Tag Archives: normal

The mask

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.


Firsts are the worst

This is the year of firsts. The first time we have to do something is inevitably the most difficult and each situation we find ourselves in brings its own unique triggers.¬†The first time I go somewhere or do something that I used to do with Eddie hits me hard. Going to the park, a local cafe, or a friends house reminds me that Eddie’s not here and I’m not meant to be there without him.

Going out for dinner for the first time with friends throws up different emotions. Trying to have somewhat normal conversations and not allowing my mind to drift to Eddie is a toilsome chore. Sitting at a dinner table, speaking about things that I have absolutely no interest in, putting on a brave face and forcing a smile. Having to suffer my grief in silence. Bumping into people we know, meeting people we don’t know. Dealing¬†with the awkward silences when I tell someone what has happened; I know it’s just as difficult for them as it is for me. And I have to brace myself that however strong I want to be, sometimes the tears just flow when you don’t want them to. Or when its least expected.

Silly as it sounds, the first time doing anything that resembles something normal, just serves to remind me that I am trying so hard to adapt to this new life we have been catapulted into. The day to day events we took for granted, that required no effort, have become a daily struggle. And it’s exhausting.

 

 


My new normal

My new normal is sleeping through the night uninterrupted by feeds and cries

My new normal is not bothering to wear mascara anymore so my tears don’t smudge my eyes

My new normal is not filling up the diary with social arrangements months in advance

My new normal has no control over luck, fate and chance

My new normal is filled with uncertainty and dread

My new normal is the time of day I most look forward to is going back to bed

My new normal is not feeling connected with friends, however hard they try

My new normal is connecting with other bereaved parents as they understand why

My new normal is being out but feeling like I have left something behind

My new normal is without Eddie, but he will always be in my heart and my mind


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