There is a woman who sits in her dead baby’s bedroom, rocking in her baby’s rocking chair, smelling her baby’s sweet “dirty” clothes, and crying out to God, “help me!”
She is the one who has to force a fake smile through her constant tears, to give her other children some sense of comfort and hope, even though they see the horror that’s in her eyes. She is the one who has to force her arms around her husband, while she’s weeping uncontrollably and needs held up, but still needs to help hold him up.
She is a previously independent, organized, “roll with the punches,” laid back, but feisty person, who loved a good party and a good laugh, and a good glass of red wine. She was good at planning and juggling, and keeping many plates spinning, while maintaining a good marriage, a full time job, and having three kids in tow.
She went missing the same day her baby died – the baby that gave her the greatest surprise of her life and filled the yearning she had deep inside; the baby that sealed her heart and made her feel like life was exactly where it needed to be. She truly loved that life.
She has been cheated, stolen from. She had the most precious gift ripped right out from under her. She is now lost. She hurts like hell. She feels like this is all such a waste. And, she is sorry.
Unfortunately for me, and for all of you, I am “she.”
I bet you’re so glad you aren’t me.
You should be.
I would be.
I can remember thinking that to myself when I would hear of terrible tragedies that struck other families. I wasn’t being cold or heartless, I was simply feeling thankful that I wasn’t suffering that pain that many others had to endure. I didn’t want to imagine it. Just like you, and like so many have accurately said to us, I couldn’t imagine. Now I know how unimaginable that pain truly is. Be grateful that you can’t feel it.
Because of the pain and the ongoing fog of grief I’m now living in, I realize that I’m not the most supportive person to have around anymore. Suddenly, as of 2:39pm on June 15, 2018, everything was ripped away from me. I was no longer that friend who remembered birthdays, or life events, or the one who offered advice, or an ear, or a shoulder, or sent a message saying that I’m praying for you, or sent positive vibes about your sister’s mother-in-law’s doctor appointment.
You see, I used to do all of that.
I used to remember the things that were important to all of you, and I took them on as my own to help bring joy and ease pain. It was natural for me; besides motherhood, it was part of what defined me.
So, my family and friends, I’m sorry. I’m sorry if I don’t answer calls or texts or messages for hours or days or ever. I’m sorry if I don’t want to get together in a public place or at your home, it’s truly because I can’t. I’m sorry if I forget your birthday or your important day, it doesn’t mean I don’t care. I’m sorry if I seem short or if I snap at you about something seemingly simple. I’m sorry if I can’t answer your questions about how I am, or if I give an answer that you weren’t prepared to hear. I’m sorry if I’m unable to make decisions. I’m sorry if I am completely incapable of making plans unless something is put right in front of me, and I’m sorry if sometimes I can’t keep the plans that I made.
Not only am I mourning and grieving for my daughter, but I’m now doing the same for my “self”; not for myself, but for my self.
The closest thing I imagine relating this to (and to those who have experienced this, please forgive me if this isn’t at all accurate) is someone living with amnesia… not remembering the life they had before, but having the same people and the same scenarios still surrounding them. The difference here is that I do remember the life I had before, and there’s not a damn thing I can do to get that old life back. It’s actual torture.
I’m living in catastrophic, unimaginable pain, plus I’m in a dark fog, and stuck inside of a funnel cloud that I can’t escape from.
I’m working hard on a journey to form the scars that will allow me to continue on with life. I’m also trying to be there for my husband, and for our daughters, as they do the same.
Our happy little home has a lot of cracks and tears and emptiness within it now. But it still holds a lot of love, so just please “keep showing up.”
(Many have asked what they can do for us…. If you have just a few more minutes, check out the article from the link posted below. It describes exactly what we need from the village that surrounds us.)