Grief is so isolating! From the moment she died, I felt like I'd been tossed overboard into a raging sea and washed ashore on a deserted island of heartache and despair.
The days are getting longer, and the calendar fills with events and activities with friends and family, yet I am distant and quiet. It's like this lone tree -- I may appear fine and even happy on the outside, but the picture is not as it seems.
No longer do I make awkward small talk with other moms, for fear that the inevitable question ("is she your only one?" ... or "how many do you have?") will come up. And how I answer means either denying her or creating an instant wedge between us as they recoil and try to form words.
At the park, I delight in seeing my eldest play with kids her own age, while soaking up the inviting sun. Yet there is always a sadness present, particularly as I watch the siblings who would be her age now -- a glimpse into what could've been -- or those around the 7 month mark who remind me of how she was.
When the situation doesn't impose isolation on me, I am isolating myself out of a means of protection. If I let in the joy of seeing another little one, I'm reminded of that choppy sea of emotions when this all began, and I suddenly feel the tears well up to the point where I know I could drown in those tears like tiny Alice in a bottle ... but there's no magical wonderland on the other side of the door awaiting me.
And as much as folks might understand if they witnessed one of those potential meltdowns, the majority of people back off and stare, and I'm sure they question what in the world is wrong with that woman.
But I soldier on for my little family, fighting the call of my deserted island, beckoning me back.
This post originally appeared in the May We All Heal 2018 project on Facebook, based on the one word prompt "Isolation." For anyone seeking a loss community of like minded moms (and dads), please consider joining that group.