Glow In The Woods is a fantastic blog written by 6 Babylost mamas who have a way of putting things in perspective and making you feel like you aren't a freak (which is good when you go around feeling like a freak for much of the day!) Today the post made me do some thinking. You should read it (here).
The question is: When is the first time you felt okay after your baby died? I actually remember the moment. Those of you who know me know that it was many, many weeks after Sophie died before I could see, walk and function normally. I was so, so, so very sick. In a way, that made it even more difficult because our grieving was so tied up in my physical recovery that most people were focused on that and not the deep, deep sadness that had penetrated our family. But we had two living girls who had not stopped wanting to do things. So one day, we decided to go for a "hike" up a very short mountain at Acadia National Park. It was a beautiful sunny day in early spring. There was still snow on the ground, but the sun was warm and the hike was very easy. I remember that despite the relative ease of the walk, I was out of breath and stopping often to rest. (This frustrated me to no end--a "mountain" that mere months before I would have run up in a matter of minutes was now causing me to huff and puff.) But at one point, as we rounded this turn into the sunshine, the girls running ahead and laughing, I stopped. Not because I was out of breath or because I needed to sit down, but because I found myself smiling at the sunshine and the pure joy of my children running through the spring mud. And then it hit me. I had just smiled. Smiled, for crying out loud. My baby was dead and I was smiling! Of course I stopped smiling and began to sob. Much better, I thought, this is how I have to be for the rest of my life. Chris, reading my mind at exactly the right time, took my hand in his and said, "It is okay. She wants us to be happy."
He's right, of course, and now three years out, I can find much more joy in my life than I could then. But that moment, that split-second smile, was the very first feeling of joy I had after her death. I remember it so clearly, not because of the joy, but because of the immense guilt that hit me like a ton of bricks immediately after I smiled. Like I was forgetting her or something. As if the only way to be a babylost mama is to be sad all the time and make sure everyone knows you are sad. Obviously, that isn't true, but learning it takes time. Lots of time.