There are so many little things you don't expect to hit you after the loss of a child. What once seemed insignificant, is no longer so. Blogging about my journey and raising kids after on www.justplayinghouse.com.
Was today a good day? I was recently asked this question by a friend and it completely threw me for a loop. No one has asked this question quite that way before. How are you? That’s what I’ve gotten used to answering. That’s the question that I now have an automatic response for.
I had no idea how to respond this time, so I hesitated. My mind raced back through the day trying to decide how to classify it. There were two things that stood out. Earlier in the day I distinctly remember sobbing the entire way home from the grocery store. Bad day? Then there is the fact that I actually got out of bed and functioned as a somewhat normal adult. Good day?
Honestly I didn’t know how to answer her question. I felt like I had hesitated a bit too long so I just told her it was a good day. My brain retreated to that space of comfort where you just put up a wall so that no one can see your full reality. Then later I obsessed over the question. Why did it seem so hard to know the difference?
I think I’ve realized that I’m no longer living my life in days, but in moments. Every day is made up of good and bad moments. Just because I ugly cried for my 15-minute car ride home doesn’t mean the entire day was bad. I certainly can’t use my ability to get out of bed and go through the motions as the litmus test for a good day. That’s just necessity and doesn’t set the tone for anything. What people don’t realize is that every moment of every day I’m thinking about Cameron, about what happened, about what is or isn’t anymore. Things are never black or white, good or bad. It’s all jumbled up together.
I used to think I was good at controlling my emotions. Now, I’m an expert. Very few people see me cry. I’m not saying that is something I’m proud of. Actually it is something I wish I wasn’t so good at. I have always been the type to hide them. I’m not comfortable being that vulnerable. So while I know people genuinely care and want to know how I’m doing, I struggle with how much to show. I guess that means my canned answer to whether it is a good day becomes yes.
When you lose a child it is so easy to get wrapped up in that loss. Let it take control of everything. Having 2 more kids at home gives me something to focus on. However, it also makes it more difficult. I can’t tell you the number of times in a day when I want to be sad or not do something that reminds me of Cameron, but that is not an option. I can’t let my reality impact their happiness. They don’t need to see their mother an emotional mess. It’s not fair to them. So I’ve mastered the art of hiding my emotions. I limit the amount of my grief they see. Really what anyone will see.
I’m sure I will continue obsessing over my inability to know whether or not I’ve had a good day. My goal is simply to have the best day I can every day. Whatever that is, it is. Try to string as many good moments together as possible. The biggest motivator for me continues to be knowing Cameron is watching. I’m strong for him. Trying my best to live the way he wants us to. My last promise to him was that we would be OK. So we have to be.
What would Cameron do? #WWCD