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MARCH 28, 2012 4:18PM

The Baby Shower

Rate: 8 Flag

There are no pictures of this event to share, none that I took, anyway. Oh, we took some before we left to attend, but I could not seem to participate in the snap fest at my sister's house. Friends of my niece, the pregnant dentist, took plenty of pictures of the event. She was, after all, quite lovely. In fact she was glowing.

She probably looked better than I have seen her in some time. I think that pregnancy can do that for a woman.  

I am not going say anything about her husband who was not there, nor am I going to say anything about his drunken rant at the wedding in January we had all attended, concerning the pregnancy. I don't think he really meant any of it.

I am not going to delve into the nether world of how being pregnant came as a shock to my niece. Attaining a doctorate in anything kind of sets you up for a font of knowledge somewhere along the line, so you should have realized that sex can lead to pregnancy...

Enough. I was happy to be there, happy for my niece and happy her sister, the recently married mother of an 8 year old, threw the shower for her. Even though it was at my deceased sister's home and she asked us to bring a dish to pass; I did make home made meatballs and it was fun.

My daughter had been invited to attend, when I asked her to fly home for the weekend, so we could go together, she was, um, not too thrilled. She had a tremendous amount of work at school, so I understood and let her off the hook. I knew my husband would take me, drop me off and then come back for me, but I still thought I wanted someone to sit with. My son who is a senior in college offered to be "the one". I had asked my other son's girlfriend, but she had to work.

That morning at breakfast on our terrace, she was also there. She had been cancelled at work and offered to go. I was thrilled! I would have a gal pal to sit with and play any of the party games that I knew would probably take place. It was decided that my husband and two sons would come along, drop us off, go shopping and then pick us up. I do drive, but I was getting over being on some medication which prevented me from doing so. The other part of the plan was to go to a Greek restaurant for dinner on the way home, so it was all good.

Everything was going fairly good at the party. I had not been in the house since right after my sister's death and that above all was part of my issue going there. I just didn't feel good about it. There is some back story about all this, it has to do with her death there, no autopsy, and the twists and turns of someones death too young and all the laundry that gets hung in the aftermath.

When you do not see a person frequently and then they die, it is almost as if they did not pass. Somewhere in your mind they are still where they always seem to be. It is only when confronted with something, like an event like this, that it seems fresh, new, sometimes painful. I think it is called delayed grief. I still had some kind of anger and some issues and I was comfortable just thinking there was no death.

In the end, I was glad I went. Linda Seccaspina offered some comforting words and very good advice. So I did it. I had a lot of angst before hand, but about three quarters of the way through it all if I had been asked, I would have said all was well. It was at that point a neighbor of my sisters said a few things to me that made me teary eyed and said a few more things which led to a full out discussion of things that would have probably been better left unsaid. In saying them, she and I both, we did kind of feel better after it all. She was able to fill in several blanks for me and clear up some things that I had felt "were just not right." She in turn was able to air some things that she had thoughts on, concerns for and things she thought I would appreciate knowing.

It really did put to rest a few of the itchy bad things and smoothed over some of the others. For her part, she felt good about helping and also talking about the things she found difficult to understand too.

Suffice to say, a huge burden of anger had been lifted on one hand and the knowledge that my sister had done a lot for many people in the neighborhood, she was a nurse, and how she was very well liked and was terribly missed....well you know...

I finally made it out of that stage of grief.

My sons and husband had come back in and were helping put things away, pack my niece's car with gifts and snack and chat in another room.

When we left, it was like leaving something grey behind. We had a lovely dinner and fun at the restaurant, it is a very lively place. It was one of my sister's favorites!

I am usually able to feel something or see something that is unseen. I had expected an encounter at her home and had avoided the upstairs where she had died. I was encouraged to go up, but I could not.

I had really felt nothing. I did ask my husband if there was anything. I asked him, "Did you feel anything?" I did not expect anything because he generally does not have these experiences. His eyes teared up and he said yes, "She is sad." I was shocked. I could not imagine that. I said, "Did you talk to her, did you ask her why?" He said yes. He told me that she was sad, because "She misses her family."

