One of my biggest fears in regards to us appearing on the Doctors was that I would not do infant loss justice. I keep watching our videos over and over, partly because I still can't believe it happened but because I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with it. Given, the reason I am not happy with it is because I don't think it was long enough and there is so much more to our story, there is so much more to infant loss that I feel we didn't do it justice.
I sit and watch the videos and see how our journey was crammed into a few short minutes. I watch our video through the eyes of someone who has not experienced loss and see that, how everything was put together makes it look like we're fine now. Sure, we cried during our pre-interview but when we were out on stage we were smiling and laughing, having a great time. I can see how someone who has not experienced loss could see that as a cue that we may be over the death of our boys and that things are back to normal. But that is totally far from reality.
Just because us grieving parents smile, laugh or enjoy things in life does not mean we are "over" the death of our children. It does not mean we are back to "normal" because sadly that will never happen. There will never come a day when I can smile and still not feel a twinge of sadness. There will never come a day when things are back to normal because we're still trying to figure out our new normal and it will forever be changing with each milestone we pass in life.
The reality is, they did not show the struggles we continue to live with. I have been diagnosed with PTSD and GAD stemming from Ty and Jacob dying. I fight it on a daily basis and some days it wins. Our relationship has taken a huge hit and we have to work hard to keep it together. My body (mentally, physically and emotionally) has taken a hit and I have to fight daily to keep it going.
I feel like through the eyes of the inexperienced, we are back to normal. We are good, we are happy we are doing well. I know though, to those who have been in our shoes, you can all relate. You know that things will never be back to normal. You know that even through our smiles and happiness we still have aching holes in our heart that will never be filled. You know that no matter how happy we may appear we are still saddened by the death of Ty and Jacob. I know you all get it but I feel for those who don't understand, we didn't do infant loss justice. I guess that's where this blog comes in.
I write not only to the bereaved to let them know they aren't alone but I write for those who have not had a child die to show you how hard it is. To show you that even though we may appear a certain way we will always be sad that our children died. There will never come a day where we aren't sad about our children dying. A lot of us learn to cope, a lot of us learn where to place our grief and most of us become damn fine actors, pretending everything is okay. We don the infamous fake "everything is kosher" smile but it's not the case.
There are many tears still shed. The holiday season is coming up and for many will be torturous. Having to go get the essentials at the grocery store and being bombarded with happy people, Christmas music, festive activities, it can all be too much.
This year we are choosing to partake in Christmas since we've avoided it like the plague the last 3 years but that does not mean it isn't painful. That doesn't mean I've over Ty and Jacob. That doesn't mean I won't cry. That doesn't mean just because I am smiling or seeming to enjoy myself that my heart is healed. It never will be. But this year we have a reason to celebrate. We want Bee to grow up with every amazing experience that she can. even if it's painful for us. She deserves the world and I intend on giving it to her. Her first Christmas will be special because she is special. We will start to make our own family traditions that include the boys.
I stumbled across this article earlier today : http://stillstandingmag.com/2013/11/world-understood-baby-loss/
I couldn't agree more with it. Though our bereaved family may be sparse, I am so thankful I have them. I know when we get together that even if I smile and laugh they know it doesn't mean I am over Ty and Jacob dying. I just wish I could have expressed this on TV. Hopefully our book does infant loss a bit more justice.