Right Where I Am: Two Months, Twenty Days

Angie at Still Life with Circles has started a project collecting posts about where people are in their grief after losing a child.  Please participate if you wish and there are now hundreds of great posts to read on the list on Angie’s blog.

It has been eighty one days since Luke was born.  I didn’t actually know that without looking it up.  I no longer count every day.  I am now just thinking about it in the abstract- it’s been about two and a half months.

My grief is fresh, but it is also old.  It is more comfortable now.  I can talk about him now without breaking down into tears.  We’ve reached the new normal.  The giant wound in my heart has scabbed over and it doesn’t ache all the time.  It only stings when I push at it.  It will still bleed and tear when it is attacked, but those times are rarer and farther in between.

I am tired of forgiving people.  I am even more tired of being treated as “oh poor Jen.”  Please, normal is fine.  I am not an invalid, I do not need to be taken care of.  I’ve never liked it.  Yes, sometimes I am sad.  But sometimes I am not.  I do not like pity.  Compassion is one thing, pity makes me not like you.

Sometimes my heart actually hurts.  When I have this physical heaviness in my chest, I wonder if this kind of pain is how the heart became so connected with the soul in our language.

On the flip side though, sometimes I am very happy.  Sometimes Luke is a happy memory and I am glad he was here at all.  Actually, I am always glad he was here, even the times when the sorrow over him not being here now overwhelms the glad.  I don’t think about it all the time.  The new normal is here, not as it will always be, I am sure, but normal is back.

Part of this is that the death of a child wasn’t new to me.  I did a lot of my grieving before.  This was just more of the same.  Different too, of course, but grief has a lot of the same flavors.  I don’t know if anyone noticed, but if Luke had been born two hours earlier, his birthday would have been the same day as my due date for my first pregnancy, only three years later.

There is something else I feel I should touch on.  I do not want this blog to become a fertility blog, but it could.  I have returned to my “normal” cycles and believe me, there is not a lot of normal in them.  And because of a lot of reasons, this will not be a pregnancy blog for quite a while.  I am not pregnant and I am not planning on becoming pregnant for many months.  I’m okay with this.