I wish people knew that just because I don’t have a little one that I am carrying, I gave birth to a baby only 6 months ago. It may not look like this to the outside world as we walk around participating in our daily lives as much as we can. I’m heavier than I was before. I don’t smile as often as I used to. I avoid eye contact with all strangers fearing small talk questions. My necklace now has two initials on it, N and S. Other than that, you would have no idea I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy with a cute little button nose only 6 months ago.
I wish they knew that I still labored. I still have a labor story. I still want to talk about the day that I gave birth to my beautiful son. That I had to push and push and push even when I knew there would be no cry and no moments of joy. That at the end there was just silence. And tears. Lots of tears. And that this day is still one of the most important days of my life. The day I met my perfect son.
I wish people knew that there can’t just “be another pregnancy.” We can’t just “have another baby.” That things don’t just “happen for a reason.” And that I don’t believe “this was part of God’s plan.”
I wish they knew the pain I wake up in every single day even though they may happen to see a smile on my face. You do not just get over the loss of your baby. You do not just wake up one day ok. Child loss is not just “hard.” Child loss is all consuming. It is debilitating. I wish people knew how incredibly painful it is to live every day of your life without your child.
I wish people knew that Simon was absolutely perfect.
I wish people knew how hard it is to participate in small talk. To talk to strangers. To answer the simplest of questions. How my heart races hoping they will not ask a question too difficult to answer.
I wish people knew it is okay to cry in front of me. It is okay to show emotion. It is okay to show that you are also grieving the loss of a grandson, a nephew, a friend, your child’s future friend… It is okay to share how Simon’s life has impacted you. It is okay to let us know when you think of him. When you think of us.
I wish people knew what types of strains grief puts on Every. Single. One. Of. Your. Relationships. And why in turn that it is hard to reach out for any reason.
I wish people knew how lonely and scary grief really is.
I wish people knew how all consuming losing a child is. It affects everything. From your sleep to your ability to concentrate to your ability to complete the simplest of tasks. From the newly discovered anxieties to the effects of PTSD.
I wish people knew how much it hurts to be ignored because you are the person whose baby died. I may have Simon on my mind at all times. I may cry when we talk. I will talk about him. I will bring him up. But by no means am I contagious.
I wish people knew how painful it is to see Simon’s picture next to his cousins’ pictures. Each picture changing as the seasons change, as they grow, as they get older, and his just stays the same. One good black and white picture. That’s all.
I wish people knew how scared I am that something will happen to Nolan. How we have now heard of every single possible reason or way a child can die and it terrifies me while I’m awake. It terrifies me in my sleep.
I wish people knew how difficult is to see your spouse in constant pain and to know that there is not one single thing you can do to help him.
I wish they knew how silence hurts way more than those who say something unhelpful. There are no words that help take away the pain, no silver lining, but silence is even more painful.
I wish people knew how scary it is and how vulnerable I feel sharing my feelings with so many different people. I never know who is reading. I never know who is not reading. And I don’t know which is more difficult.
I wish people knew how grateful I am for every single card. Every single meal. Every single text, email, phone call. Every single random act of kindness given in Simon’s honor. Every comment or like on a post. Every gift. I wish they knew that their efforts are not in vain. Each effort does not take the pain away, as that is here to stay, but it does lessen the suffering.