I wake up at the same time to go to work. There’s no one to get ready but myself. I work the same hours. We don’t have to coordinate who’s picking up and who’s dropping off at daycare. I don’t need to juggle feeding myself and a baby, or whose night it is to go to the gym.
I collapse on the couch at the end of a long day, but it’s not after I’ve put my son to sleep for the night, trying to sneak in a quick show before both me and my husband doze off. I might be sleep-deprived some days, but it’s not because I was up during the night with our cute little man who wouldn’t sleep.
That’s what I imagined our life would be. I didn’t think it would be easy, but it’s easier than what we are facing each day. I would give anything to have the parenting problems that so many new parents complain about. But I can’t, because we never got to take our son home.
The fact that our post-baby life looks so similar to our pre-baby life exacerbates the forgetting that some of my family, friends, and coworkers seem to be doing right now. We have crossed the six month threshold since we lost our son, and for most, it seems they think that’s enough time to have moved on. Let’s face it, there will never be enough time for that. The grief and the pain of losing a child lasts a lifetime.
It’s starting to feel like only me, my husband, and a select few others still remember that we experienced a loss.
I am fortunate to be connected with many wonderful mamas who are a part of the loss community, but outside of those individuals, I feel misunderstood by so many others. No one understands how many painful triggers there are, or the amount of things that stop me in my tracks on a daily basis. They don’t get that one “little” thing can throw me completely off my game. Not only for the rest of that day, but probably at least a couple more days after that. And how could they understand? They have never experienced a loss as painful and downright wrong as the losses that we, as still mothers, have experienced.
Through the untrained eye, it may look like we are doing fine, and sure, we are able to work and live, and even have fun. But, underneath it all, there will always be pain and grief. We will never get over losing our son, no matter how things appear from the outside looking in.