Sunday, July 7, 2013

Lucky Baby

One thing I love is seeing Zuzu with my parents.  She is crazy about them, and when Grammy and Gramps arrive for a visit, she does her super excited thing where she waves her arms and dolphin-kicks her legs and shrieks in delight.

Losing Eliza was hard on so many levels, but one of the ways it was hard was knowing how sad and disappointed my parents were.  And I knew that disappointment wasn't directed at me, but complicating my grief was the terrible feeling that I'd let everyone down--especially David but also my parents and the rest of our families.  I knew that David and I weren't the only ones looking forward to her arrival, so of course we weren't the only ones heartbroken when she died.  

It's a good thing, in the sense that we knew and appreciated that our grief was shared, but it's a hard thing in the sense that it adds to the feeling of guilt and sadness I couldn't help but experience.  It's not like my parents ever made me feel worse--I know they weren't disappointed in me and they never said or did anything that made me feel like they were anything but sad with us.  It's just that I knew how excited they were to be grandparents, and I was so, so sorry that they were denied that opportunity.  It was an additional layer of sadness to know that my parents had missed out on the chance to love on their first granddaughter.  I hated it for them, I hated it for Eliza.

It's the ripple effect of heartbreak--David and I might have been in the center, reeling from the greatest impact, but my parents (and many of our friends and family) were just outside, rocked by the sudden loss of all we'd been looking forward to, and as much as I was grieving for us, a part of me was also grieving for them.

The corollary of this is that seeing my parents with Zuzu is awesome.  It's awesome in the sense that they are hugely helpful in taking care of her (letting me sleep in and entertaining her while I text my friends and read blogs get things done around the house), and it's awesome in the sense that I can already see how much she loves them.  I wish so much that Eliza was able to soak up that lovin'.  It fills up my heart to see Zuzu having fun with them.  I was lucky to have wonderful grandparents and great-grandparents who made my childhood pretty magical, and I'm so glad that Zuzu will be able to say the same.

Grammy and Gramps are pretty crazy about this girl.

Clearly, the feeling is mutual.


  1. I feel the same way when people, especially my parents, are loving on Finn. It makes me so happy, but so sad Cale never experienced the same. My parents were also first-time-should-have-been grandparents when we lost Cale. It's all just hard. But all wonderful too.

    Brutiful, egh?

  2. This whole post made me sad/happy. Equal parts.

    I feel just the same. My parents and Elliot's parents were also awaiting their first ever grandchild, so I totally get this. It was like I was making their dreams come true (too), and then they were shattered.

    The way you described the ripple effect is just that. Us at the epicenter and the family/friends feeling it as well, at a different frequency of sadness.

    I remember Keleen writing a lot about her sadness when her family lost Addison. Not just her. For a long time, I was so selfish about losing Andrew that I didn't want others to try and take credit for feeling as sad. But having Benjamin and seeing him loved by his grandparents makes it abundantly clear that I was never the only one mourning Andrew.

  3. My parents also waited, loved, and grieved the loss of their first grandchild, but I would like to add that she really made them grandparents. Not in the way they thought they would be, and it made their next grandchild that much sweeter, but I'm sure they still thought of themselves as grandparents and love her still.
    It is so wonderful when the people who grieved with you are able to enjoy your next baby. In fact, in my dark little place where I keep score of who's been great and who has not, I enjoy those who grieved with us spending time with my next baby more than anyone else.

  4. Beautiful post.

    What Lindsey said about keeping score of who's been great vs who has not in regards to grieving and missing Alexander,... Yep, I do that too. And I feel as if I enjoy sharing Theodore more with Daniels side of the family more (with a certain few in particular who I feel miss my first born in a way that they REALLY ache) than with my side.

    I'll quote you,Brooke, in saying I love Alexander as if he were still alive. And I miss him in a way that's somewhat marked by the fact that he without a doubt should be in my life. And I feel no one on my side of the family feels the same. He is a forgotten child, and Theo is the one and ONLY now. I don't think the reality of becoming a grandmother hit my mom until I was heavily pregnant with Theo. Meanwhile, she already was.

    In the hospital, after delivering Theo, a nurse asked her if he was her first grandchild...and she said, "yes" and was glowing. I quickly said, "second". And my mom said, "well yes..." and didn't know where to go with her next sentence. I said, "my first born son died last year". The nurse gave condolences, and I saw then that my mom is having trouble incorporating Alexander. She wore his birthstone pendant in which I gave her as a birthday present at Theos arrival.

    Ok, rant over. I love your post...but I guess I'm a bit jealous of your parents.

  5. <3

    Yes, I understand this so well. As I dry heaved all day over here my mother cared for Grace and changed her stinky butt and exclaimed she could "only change your own kids" which made me chuckle because I'm her kid, not Gracie... And yet I have no doubt she loves Grace as much as she loves me. And she may possibly love her more.

    And my parents lost their first grandkid in losing Jack. It's nice to see things come full circle in a way, though of course with someone missing.

  6. I relate to this so much. And, sometimes, I get really sad seeing my parents love on William, because I keep thinking they should have been able to do that with Elias. I am trying to stop those sad thoughts, but sometimes I can't help it, and it just hurts so much. Then, I think back to when Evelyn was a baby, and I feel horrible that maybe we all weren't as "present" for her because we were all just missing her twin brother so badly. Some days I still can't believe this is my life, two and a half years out.
    Thanks for showing me that I'm not the only one wracked with guilt over feeling I disappointed everyone. I still struggle with this, a lot, two living babies later. ~Lindsay