As I sit here attempting to “work from home,” I laugh to myself at what so many people said when I decided to attempt to start back to work after losing Avery. Over and over, since our loss, people have said, “well that will be a good distraction” or that will help you get back to feeling “normal.” Whether it was because I was going back to work, we were going out of town for the weekend or I was just doing something to get out of the house, this was the general reply.While I don’t take offense to these statements, I really don’t think these well-meaning people really get it, and how can they unless they have been in my shoes (which is something I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy). Yes, I understand that at some point we will be expected to go back into the world and having a routine will probably help us with our grieving but going back into the real world will never make this all go away. Getting back to “normal” as many people say is never going to happen and there is nothing in this world big enough to distract me from the loss of my daughter.
In the past 2 ½ months I have come to loathe the words, “distraction” and “normal.”
Distractions: Nothing will ever distract me long enough to forget the pain and heartache I feel every day; when I wake up without my daughter, when I get into my car without toting along a car seat, when I head to work without first stopping by daycare, when I get home to a quiet house, when my husband and I go out to dinner by ourselves, when I go to bed without her bassinet beside me, when I sleep for more than a few hours because she isn’t wanting to feed. There is no distraction big enough to help me through these and so many more moments. Maybe they help me get through an hour, at most, but very quickly my thoughts turn to her and I feel the wave of emotions begin to swallow me and I struggle to pull my thoughts and focus back to the moment at hand. It’s a constant battle-one that I lose more than win.
Normal: I will never be back to “normal.” I don’t even know what “normal” these people refer to. Am I supposed to go back to what my “normal” was before she was born? To the 9 months I spent carrying her, rubbing my growing belly, daydreaming about our future? Or do they mean to the “normal” life I lived before I conceived her? The life before I was a mom? The life I was thrilled to leave behind to give up nights out with the girls, dinners out with my husband, packing up and going when we wanted-the life I didn’t want anymore-the life my husband and I willingly chose to leave behind? I have no idea what “normal” means anymore. My normal was supposed to be dirty diapers, a crying baby, loads of laundry full of tiny clothes, late night feedings and the overwhelming joy of loving and mothering my beautiful daughter.
So as I sit here, I am not distracted by my work but rather my work is being distracted by thoughts of my daughter. None of these past 2 ½ months have been “normal.” I am sure I will find a new “normal” but this “normal” will not be what “normal” has been in the past. My new “normal,” whenever I get there, will always be full of thoughts of my daughter and I wouldn’t want it any other way.