This made me very sad but I realized that because she was taken so quickly that perhaps she was still trying to adjust. It made sense that she would say that, she was very involved with her daughters, especially her granddaughter.

So my reaction to this event was bittersweet. It was hardly about a baby to be born, it was about processing grief, family, missing someone who you loved and finding a way of moving on. I think my sister will continue to stay around until she sees her new grandson is born, maybe a few more months, then maybe she will finally go on. She will realize everything is going as it should and she can be peaceful and be happy again.


Copyright 2012 by SheilaTGTG55 




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Writing this was difficult, but I think I needed to do it. Bear with me. Thanks. I needed that.
Poignant, lovely piece, Sheila. Sending you a hug. -Erica
I love your emotional honesty. r.
Jon: Thanks Jon, if we have nothing but honesty in our emotion, then I think we come from a good place...It is easier to grow from the clean slate.
What an intense experience for a baby shower, Sheila!
I understand why you might've felt so many emotions going back to your sister's house...and I was glad to read that you and your sister's neighbor could talk it out.
I am a firm believer that things left unsaid cause more problems than things said, as long as the intention is correct and the air is cleared rather than just venting being the point...
Good luck moving forward, Sheila, I'm glad you feel that stage is put to rest. I think grief is a trickster sometimes, hiding for so long one thinks it's gone for good until a sudden surprise later....
...all part of loving, I suppose.
I hope this all clears in time so the joy for the baby's arrival can be purely for the baby : )
Just Thinking: I think that it is important to clean up the emotional stuff after an unexpected death. I know that on the surface, things that were said and done did not help me understand much. I have wondered if I should have asked more questions. I am not that person. I usually just wait until someone tells me something. I never want to pry, or ask something that is not my business. In the end some things did not make sense to me. I was glad her neighbor spent time chatting with me. Neither one of us had a dog in the fight, just our own grief, from our own relationships with my sister.
This is so sweet. One thing I learned, they--mentioned in this story or not--are so lucky to be your family and friends, Sheila. R
Thoth: Thank you, that means a great deal to me that you would say that. I try.
With all you left unsaid it sounds like quite the crew... families are strange things for me... always have been... hope everything works out well for your niece.
jmac: You said it, double lined underscore.... I hope that they all live happily ever after. I will be there for them, if they need me.
Agree with Erica K. Also made me think of something a teacher told me long ago: take happiness wherever you find it, in whatever form.
Mary: Thank you, I feel like the experience changed me in an important way. I am glad I went and glad my sons, my husband and my son's girlfriend were all there too.
Sheila.. All I said was just go even though I would have been the same way. Too bad we could not have gone together.
I bet she is sad... I still think there is more to the casserole than what we are seeing or feeling but all we can do is pray for her and a little happiness for all of you.
Linda: It would have been great to do this together. Thanks for your support and your advice. I am a bit moved forward and I am ready to let go of the rest. I don't think there is much I can do, but just what I have been doing. A big thank you to you.
Sheila, this was beautiful and I know hard to write. I'm glad you did.
scanner: Thank you. I debated with myself if I could do it, and then whether I could write about it. I think it helped.
Yes. Writing about sad events is very difficult.
I can remember the baby Shower excitement.
Catharsis . . .
My Mother and sisters were wrapping gifts.
The talk of a 'baby shower' animated them.
Dad and I stayed home. We watched TV.
I liked Annie Oakley. In a child's mind . . .
She could shoot a tin can with a rifle.

I remember Dad had a 'Papst' Beer.
He only had a couple cans to sleep.
I liked to pop the beer can tops off.

I thought they were going to shower.
I thought a shower? Life gets strange.
I knew my sisters needed a scrubbing.
Art: What you wrote is comforting, strangely comforting. I hope the new baby arrives safe and sound and that all will be very well.
Sheila, I understand all of what you are saying here. I am never fond of showers anyways but this one really packed a punch. Grief raises its painful head in what is meant to be a happy occasion. The coming of a new spirit (the baby); the reminder of the passing of another. Your husband's experience becoming your conduit to your sister. Great last paragraph and yes, let's hope it unfolds like that. xo
Scarlett: Your words mean more than perhaps you know. They are an acknowledgement of so much.