Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Mask

The glue holding my mask firmly in place has gotten stronger over the last 10+ months.  Early on, my mask had a shelf life of minutes.  I could only keep it on in spurts and it fell off easily if I hit a bump, the wind blew in the wrong direction or the flood gates opened.  But over time, the glue has strengthened.  It takes a strong gust or a significant bump to completely knock my mask off.  It is getting to be fairly water resistant.  The problem with my mask however, is that wearing it is still just as exhausting as ever. 
The mask hides what I feel on the inside from the world but it doesn’t take away the pain I still feel every day.    That’s the problem with the mask.  It doesn’t keep me shielded from the hurt.  My heart still aches and every day I am forced to continue my life without the best part of it.  No mask will ever help me forget what I am missing.  It may help others feel better, but it doesn’t bring me any peace.

I’ve been finding that I keep my mask on so tight through the week so that I can make it through work and my daily routine that I try to repress the pain.  At work, I work I force myself to push through and I force my thoughts to other places when they wander.  I get through most days at work fairly well.  But slowly as the week progresses, the pit in my stomach grows and grows.  Saturdays generally are full of busy tasks to get myself out of the house and keep my mind busy as well.  But as Saturday continues, the glue holding the mask on wears thin.  And by Sunday, my mask is all but off.  Sundays are the worse day for me.  The reality of another week gone catches up with me, guilt sets in and I generally lose it enough to make up for the entire week.
This weekend the guilt has hit me hard.  I’ve forced myself to be so focused at work and busy at home that in the last week I visited the cemetery only twice.  I feel like I am continually forcing my thoughts to anything but Avery so that I get through each day.  I feel like I don’t think of her enough.  I feel like my mask is keeping me from remembering her.  I feel like a bad mom. 

How do you find a happy medium?  When I didn’t wear my mask, I wasn’t able to work, I didn’t leave the house, I didn’t function at all.  But now, my mask allows me to function but the guilt is tearing me up on the inside.  How do I function but not feel guilty?  I wish there were a GPS to help me navigate this road I am being forced down.  I’m not doing so well on my own. 


  1. Sometimes a few days will go by and I will realize I have not stopped by Kenley's memorial tree - and I feel so terrible about it. But, we can't do everything all the time and all at once.
    My happy medium is just giving myself permission to BE happy. It doesn't happen that often right now, but when I do have brief moments of peace or contentment, I try very hard to not let myself feel guilty about it. It doesn't mean I miss or love my baby girl any less. It just means I am slowly healing.
    However, I do find myself pushing thoughts of Kenley away from my mind because I know they will only make me upset. It's a conscious clamp-down and I do sometimes feel guilty, but I also need to function. We all do. You know you love Avery, and that's all that matters. This road is dark and dangerous - and really wears you out. I'm here for you though, if you ever need me.

  2. I like what Rebecca said above--We can't do everything all the time and all at once.

    I also find that giving myself permission to BE happy is the best way I can get through things. That doesn't mean that I don't think about Luke 23456 times a day. I do. He seems to be at the forefront of all my thoughts, even thoughts that have nothing to do with him.

    Be in the moment. Avery is with you--always. In those moments. So while you might make yourself feel guilty, remember that she would want YOU to be happy. To live a happy life--with or without her.

    It's all we can do to survive and move forward without our babies. You're doing a fine job ♥

  3. I feel the same way. If I don't grieve outloud in some way every single day, I feel like a bad mom. The truth is I am just tired and trying to survive. Thoughts of her are always with me... but I still feel the guilt.