smizing" when the mood would strike. These days, I'm finding it very difficult to stand in front of the camera and fake smile like everything is hunky dory. I try anyway, as this picture taken the day after our anniversary can attest (we were at the Castlerigg Stone Circle in the Lake District). That doesn't mean that I don't smile right now or feel moments of lightness. It happens, even in the pit of grief, and I'm grateful for them. I'm also very grateful that I married such a funny guy. I've mentioned this several times on this blog - Dave is a very funny man. He's a master of quipping, remembering jokes, doing impressions and doing silly things to make me laugh. Even in the thick of our shit, he's made me guffaw. I'll be feeling like absolute shit and he'll bust out an impression of Dave Chappelle doing Rick James. Or he'll tickle me until I can't breathe. Or hug me until I stop being irritated (which is an unfortunate manifestation of grief). I couldn't do anything without him. He knows exactly what I'm going through and he needs me to be well again so that we can have the future we fantasize about.
There are times when I forget about what happened. This usually makes me feel guilty but it also brings relief. On Friday night, we watched Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes and for two solid hours, I was fixated on a plot and set design and costumes and I felt good and light. I cut out a pattern for a dress and concentrated on that. I even manage to concentrate on work for 10-15 minutes at a time, which I consider promising. I forget and I feel relief. That's not to say that I want to forget what happened - I just sometimes need a break.
I also feel a lot of empathy towards others. When a mate at work told me about his break up, I very nearly cried all over his nice shirt. He felt bad about that, thinking he was complaining about his problems when I had major issues. But I told him, everybody hurts. Just because our baby died doesn't make me immune to feeling for others. Someone close to me is going through a depression right now and I ache for her. Rather than feeling like "girl, you don't know what depression is until your baby dies", I feel sad for her. I know there are people who have been through what I have and their sympathy for others is completely gone and they actually wish terrible things on others. I don't want to be like that. I know that I am immeasurably changed and I can be totally self-centered and bitter right now, but if I lose that love I feel for others, I know I would be dead inside. Without that love, hope would go and what be the point in living?
That being said, I can feel happiness for others while feeling misery for myself. When a close friend told me she was pregnant, I felt an explosion of joy then I started crying and could not stop. She had been trying for several months so I know this is a much desired baby. And according to FB, my BFF had her baby and I want to call and leave a message on her answering machine, but I have to wait until my throat is less thick with tears. Despite the sadness, I feel happiness in my heart and that comforts me.
I think another facet of my grieving process is taking care of myself physically. It helps me feel like I'm healing physically which will in turn help me heal emotionally and mentally. I''m running again as well as doing pilates. I'm looking into acupuncture and I'm eating well. It gives me something positive to focus on.
I'm currently reading "Empty Cradle, Broken Heart: Surviving the Death of Your Baby" and it helps me to understand that it's hard and terrible and draining but that it's also normal. There are several things that I'm taking away from this book, but the one I keep remembering is that I will never get over this. Rather, I will come to terms with it and that realistic assessment gives me hope. I never saw how you could get over the death of a child, but one day, you accept it and it's just a part of your life. I'm working patiently towards that "one day".