Friday, September 21, 2012

Cast Away

I've been thinking a lot about how much life changes after you lose a baby. One really hard part is that so many - really, most - people just don't get it. So many well-intentioned people saying and doing so many really insensitive and hurtful things in an attempt to "fix it" or relate to me.

It brings to mind the movie, Cast Away, with Tom Hanks. Much like his character, my life changed in an instant and I was unprepared. And also like him, I have no choice but to make the most of what I have left and just keep moving forward. When you lose everything, you find yourself doing things you never thought you'd do. For him, it was befriending a volleyball (Wilson!). For me, it's carrying around (and sobbing into) a 4lb, 8oz stuffed bunny.

You also find help from people you may not even know. For him, it was the person awaiting the package from the angel-wing ranch. He never gave up hope of delivering it, intact. For me, it's the other babyloss mama's (some I've never met and probably never will meet), reaching back from their place along their own journey to lend a hand or offer an encouraging and understanding word. These strangers give something that most others can't: hope and true help.

Just like him, I find myself with a life I don't want and never expected. This man spent years building a new life on the island; one most people could never understand or relate to. In my grief, I'm building a new life on my own "island" of sorts, one most other people can never relate to or understand as well. Just like him, you do what you have to survive.

And then, when he is finally back to the "real world" (a place he no longer belongs,) there are so many many people who simply can not possibly understand. The people - for him - who serve seafood at his homecoming dinner (dummies). The people - for me - who compare Samuel's death to the loss of their 98-year-old grandmother or who insist on talking endlessly about every person they know with a new baby. (also dummies).

Sidebar: Why do people not understand that I DO NOT want to know about every happy mama with her precious new baby?!? It hurts me to the bottom of my soul that I didn't get to keep him. Why make me hear over and over again that "everyone else" gets to keep their babies???

(Ok, back to the subject at hand).

Just like his friends, people want so badly for me to "get back to normal". The intentions are good.( As his friend said, "tomorrow we work on bringing you back from the dead". If only it were so easy. Then maybe people would stop trying to "fix it".) But what they will never understand is that "normal" no longer exists for me (and him). Just like him trying to come back to a world that he no longer feels apart of, I no longer fit into this life, as most know it. My entire belief system has shifted. I've been through something not many others can relate to. I guess it's true: if it hasn't happened to you, you just can't understand. (Although most people like to think they do - while simultaneously saying the worst possible thing - *sigh*). Just like the character in the movie, I have to re-learn how to exist.

When you realize you have to still be apart of this world, you realize you can't be who you once were. Your hopes and dreams and goals for your life are no longer an option. You have to start over. So you do what you have to do. You take it one day at a time, you closely guard whom you allow into your life and you become endlessly grateful for the handful of people who "get it".

You move forward.

It's all you can do.

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