Wow, almost March and this is my first post of 2013? There's a reason for that, and maybe I'll get into it in my next post. But there's something I want to talk about, and it's been weighing heavy on my heart lately.
I've had more than one person tell me recently that I "need to move on".
Those of you who've lost a child know what a loaded statement that is. It's the equivalent of "you need to get over it".
And these were family members telling me this, and you'd think they'd know better, or be more understanding...but maybe they simply feel comfortable saying to me what others, who are not related to me, are thinking.
But what does it mean? What do these people expect of me when they say something like that? Because I'd truly like to know. I'd love to know this magic secret to moving on from my daughter's death.
I think that's what makes me mad. They tell me I need to move on, but then have no clear answer as to how exactly I can do that. And you know why they don't have an answer? Because there is none. It's like trying to make 2+2=5. It's an impossibility. The laws of physics won't bend for this equation.
The mean part of me wants to tell them to shut up. They can tell me to "move on" when they've lost a child themselves, but not before. The rational part of me wants to explain it to them thusly: I'm a vase that's been broken. I've been shattered, and through lots of hard work (which includes hours of counseling) I've been able to pick the pieces up and glue myself back together. I'm still a vase, still have a vase shape, but I'm not the same as I was before. You can see the cracks, if you look closely. But I'm still beautiful, I still hold flowers.
But I'm not the exact same.
I get up in the morning, and put my son on the bus. I tuck him into bed at night. I love watching him grow into a fine, happy, handsome young boy. I love to read, listen to music, post on Facebook, browse Pinterest, study to be a doula, and sing really loudly along with Cee Lo while driving in the car. I love to kiss my husband.
See? I'm still the same. Just not quite.
A year and a half ago I wouldn't have thought any of those things was possible. The fact that I can live my life as I did before is a small miracle to me. So what's the difference? What are these small cracks that freak people out?
Maybe it's the fact that I can't get excited about pregnancy. Or rather, I don't get excited in a rainbows and unicorn farts sort of way. I know, better than anyone, just how fragile the little life growing inside a womb is. So forgive me if I don't feel like going to baby showers. Baby showers anticipate something that might not happen, and it scares me. I get fearful for the parents. Maybe in ten years it won't scare me, but for now it does. For some reason, all I can think when I see a pregnant woman is "I really hope that baby makes it."
And really, I do.
I think pregnancy, and babies, have become even more sacred for me now. I know how deeply intertwined life and death are for that young life, and I know just how shockingly fast life can become death, and everything--hopes, dreams--can be lost. I see it as a deeper appreciation for what is termed the "miracle of life".
But apparently that's just weird to other people. And I should get over it.
I shouldn't cry anymore. I shouldn't try and incorporate Sunrise into my life and family. I shouldn't bake a cake on her birthday. I shouldn't mention her. I shouldn't wish for her to come back to life. I shouldn't yearn to be with her.
Is that how I will move on? Is that how it can be accomplished? Because I'm going to say it now, and it will be a final say, and it will not change now, or 10 years, or 20 years, or any number of years from now:
I'll never get over it. I'll never move on (and I still don't know what that means!). I lost a child and I love her deeply. She'll never go away, and neither will my love for her. I will always bake her a cake on her birthday.
And yes, a part of me will always be sad, and never be the same.
But that's normal. Don't judge me for it. Just let me be who I am.
This is who I am.
10 months ago