Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Quest for Acceptance: Permission Granted

I grieve, and I pray. I grieve because while most parents make playdates, we make doctor's appointments; while most kids play at the park, we are at therapy. And I pray that one day my child will be normal, that he will grow out of his problems, that nurture can overcome the horrible genetic hand that nature dealt to us.

No one tells you that you can grieve over something other than death. No one tells you that you can grieve over the loss of a job or loss of health. No one tells you it is okay to feel the deep sense of loss when a dream never comes to fruition, whether that dream be motherhood or something else entirely. Some people have told me that it can always be worse, and I should be thankful. Grieving does not mean one is not thankful; it merely means one is forced to accept what was not originally planned.

So for the first year of my son's life, I was in denial. I accepted that things were just outside of normal. Then he was diagnosed at 14 months of age, and I moved to anger, bargaining, depression, and back again to anger overlapped by bargaining and depression.

Today, I sit at the precipice of acceptance. I say that only because I give myself permission to grieve. There are days that I am angry...angry with God...angry with myself...angry with people around me. There are days that depression overwhelms me, and I feel darkness closing in once again. But, through all the tears acceptance is near and acceptance is the quest. What does acceptance look like? I don't really know. What does acceptance feel like? I don't know that either. What lies beyond grief? I don't know that either. But, I give myself permission to grieve, so that I may see what is beyond grief. I give myself permission to ACCEPT!


Linda said...

Oh, Dear Cynda! How my heart hurts to read your recent posts. Not because you shouldn't have said these things--because you should. But because you have kept your grief to yourself. I pray you realize there are lots of people who love you and want to suppport you.

Grief is a funny thing. In the 30+ years I've had the joy of working with special needs kids and their families (as well as parenting my own special needs kids), I know the stages of grief are not linear. They are cyclical. In fact, we do not even have to do them in order. We reach acceptance at points, and then we realize we're angry again! But it's a different anger than in the beginning. Then we get depressed; then we may be in denial again. It is ALL part of the process. It is healthy, though painful.

The bottom line is -- this side of Heaven, none of our dreams will come to fruition. I think true acceptance of everything is found in this realization. We are so blessed in our country, we often forget we are in a fallen world. Our dreams are but a shadow of the world awaiting us, where none of us will have special needs. But we are blessed that even within the midst of the darkness that can be this life, God is with us & will use all the pain to bring about His glory. I know you know this. I will continue to pray for His spirit to be near to your heart. I admire your bravery in baring your soul--it will probably bless more people than you will ever know. Those with unfulfilled dreams who are grieving in silence.

Love you.

Cynda Western Felini said...

Linda, you have been a great help along the way. You have given great advice, but cannot read minds. In this case, I couldn't even read my own mind. Sometimes it takes a person willing to share where they have been in order to shed light on where you are in this moment. One person shared her heart with me and opened my eyes to a healing that needed to take place.

Thanks for you words of wisdom. I shall ponder them. There is so much depth in what you wrote. Thanks for sharing and braving the public blog world. That means a great deal to not only me but others out there like me.

Linda said...

Well, this whole blog thing is VERY new (& scary) to me. Don't know if I would do it for anyone else! :) I'm so impressed you would be so open.