Today is one month since my childhood friend lost her beautiful baby girl unexpectedly to stillbirth. We've reconnected a bit since her loss, and I asked her today if time seems to be flying by or standing still. It got me thinking about the early days of my own loss. How one month out was like nothing at all when it came to some semblance of discovering a "new normal". How one month out, I didn't realize it at the time, but I was still very much in shock. How I thought I had been through the anger phase. I was sad, wasn't I? So the anger phase must be over with! I had screamed, wailed, thrown things, sure. But it wasn't until three months out, for me, that the real anger hit. The anger so fierce and so all-encompassing that it scared me. I scared myself. I wasn't really sure what I was even capable of doing in response to the anger. But it wasn't directed at anyone in particular, which made it better, which made it worse, because I knew that going after someone wouldn't fix anything, so I wasn't really about to go do something stupid, but I also knew that throwing my rage in one particular direction wouldn't help me feel better, so I was just stuck. And it became clear that those grief stages truly don't go in order or end up being "finished" one stage at a time in a neat succinct fashion.
Do any of you remember what one month out felt like?
Do you remember how time seemed like such a mysterious and inconceivable conceopt?
Was time flying by, or standing still? For me, it did both, and I remember that being such an odd
sensation – marking the days, then weeks, then months as they passed. It felt like time was flying by – like it was
just yesterday that I held my son, while at the same time it felt like
everything was slow motion, and I wanted time to zip by because, as they say, “time
heals” (ha!). I wanted time to speed up so that I could get
to that place that other loss moms told me about, that place where your baby
isn’t the first thing you think about when you wake up. That place where you can go until dinner
time, and then stand at the stove making macaroni and cheese and suddenly think to yourself, "Oh yeah…My baby died" and feel the sad hit you like a ton of bricks all over again. Which is true progress after going months and months with that ton of bricks hitting you on your first breath upon awakening to your living nightmare. (I remember a post about this at Glow but can’t
remember who wrote it or what it was titled, sadly.) At the same time, I wanted time to slow down,
because the further away I got from the date of my loss, the further I felt
from my son.
But then I knew.
I knew that holding him, he had already gone away.
I knew that was his shell.
That time was just a concept, that it wasn't something that could truly separate me from my precious son. That the love would stay forever. That he would always be with me. That he transcended time and space and was infinite, on his own journey. That I could remember him through symbolism that spoke to me. Through butterflies, sparrows in flight, the moon, and the stars. My forever baby. My son.