‘You seem better…’
This statement shocks me every time. What is better? Especially when you’re talking about child loss. Is it being able to get out of the house and do more productive things? It’s definitely not how I feel inside. If anything, I (somehow) long for him more than I did in the beginning. I’ve never seen a progression checklist after losing Jensen, so I’m really out of the ‘getting better’ loop.
With as transparent as I am, concerning my grief journey, there’s a lot I hold back from the world. A lot.
If anyone saw me this weekend, they would have been worried. Maybe even thought I was worse or backtracked in the generic stages of grief. As we all know, those are crap. On Saturday, I had no windows open, the blinds blocked any light from coming in, and there I was, paralyzed by grief on the couch. My eyes were red with deep, dark circles under them. I’m not even sure if my hair was brushed.
I was laying there watching every sad movie I could find on Netflix. My arms ached and my heart felt like it was being squeezed. How could Jensen already be fourteen months old in heaven? Why couldn’t he stay with me? What am I supposed to do with the rest of my life without him? These questions went unanswered, but were asked in my mind over and over. I manically laughed through my tears at the fact I’d live a long life. Yes, you read that right. A life full of grief and longing for the person I’ll never be able to get back.
Truthfully, I know I shouldn’t think that and most days I’m thankful for every day I’m alive. Today and the day after and so on are days I get to live for Jensen and myself. The days he’d want me to embrace and keep going.
BUT THIS IS GRIEF.
It is a constant battle and it’s exhausting. Days like Saturday is when I have no strength to keep fighting those thoughts. I succumb to them. It hurts.
You’re probably thinking, why didn’t you call for help? Reach out? Something?
My mother came over after an x amount of texts and phone calls. She came in my front door and saw me. I couldn’t even talk, sobs escaped. What I could muster to her was, I need to be alone. I didn’t want this grief and sadness to attach to her and bring her to this level. My self-worth told me I deserved to feel this way. Deserved to face this life without my son. I couldn’t put that on my mom and I think it was the first time she’s really seen in the last few months, that I’m not really doing better.
Even at fourteen months post loss.
When I hear that ‘I seem to be doing better,’ I want to laugh in their faces or at the very least, let them live with me for a few days to see how many tears I produce. I’d like to say better is made up. Have I gotten stronger? Of course. Nothing will make me feel any better. My son is gone. There are things I’ve found joy in after, but it doesn’t even come close to the joy he brought me in his little infinity with me. Maybe that makes me a pessimist. I say it makes me a realist.
Instead of saying all of that, I think I have the perfect answer for the world…
No. I’ve just learned how to fake it better.