Mika has already done a great post about things that people can do or say to be helpful. People have been truly fantastic in how much they have been willing to help with everything from babysitting to steaks. However, one of the hardest things for me is to answer the question, “how are you doing?” It is such a simple question, and it frustrates me that the question is no longer simple to answer.
Half the time I feel fine. Half the time I feel like I’m on the verge of tears. Half the time I feel like I can almost forget that anything terrible is happening. Half the time I am bad with fractions.
The truth is, I just don’t know how I am.
When we first learned that Tiny Baby wasn’t going to live, I was devastated. It is true that simply thinking about the situation with Tiny Baby no longer brings the sharp, acute pain that it did only two weeks ago. Right when we first found out, it seemed like the world had stopped; perhaps more accurately stated, it felt like the world had no right to go on. Mika and I walked around and saw people living their lives: laughing, joking, and smiling. As we looked at the various people walking around, seemingly without a care in the world, I couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with everybody. Didn’t they know that the world had ended? Didn’t they know that our Tiny Baby was dying?
Now, the pain is still there, but is it just beneath the surface. It has transformed from a sharp pain to a dull ache, that is always in the back of my mind. In the past week, I haven’t had really had too many breakdowns. And I wonder, is that OK? Isn’t this something that I should be freaking out about? Didn’t I lose the right to ever feel normal again? Even though I can sit down and logically think through how it is OK to have good days and bad days, I still feel guilty for having a good day. Does that mean that I am not thinking about Tiny Baby enough? Will people think I am heartless if I say that I am doing OK on a certain day?
Even on the days when I feel that I am not falling apart, I can always feel the pain just below the surface. Instead of the sharp pain, it is a deep sea of turmoil just waiting to break through my facade. I almost feel that I haven’t explored it fully, and I am terrified what will happen when I have no choice but to come to terms with what is happening.