My therapist says that dwelling on how Sidney’s death is not fair is a dead end, that the world is not fair and I shouldn’t ask, “why me?” Instead, she says, “why not you?” and that we need to abandon expectations of fairness. Fine. But right now, I am trapped in the ‘it’s not fairs’ anyway. I just saw that a good friend from Seattle, where we used to live when Eli was born, had her second son. She is a friend I made through my parent-baby group, a friend who I was so excited to learn was due with another son just a few months after we were due with Sidney. I had imagined Eli playing with her older son, and Sidney playing with her new son, whenever we returned to Seattle. And now that won’t happen. Now, if/when we visit Seattle, all I will feel is Sidney’s absence. The two boys will never be friends, we won’t get to check in on each other and monitor our babies’ progress and growth, and talk about how Eli and her older son are adjusting to their new brothers. And it’s not fair. And I am angry about it. I am angry. Angry. Angry. Angry at all that I have lost. And I don’t know how to do this. How to live in a world where friends go on with their lives, having babies, reaching milestones, and I don’t. Where I am trapped in the aftermath of my shattered world. And yes, maybe I am whining and playing the victim, but it’s not fair, and this fucking sucks, and I am not someone who really swears much in real life.
Yesterday, I went over to a woman’s house who has a mosaic studio. A friend suggested I go when I said I was interested in learning to mosaic. She is about the age of my parents, I think, and opened up her studio and her house to me, letting me smash a plate and use the materials that she has been collecting over the past few years. I like the idea of taking broken pieces of glass, plates, tiles, materials, and trying to create something out of them. She was kind, and she listened. She also told me that I spoke with “a flat affect” and asked if I was considering anti-depressants. I am considering anti-depressants, but the question, coming from someone who I think I like, no less, seems so symbolic of how people just seem to expect us to get over the loss of babies. My department chair seeming surprised that I wasn’t just moving forward, the OB asking me if I have periodic bouts of weepiness, other people having mentioned that so and so has had a miscarriage (Sidney’s death is not a miscarriage!) and now look how well they are doing/how they have more kids. But I can’t just move forward, get over the fact that Sidney died, and is not here in my arms. I can’t, and I suppose on some level, I also don’t want to, at least not yet. As much as my grief is so painful, and I keep asking when it will get easier, when I will reach some new wave in grief where I can feel hopeful, and don’t awake with a big pit of despair in my stomach, I also don’t think this should be easy. It should be painful when one’s son dies. How could it not? But then, where does that leave me? Right now, in a kind of numb stupor, not hopeful about anything, not sure what I can find to look forward too. We have started the practice at dinner of trying to say two nice things that happened, or two things that we feel joy/appreciation/happiness for. And it has been hard these last few days, because I am drained and tired and not ‘feeling’ joy about anything. I don’t want the things I say to just be things that I know I should appreciate, but I really want to actually feel joy and appreciation about them. My two things last night were the taste of juicy peaches and getting to cuddle with Eli in the morning. But those two joys aren’t enough to have me jump excitedly out of bed. I want to say that Sidney’s death has helped me appreciate what I do have, made me love and value every moment I get to spend with Eli, but instead, I just want to hide in my bed, and not face the world that keeps on turning, the people with their new babies, the preschoolers who got to become older siblings to living babies. But then, if something else bad happens, I will think, if only I had appreciated what I had, enjoyed every moment–the thoughts that I am now having about my pregnancy with Sidney, missing every time I threw up, every time I struggled with insomnia, tiredness, or back ache. How I long for those days back. So how do I learn to appreciate and value every moment, when every moment is still painful? How? I imagine at some point, it is related to accepting that Sidney is really dead but my heart still can’t accept it. I can’t. And for now, I will continue to say that it is unfair.