Friday, September 12, 2008

Living and Dying

Some mornings I wake up and I wish I could put on a t-shirt that says MY BABIES JUST DIED on it so that everyone I come in contact with would know what I am going through. I hate going through the day like everything is fine. I hate saying good when asked how I am doing today by the check out lady at the grocery store or the receptionist at the doctor's office.

I want to blurt out the whole sad story, but I don't. I just want people to know how badly I hurt and that everything is not fine with me. Not because I want sympathy, but because it is the truth.

I am not fine right now, I'm just not. And I don't know when I will be.

In the meantime I want to be real. Faking fine is hard work. It is like living underwater. I feel like I am moving in slow motion while everything passes me by. I see everyone moving past but I can't seem to catch up. I see peoples' mouths moving, but all I hear is muffled garble. It is my own personal twilight zone. It's lonely, awkward and mostly it's uncomfortable.

Losing my girls has made me so sad. But more than anything it has been the most lonely time of my life. I don't know how to feel or act most of the time. I only feel comfortable alone because I know no one is judging me. It is embarrassing to burst into tears in the baby clothes section of a department store or to get up and leave church suddenly because a woman with twin baby daughters just walked in. I wonder if people can tell that when I hold my sister's baby girl I wish she was mine because I miss my girls so badly?

Living with grief is a constant internal battle. What thoughts are healthy? What thoughts are crazy? How should I be acting? What should I say?

The hardest is when people ask me if my son is my only child. I promised myself I would never say yes to that question. I literally feel sick to my stomach when people ask me that. And to people's shock and horror I say no. I say that I have two daughters in heaven as well. I don't go into the whole story, and I say it with a smile, but I do say it. And I don't feel bad about it either. If they didn't really want to know they shouldn't have asked. My girls are my children regardless of how long they lived. They deserve to be recognized and not kept hidden like an embarrassing secret. They are as much a part of my life as my living child and I will not pretend them away. I don't even know why I feel the need to justify it so adamantly. I guess I feel compelled to speak for my girls since they cannot speak for themselves.

It is sad that we live in a society that feels uncomfortable acknowledging children that died. Length of life does not equate to value. Children are meaningful simply because they existed. My girls were loved and wanted and important to me from the moment I found out about them. I love them and that love has not changed because their lives were so short. I wish people could get that. I am not ashamed of my girls. They are a part of me and I will not keep their existence to myself. Holding it in only feeds my loneliness anyway.

Grief makes me feel lonely, even in a room full of people. The more people I am surrounded by the more lonely I feel. The truth is I am not alone at all, just lonely. My friends and family have reached out in countless ways and made their support known to me. I am surrounded by people that love me. But their love does not lessen the pain, it just sustains me through it. And I don't blame them for not understanding. It is impossible to relate to this if you have not experienced it. So as a result, weathering this storm is a lonely journey. Even my husband, who is the only person on earth who has walked in my shoes, has his own unique way of grieving, a path he has to walk alone as well. We walk alone together through the most painful experience of our lives. Some things you just have to do on your own I guess. I accept it but I hate it.

That pretty much sums up how I feel about Aubrey and Ellie's death in general, I accept it, but I hate it. And I really do hate it.

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