My mind is a troublesome place these days. Being a natural worrier, it used to be filled with apprehension and excitement for the future. Now it’s filled with doubt and uncertainty.
As the days roll on, I keep repeating the same question to myself and Chris. Will we ever be happy again? It seems like a futile question to ask. I know happiness is not an object and cannot be obtained. It is not something we can pursue or search for.
Maybe if I knew there was an end to this constant state of purgatory it would make life a bit more bearable. Yet sadly, there is no magic ball telling us what the future may hold.
As much as I want to, I can’t go back to my old life or predict what my new life will bring. I can’t re-wind the past or fast forward to the future.
What I do have is the here and now. This moment. And all I can do, is breathe.
I’m finding it hard to write at the moment. In part, I feel obligated to as it keeps Eddie’s memory alive to those who read my blog. And writing has been cathartic for me. It has provided another outlet for my grief. It lets the steam out of the kettle, so to speak.
Annoyingly, words aren’t flowing as easily as they did in the early days and I’m not sure why. It’s not that I’m feeling any better or have made progress. My pain has not lessened, nor should it ever lessen.
But one thing I have noticed is this: I have more coping mechanisms these days. I still can’t see a future filled with happiness, despite my well intended friends telling me so. Yet somehow I am getting through the days…
And that feels like quite an achievement for now.
There is an expectation by others that grief has some form of an expiry date. We should be moving on, getting on and embracing life. But how do you learn to enjoy life again without the most important person in it?
I have 2 masks. My mask of normalcy and the mask beneath the mask. My mask of normalcy can get up in the morning and function. We moved house 6 weeks after Eddie was born and there are rooms that are still unfinished, that were meant to stay unfinished as we were too busy juggling life with a new baby. Since we now have so much time on our hands, we have embarked on a new house project. Our weekends which were meant to be reserved for family outings have now been replaced with outings to furniture and kitchen stores.
My mask of normalcy allows me to speak to builders, research paints and colours and such. I can now hold normal conversations with people I know, and strangers, without immediately bursting into floods of tears. There are times that I can smile and even laugh. And in those moments, I catch glimpses of my old self.
But even though I have the ability to function, it does not lessen my grief and my sadness. It does not mean that I am enjoying life. It means I am functioning, coping and existing. There is a mask beneath the mask that is the new me. The person who questions whether they will ever experience happiness again and who desperately wants her old life back. A life which was full of hope and optimism. A life where I held my baby boy in my arms and not just in my heart.
And in an instant, our lives were changed forever. It was as if someone had decided to press the reset button.
I have come to realise that no days are good, but some are more tolerable than others. There are the moments of light, of hope for a future where one day, we will experience happiness again. Then without warning, the bricks and mortar we are using to re-build our life, are pulled apart and come crashing down.
But I know that even in those moments of light, our life will never be the same again. Our grief will be like a thread, woven into the fabric of our daily life. And one day, it will be richer because of it. I know today I am stronger, more resilient to what life throws at us – and for that, I am grateful.
In other news, I have been let off not one, but two contested parking tickets. I clearly have too much time on my hands. Thank goodness for small mercies.