I wanted to say that I am really struggling today but that would be a lie. I struggle everyday. I literally have to force myself to open my eyes, to sit up, swing my legs off the bed and move. You would think “ah but everyone struggles in the morning”. It’s not that kind of struggle. It’s the kind where breathing takes effort and sometimes concentration. It’s where you can’t seem to see why should you get up.
And when you actually leave your bed it should be easier but it’s not. After rinsing my face I have to try really hard not to turn around and get back into bed. Not because I’m lazy, or tired (although I am), but because walking away from my safe, unassuming, unquestioning, non-judgmental bed is really hard…
I make it to the kitchen, not looking too hard at the photos of Emma on the wall or thinking how empty her room feels without her. Maybe I should drink a cup of coffee, that should make me feel a bit better.
I eventually get to my computer to sort through my emails and get some work done but all I can think of it that I should be playing with my daughter. My daughter who should have turned 4 but never got the chance. My daughter who should have learned to play the piano, drive a car, date a guy, get married, have kids. All the things that should be swarm around in my head and I just can’t see straight.
So instead of trying to understand why all the things that should be, are not, I am going to try explain what losing Emma is like to me…
When she died, a massive pit appeared. No matter where I turned or how I moved, I fell in. Getting out of the pit is really hard. I climb and scratch and try to dig my way out. Sometimes the dirt that falls in when I scratch pushes me higher to the top. Other times the digging makes the pit deeper.
When I land in the pit I am angry. Angry that the pit exists, angry that I am stupid enough to let myself fall in, angry that I forget the pit is there, angry that part of me should want to be in the pit and remember Emma but because of how much it hurts when I fall in I walk around the pit.
While I sit in the pit (because sometimes the energy to immediately get out is just not there) I cry. It hurts to fall in and it hurts to climb out, and to tell you the truth, it hurts when I avoid the pit and walk around it too. This pit hurts – full stop.
The pit is sometimes so shallow that it is just an indent in the ground and I can actually walk right through it without falling. But when I turn around, expecting it to be as it was, something has come and emptied it out again and I fall all the way down to it’s very depth again.
The pit is an area where the ground is infertile – no flowers will ever grow there again. And regardless of life’s situations, the pit will always be there. Sometimes shallow and sometimes so deep you can’t see the bottom.
There is nothing normal about my pit and there is nothing normal about grief. Especially grief that comes after your child passes away. And because there is no “normal” way to grieve, there is no set standard or pattern. And because there is no logic to it all, it leaves one feeling lost and disorientated.
So here I sit in front of my computer, feeling lost, even though I know there is a purpose to this all. And I have something to ask of you. Please don’t tell me to ignore my pit. Don’t tell me to fill it up (or worse, try and fill it up for me). Don’t be surprised when some days I appear normal and other days I am confused, unable to focus and disorientate – I have not had a stroke, I am grieving the loss of my daughter. Sit by me when I’m not in the pit and when I do fall in, don’t try and drag me out. Sit and talk to me and keep me company. Pass me food and water until I make it out again.
What should be next to me is my daughter but what I have is my “normal” pit…