"It feels like I am talking about someone else's life" Words my boss said to me the first time I saw her after losing her dad. Oh boy can I relate to that one. Eight months on, I am still struggling to comprehend the enormity of what has happened to me. My baby died. My much wanted and anticipated, loved and cherished baby boy died. I was pregnant, then suddenly I wasn't. He was here, then he was gone. A little human life who I watched fight to stay then I had to watch lose his battle. He mattered. He still matters. But I am a mother with nothing but a grave to show for it.
The grief no longer totally consumes me. I am learning to carry it, it is part of me. I am able to put it to one side and do what I need to do. Every day I wear a mask- the mask of "ok", the professional mask, the mask that hides my grieving mothers' heart. That doesn't mean the pain isn't there, just that my mask isn't cracking today. Maybe it will tomorrow. I wouldn't say I have mastered it yet. I am still overwhelmed by the grief wave when it catches me unawares. I am prepered for anniversaries, special dates etc. I know Monday's are hard because it's peads clinic at work and babies are everywhere. So I'm fine, I can cope with it. But on Tuesday I might see a mum-to-be rub her bump and crumble.
A few weeks in I wrote a poem about "the painted on smile" I didn't share it outside of my babylost community, and I won't now, becuase it was written in anger, I was in a different place to where I am now. But the last verse I will share here, becuase it is still true:
It won't go away, this cross I must bear
Just please understand when I shout "it's unfair!"
There's just no escape from this tormenting maze
I will carry this pain for the rest of my days.
For the rest of my days. Grief is a constant presence, no matter what else I am doing, with every beat of my heart: lub dub, lub dub, lub dub....I miss him, I miss him, I miss him.