I finished my college degrees last year, and the plan for this year was to be a stay-at-home mum to Ariella. Her death has meant all my plans for this year are gone. I was faced with a year that was completely blank. And it terrified me. I'm not good when there's not a plan. I'm slowing learning how to fill each day, but it's hard. Nothing is normal any more.
When my husband and I first went to the cemetery to pick a place for Ariella, I remember how it felt to see the children's section for the first time. I was outraged at how close together the rows of graves were. No one should die if they are small enough to fit in that gap; no graves should be so small. But now, 6 weeks later, I look at the adult graves and think they look huge. This is my normal.
Normal is child-size graves.
Normal is being petrified to do things I used to love, like holding babies.
Normal is getting upset when the mum's group at church is mentioned, instead of attending.
Normal is being introverted when I used to be much more extroverted.
Normal is crying almost everyday and feeling strange when I laugh.
Normal is people looking at me with sympathy/pity. It's hard to tell the difference sometimes.
Normal is knowing how to suppress breast-milk instead of breastfeed.
Normal is my heart jumping when someone asks if I have children, and answering "yes, but..."
Normal is choosing flowers to put on my girl's grave, not choosing clothes for her to wear.
Normal is saying goodbye to my child, not goodnight.
This is my normal. And it sucks.