I started 2 posts this week with no publishing success. I’m about to rework the second in hopes of sharing it with you by the end of the night. Here goes nothing.
Chris has been busy lately so I’ve recently found myself with more time to fill. It doesn’t happen that often, as he is by my side about 98% of the time. We really appreciate our relationship and try to honor that gift by spending as much quality time together as our schedules allow. It feels strange when I’m alone. I think about how Chris works from home and how he is by himself a lot, and wonder how he does it—especially since my work schedule and commute cause me to arrive home late most evenings. It’s a long day for both of us. Me, constantly busy and stimulated, longing for the safety, comfort, and quiet of home—Chris, looking forward to human interaction, conversation, and getting out of the house. I don’t know whose day is worse. Maybe neither. I know that most days I wish that I could work from home. Or maybe not work at all. In any case, I think a lot about how hard it must be for him sometimes. It’s tough not to sit here and get lost in your own head. I compare it to those dreaded evenings, which happened more in the beginning, when I just couldn’t shut my brain off and felt consumed by my loss. Laying awake, wide-eyed, heart pounding, while the rest of the world was in dreamland. It’s difficult not to feel sad, lonely, and deeply depressed. Even though there is a part of me who is totally satisfied and overjoyed to get some peace and time for myself, another part of me feels so overwhelmed with sorrow. All of those difficult moments I experience on a daily basis just add up over time. They fill me up, silently stewing, just waiting for the right moment to boil over. Every time I have to witness the family life that I don’t have—whether it’s from afar or whether I’m smack dab in the middle of it—it’s like getting stabbed in the heart every time. Then add in the moments I spend considering my own experiences—where I was, where I sit now, how I wish things were, and where I hope to be in the future—a few minutes alone and you can imagine how easy it is for me to surround myself in darkness.
I’m really tired of being the onlooker. It’s beyond difficult. I’m tired of having to listen to and watch everyone else get what I feel like my family should have, too—right now. There, I said it. I’m tired of feeling jealous, angry, disappointed, sad, and awful. And, I’m tired of keeping it inside all the time. Why must I be subjected to a world where all babies live while I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that my baby died?
I just want to get off the ride for awhile. I don’t want to listen to discussions over baby names. Pregnancy diets. OB appointments, weigh-ins, and especially not the heartbeat. I don’t want to hear about ultrasound photos. Sick kids going to the doctor. Christmas mornings. I don’t want to hear about the hair color of a newborn. Daycare. Your kids’ voices in your iPhone video. I no longer want to hear stories about the amazing, wonderful, silly, annoying, loving, or funny thing a child did yesterday, last night, or last year. And, I’m sorry if that makes me a bad person. I’m sincerely sorry if that makes me a bad friend, sister, or daughter. I know that I sound selfish, and I feel guilty admitting it. I just wish that the people in my daily life could truly understand how I feel and what I’m really going through. Rylan died eight months ago. It may seem like a long time ago to others but the loss is still fresh in my heart and soul. A week of goodbyes does not mean that I’ve magically moved on or away from the loss of my son. My grief is a part of my daily routine. I begin my days by putting on a necklace engraved with his name, think about him during the day, and end it by blowing a kiss to a picture frame that houses a photo of his beautiful, sleeping face.
It wasn’t so long ago that I was pregnant and filled with all of the hope and excitement that goes along with it. I was staring at black and white images dreaming about what my baby’s face would look like—wondering how his smile would glow, whose eye color he would have, and what it would be like to hear his tiny voice for the first time in that hospital room. Back then those thoughts were surrounded by the anticipation of what was to come. By the promise of tomorrow. Those thoughts kept me going when the physical part of being pregnant was tough to bear. I always told myself that it was worth it—because in the end I would have the most amazing gift for the rest of my life. Now, I sit here with the same thoughts, but without the security I once felt. Now I know that I’ll never have those answers. I won’t know what it feels like to hold my son again. I’ll never hear his cries or laughter in the next room. Never see his open eyes, or know what it feels like to have him grip my finger with his tiny hand. I’ll never read him a bedtime story or kiss his forehead goodnight. The list in my head is endless—a lifetime of memories that will never be. The feeling is so difficult to live with—and impossible to explain to anyone who hasn’t been through it themselves. I can honestly say that I now know why people commit suicide. I know what true despair is—to be so physically and emotionally weak that you don’t feel like you can possibly go on. I’m not suggesting that I would do anything so rash, so any calls for help are unnecessary. All I’m saying is that I completely get it. It’s hard to want to continue on after you lose your child. It’s really so unnatural. I don’t think parents are meant to bury their babies—no matter how old they are—I think that’s what makes it so traumatic. I truly feel sorry for those who have experienced it and just want them to know that, however you are feeling, you are not alone.
I’m leaving you tonight with a heavy heart and a crazy amount of love for my angel baby. And, wishing you a good night’s sleep.