Tuesday, January 17, 2017
The ad vendor who gave us the onesie with, “Hello World, I’m Merrick” printed on it sent the boss man an email today wanting to come in to discuss the apartment reviews. I know she will ask about Merrick and I will have to tell her about his passing. She’s such a sweetheart and I know it will affect her day. I can’t decide if it’s more painful to know that the question is coming or to be surprised by an unsuspected acquaintance. I guess I’ll find out soon enough. I also feel guilty knowing that I will be causing her some amount of discomfort. I have to get used to that guilt or find a way to process it differently somehow. It’s everywhere I go. I wear it like cape that’s been stitched onto my clothes by that pest, Grief. The only time I am even slightly relieved of its weight is when I am around strangers who know absolutely nothing about me. Then I’m not “That poor woman who lost her newborn baby.” I’m just a regular person with regular problems no more worthy of your pity than the guy who couldn’t find his favorite candy bar at the gas station. And for the first time in my life, being a “nobody” that just blends in actually sounds kind of nice.
I fought so damn hard to escape the confines of being a victim from the sexual abuse I endured as a child. And now, here I am again, forced into this identity. Yes, it’s a freaking AWFUL thing that happened to us, but do I have to spend the rest of my life being defined by this tragedy? Will I never escape its grip? Or will the hold of Grief on my day to day life take on a different, less expectation laden form? I think that’s one of the worst things about grief. Even as you start to have a few good moments here and there, you are constantly faced with the perceptions and opinions of everyone else. I guess that’s the same for everyone to some extent, with or without the death of a loved one. I feel the heat from the lamp of the societal microscope. I don’t know why I feel pressure to “get this right”. As if to say if I don’t grieve “properly” it will mean I’m some kind of subpar mother. A self-imposed judgment, I’m sure. Talking with other parents in a support group might help me work through that. I’ll have to find a group soon. I’m sure I’m not the first one to feel guilty for smiling or, God forbid, having a laugh every now and then. But, for now, I do feel the guilt. I still smile and I still laugh. All I’m saying is it will be nice when I don’t feel the urge to slap myself afterwards for my selfish impertinence.