I want to thank everyone for their very kind and concerned comments and personal messages last night. All were much appreciated.
I also want to say some things that I was just not in a frame of mind to say when I wrote that post last night. I hesitated to even write it, worried that it sounded overly dramatic, particularly the part about living through moments when I’m not even sure I want to do so, because I feared it might trigger some of the exact reactions that I got. But I decided to leave it as is, because it does speak my truth, just maybe not in the way that many people understood it.
Here’s the thing, and I have tried hard to refrain from harping on this at any point when I’ve written on this blog because I know all of my readers know it, so I don’t need to pound you over the head with it: unless you have lost a child yourself, you just can’t understand what this feels like.
I don’t want anyone to think that I am sitting around wishing I were dead most of the time. Or even a little of the time. I’m not, and I don’t feel that way at all. I know how much I have to live for and how much I have to look forward to. I am truly looking forward to the Penguin’s arrival and to being his mommy and to having more kids after that. I am truly looking forward to continuing to raise a family and getting older with my amazing husband. I am truly looking forward to finding work that is meaningful and satisfying to me, even if I am in my forties before I figure out what that work is. I have plenty to be grateful for and to live for.
And believe me, if it were as easy as just hitting a switch to turn one thing off and the other one on, I would certainly do that. Any grieving parent would. Oh, that such a switch existed! But it’s not that easy. This is the part where I think you have to have walked in these shoes to really get it. It’s not a feeling of “Oh, I wish I were dead.” It’s not that at all. It’s just those moments when it hits me that this pain is FOREVER. I know it will lessen over time (although my feelings around that are incredibly complex, too), and I know that there will be other children to bring joy into our lives, but the fact remains that Hudson is never coming back. And sometimes, the pain of that realization is overwhelming and makes me feel like it is just too much. Not a feeling of “I want to die” but a feeling of “I just can’t imagine going on without my beautiful girl.” And then that moment passes and I know that it’s not too much, that I can go on, that I owe it to Hudson to keep living and living well because she did not have a chance to do that, that I owe it to her to do my best to keep her spirit alive in the world.
So thank you, thank you so much, for all the concern. Please know that it is truly appreciated and I absolutely understand where it is coming from. But also know that my words, this expression, they come from a place where only a few of you have lived, a place where the rest of you never, ever want to visit (and I hope with all my might that you never do). So it may mean something different to you when you read it than it did to me when I wrote it. I just don’t want anyone feeling grave concern for me. I really will be OK.
But even if you are not walking the road that I am, I am very, very grateful for both the gentle encouragement and the loud cheering from the sidelines. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and as any endurance athlete knows, the support is always most welcome.