Today marks month five of living without my son. When I think of the fact that it has only been 5 months and that I have a lifetime to go without him, my heart breaks and tears immediately spring to my eyes. How? Why? The unfairness that is this life is ridiculous.
I’ve found that both my husband and I have become very jaded. We are both less sympathetic to other people’s plights and I don’t like it. He struggles to listen to his friend talk about girl problems. He thinks “ my son died, and you are complaining about a girl being difficult?!”. I am less sympathetic to people whining to me at work. I handle insurance claims and people are always whining “he hit me, it’s not my fault. It’s not fair!”. All I want to yell back into the phone is “didn’t anyone tell you that life isn’t fair?! My son died and I have no reason for it. DO YOU THINK THAT IS FAIR?!”.
I have to actively try to not play the “one-up” game on struggle and loss. I work with someone who is a “one-upper”. You know the type, everything you say, they have to top it. For example, we redid our deck last year and they asked me about it. I said “it’s bigger than I thought, I’m not sure what to do with it”. Their response “Oh yeah, our deck is HUGE! We have so much space”. Ok, I didn’t ask but thanks for sharing. You asked me about my deck and I told you. I don’t want to be like that person. Loss is loss and struggling is struggling. It is subjective to each person. Just because I’m struggling with grief and the fact that I have to live my life with a piece of me missing, doesn’t mean that my struggle is any greater than someone who is battling an undiagnosed illness and is in pain every day. (Now, I do still feel that my loss is greater than the people complaining about a sore neck after being tapped on their rear bumper, but those people are just looking to get money for it. 🤷🏼♀️)
Month 5 has been a rough one on me. I’ve had a lot more full blown breakdowns than I have the past couple of months. Triggers seem to be everywhere and I just simply can’t avoid them. Babies and pregnant women are all over and each time I see one I am reminded of the loss of Asher and the fact that all I want is to be pregnant again. I’ve learned this month that I need to be more aware of putting myself in situations that can cause these reactions. I struggle with wanting to be there for my friends and wanting to save my sanity.
I had a baby sprinkle for a friend this weekend. I told her and the host that I would attend but would excuse myself when it was time to open presents. The thought of watching her open gifts for her little baby boy, filled me with so much anxiety and fear. I didn’t want to freak out and cry in front of everyone. I didn’t want to ruin her moment and excitement. I didn’t want to change the tone of the event. However, I wanted to support her with her pregnancy because she has been wonderful to me with Asher. I figured going to show my support but leaving early was the best of both worlds. But hours before I was supposed to go, the host texted me and said that one of the guests would be bringing their 6 month old son. I can’t really express the anxiety that hit me at that moment. Tears sprang to my eyes, my heart rate sped up, and I thought “there is no way I can do it!”. We all know about my breakdown the previous weekend, being surrounded by babies close in age to what Asher should be. I warned the guest of honor that I would probably just come and drop of my gift because I’m not sure I can handle being around the baby.
On my way to the sprinkle, I asked Asher to be with me and help me get through it. I didn’t want to run away crying. I really wanted to stay for what I could to support my friend. My heart was pounding and my stomach was in knots. I needed Asher’s help to stay calm and keep my composure. When the baby arrived, I teared up for a moment but literally just looked away. I avoided looking in his direction as much as I could. At one point, he was directly across from me and I looked over to find him staring at me. He just stared at me intensely for a while. It was like he knew I was purposely trying to avoid him looking at him and he would not allow it. I couldn’t help but giggle at it. I made it until the gift opening and then said my goodbyes. While leaving one of our friends, told me she was proud of me. She texted me after to check on me and make sure I was ok. The guest of honor texted me after to thank me for coming. She knew it wasn’t easy for me and that she was very grateful I came. She told me Asher would be proud of me. It means so, so much to me when people say they are proud of me. Going to the sprinkle filled me with massive anxiety. I hate crying in front of people and I just don’t want to have a freak out in public, even though I know everyone would understand if I did. It’s nice to know that people understand going to things like that or being around babies can be really , REALLY hard. It’s just another way that they acknowledge Asher and our loss of him. In the end it all worked out, my friend still knew that I am happy for her and I was able to save myself a freak out (thanks to the help of my son). It was a step forward, after my massive step backward last weekend, and I am proud of myself for making it through a whole baby themed event without issue.