Sometimes, it seems like I can’t win.
When I write about my despair over Madeline, I get people telling me that I have to pay more attention to Annabel, as though she is ignored in a corner somewhere. When I write about Annabel, people tell me how nice it must be to be over Madeline’s death, like that could ever be possible.
When I say that I am sometimes overwhelmed by my feelings, I’m told I didn’t spend enough time grieving, as if there is a time limit.
People say they can’t imagine what I’m going through. I can’t imagine what another parent goes through when they lose a child, because it is an experience unique to everyone.
I used to think about what I would do if Madeline died. When I was on bed rest, I would stare at the corner of the ceiling and imagine what it would feel like if she didn’t survive.
I can’t even articulate how much I underestimated the pain – and at the time, I thought I was overestimating.
Some say they would never do “insert something I did here.” I used to say that about different things all the time. Now, I realize I can’t, because I really have no idea what anyone’s circumstances are. I have perspective I don’t want, but I’m certainly not going to ignore it.
It used to get to me, the things people say. The looks they give, the words they type. And then I remembered that these people don’t matter. The people that hate, the people that judge, the people that think their words can hurt me – they do not affect me anymore.
These are the people that matter:
The people that love, the people that support, the people that care (the great majority of you) – you matter, and you will get it back in leaps and bounds.
You can always count on it from me.