Being okay with being okay

Schloss Ludwigsburg

It’s only been three weeks (tomorrow) since we lost our babies, so it feels weird to say that, right now, I feel okay. I went to Jan’s concert on Saturday, had a conversation with someone who never knew I was pregnant and probably now will never know. This is my first full week back at work, and I’ve already returned to my former levels of busy-ness… it’s going to take me every last minute of my allocated hours to finish all the jobs that have been planned in for me. Everything has returned to normal, and surprisingly I’m fine with that.

The first few times I felt normal or even, briefly, happy, I immediately started feeling guilty. How can I possibly feel normal when my boys are gone before they ever even had a chance at life? But then something Hazel said really resonated with me: “Sometimes we can’t have any more sad“. As cliché as it sounds, I really was devastated when I lost my babies. The first day Jan was back at work, I sat at home on my own, wrote down the entire story in my diary, and literally sobbed. During those first ten-ish days, the grief felt raw and any little reminder of what we had lost was likely to set me off. But there’s only so long a person can go on like that.To continue with the clichés, at some point there are no more tears left to cry.

It may still only have been three weeks (although to me it often feels like longer), but I truly believe those initial days of letting myself cry, getting my thoughts out on paper and on my blog, responding to messages of support and being able to express exactly what I was feeling, have all helped me get over that initial period of deep grief.  Of course I am still sad. Of course I am still constantly reminded of what I’ve lost. But for the moment I’m mostly doing okay. And I’m mostly okay with that.


12 thoughts on “Being okay with being okay

  1. How very helpful of Hazel. I’ve never heard anyone say that before, but it’s so true. And we all handle grief differently. I know that I tend to put it off. I don’t process it right away and it either eats away at my anxiety or I have a breakdown long after the sad event. You processed all your sadness and lose in the beginning and I honestly think that’s so healthy. It’s not that you’re happy because of what happened, you’re happy and healing in the wake of what happened. That’s what we’re supposed to do- bounce back and keep living. I think you’re doing very well.

    1. Hazel is very clever 🙂 I feel like so many people tell you it’s okay not to be okay, but nobody mentions that you might actually *not* feel bad… and that’s okay too. I felt so guilty for just feeling normal or even happy, but being miserable 24 hours a day for the last 3 weeks just wouldn’t have been sustainable.

      I think the fact that it happened so late and we had already announced my pregnancy has forced me to face up to it and process everything. If nobody had known and I had to just go back to work and act like everything was normal it would have been a different story. Of course, if I’d miscarried at 6 or 7 weeks I feel like the grieving process would have been different anyway. I would obviously still have been upset, but there really is a difference between a 7 week embryo and a nearly 17 week foetus.

  2. Mourning and grieving can take so many different forms…and you should never feel guilty about how you are feeling. There are no “should”s in this process – I should be doing that/ I shouldn’t be doing this. Noone has any right to tell you what you should be doing/Feeling/behaving And you & Jan may work through the mourning process differently – which is equally OK. Just support each other. You continue to be in my prayers.

    1. It really was helpful. I feel like so many people tell you it’s okay not to be okay for as long as it takes, but nobody really tells you it’s fine if you stop feeling devastated after a few weeks or whatever.

  3. One of my favorite Neil Gaiman quotes (from the Sandman comics) touches on this aspect of grief:

    “And at times the fact of her absence will hit you like a blow to the chest, and you will weep. But this will happen less and less as time goes on. She is dead. You are alive. So live.”

    Having lived my own share of tragedy and loss, I can confirm that this is true- you will never stop feeling the loss, but over time it will feel lass and less world-breaking, and more like a handprint on your heart.

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