“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)
24 hours in a day. 7 days in a week. 12 months in a year.
40 weeks to grow, fall in love with, and bury my baby. And a lifetime without her.
So how long am I allowed to grieve?
There are no timelines with this. Yet, it’s as though everyone, except my husband and others who have unfortunately experienced this misery first handedly, say I should be “better by now.” What does better mean anyway?
Do you get one month? Three? Six? What an atrocity.
(Are you STILL thinking about THAT? We don’t want to be sad with you anymore. We don’t want to go there. We want to move on. Can you just get over it, already?)
Where do people expect to find me? In an embrace of joy with a smile on my face? In a state of hope where the future is looking bright? Content in the present where I forget about the past? With a positive perspective where “all things work for good for those who love Him?”
For the time being, that is impossible for me. Joy has been robbed. Hope has been snuffed. And pessimism is my middle name.
Why does society put a timeline on grief? Especially when it comes to the fact that someone has buried their child? Laid to rest their unborn baby?
(Have you been through this before? Do you know how to handle it “the right way?”)
This process cannot be expedited. There are no quick fixes. You can’t fast forward to the end of the journey. Instead, you are stuck in it, taking miserable blow after miserable blow, and trying to navigate through this unfamiliar territory now called your life.
There is no timeline with grief.
A week won’t make it better. A month doesn’t even touch it. And each day following doesn’t lessen its presence. And sadly, almost six months into it, the walls which once supported you will begin to fall and break away. Then, you are left alone. Exposed. Ashamed. Broken. With your heart in your hands and your head bowed low wondering, “Will no one comfort me in my misery?”
We put events on our calendars. We set dates for the future. We look forward to what lies ahead. We often don’t want to look back, and we seldom want to be in the NOW. We keep moving forward to try and get to the next thing. But what happens when the “next thing” isn’t at all what you were expecting, completely turns your world upside down, demolishes your plans, and squelches your expectations?
In the NOW, I am hurting. In the NOW, I remember the past. In the NOW, I have a hard time hoping for the future.
This is the only place I can be. And if I want to heal, then I can’t follow a timeline. I have to be HERE.
For a Type A personality who has always sought order, tried to remain in control, and set lofty goals just in order to over achieve them, I am content with letting this process unfold. But I hate the pressure and expectations from the world around me that says I shouldn’t be HERE, but should instead be there.
I don’t want to follow a timeline, because I don’t know how to do this. I won’t over plan it. I won’t put expectations on it. I won’t decide when it’s over. I will wait in it. And I will wait on it. And live through one breath, one moment, one day, one week, one month, one year at a time.