Grief comes in waves.
We’ve all heard it. I never really thought it was true.
I’ve lost people I was close to before, people I’ve grieved for, but I’ve never truly understood the waves theory. I was sad about those I lost, my grandparents, my godfather, other adults in my life. I thought of them fondly, I talked about them with people, I cried when they died, I cried every so often, i felt sad. But I wouldn’t say I felt the grief was waves… more like a gentle tide of pain I’d sense every so often.
Now I get the waves theory.
Not initially. Initially I couldn’t imagine how it could hurt less; how I could live with this pain, the loss of my child, the loss no one knows about; how I could move on and carry on with this ball of pain and darkness inside me.
5 months on I get it.
I carried on. I had to, I have a child to care for, a life I have to lead for him. For my husband. I had to get a job to stop us sliding into a financial black hole, I had to start that job, I’ve had to carry on through that job.
It doesn’t hurt less. I think I just learned to live with it, to work around it, to suppress the pain down so I could function.
Then I’m struck by a wave which knocks me down.
Like this weekend, decorating a Christmas tree. Knowing I should be 8 months pregnant, due in little over a month, be joking about the possibility of having a Christmas baby. Packing my hospital bag.
Instead I’m not, I’ve gone back to my old pre S job, which has turned stressful already, and I’m sad, so sad, and I don’t have a big bump or hope of one.
Then I made a calendar like I do every year, looking back over the photos of the year. And there’s ones from before, ones where I see myself and I’m happy. I was happy. I don’t think I appreciated it; I was desperate to have another child, and it wasn’t happening, but I was happy.
Then there’s ones from after. Less than before. And the ones from after occasionally there’s ones of me… and I see the difference. I notice the smile not reaching my eyes. I notice the pain behind my eyes. I remember not feeling like I’m really there.
And again it hits me, like a huge tidal wave and knocks me down.
And now I’m picking myself back up and carrying on wading. Until the next wave.
So I get it now. Grief comes in waves.