When my son was stillborn at 41 weeks, I came home to a complete nursery. All of his clothes were washed and sorted, his diapers laid out next to wipes and creams. And maybe it sounds counterintuitive, but I was thankful.
You are turning one next week, and I feel jealous. You are turning one, and my son won’t be here to send you a sloppy scribbled birthday card. You are turning one, and I am aching, and I realize that I miss your mother. I miss her, but I’m still not ready to be friends.
I never had to face this choice with Adrian. I never had to hold him, breathing; weigh impossible odds. I didn’t have to look into eyes gone soft and full of hurting. I didn’t get to hold his living body in my arms.
I fed her shredded chicken with my fingers this morning. The vet prescribed her steroids. She actually has an appetite. I gave her a piece of my blueberry scone. I guess it doesn’t matter now what’s good for her in the long run.
I see her on the other side of the glass, and my heart breaks for what we both have that the other needs.
I’m not actively suicidal, but this is the beginning. This is the in-between stage; this is where it starts. This is what it looks like when someone is crying out in pain and the entire world tells her, “You’re strong; you’re fine…Simply because I’ve decided you’re not allowed to be anything else.”
After he died, after that scream, I shattered. It wasn’t that time flowed differently. It was a completely different life.
This year has been hard for me, but it’s been a clean kind of hard. Most people understand grief is a thing. Most people understand pain surrounding death. I don’t think most people understand what happens afterwards.
I didn’t ask to live here. I loved Sunshine. I had so many plans. I built my peaceful house there. But my key doesn’t fit.
I should know better. Because life is not a fairytale. I should know better, because you’re a person, just like me. And I realize I put the weight of my expectations on something that was only fleeting. And now it’s too heavy. I’m sorry it got heavy.
You were more than pain. You swept into my life and your presence promised happiness. And I hated that, because happiness wasn’t something I wanted to know. And I hate it more now, standing here, awake and oh so lonely. And this pain isn’t comforting. And this new life feels broken.
So many people run away from my questions, but I still have questions, I deserve more than this.