For multiple reasons, I try to avoid talking about some things on here. I don’t want to make people feel worse for us. I want to show there are positives that still happen and I’m still grateful, always. Greater than my desire to show positives, though, is my trying to remain truthful. My struggle is, while I know the positive is there, Blake is still gone.
Lots of people say, “I can’t even begin to imagine.” I know what you mean, because I said those types of things before, too. I think, while no one wants to, beginning to imagine just may be the support that many of us need; not so you can understand what it’s like (because you won’t), but just to create a tiny bridge. The isolation of losing your baby (they’re always our babies, no matter when we lost them) is another unbearable piece of this terrible puzzle. No one “can begin to” understand, so they stay away.
This is the horrific question that no one really wants to know the answer to:
What does living without your child feel like?
Hell. That’s the one word I can use that feels the most accurate, although no single word would do it justice.
Every single day I wake up and wish Blake was with me. It’s not something that hits me for a moment; it stays with me all day and all night. I wish I was taking care of her, kissing her face and watching her play with Kenley. I still hear her, I still think I see her; I still consider plans where her needs are met. Just the other day, I picked up my phone to text my mom about watching Blake, since child care for Kenley had been arranged. I sit in her room and cry. Jeff and I talk about her as often as we can.
I miss her so much it physically hurts. I would do absolutely anything to bring a healthy Blakey back.
I think about the future; no matter what comes to mind, at some point I cringe. “Blake won’t be there. Blake will never get to see that. We’ll never get that with Blake.” The list could go on for days.
Then, I’m faced with everyone living their “regular” life. I hear people commenting about how hard parenting is (I know it’s hard; I don’t blame you). Or, how much they need a break or dislike their kids. It literally takes conscious effort and restraint not to run over and shake said person and scream in their face, “DO YOU KNOW HOW LUCKY YOU ARE??”
Then, I’ll have part of a day where I feel okay. The day will go on, then all of sudden I’ll overhear something, see something or someone and it all comes crashing down. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called Jeff from my car at work, sobbing.
Soon after we lost Blake, someone told me I was now a piece of myself; I was no longer a whole person. I was angry when she told me that, but I see that description as completely accurate now. I’m functioning on a level I didn’t know was possible. I’m also acutely aware that to many, I’m no longer Stephanie, “tell it like it is”, happily married mother of two beautiful girls.
I’m Stephanie, mother of a dead child.
The madness of it all: You have to keep functioning within the norm. I can’t go around punching people, crying all day, or living in bed. People say you don’t have to function but that is a lie. Work has to happen. People have to eat. Laundry has to be washed. Let’s be honest: If I said what was in my head or acted how I felt, people would sprint away from me. Fast.
Lots already have.
So there it is: Nothing positive, nothing happy, but all real.