I have a problem I'll call troublesome. That's the most polite way I can say it.
Nothing in my life now is normal. I have been forever changed by the loss of my son Jacob.
I am very troubled by the fact that so many people expect "normalcy" out of me right now.
I'm so far from feeling normal.
Grief over the loss of a child is the worst I've experienced. I can't say it's the worst thing because I don't want to tempt fate and have something even worse happen, but it's hard to imagine what could be worse. I'm forever changed by it, and feel like I will NEVER be the same. I didn't lose a pet. I didn't lose a grandma or a distant cousin. I lost my son, and his name is Jacob.
Yet the world spins through space, people go back to their daily lives, and they're supposed to. Because most are lucky enough that they're not walking a mile or even a foot in my shoes.
But a little understanding when I "don't do normal" would be nice.
How, exactly, does one ask for that?
I feel it shouldn't even have to be said. But then if you've never lost something so near and dear to you as a child, how can you possibly understand?
At a time when I perhaps should be cutting some people some slack because they haven't been there, I don't feel like it. I don't feel like I should have to explain myself. My recent loss should speak volumes.
Grief is always there. Sometimes it's so consuming I feel like I've hit the bottom of the pool and am still disoriented enough that I don't know which end is up.
Today is the day that I would be entering my 9th month. Two weeks from now I'd be expecting my son "any day now." One month from today is his due date. Thanksgiving is coming, and the due date of my first baby comes with it. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year should be filled with me being exhausted with a newborn. But none of that will happen. The anticipation of that alone causes me grief, much less having to get through it all.
So my life will be in the coming weeks. Every happy-happy-joy-joy over the holidays will be met by the fact that my son was lost this summer, and I should be experiencing it completely differently than I will, but it is not to be. The promise of parenthood was stolen from me yet again, and so I feel separated by the normal joys of today, the holidays to come, and far beyond.
So if you know someone who's gone through anything close to what I am currently going through -- heck -- even if you just find someone behaving in a way that you just don't like for reasons you don't understand -- cut them some slack if they don't act how you expect, show up for what you want them to, or say what you want to hear.
It's not about you.