I frequent a dead baby forum for grieving parents. It has been a refuge and a lifeline for me these past many months. Many of you baby loss mamas (and papas) reading my blog know of what I am writing. Those of you who read this and haven't lost children, consider yourselves blessed beyond words to not need to know about a site like the one I am describing. However, if you're a mama reading my blog and you are missing your baby like only a mama can miss the child she buried and you don't have an online refuge like this send me a message and I'll email you the address privately.
No matter how I can laugh with you there is always a part of me that is grieving. You will never have my full attention again. I don't know if this will ever go away and if I will ever be completely joyful again. I don't think so. Despite the fact that I do believe that the joy of the Lord is my strength. In fact I am joyful in the Lord. He is my strength, even with the tears that fall every day. I do have glimmers of joy in my day, in my life. I rejoice in so much but, no matter what, there is always that little sad spot that misses Eva (okay, big sad spot that misses Eva). I'm not going to get into how much I miss her...you've all read it before. It hasn't changed. I still miss her. With every breath. With every heartbeat.
Back to the dead baby forum. One of the mamas there posted the note below. It spoke to me in many, many ways.
My New 'Normal'
Normal is having tears waiting behind every smile when you realize someone important is missing from all the important events in your family’s life.
Normal is reliving that day continuously through your eyes and mind.
Normal is every happy event in my life always being backed up with sadness lurking close behind, because of the hole in my heart.
Normal is staring at every baby who looks like she is my baby’s age. And then thinking of the age she would be now and not being able to imagine it. Then wondering why it is even important to imagine it, because it will never happen.
Normal is telling the story of your child’s death as if it were an everyday, commonplace activity, and then seeing the horror in someone’s eyes at how awful it sounds. And yet realizing it has become a part of my “normal”.
Normal is each year coming up with the difficult task of how to honor your child’s memory and her birthday and survive these days.
Normal is my heart warming and yet sinking at the sight of something special that my daughter would have loved, but how she is not here to enjoy it.
Normal is having some people afraid to mention my child.
Normal is making sure that others remember her.
Normal is after the funeral is over everyone else goes on with their lives, but we continue to grieve our loss forever.
Normal is weeks, months, and years after the initial shock, the grieving gets worse sometimes, not better.
Normal is not listening to people compare anything in their life to this loss, unless they too have lost a child. NOTHING. Even if your child is in the remotest part of the earth away from you – it doesn’t compare. Losing a parent is horrible, but having to bury your own child is unbelievable.
Normal is trying not to cry all day, because I know my mental health depends on it.
Normal is realizing I do cry everyday.
Normal is being impatient with everything and everyone, but someone stricken with grief over the loss of their child.
Normal is a new friendship with another grieving mother, talking and crying together over our children and our new lives.
Normal is wondering this time whether you are going to say you have four children or three, because you will never see this person again and it is not worth explaining that my baby is in heaven. And yet when you say you have three children to avoid that problem, you feel horrible as if you have betrayed your baby.
Normal is knowing I will never get over this loss, in a day or a million years.
(I want to add here that I know one day I will get over this loss. The day I die. The day I go to heaven and behold my beautiful Eva again.)
And last of all, Normal is hiding all the things that have become “normal” for you to feel, so that everyone around you will think that you are “normal”.
Tell me...what is 'Normal' for you?