I use affiliate links on some of my blog posts. This means that I could make a commission if you click on a link and purchase something. Read my full disclosure here.
This loss. The gaping hole left by the death of my son, it is overwhelming. It is a physical, mental and emotional grief that consumes every bit of my being.
It’s a physical pain, like sometimes I feel like a hand is gripping my chest and will squeeze until I can’t breathe anymore. It is mental pain. The mental pictures and films of all we’ve been through play almost constantly. Sometimes I can tune them out, but they’re always there. It is an emotional pain. Not only am I dealing with the loss of my child, a person I loved more than anything in the whole world. But I’m dealing with the loss of expectations, dreams, what our future would have been together. Our little family of three. And I’m watching my better half grieve and feel the pain of loss. I’m watching our families grieve. It is so hard not to be able to fix any of it.
The Variability of Grief
Grief is a strange state. One moment I feel like I always do. I’m laughing at National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and a joke from my brother-in-law. The next moment I’m in the kitchen to get more water and I picture Christian’s face. I imagine the feel of his hair. The way he scrunched up his nose. And I’m hit with a breath-stopping wave of sadness.
Some days are better than others. There are days that I feel more or less ok. Other days it’s all I can do not to replay the day he died in my head. The horrible memory of watching him fade away and leave me. Those days I just feel empty. Like the biggest part of me is missing. I feel like my purpose is gone and I am just drifting along.
Exhaustion and Memories
I sleep a lot now. I didn’t even take this many naps when I was pregnant. But now I feel exhausted most of the time. At night I sleep until I wake up to pump and then I struggle to go back to sleep. It’s almost impossible as I fight back the tides of memories of my pregnancy and my son’s brief life.
I loved being pregnant. I loved watching my body grow with Christian. The feeling of him moving and kicking was one of my greatest joys. I miss that terribly, more so now that he is gone. Sometimes I absentmindedly rub my stomach like he’s still there. The emptiness I find there makes it all the worse as there’s no baby to fill my arms.
A Living Nightmare
I feel like I am living a lie. I should be breastfeeding, overly tired, keeping up with a newborn, living my life for my child, not able to go anywhere without first having a plan for the baby. That was what I was “supposed” to be doing. What I had every intention of doing. Instead I went from pumping every few hours, staying at the hospital ten or more hours a day, and taking care of Christian as much as I under the supervision of NICU nurses and doctors. It wasn’t ideal but I was his mother and I got to be with my baby.
Now… well now my home is the same as it was before I gave birth. Me, the hubs, and five dogs, just as it was. I can get up when I want. Nap when I want. Leave the house at any time of my choosing without worrying about anyone else. My life is my own. And I hate it. This is not what I signed up for. I signed up to live for someone else. And now he’s gone. I don’t know what to do anymore, or who I’m supposed to be anymore.
Grief looks different on everyone. And it also looks different depending on the day. I am incredibly blessed to have a support network of family and friends who have been adamant about making sure they check in with me and watch out for me. It doesn’t stop the pain but it lessens my isolation and my responsibilities as I focus on grieving and healing.