I am, and always have been, fiercely independent. But I am also terrified of being alone. I have been so lucky to have the most amazing people surrounding me throughout this nightmare. Friends who try (as hard as they might) to pick me up. And friends who, when they discovered I couldn’t be picked up, laid down beside me to listen for awhile. You have loved me at my darkest. But despite that, I have felt so utterly alone in all of this. Not because they haven’t been incredibly supportive, but because there’s just no possible way they could understand.
Yesterday someone I know posted this blog post on my facebook wall:
It’s a letter to mothers with their children from a bereaved mother. I have read literally hundreds of articles and blogs over the last 7 months, but none of them have resonated with me the way this one has. It’s like she reached into my soul and pulled out the ords I couldn’t find.
I am so grateful that you don’t know how life is after the loss of your child. I am so grateful that you don’t know the pain, the heartache or the desperation that takes occupancy within my heart.
Sometimes I wish you would just “understand” me, but then again I am so grateful that you don’t.
Sometimes all I want to do is sleep and sometimes I am afraid to.
Sometimes I am so sad.
Sometimes it is too hard to look in the mirror because there I see the pain in my eyes that I feel in my heart.
Sometimes I want to tell you how hard it is but I have resorted to just telling you I am “okay,” that’s what the world thinks I should be anyway. Sometimes it is easier to just be “okay” in society until I get home to silence and then, then I wish I had a friend.
The loneliness struck again this week. I thought back to the day we came home from the hospital after leaving Everlee. Led through the back halls of the hospital. Empty handed. Darcy didn’t have to walk into the hospital with an empty car seat, and carry her out to the car for the first time. I remember that feeling of extreme isolation. That no one I knew – not a single person – understood what it felt like to deliver their full-term baby after they already knew she was gone.
I don’t let people in often. I may seem like the kind of person who wears her heart on her sleeve, because I have been so brutally honest with my feelings and my grief here. But believe me when I say that there is so much, and so many thoughts and feelings that I don’t share here. Fear of being judged and fear of losing control stop the words from escaping my finger tips. But this blog has allowed me to open up in ways I never have before. I don’t let people see me like this. If I tell you that you’re my friend that means a lot. If I tell you that I love you, know that it’s not a phrase or expression and know that I actually love you in the best and most honest ways that I can. And if I tell you that I trust you, know that you are among the elite in my life. But even then, opening up is so very hard for me.
But all of this pain has to have a purpose. If it doesn’t, I might as well wither away and die. I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say “because of you, I didn’t give up”. That thought it what keeps me going. That thought it what keeps me writing. Everlee can’t have died in vain. If she has, then I have no reason to keep going. Her life, no matter how short, has a purpose. And it’s my job to fulfill that now
Because of you, Everlee, I’ve had to grow thicker skin and be stronger than I ever knew I could possibly be, even though most days I barely have the strength to lift my head to look at the world. I’ve had to accept that terrible things happen. To good people, even. And there’s nothing you can do to change it or fix it. I’ve had to learn how to accept things I never wanted to accept. I’ve had to learn to make myself laugh again. To want to live life again. To find joy again.