This life is so weird.  I find myself in a completely new world. I walk around with a gaping wound, a hole in my heart that so few really know about.  Life goes on. Strangers pass, just as they would normally, and there you are, bleeding out. “Have a great day!” They say. “Have a great trip!” And you smile, the fake smile.  Ha. Great isn’t in my vocabulary. And then, then you act “normal”. You go through the motions. Because that is all you can do. You talk to people if needed. You smile if necessary. You laugh if at all possible. People tell you that you are strong. You don’t even know what that means. I don’t have a choice but to wake up every morning.  Put my clothes on. Feed my child. I’m not sure how that makes me strong when inside I am dying.

If a thought comes through your mind. If you see your husband and son laughing together, and think, I will never see my other son laugh. I will never see the four of us happy together. We will never go on a adventure, the four of us. You cry your eyes out. And your waiter stares at you because he has no idea why your bawling.

You sit at a coffee shop, or on an airplane typing your grief.  Unloading. And you cry your eyes out. And those around you have no idea why.

You start planning your child’s memorial service in your head. And you bawl your eyes out. Snot coming out of your nose. And those strangers, they look, they stare, they wonder what the hell is going on. But they have no idea.

You think about how much you miss your old self. The person that woke up every morning happy. Who smiled naturally. Who wasn’t scared to talk to strangers let alone their closest friends. Who wasn’t overwhelmed by other people’s laughter or banter. Who so easily reached out to people and now struggles picking up the phone. And you cry.  You cry because you miss yourself.  You cry because that person is gone.

It is crazy how life suddenly stops and continues all at the same time. You cry because you aren’t getting “better,” there is no light at the end of the tunnel, there is no “it won’t always be this hard.” People talk about finding your “new normal.” There is nothing “normal” about losing your child.

One of my new friends said things are just getting “different.” It is so accurate. In four months, my world is different. My thoughts are different. My anxieties are different. My fears are different. My relationships are different. I am different.

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