Wednesday, October 17, 2012

men vs. women

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.


7 comments:

  1. We've been praying for you & Josh (relationship wise) since we heard of this tragic diagnosis. Things like this try a marriage and relationship like nothing else can, and we're praying you all give each other the space you need, the support you need from the other, and both rely fully on the Lord, giver of all strength for the sensitivity each one will need at different times during the grieving and healing process. We love you both and are so confident that you will cling to each other and emerge with a stronger bond and testimony to tell of how God is faithful, even through times that could tear us down. Praying always

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  2. You two are such a great team and really work hard to love and respect one another. It's a beautiful thing to watch!John and I are praying for you both -- and you know that whenever you need to talk about Evie (and Josh is busy with school things) I am here and ready to listen. I was the same way -- I wanted to talk about it allll the time. So I get it. I love you!

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  4. The way that Josh is thinking about the situation with Evie is the same way that Nathan thought about the situation with Nora. It is so interesting and good the way that God wired men and women. :-)

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  5. One day while worshipping I had a 'vision' of how God's character is reflected in ALL of His children. His character is too big to be fully present in one individual so he spreads it out...some of these differences I see as gender differences and others as personality differences. You AND Josh are both reflecting parts of God's character. I wish that made it easy but you're right, not wrong. Just different. God can and will use this for His purposes and plans. Keep surrounding yourself with people who support that as well- who we spend the most time with can really impact our attitudes toward each other. Lots of prayers!

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  6. I am glad to partner with you in prayer on this matter. I will pray that our God will use this crisis to draw you toward Himself and each other. May he use your individual strengths to full potential. You are prayed for daily and dearly loved!
    JoAnn

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  7. Parable: One day Suzy spilled her milk at the family reunion and started to cry. Mother jumped up and grabbed a sponge to clean up the mess--a good idea. Father saw that the milk spilled because there was a crack between the leaves of the table, and the uneven space caused the glass to sit crooked. He immediately organized the people at both ends of the table to push the table back together tightly so it wouldn't happen again--a good idea. Big sister put her arm around Suzy and told her not to worry and that everything would be all right--a good idea. Grandma got Suzy a new glass of milk so she wouldn't be sad--a good idea. Uncle Joe told a joke about a guy who was injured while taking a milk bath (when the cow slipped and fell on his head)--a good idea (to cheer Suzy up). And Aunt Polly changed the subject so everyone could just forget about the spilled milk--a good idea. At the end of the day each person had contributed something helpful to the milk crisis, and it was just good to be with family.

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