After Matthew passed away I found myself an outcast of the social circle I was in before loss.
My friends didn’t outcast me, I did.
I didn’t fit in where I used to, I didn’t belong there anymore.
No one told me that, but I felt it.
I felt like an outcast everywhere in this great big world, not just in my circle, but everywhere.
I mean, everything, everything was so different.
Even Walmart had aisles I didn’t belong anymore.
I didn’t belong on the back row in church like all the other mamas either.
Finding a place to feel “safe” was nearly impossible unless it was within the walls of my bedroom.
Finding “safety” after loss meant complete isolation from the world, including the television. Commercials can be so brutal.
Even turning the channel can cause great anxiety because you just never know what you are going to see, it could be worse than the diaper commercial…sigh.
Seeing the world go on after loss is difficult. And jumping back in, even harder.
Getting back into society after loss is scary. Very scary.
I held my breath, a lot.
Still do sometimes…eight years and counting.
But what I have learned is to put away expectations of it ever being the way it was before loss, that’s just not going to happen.
I have learned there is always going to be a baby around the corner, an expecting mother rubbing her belly in front of me at the grocery store and eight year old boys running from here to there in my sight; witnessing these things will always bring to me a little sting, perhaps a tear and sometimes maybe even a smile…for there I will remember what once was, what could have been or what should be…
I have learned that I don’t fit in many places I did before loss, and that’s okay. I have learned I am going to feel uncomfortable when pregnant ladies surrounding me are complaining about the aches and pains of pregnancy and that’s okay. I have learned that I can change the channel or turn the television off when I need to and that’s okay. I have learned that if I need to stay in my room for a while, that’s okay. I have learned to skip aisles at Walmart and that’s okay. I have learned to love myself where I am, good or bad, and that’s not just okay, that is necessary.
I have learned that society puts way to much pressure on a grieving mama to be “okay” and that is not okay. And with that, I added extra pressure to myself, trying to live up to the standards society has in place. That’s such an unnecessary cruelty to add to ourselves, it’s not right. I have learned that wherever I go, grieving mama goes too. And she doesn’t belong in the places I used to belong. Her heart is so fragile and where I take her, matters. Writing “Exhausted Mom meets Grieving Mom” taught me that. It gave “grieving mama” a place, a title, some sort of validation and I didn’t realize how much I needed that or “her!”
Heaven is where I belong.
This earth is my temporary home, and yes I am going to live here as long as God intends me to, but I don’t have to belong here. (It took me a while to get that.)
I am no longer seeking to belong again like I thought I had to, but rather embracing where I am, where I am going and making peace with that along the way.
That feels right and that is right where I belong…