They talk about time being divided into “After” and “Before;” I wonder if anyone really understands this? When Adrian died, a large part of me died with him. It wasn’t that time that started flowing differently. It was that I was a genuinely different person. I thought so.
When I was younger, I once auditioned for American Idol. I wasn’t serious. (Maybe a tiny bit). I mostly wanted the experience. I wanted to say I had tried. That’s the kind of person I used to be.
When I was pregnant with Adrian, I had to build a wall. I was never embarrassed, even when others thought I should be. I was still that strange Miranda, the one who wanted something out of the norm and made it happen. I carried my singleness and my son with pride.
After he died, after that scream, I shattered. It wasn’t that time flowed differently. It was a completely different life.
My new life was sadness. I lived in a hole. My greatest efforts went towards eating, and remembering how to form conversation. I was a shell pretending to be human.
Some people didn’t like this. Most didn’t understand. I looked like that person they thought they knew. She must be in there, somewhere.
Was I really in there?
For a while after Adrian died, I felt like a different person. I didn’t laugh much, or play silly games. The craziest thing I wanted to do was drive to a cabin with no power or phone. I was learning my new After.
Earlier this year I started taking voice lessons. I’m still not serious; it’s just something to pass the time. But I like it. It reminds me there’s still beauty in my world. It’s a sense of wonder. It’s one more link to him.
I don’t know how I feel about this concept of the After. I think it might be better to describe it as new life. Or life, somehow continued. Differently, but in the same skin. And pieces of the old me are starting to seep through.
There are things I’ll never change. There are things I’ve grown into. There are pieces that will never fit again inside this body. I am me, and I am different. There are things I don’t hold onto. This is all part of this new life. New lens. Old and new me.
Adrian’s Chronological Story: Adrian’s Birth Story
Miranda’s Chronological Story: The First Days
Miranda’s Chronological Story: Coming Alive Again
Topics Page: Death Positivity
Topics Page: People & Relationships
Letters to Adrian: Tue, Nov 14, 2017, 6:28 PM
Letters to Adrian: Fri, Nov 17, 2017, 8:02 PM
Write Your Grief: The Second Death