I feel like my husband and I speak in codes now. A lot of the time, if we simply say “I’m having a bad day” to one another, the meaning is always immediately apparent. I’m not having a bad day because I had an irate customer, nor is he having a bad one because he was stuck in traffic on the way to work: ‘bad’ days, now, are almost exclusively ones where the grief is more prevalent, and there’s not always good rhyme or reason for it.
Calling them ‘bad days’ is somewhat colloquial, too. I can be fine for most of the day – hell, I may even be outright sunny – and then I’ll just suddenly be hit by a wave of grief. They say that the grief is never more than five minutes away, and they’re right. Yesterday, at the start of my shift, I was fine – not exactly a beacon of joy, but doing pretty well – and, by 10 minutes later, I was fighting not to cry. Tack on several disagreeable customers, cranky coworkers, and a couple of harsh reprimands from my employers, and I was almost ready to walk out for a while there. I managed to keep it in until I got home, but it didn’t leave my mind for more than a few moments again for the rest of the evening.
I’m two and a half months out from my loss, and I still can’t believe that this is my reality now. Sometimes I can go a few blissful hours without thinking about it, then I’ll touch the chain of my necklace while I’m fixing my hair, or I’ll spot his memory box while I’m straightening up the bedroom, or my stretchmarks will get itchy and bring attention to themselves, and it all comes flooding back.
Then I realize that I have to fight with grief and ‘bad days’ for the rest of my life, and that I’m always going to wonder about the could-have-beens, the what-ifs, and, perhaps above all, why me? I am so overwhelmed by the concept of dealing with a baby loss for the rest of my life, it seems unfathomable from where I am now… but I suppose I had better get used to the idea, because it’s not going to go away. I can’t walk away from it, or decide to forget all about it, or pretend it never happened. It’s part of life now. It’s all going to be part of my ‘new normal’.
Aren’t I lucky?