I have hesitated to post on this topic out of concern that I would be communicating disrespect or dishonor toward my husband. But he has proofread and given me the green light so here goes ...
One of the most difficult aspects of life since hearing Evie's diagnosis has been the difference in which Josh and I are individually processing our grief and the anticipation of her loss. I would be lying if I said we were grieving on the same level and on the same page. The truth is, we are dealing with this very differently.
Josh is able to escape every day. He is either in class or in clinical for 8 or more hours per day and both venues demand his full and undivided attention and dedication. And in the evenings he has homework assignments which demand his full concentration. He is able to compartmentalize his life and focus on the task at hand.
He is also much better at focusing on today rather than the future. His perspective is that Evie is fine right now, and every day we can decide to enjoy our time together and cross the bridge of grief and loss when it comes; it's not helpful to dwell on the sadness of our situation.
And then there is me. I am unable to separate myself from Evie on so many levels. There is the physical level - giant belly, baby kicks and wiggles, pregnancy discomforts. The emotional level - few things are stronger than the love between a mother and child. And not to mention the fact that I am the one to who is planning Evie's funeral, memorial service, shopping for her, blogging about her, going to the doctor for her, etc. etc.
And I think it is the inability to separate myself that makes me want/need to talk about her so often. That is why I have found such comfort in blogging - I am able to talk about Evie as often as I wish.
And that is where the biggest challenge arises; my desire to talk about Evie as often as I think of her and Josh's desire to only approach the subject of losing our baby daughter when necessary.
I wish I could say we have mastered this area and here are steps a, b, and c to remedy any couple facing this challenge. But alas.
What works for now is that I try to be discreet with my timing when bringing up the subject of losing Evie and Josh tries to exercise understanding and lend a listening ear even when it goes against his instincts. I think we are getting better but it's not easy.
I suppose my goal for this post is just to communicate to other couples experiencing or anticipating loss that you are not alone in your incongruent coping strategies. Men and women are wired differently; not wrong just different.
Here is an article I found on the topic from Still Standing Magazine. You can read the article here.
If you think of it, please pray for Josh and I on this subject. Pray for our hearts to be sensitive to one another's needs. And pray that this trial will bring us closer together and not serve as a wedge between us. Thank you, dear friend.