How does one describe living with loss?
It is always with me. A shadow on my heart. An imprint, stamped forever. Never gone. With me everywhere. With everyone.
Sometimes I forget about it. Just like I forget my heart is beating, my lungs are breathing, my fingers feeling.
But it is there, reminding me every once in a while lest I ever forget.
Today I watched a beautiful baby as she tried to walk. She played with toys, clung to her momma, and cried when the room was quiet.
And I ached for Olivia. Just ached.
Sometimes my losses compound as one. Sometimes I am sad I’m considered infertile now, and can’t just get pregnant. Sometimes I wonder, what did I do to NOT deserve to have my baby grow healthy, strong? What did I do that SHE didn’t do?
It doesn’t matter who SHE is.
Sometimes SHE is someone I know . . . someone with a full, round belly rolling with child.
Sometimes SHE is a friend . . . brand-new in pregnancy and has nothing to fear or expect other than the wonderful glow of a precious new little.
Sometimes SHE is just a stranger, passing by unaware that her joy reminds me of my pain.
And I can’t blame any of them.
How could I? Do I know the road they had to travel to get to this point? Do I know what life has in store for them later down the road? Or maybe the hardships they’ve endured that have nothing to do with fertility? Do I think of the fact that maybe they look at me with my two children, and MY joy reminds them of THEIR pain?
I just ache. It is simply that.
I hurt. And I smile. And I joke. And I laugh.
And I wish away the pain that makes others so uncomfortable. I lie that I am not jealous, that I would not trade bodies with them in an instant to have what they have. I do my best to stay silent as others complain of pregnancy symptoms. I still the quiet, bitter spirit that longs to say things that would probably stab. Because that person is not me.
And sometimes I forget.
The ache is gone. The heavinesss of heart parts for free sprit. The laughter I hear is my own.
It sounds foreign.
I take time to take it in. I am . . . happy.
Strange. How weird it feels to laugh, to joke, to make fun. How strange to fall asleep wrapped in my love’s arms feeling whole, instead of sobs rocking me to sleep.
How light this feels.
The joy of two girls fill my arms, fill my soul. I have so much love, I wonder if I can hold it in.
I feel blessed. Who am I to deserve this love?
And then comes another word, another reminder, another “maybe THIS is the reason.”
And my free spirit feels shackled yet again. Familiar chains. Comforting chains.
Grief has become so comfortable to me, it has become my safe place.
Life. Joy. Love. Freedom.
They scare me at times, and I wonder if they are mine to keep. I am hungry for them, but the taste sometimes is too sweet, too coyingly sweet, that I cannot consume in full.
I take small bites.
And slowly, I become who I am becoming.
And whoever that person is, I hope she is better, stronger, more loving than the one I laid to rest the day before.