When my mom was staying at our house right after Lydie died, a coworker dropped off a meal. This coworker and I don't know each other particularly well, but she told my mom how when she had seen me just the day before, I had a big smile on my face. She seemed shocked that tragedy could befall someone who had just seemed so happy.
I think most people would say that about me, that I smile a lot, laugh a lot. That I'm pretty optimistic and positive. Outgoing. A people-person.
And also, that I'm motivated and a hard worker. The anti-procrastinator. A do-er. I like to make plans and follow them. I did make plans and then follow them.
Until my daughter died.
I keep hearing how something like this changes you.
And I know I'm different now.
In some ways, I mourn not just for my daughter but also for the woman I was before.
I liked that woman. I worked hard to become that woman.
That woman died the day her daughter died.
I'm not yet sure who she is now.
Right now, I can barely make eye contact with people much less smile at them. Small talk is torturous. The only people I want to be around are my husband and my son. And my mom. I don't laugh a whole lot (although today, I laughed at a fellow Baby-Loss Mama who commented that she can't wait to get to the pearly gates so she can ask "Dude, what the FUCK?" ) I can't concentrate on anything (except maybe research on cord accidents). I spend more time on the couch than I ever have. It's a struggle to get out of bed in the morning... getting out of the bed is hard work in itself. I get up and I dread the day. I have never been so unmotivated for life.
Because, no amount of motivation or hard work can change what happened to my daughter. I have never felt so helpless in my life. I loathe this helplessness.
So... how much of this is just fresh grief versus a complete change in personality?
I'd like to think this is very fresh grief, and when the dust settles, I'll see what's left.
But I'm not sure I will ever return to the optimistic person that I once was. How could I, when I know that no matter how hard you work, no matter how motivated you are, your world can be completely shattered by something you have no control over? That you can do everything right and things can still go so horribly wrong? I will never again be the innocent, naive person who believed that things usually just work out. The invincibility complex that I have been hanging on to since I was a teenager has officially been shattered, and anger and anxiety are standing in its place.
I know my grief is raw and fresh. I know I won't always be this way, that healing takes time. I know that I'll begin to integrate the grief into my life, but that it won't ever go away. I know I won't always feel this shitty.
But I can't help but wonder who I will be on the other side.