help us understand one another. In our case, I got back to work and was able to carry on a conversation without mentioning Akul, but my husband is incapable of that. At times he thinks that just because I am able to live and smile and be nice to people, I do not miss Akul. But I do. I miss him every minute of every day. Perhaps your husband misses your child too. he just handles grief differently.

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  12. The grief drew us closer for the first couple of weeks and then pushed us apart. It was only recently that my husband really started showing his true feelings. He's been crying a lot and talking about how depressed he's been. It's so hard. And, it's just another component to all of this. I wanted to let you know I moved to butterflybaby15.blogspot.com

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