Tired. So very, to-the-bone weary. We are trying to adjust to this alternate reality that is our new normal. We are so blessed with amazing people in our lives who have been comforting and feeding us, keeping the ship afloat, so to speak. But what happens next?
My days are spent as a zombie. I feel as though the top of my head's been removed, and somehow my entire body has been filled with concrete. The little sparkly candle that was my personality has been snuffed out, leaving me faking the smiles and, occasionally, a laugh. My wonderful, amazing, fabulous husband tells me that if I go through the motions enough, someday they will be real. I have to believe him.
"The Girls" have been working overtime all week, ready to feed a baby who is gone from me. I've had to send them packing, back to the unemployment line, but they aren't going without a fight.
My little boy has been his bubbly little boy self, and for that I am grateful. He still laughs and plays and expects his stories read. I can't imagine life without him. Every morning as I lie in bed, mustering the courage to actually get out of it, I can hear his laughs and loud voice downstairs. He draws me to him like a magnet.
But being strong has its drawbacks, too. I would mostly prefer to be strapped to my bed, an IV of whiskey in one arm and morphine in the other. I don't want to be able to get dressed and get in the car and pick up my baby's ashes. The little body I was supposed to cradle in my arms is contained in an urn the size of an egg, which I can hold in just the palm of my hand. I don't want this. I wake up each morning holding her little hat from the hospital, the only physical, concrete item I have. Every time I look at myself in the mirror and see the salty trenches down my face I want to pound my head against the wall.
But I can't.
The new normal really sucks right now. Soon I will have to go to the grocery store, the Co-op, the drycleaners, the bakery. I will have to answer the well-meaning inquiry: "Did you have the baby?" I've tried to put the word out to as many people as possible so that when our face-to-face time comes, I don't have to say it out loud.
I want to feel something, anything, other than sad, or mad, or scared. I want my little girl, my beautiful Calla, here with me. I want Eliot to meet and know and love his little sister. I want my husband to have his little "Daddy's Girl." But all the wishing and wanting in the world won't make it so.
I have my beautiful little family. I have to still be a wife and a mother. I have to exist in this world. The real world is still real, still there. I don't have a choice in any of this. But I can choose to love my husband, my son, my family, my friends, strangers, neighbors. I can be present and kind, and someday, I hope, at peace. The new normal is a bizarre place right now, it's hard and rough and sad. But life, as a whole, is good.