Why is grief so hard to share? Why is crying in front of others akin to a form of torture for me? Why do I stuff back the tears when I am around friends and family?
I told my friend that I think it’s because once I start really opening up, really going down the pathway of grief, telling other people my fears, what trisomy babies face after birth, what could happen, what we are preparing for, and everything else inside of my brain at all times, other people become emotional too. Then I feel responsible for their emotional wellbeing and not just my own anymore.
It’s also hard to look at people and see pity in their eyes. I know it’s well-meaning. I know friends and family are devastated for us, but for some reason, I don’t want people to feel sorry for us. I admit that it doesn’t make sense. Maybe I feel like if I have on a brave face, people will think I’m actually brave. But I’m not. I’m crumbling inside.
My husband took the girls out for a few hours today. I spent that time trying to finish reading “A Gift of Time,” looking up cemeteries in preparation for worst case scenario, and looking at infant caskets. I sobbed most of the 3 hours that I spent doing this. Every time I think I have a plan for what we will do should he die soon after birth, I feel completely differently an hour later.
I haven’t broken down in front of anyone yet, other than Jim. I briefly cried in front of my best friend, the night after we found out, but otherwise, I’ve kept the grief to myself. The face I put on when I’m out and about is a brave one. Maybe I need to do it – just sit with a good friend in my kitchen and pour it out, pour out the horror at the good possibility that we will watch our son die, the grief that I feel knowing that I may leave the hospital without a baby, my fears about surgery, about never carrying another baby again, all of it – all of the emotions that have been building up in me ever since June 20.
I seriously do not know how I am going to be able to do this. Every day – James’ birth moves closer, and I feel myself crumbling more. Today, I have done nothing but cry on and off. I was able to make dinner, play Uno with the girls and Jim afterwards, snuggle Hazel and laugh at her silly antics and statements, read books, brush teeth, put on PJs, and tuck the girls in, so the day wasn’t without happiness or normalcy. Intertwined with it all is the constant grief and anxiety though.
Will I ever be able to be happy again? How can anyone ever recover from what we are about to face?