I went to a baby loss support group last night and met 2 new women (I started exchanging emails with one of them a few days before the meeting so I felt like I already knew her). Their stories are tragic (tragic doesn’t even seem like a powerful enough word to describe them), and very similar to one another.
I felt sort of like the veteran of the group since Jacob was born 16.5 months ago and their babies were born in July and September of this year. I watched them and listened to them and was brought back to the place I was in 2 and 3 months after he died. Their tears were just below the surface, just like mine used to be…and still are sometimes. I could see the pain and haunted look in their eyes, even when we were smiling and laughing about something.
I hope that they could look at me and see that it does get better than it is now. That they will still be hurting forever, but that it isn’t all consuming, that they will stop feeling devastated every minute of everyday. I know that when I was in the early days and met someone who was a few weeks to a few months or years ahead of me in the journey, it gave me some hope that I would feel happiness again one day and, more importantly, that I wouldn’t feel like I was being torn apart all of the time for the rest of my life. There is always an underlying sadness which comes out sometimes, but there are happy times too. I always thought that the only way that I would ever be happy again was if I had a baby in arms. Well, I don’t, but I still find things to be happy about and sometimes I even feel little moments of peace.
I love getting together with people who get it. You don’t have to be on guard, you can say your babies’ names, you can tell people about all of your thoughts and feelings and they get it. No one thinks you are crazy or refusing to move forward. I almost always feel immediately comfortable when I am with another parent who has lost a baby.
Just thinking about them and their babies now makes my heart ache. Those early days are so horrible. Looking back, I don’t even really know how I got through them.