I spend a lot of time looking at the pictures I have of Everlee on my phone. I wish I could show them off to people, like any mother would. My baby is beautiful. Perfect lips, her daddy’s nose and big eyes like her mommy. It’s one of the few physical things I have of Everlee; her pictures. I have one of her laying in my arms for the first time. Just her. Sleeping peacefully. I want so badly to show them off. Or for someone to ask to see them. But that’s not something you offer, and it’s certainly not something that people ask to see. So, I just spend the mind numbing, dark silent hours of the night staring at her and imagining all of the things I wish I had gotten to share with her.
People don’t know how to talk to me right now. My psychologist pointed this out yesterday morning. I didn’t need her to tell me that though. I can see how uncomfortable people feel around me – terrified they might say the wrong things or searching for the perfect thing to say. I’ll let you in on a secret. There is nothing you can say or do at this point that’s going to make me feel any better. You can’t bring Everlee back any more than I can. As much as I wish I could, or you could. And that’s really the only thing that’s going to make me feel any better right now. But please don’t be afraid to talk about her. Use her name. I love to hear people speak her name. It might make me cry, but it breaks my heart more to think people wont speak her name.
People seem most content to share their stories of loss or grief with me, and although I know that losing a parent or grandparent is hard and heart wrenching, I honestly don’t think it can compare to losing my child – a parent losing any child. It’s hard to say that to someone who is trying their best to comfort me. Losing someone like that, like a parent of grandparent, is the natural order of things. Yes, often parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles are taken much much too soon. But nothing will ever compare to losing your own child.
Your children are supposed to bury you, that’s how the world works. I never imagined in my life I would have to watch that teeny tiny casket being laid into the ground by her daddy. The only thing, he pointed out, that he ever got to physically do for her was carry her to her grave (words that will haunt me until the day I die). I never thought I would bury my child.
What I need and what I want is people that aren’t afraid to be around me. I need to start taking small steps to get out more, to see and interact with people. The thought of it makes my chest tighten, and makes me labour every breath. I get a hot, tight burning at the back of my throat. But my biggest fear is feeling like a chore to others. Im not easy to be around right now, and I know this. And I know I make people feel guilty. Two of my Very best friends in the entire world have both given birth to beautiful healthy babies in the last two months. I feel awful talking to them because I feel like I’m taking some of their happiness from them. I don’t want to ruin this time for them. I love their children so much and I don’t want them to feel an ounce of guilt for being happy. I don’t want to bring anyone else down. And I know that no one else can really help bring me up.
I’m so far down I can barely tell which way is up.
My arms ache with emptiness.