Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Game of Grief

"While you may feel that you are successfully distracting yourself from grief, you are actually a prisoner of your grief. To free yourself, you can't go over it, you can't go under it, you can't go around it, you just have to go through it."  (36)
 from Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby by Deborah L. Davis, Ph.D. (1996)

I have been thinking about The Game of Life (TM) often over the past 13 days as Elliott and Asher have played several times. It's missing some key aspects of real life, though, I've noticed. None of the little pink or blue characters die during the game. There is no space for divorce or infertility or funeral expenses. They don't have the occasional black space that delivers news like, "You owe the hospital $5,000 because your baby died." Nope. We all drive our station wagons to retirement filled with a happily married couple and their biological children (none of them in an urn).

I didn't notice this until my family landed on that black space so unexpectedly. Today I keep revisiting my denial of the fact that our baby is dead. This didn't really happen to us, right? In seven months I will be hauling a newborn around to baseball practice and swimming lessons. This happens to other people, and it makes me sad when it happens to them. It just doesn't happen to us. So I keep slamming against the brick wall and submitting to this reality again and again.