By: Amy Lied
Grief is now a lifelong companion for me.
Over the course of the four years that I have been living with grief, it has evolved. Now, I can breathe easier, the grief more in the background with the occasional really heavy day.
During those initial days after the loss of my son, every day was heavy. It was all I could think about. The weight of our loss, of our grief, was smothering.
Four years later and the impact of those initial days is still felt.
When Asher died, I pulled away. I wanted to be alone in my grief.
I didn’t want to be around others whose lives had continued when mine stopped.
I didn’t want to pretend to be okay around people (honestly, when I tried it didn’t go well).
I wanted to sit in my sadness, all day every day.
I wanted to stare at the TV screen and wait for an appropriate time to go to bed and repeat the process.
I wanted to be around others who understood that sadness and I pulled away from those whom I felt couldn’t relate to me.
Now, four years later, the repercussions of those first days are still felt. Many of my relationships with my “non-loss” friends have changed.
When I first joined this club that nobody wants to be a member of, I remember other loss moms telling me that relationships would change after losing a child, that people wouldn’t be supportive of my grief. At the time, I thought it was crazy because we had received nothing but support from all the people in our lives after Asher died.
Over time though, I noticed relationships changed. I noticed people stopped checking it. The ones I considered close friends, didn’t feel so close to me anymore.
I blamed them for the shift in our relationship.
Recently, I had a difficult conversation with a friend. We both admitted that we weren’t as close as we once were and that we both were sad about it. It wasn’t a shock. It was obvious, but it was the first time we actually talked about it. We talked about how I pulled away and she wasn’t sure how to help me. She stated that maybe she was just a part of my “before” and that perhaps she wasn’t meant to be a part of my “after”.
That was hard to hear.
We were so close before I started to struggle with infertility and lost Asher. I hated that this whole time she felt like she didn’t belong in my life anymore.
It clicked that maybe the change in my relationships from the “before” to the “after”, isn’t all the other person’s fault. I see that those initial days, weeks, months of my grief also contributed to the shift because I isolated myself.
I pushed them away.
I withdrew into my little bubble because it was easier for me.
It was what I needed to do at the time to cope with the immense loss of my son. I won’t apologize for something I had to do in order to survive from one day to the next.
However, I am realizing now that people didn’t stop caring. They didn’t move on past the loss of Asher or stop supporting me.
They just didn’t know how to get to me.
They didn’t know how to breach the bubble that I created, and because of that, my relationships started to deteriorate.
Now that the grief isn’t as suffocating as it once was, I am able to clearly see that the overpowering grief I felt initially still has ramifications, four years later.
Living with grief is not an easy thing to carry but I am working on allowing those who were there for me BEFORE I entered life after loss, to help me carry it. I am working on rebuilding the relationships that meant so much to me before I became the “after” version of me.
About Amy Lied
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother. Her son, Asher, was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. After losing Asher and struggling to conceive again, she went back to treatment where she became pregnant with her twin daughters; Harper and Scarlett. She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags. She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project, an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. Sharing her journey has helped her cope and she hopes it also helps others who are walking on this road of life after loss.