There’s this whole world outside of Linda Street. I had to go out this weekend for one of the first times since Maelee died. It was tough. Most people out there don’t know the sadness I’m experiencing. They don’t know that we had to experience the worst moment of our lives in an ultrasound hearing the words “I don’t know how to tell you this, but there’s no heartbeat.” They don’t know I delivered my beautiful baby girl less than three weeks ago but that she wasn’t alive when I did. They don’t know the countless expectations we had that are completely crushed. They don’t know I wake up and fall asleep remembering what it was like to hold my daughter, flashes of her face filling my mind.
The people out there don’t know the dark cloud hanging over me. I know the cloud will someday lift or lighten… but it’s going to take time, take healing for that. And I just can’t fake it. I can’t fake being happy or smiling about something dumb. I don’t have it in me to be nicey-nice when I don’t mean it.
So how do I interact with this world now?
I can’t go around just being a jerk. But I want to be authentic. I can’t expect the world to all come under my dark cloud. But I can’t stand the thought of Maelee being forgotten. I can’t expect to never see babies or happy families or children laughing. But it hurts to see what I lost.
So apologies to the world*… I will not be a jerk (hopefully) but I will probably not look you in the eye. I won’t say more than a few words. I won’t spend time chit-chatting. I know that may come across as rude but my dark cloud just hasn’t lifted yet.
*World = waitresses, clerk at the grocery store, dude walking past me, other random people. To those of you that care enough for us to be reading this (not the “world” but our friends and family), I will hopefully be able to interact more with you than with the world (and interact more authentically). Just know I may not be “myself” for awhile and know I will never be normal Heather again. I have heard that eventually a “new normal” will come. But right now, I have no idea what that looks like.
PS- I just realized that you may be wondering where I went as I ventured out into the scary world. Greg and I took my mom to Charlotte on Saturday for her flight to MN and we went to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch. I saw a handful of strollers in our very short time there… I had to dodge my eyes so I wouldn’t start crying. I didn’t look away fast enough and saw the cutest little feet once. I ached. We came back to Columbia and I had a few hours of despair and sobbing – being out was hard, seeing my mom go was hard, seeing Greg get angry is hard. We also went to church this morning which was also tough… since we had so looked forward to bringing Maelee there, sharing her with our new friends.