Grief is a tricky emotion. You know, "they" say there are five stages to grief:
Whoever came up with this obviously never experienced true grief or either I fail to meet their psychological profile because I missed out on three of those stages. Grief isn't something that can be charted or outlined or compiled into stages, it is just an emotion that can either consume you or motivate you or in my case, can do both. To someone looking in on our situation, there is no way to make you understand our emotions or how we manage to function. It's something that you cannot assign words to and is certainly something you wish no one else ever truly knows. I was talking to someone about Addie just recently and I mentioned how the grief can be so consuming at times and they were surprised that I was grieving. I knew then, that I once again had failed to educate people. I in no way want to seem ungrateful for ANYTHING, but what needs to be understood is that when a child with special needs is born, it's a life-changing event. In my case, it changed my life for the better, but still brought with it an unimaginable amount of grief. The grief isn't for me or what I "lost", the grief is for the battles that my beautiful daughter will have to fight for the rest of her life. The grief is for the pain that she will endure, for the daily struggles to do everything that we take for granted and for the emotional pain that accompanies being different. The grief changed who I was, it made me a better fighter, a better Mother, brought me closer to God and yet alienated me from others who don't understand. So, the next time you have a conversation with a parent of a special needs child, remember their grief. It's not an emotion that is always visible, but IS always present. I am here to answer questions about Addie and to educate you on whatever you feel like you may not understand. Please do not hesitate to ask me questions.