My phone pinged the other day; the text reads, “Hope you are feeling so much better,” and another read, “I see you are doing great now!” It really boggles my mind! Wow! What kind of appearance people choose to see in me. Its been five months, Shouldn’t she feel better? Which stage of grief is she in now?
I held back from writing until I found the right words to articulate my feelings. My mind was foggy, words jumbled, and sentences remained unfinished. But right now, Grief and I are starting to have a better understanding of each other. And time, although it is not healing, it’s changing the form of grief.
Physically, my body is feeling like my old self and somehow still going through changes. My milk still leaks sometimes, I am feeling the phantom kicks, and my hormones are still up in the air. I am still carrying the baby weight, together with the weight of grief.
And calendar wise, we are entering into the days, last year the same time, when we found out we were pregnant with Elliot. Approaching the first doctor’s appointment, seeing the flutters on the screen, hearing the heartbeat fill the room, the disbelief, and happy tears.
Sometimes it feels like everything happened in a dream. And other times, I am drowning, and as I try to catch my breath, I fail, and I suffocate. Drowning in all of Elliot’s milestones that have now turned into “Would-be’s” and “Should-be’s”
Meanwhile, I am confronting, and comforting others who are grieving their secondary loss.
They see a profound change in me. They lost a precious friend they once had in me. Because the Agnes they know has changed after she became a mother. She is now a mother who is feathering an empty nest. Her son’s clothes and toys piled up, diapers untouched, crib disassembled, and the dust settled on the baby stroller.
I am tired!
Tired of people trying to fix me
Tired of people asking me how I am doing and not wanting to hear the real answer
Tired of telling people that I am fine to protect myself
Tried of trying not to make them feel uncomfortable
Tired of setting expectations wrong
Tired of explaining why I grieve this way
Tired of grieving lost friendships and relationships
Tired of people’s shameless advice
Tired of people asking me not to worry,
To be happy, to relax, to be healthy, to believe, and to pray hard!
And tired of wrestling with God and throwing tantrums at Him.
However, slowly I found myself navigating towards the clan we found. We are called the “Baby loss community.” A bunch of strangers who happen to speak the same loss language. Circumstances made us join the club that no-one wants to be part of. But, I cannot ask for a better group of people. There is no pride, no ego, and no at least’s, just our hearts with love for our children in heaven. We share our babies’ pictures and ideas on how to decorate our babies’ grave. And, we have difficult conversations while wearing hearts on our sleeves.
Grief is absurd.
Grief makes you think you will never live and laugh again.
But when you slip away to enjoy a hearty laugh, it creeps back in as guilt.
I don’t fight back; instead, I surrender. Let it break and mold me. Therefore, experiencing the peace that comes with the heartache when I surrender.
Grief is here to stay lifelong, and it is becoming a part of me, a part of my identity. I am starting to see better days while still missing my boy so dearly. We are finding new ways to include and normalize Elliot in our family. His paintings hung on the wall, pictures printed, his 3-year-old niece visiting his grave, and learning about him.
And the right people slowly finding their way into our new normal.