Thursday, October 14, 2010

How may I oblige you?

I find I'm not quick to share much about my life right now. Questions that were once surface level and easy to answer, are no longer so easy. Nothing is easy. Nothing is simple. Hopefully one day I'll be able to sort all of this through my head and answers will come quickly again, but not now. For now I will just listen to others speak and smile and nod...

I have met a few people recently who encouraged me to write more on the blog. They informed me that I need to give more insight as to the happenings in the Dunnam world. Frankly, I don't really know what to write most days. I mean, what do you really want to know? Life for everyone in our household seems pretty normal most days. You all probably don't really want to know about the days that are so hard to bear I wish I could close my eyes and never wake up, or the constant struggle I face of whether or not I should take something to help me through these rough days. Do you really want to know things like the fright that takes over my entire being when I can't see one of my kids for a second in the store or the sheer terror that consumes me when I can't hear the big kids playing in the backyard, or a hundred other things just like those? I wish I were more eloquent and could think of a way to write about the things that terrify me without sounding so (hmm, what's the word am I looking for?) weird.

I think it's just a little strange or maybe even a little insulting when someone I haven't seen in a while hugs my neck and says how sorry they were to hear about Emma, then looks at me with a slight head tilt and says, "how are you doing?" What do they want to hear? Would it make them happy to know my daily struggles? Do they really think everything is really already okay? It's only been 8 months, for crying out loud!! I remember going to the pediatrician a couple of months after Emma passed away, and someone in the office said, "are things starting to get back to normal now?" Seriously!? I buried my almost 4 year old daughter a couple of months ago! Will things ever be normal again? My standard answer has become something like, "hanging in there" or "we're making it." I guess I needed to vent a bit. Sorry. For the most part, we are doing pretty well, and I don't want to dig a hole and bury myself in it every day. But some days are very hard, and it really never ceases to amaze me what comes out of people's mouths. I'll never forget the words of one well-meaning woman one day, when upon looking at Emma (before her last couple of weeks with us) said, "poor thing is just wasting away to nothing isn't she?" How do you respond to that one without losing it in front of your children? Or maybe I should have lost it. Kelvin and I had a line we shared between us and a few of our friends when someone would say or do something that didn't set quite so well with us. We would look at each other and say, "they need a stupid sticker." One of our friends actually printed some "stupid" stickers for us. I wish I really could give them to some people.


  1. I'm so sorry that peoples comments are hurtful. I am sure they mean well, but don't know what to say. And as you know, not everyone is smart enough or tactful enough to THINK before they speak. Back to normal - that will never happen. That was truly a stupid comment.

    I like hearing your updates, even if it's just a few pictures of the kids and a "We're hanging in here, doing as well as we can be". ((hugs))

  2. I know that people don't mean to be hurtful...even I want to say something sometimes just to let you know that I have not forgotten Emma and your pain but I just never have the right words! Some people just speak before really thinking about it...I know I can do that a lot too. You will never again be the "normal" you were when Emma was here and healthy and that breaks my heart. I pray that one day you will be a new "normal". I love you guys and you are always in my prayers!

  3. I'm Andy and Jenni's cousin and don't usually leave comments on blogs (had to create an account to do this). Reading about your grief leaves me heartbroken for your family and scared for all that A & J have yet to go through. Although I'm a family doctor, I really have no right to give you any medical advice, but I felt compelled to share a thought. If you decide to take an anti-depression medication to help you manage through this time - all you have to lose is the expense and possibly some mild side effects. But, you can always stop it if you don't like it. It won't take away the grief, it won't numb you to the pain, it won't take away the good or painful memories of Emma - but it might give you a chance to be more present with your other children, to find more sunshine in the days, to feel more able to manage your anger. You will still need to grieve, but maybe it would be a bit easier. I'm truly a believer that less is more when it comes to medicine - but in this case, what do you really have to lose by trying - and maybe a lot to gain. Jenni knows a good line about everyone grieving in their own way/timeline - I hope she's shared it with you because I can't remember it.

  4. Thank you, Christen. I will ask Jenni her "line" as well as your contact info. :) Just FYI, you can comment as 'anonymous' if you don't have an account. I just encourage people who do that to sign their name. Have a beautiful weekend.

  5. The last thing you should worry about is giving others the appropriate answer, or saying what they want to hear.
    I can't imagine your grief. Emma was such a part of you and your life that her absense must leave such a vacuuam. The vacuam was then filled with a horrible grief. Hopefully, as time goes by the grief will slide over and make room for memories and some new happiness.
    Till then.

  6. Christy, I pray that the God of Hope brings you indescribable comfort today. Life will never be the same normal as it was before. Never. I love your posts and I love that your sharing real transparent Christy... the good the bad and the painful. Just keep talking, posting, sharing. People will always be stupid and say stupid things... until one has been in your shoes, one doesn't know what to say, so we say really stupid well meaning really dumb things. Sometimes I wish I could come up with any words to comfort you... I usually have nothing not even stupidity... Just know that you are being prayed over this momement and even when you don't feel Him, He's all around, all around. May he dance over you today. my prayer this morning before I leave for work is Rom 15:13 I will claim it for you this entire day. Love SAL

  7. Christy, as the mother of a two year old diagnosed with Batten's Disease type 5, I really very much do want to read about how you really are, because I have to travel your road too and I don't know anyone personally who has, so it really helps me to know what to expect. I read your blog and the Betz blog faithfully for that reason, and that I quickly came to love your little girls who suffer as mine does. And I agree about people being insensitive. And stupid. I can't believe some of the things people say to us.

  8. I agree that of course it is totally normal to be depressed after losing a child. Who wouldn't be? But also there is no shame in medication. That is what it is there for! I am on a anti-anxiety and mild anti-depressant. It took a while to find one that worked for me, but once i did things got so much better. I just feel normal again. If that is what you need to get you back started in the right direction then go for it. it can't hurt and can only help. And if it doesn't work, then scrap it. I am so sorry for you. I know people make thoughtless comments (like me!) but they mean well. I think one reason that people do not know the right things to say is that there is NO right thing to say. If we had the words to fix such sadness we would totally say them. I guess the most anyone can say is "I am so sorry."

  9. I guess I would want you to know that we are friends who are there to listen and pray and love and encourage and do our best to understand but mostly pray.
    Sorry for the bad questions and comments. I guess that we are all learning. We don't have a lot of experience with precious children being taken to heaven.
    I always enjoy your updates on you and your family and stories about Emma.
    The friend that encouraged you to keep up on the blog has probably experienced the benifits of putting your thoughts in writing. It does help sometimes. We also understand when you need to be "silent" for a season and we will still be here loving you and praying and believing God with you for strength for each day.
    Love and hugs and prayers,

  10. Christy,

    I am so sorry if I have said anything to hurt you or Kelvin. I just don't know what to say - I can't imagine what you have been through or are going through right now. You just keep being you and coping how you need to. I love y'all, and I'll be praying for you.


  11. Christy and Kelvin
    You hand out those stupid stickers if you need too. I pray for your family daily. My God continue to wrap his loving arms around your family. I have followed your blog almost from the start. You and Kelvin's faith has shown me that with God all things are possible and helped me to just lay in my fathers arms as I am going thru breast cancer. Thank you for sharing so much of Emma and your lives. You have blessed more than you can imagine.
    Love in Christ
    Laure Law


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