I once heard grief described as a maze. You can't get out, you don't know where it ends and you never know what's around each corner. Oh, how true this is for me.
Recently, I've found myself in a strange and unfamiliar part of this maze. (Let's be honest, it's all uncharted territory). It's one where the intense emotions have lessened and, for the first time in such a very long time, I've started to feel like I can function a little again. I've been leery of writing about this because I already have people making incorrect assumptions about the impact of a baby dying. Some seem to think it's a "bad event" that can be "gotten over" with time. I can't fathom how people can believe the loss of a baby is nothing short of tragic and life changing, but, probably for self-preservation, this idea persists in society. I've tried to be as open and honest as I can about what it's actually like for me. I want to tell my story as it happens so people can realize how nightmarish and utterly heartbreaking it is to live without the baby you love and want so much.
But also, as I said before, since I decided to just let the emotions come and not force or change them, I'm going to write about a change that has happened over the past few weeks. The most important message I want to convey is that in no way has my deep and unending love for Samuel gone away or changed. It's still just as intense as it's always been. Also, the feelings of longing and desire for him to be with us is just as strong as before. I will always love and miss him. For the rest of my life. That will not change. If you read this and think I'm "over it" or "moving on", then you are not understanding me. Grief ebbs and flows. Good days don't mean anything other than that you happen to be having a good day. Nothing more, nothing less.
With all that being said, something has changed since the one-year anniversary of his diagnosis. I really don't know what specifically brought about this change, I can only tell you that it happened. Maybe my brain finally gave up fighting and realized this is really my life forever. Maybe it's just been so long that we've been under stress that psychologically I needed a break. Maybe it's that so many people have kept him alive in our lives by
talking about him, sending us things for him, and making him apart of
our new normal. (I think it take a lot of pressure off when you know that
other people love and miss him too). I really can't say. All I know is that the unbearable, overwhelming, can't-possibly-function-each-day type of pain has taken a break. I can't say it's gone because I don't believe it will never return. I think I just have found a sense of calm for now. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? For today, and for the past few days, I have found it. It's very strange. I keep waiting for something to happen to knock me down again. But, I'm not going to seek it out. I have learned that I can love and miss him deeply, while still functioning. It's very strange.
All this mess with the boxes has shown me that I can take this horrible experience to help induce change in a city that desperately needs it. It's given me a determination to teach and explain. You know the saying, "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"? Well, for me, human nature hath no determination like a BLM who wants her son's short life to make a difference in this world. I have every intention of not only getting the hospital to accept the boxes, but also to help them understand better why they are so important. Thank you all for supporting me in this effort. My plan as of now is to set up a meeting with the head nurse of the OB department, and possibly talking to the local media. From there, who knows...
All this is to say that life right at this moment is different than it's been in a while. I miss my little Samuel all day every day. There is never an hour that goes by without me missing him and feeling sad that he's not here with us. I'm going to try to help other babyloss families in our community. Hopefully, it won't be a battle. Hopefully, people will realize how much help is needed. Hopefully, together, we can all change the way babyloss is seen and handled by the public. There is no worse pain that losing a child. If I can help make this known, I'll do it. I think Samuel would be proud of his mama.
I miss him. <3. Today and everyday.
And just like so many, many other families with broken hearts and lost dreams, I'm going to keep making my way way through the maze. Who knows where I'll end up...