Last night a friend made a comment to me about how he was surprised that I wasn’t falling apart.
At the memorial I shed a few stray tears but that was it. Observing myself, I felt a little self conscious about it, like people would be judging me for not being a total mess.
I have always been good at compartmentalizing. My therapist once said that I was a high functioning severely depressed person….and that was because I had to be. Noah still had to eat, even if I didn’t want to get out of bed.
And the thing is, as much as I’d love to just lay around and do nothing, life goes on. I’ve already missed a week of work and I won’t get baby cheques this month, so that’s approximately a $1000 difference (including tips) in my income this month. Missing two whole weeks of work to wallow doesn’t help to pay my bills. Starting next month, I have to start paying Caleb for half of the things he’s still paying for (car insurance, cell phone bill, life insurance, Blue Cross, etc etc), and that doesn’t just suddenly go away because of a traumatic event in our family.
You can’t cry 24/7. You can’t let your grief consume your life. There is no “moving on” or “getting over it”….I’ll be grieving for the rest of my life. But as it’s always been, random things will hit me in a certain way and now it’s two stabs in the heart instead of one. Typically it falls under the categories of “things I can’t do with Noah” (that typical children can do or would enjoy), and that’s now compounded with “things I’ll never do with Noah”.
I’m still going to do weird things like cuddle his urn on the couch when I’m alone watching TV, and I’m not afraid of putting that out on the internet and for people to know about it, but for the most part I am going to seem like I am holding it together. I can’t fall apart at work, my job involves customer service and putting a smile on my face. I may have a moment or seven where I’ll have to step into the kitchen to collect myself before going to my table (this has already happened prior to Noah’s passing), but for the most part, I will have to keep it together just to function like a normal human.
Grief is complex and it comes in cycles, I already know this from years of mourning the child that I expected to have. And some of that grief came from worrying about things that I now don’t have to worry about…like him being abused, mistreated, bullied, etc. So some of my previous grief is gone and I’ve gotten some closure in that sense. But now there is a new grief, and it’s one I’m obviously not familiar with, as I’ve never lost a child (in the literal sense) before.
It’s strange and bizarre and surreal, and I’m trying to live with it the best that I can.