I decided that my ‘go live in a cave‘ idea is actually quite reasonable. I grabbed the brass ring, pencil-jumped into the deep end, and now I’m drowning. After the initial rush of positive energy from announcing our pregnancy, reality made its ugly appearance once again. For the most part, receiving congratulatory messages and calls was pleasant. It touched my heart to feel the love and support of so many friends and family. But amongst those messages, were the things I knew would come. The words that would pick at the scab, the questions that would pry open my grief, the judgements that would leave me feeling exposed. I actually started to type them all out, but the list was too long. Reminders, every one of them, that if this pregnancy was a Facebook status update, it would be “It’s complicated”.
Too complicated to define.
I wrote a while back about my journey up and down “Grief Mountain“. Well, now I am on the other side of the mountain in the land of New Normal. Right now, I hate it. This land sucks. I really miss my home, where I came from. It was a happy place, a happy time. I had so much hope that when I got to the other side of Grief Mountain, that I would feel different, but pretty much the same. A happy ending. Well, I’m here to tell you that I’ve realized there is no happy ending to this story.
Please do not misunderstand me. I did not give up or decide that life sucks. I am also not telling you that I believe that I am doomed to unhappiness for the rest of my life. Like the saying goes, “Happiness is journey, not a destination.” I think when I set off on this journey, I misguidely believed that I could set my GPS for happiness like it had coordinates on a map. So untrue. There is no happy ending to Callie’s story or ours. It is not a destination.
Having a healthy baby in April will NOT be a happy ending. I need everyone to understand that.
Of course having a healthy baby will be happy. Hell, it will be momentously joyous (times infinity to the infinity power!)!! But it won’t be a happy ending.
Our lives are made up of lots of stories. Some are happy. Some are funny. Some are sad. And a few, are life-changing. My point is, that I am still on this journey through the many stories of my life. My car won’t stop until my heart makes its last beat. And I’ve realized that the happy ending for Callie’s story is never coming. Never. There is nothing that will ever happen in my life that will erase the pain and sorrow of losing her. NOTHING. I realized that this place that I now live in, my ‘new normal’, is very different than my ‘old normal’ and there will be moments of sadness in it…forever. A shade of pain that makes everything look just a bit foreign. I didn’t think it would be like that. I thought the pain would lessen and eventually it would barely be there… a distant memory. But, I’ve come to know that this isn’t true. A mother I know who lost her child 22 years ago told me that just recently, she met a young woman who was the same age that her daughter would have been if she were still here today and it took her right back to that painful place….just like that.
Realizing that I have to be in this new land forever has hit me hard and it makes me really, really sad. And then I start feeling sad about feeling sad. That’s like three layers of sad. Oh, yeah and ANGRY. Because I didn’t want this journey. I had a really nice trip planned. 5 star resort, white sand beaches. This wasn’t what I had in mind.
So what can I do about it?
Well, right now I’ve decided to go live in a cave. I’m a hibernating mother bear. Protecting my heart from unwanted questions, expectations, and judgements. I’m also taking a time-out in the cave because I realized that I am spending WAYYYYY too much time comparing my life to others’. You see, I come home from work to a quiet house. I get lots of sleep. I am free to do whatever I want. And I hate it. I want it to be noisy. I want to get zero sleep because my baby is teething or whatever. I wish I had to leave work promptly so I could get to daycare on time. The lack of change in our daily lives is a source of great pain. And in the beautiful world that we live in today, I get to see everyone else’s daily joys and little miracles in the blink of an eye via social media. Lately, it has been too much for me. I pine after what others have rather than recognizing all the good things I have in my own life. And when you lose that balance, it’s not a happy place to be.
Plus, if I see one more baby in a pumpkin patch, I think I will take a baseball bat to the first jack-o-lantern I see. Who knew pumpkins would make me so sad? Or Halloween? Or my 30th birthday looming on the horizon? Or Thanksgiving? Or Christmas???????????????????? COULD EVERYONE STOP REMINDING ME THAT CHRISTMAS IS COMING! Especially you, you evil money-hungry cash-driven stores putting up Christmas decorations in October??????
Ok, sorry. That was a side-note. Glad I got that out.
All I can do is take things on one at a time. And try to put my blinders on. I have to find a way to focus on the good things in MY life. It’s the only one I get to live. In this new land I never wanted to go to. Because I’m here. And there is no turning back, no matter how much I wish I could. In the words of my doctor, there’s no getting over it. I just have to get used to it.
Maybe I’ll come out of the cave tomorrow. Or maybe next spring. After all, that’s when momma bears wake up from the long, cold winter and show their beautiful cubs off to the world. Sounds like a good plan to me.