Day 2

I remember wondering in those first days and weeks after we lost Everlee if I would ever make it through a day without crying ever again. I don’t remember when it happened, I’m sure it wasn’t a particularly momentous day. But it happened none the less. I still cry more days than I don’t. I usually cry quietly to myself in the darkness of night now. But, usually, I can muster the strength to make it through the daylight hours without letting my heart leak onto my face. I have always hated showing any outward sign of weakness. That part of me soldiers on. Funny, when you consider how I’ve chosen to make some of my most personal and vulnerable thoughts so public here.

These last three days, I have had reminiscent feelings of those first few weeks. The anxiety has returned tenfold. If you’re having a bad day today, consider this: I threw up in the shower this morning. Note to self: don’t eat breakfast for the next few days, and hope that this wave of intensity passes. A little perspective. And as I picked up my coffee at Starbucks and headed onto the onramp to the highway toward my office for the second time this week it started. The tightness in my chest, that hot burning feeling at the back of my eye balls, the topsy-turvy feeling in my tummy, the dryness in my throat. And then came the tears.

And I wondered aloud (as I often do have very meaningful discussion with myself out loud when driving alone) “will I ever be able to drive to work without bursting into tears? Will I ever make it through a day at work without having to go lock myself in the bathroom to cry?”. As a wise man once taught me (thank you for *everything* but especially this Mr. Duffenais) Tomorrow is a better day. Hopefully some day in the not so distant future, on some not particularly momentous day, I’ll make into work dry-eyed. And hopefully some day soon people won’t pass my open office door and wonder if they should pop their head in to say hello. And hopefully some day soon I won’t have to work myself up for 45 minutes to be able to walk to the cafeteria to get a yogurt for my break. And hopefully someday soon I won’t have to think about all of these things so intently.

This grief thing is never ending. Time diminishes the intensity of it, or maybe, time diminishes the frequency of intense periods. Because when the waves crest, the intensity of the anger, resentment, guilt, and sadness is raw and painful like that of the first weeks after it happened. Acute, deep, and fierce.

There are times when, out of the blue, the tears well up and my face turns hot. Maybe there was a trigger – a new baby born, seeing a Facebook post about how someone else is pregnant and not me, or catching the faint smell of new furniture still wafting from her closed bedroom door. Maybe it was nothing at all, Just sudden, inundating sadness. But it’s always there. Picking at my soul. Always on the periphery of my mind. Always something missing. That is how the rest of my life will be. I believe someday the grief won’t be as intense. But it will be always present in my life. It’s my new normal.

Tick Tock.

I was going to wait until tomorrow to write an entry, but the urge overwhelmed me. I’m sitting here in my basement, quietly packing up my personal things to bring back to my office tomorrow. My degrees, my Mr Potato Head, my photos. Tomorrow, I ease back into the land of the living.

They are things that it seems like only yesterday I hastily packed away into a bag as I was leaving work when my doctors ordered me home on bed rest. I was excited then. I was only a few short weeks from becoming a mom. 

I made comments to people like “I’ll see you in a year” or “next time you see me I’ll have my baby with me!”

How stupid I was. I couldn’t have known then. But how ignorant and foolish I feel now looking back on myself. 

On the long and winding journey through grief there are many markers along the road. Anniversaries, firsts, a certain number of good days in a row. Some of them creep up on you and give you no time to prepare. Other times you can watch yourself come upon them, and every ounce of your being says NO NO NO. And you dig in your heels and try to stop them from rushing up at you. 

Because who wants to move one single inch, one single second, further from the last moment they held their baby in their body, in their arms?

Tick. Tock. and the moments without her zoom past.  

Instead of having a baby to show off when they see me, now they can see the shiny new headstone that was put in place this week for Everlee. I hate that this wretched thing has to exist. But, for what it is, it’s beautiful. 

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I’ve had a massive headache all day. My back has been tangled in knots. My stomach has rolled all day long. I love my job. I love my workplace. I love my coworkers. My doubt, anxiety and fear has nothing to do with any of those things. It’s a monster that lives in me.  I’m prepared that people will say the wrong thing sometimes., I’m prepared that some people may not know. I’m prepared for the breakdowns that i will inevitably have. But, what I fear more than anything is that the thought of taking this massive leap forward will somehow make people think that I’m better. That it will make them think I’ve moved on. 

I went out last night in attempt to bring some closure to my time off. A friend and I went to Erin’s Pub to listen to some irish music and have a few pints. And as I sat there and the listened I found my mind wandering from the music back to the case room.  For the last seven months I’ve suffered from flashbacks. Not passing memories. Flashbacks. I was there. I was back in the room. I was flooded with emotions. And every ounce of me felt the same sting of hot, raw, emotions. 

How could anyone think I have moved on, when I relive those moments, and live with the real pain every single moment of the day.  

If I waited to feel better, or to have moved on I would never be going back to work.  

I wish I could put her picture on my desk. I want to be able to look at her with the adoration she deserves. Everyone else has pictures of their children on their desk. But that’s just one more aspect of motherhood that I don’t get to have. 

So tomorrow, I make my first foray back into the land of the living, but on the inside, I’m still feeling like I’m in the world of the dead. 

Wish me luck.