Grief. It's a tricky little bastard. It hits out of nowhere, and shows no mercy. Triggers you never expect make you feel like your world is collapsing in on you. Suddenly tears are running down your face, your heart feels heavy, and arms are still achingly empty.
I have become a member of a club that no one wants to belong to.
On April 13, 2014 Charlotte Rose Brooks was born at 4:48 pm. 17 minutes later she was gone, and nothing has been the same since. Everyone has something to say about it. Everyone has a bit of information and piece of advice when it comes to grief and how I should process "this". I smile, I listen, I take it all in. I do my best to be polite. Half the time I'm not even listening.
I live my life one day at a time, sometimes from moment to moment. I don't talk about Charlotte. It hurts too much. I don't like being a mess. I NEED to be functional. I'm still a wife and mother. I have things to do, and it's not like someone else can do them for me. I move throughout my day and catch glimpses of her picture on the wall. She's laying peacefully on my chest, her fingers delicately curled as if she's only asleep; as if there is still life inside her. It's the most perfect moment. Her tiny hand and footprints are memorialized hanging below her picture on the wall. I stop and think about how big her hands and feet were for her 3 lb 14 oz body. I love all her details and how they have stuck in my mind. Her imperfect little body was so perfectly beautiful. She was not fit for this world, but she fit perfectly in my arms, Her eyelashes, tinted with red like her father's beard, fringed across her eyes like feathery little fans. Her heart was on the wrong side, but it beat with purity. Her itty bitty toes were bent wrong, and her spine was twisted. There was no way that physically she would survive long, and we knew that. We expected it...... but nothing we expected could prepare us for what we felt, experienced, and went through.
This is what I live with every day. This is what goes on inside my head.
Most days are tear free, and relatively OK. I get the munchkin off to school and the hubby off to work without complications or separation anxiety. I do laundry, wash dishes, and watch Netflix. I try to focus on where my life goes from here and how to keep Charlotte's memory alive. I'm learning how to grieve and function at the same time, not having a clue how to make the two fit together. No matter what anyone has told me, this is a journey I have to find my own path on. My journey includes pink hair streaks, laughs with my friends, tears with my husband, and a hole in my heart that will never go away. I just try to breathe and feel a little less numb each passing day.