Today is a tough day, but nearly every day is a tough day. In some ways May 1st feels like yesterday. The pain feels like it was yesterday and actually is worse than it was at the beginning of May because the shock has started to wear off which means the hurt is deepening. And in some small ways it feels like it did happen months ago – some of the minor details are beginning to blur and despite cataloging much of my life here on the blog I do not actually write a diary. Thus, I am glad a few days after they were born I started writing a full account of what happened and then read it to Mark to fill in any blanks. The details I are still sharp enough I have not had to read that yet to remind myself but in the future I am sure I will be thankful I at least have it, if I want to.
People keep asking me how I am and I have come to dread this question – “great” “good” or “okay” are some of the standard answers but when you say “not okay” it tends to raise eyebrows and make people uncomfortable. In speaking very candidly with my brother a few weeks ago he said “I don’t know what that means” and that is fair. When I say this I mean I am not normal and I am not in a good state either physically and mentally. I usually say that I am not okay when attempting to answer the question “how are you?” I understand that this makes people feel uncomfortable but believe me when I say there is nothing you can do. My therapist says this may make people feel helpless but there really is nothing – so don’t feel like you are missing something.
Things that are okay to say:
- I don’t know how you feel, but let me know I can help in any way.
- I’m here for you.
- I won’t ask you about it but you can always call me if you want to chat.
Things I would ask you to please not say (and this also includes anything that tries to justify the loss or to tell me how to feel):
- Get over it.
- You need to move on.
- Everything happens for a reason / there must be a reason this happened.
- It was meant to be.
- At least … [anything]
- … you are okay
- … the funeral is over
- … you didn’t have to make an end of life decision
- … you don’t live in the Ukraine
- Everything happens for a reason
- You are doing so well / you don’t look like you’re grieving.
- (Any talk of future children)
And by all means that is not an exhaustive list, but just a rolling list of real life examples. Someone recently sent a nice ping via work chat “I’m sure you have millions of people to talk to but if you ever want a chat, or a distraction, or whatever, just drop me a line.” To all those near and far, thank you for being here during this unthinkable time and for something that has no end date – I appreciate it more than you know.
Lastly, I mentioned today is a tough day and it honestly might be one of the worst. August 31st was my due date. And today there will be no baby girls in my arms. And that is soul crushing.