In the beginning, I didn’t understand how it was possible to ever return to my previously normal daily life after I lost Lucy.
We are different after the loss of a child. The way we interact with people is different. The way people interact with us is different. Our view of what is important has been changed. Our perception of so many aspects of life is altered by our grief. Small things may set you off that you would have laughed at previously. Or little annoyances are suddenly the most upsetting and can rocket you straight into a meltdown.
But it won’t always be this way. Yes, somethings you will forever be ultra sensitive to. Others will return to the same little annoyances they were previously. It doesn’t happen all at once.
For example, it was a good year before I could hear a helicopter and not freak out or have flashback nightmares. (I was flown by helicopter from Springfield to St. Louis in heavy labor which they were attempting to slow down.) But today, I can hear a helicopter and not have nightmares. I think about the events leading up to the flight, and of course how the day eventually ended, but still sleep soundly.
For a while now, I have been able to shop without fear of a breakdown when I walk past the maternity or baby clothes. I can see the cribs at Target without playing the ‘if only’ game.
I can not give you any big psychological explanation of exactly how and when these changes took place. I only know that with time, I have come to accept that this is my life and I try to live each day to the fullest. I try to pass on love and hope to people around me. I don’t remember making a decision one day that I was going to learn to live again. I only know that it has happened.
Yes, there are some things that still feel like a knife to my chest, but those moments have become fewer and farther between. I can pick up a newborn at my job and think momentarily “Oh I need one of these!” but then I think about my husband and our life and that we have so much to be thankful for and I am content. I am happy. Because we have chosen to live to the fullest the life we have been given.