Before and After

Twice this week I had someone say to me: “that’s not you.” One in response to my post from last week and one who commented that I don’t smile as much as I used to. I had to admit to both of them that I wasn’t the same as “before.” In this world of “after,” everything I do, say, think is touched by the hole in my life. My lifetime has been broken into 2 pieces. When having conversations, I delineate life into before and after. I am more somber. I cry more easily. My emotions frequently run amok. Some of the new me, I don’t like very much. I am easily angered and very intolerant of groups of people. Family gatherings have become something I dread. I feel a strong animosity towards people, who I may have mildly disliked in the past. I make random morbid comments that make people uncomfortable. I use the word “if” instead of “when” when referring to the possibility of having children again. I also have a very real sense of my own mortality. I have lost some of my human invincibility. Sometimes a lethargy roles over me so that I am unable to get out of bed. I dread grocery shopping or going places in public. I prefer the comfort of my house and my husband. Some of the new me, I can’t put into words. I just know that I am different. I am a mother without a living child. I am mothering a child I can’t hold. While I was pregnant, I prepared for my life to change. And it has, just not in the way I expected. The biggest thing I want people to understand, I will never go back to the way I used to be. I ask for patience as I fit into my new skin and don’t be surprised if I am not “me.”

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