Losing Zoey changed everything. I’ve changed so my relationships have to adjust as well. I now have an intimate relationship with grief. I’m still figuring out the new normal, the new me.
My friendships are changing. I am keenly aware that many people seem afraid to talk to me. They don’t know what to say so they say nothing. Others pretend like my life reset to July 2013 before I was pregnant. I understand that people don’t know what to do, but it still stings. How do I maintain friendships when I’m jealous? When it just hurts so badly to see them with their kids? I’d like to say I’m strong enough to rise above the envy, but at the moment I’m not. I can love these people and still wonder why I’m not holding my sweet baby. I feel like it’s my time to be selfish. I have to protect myself. I don’t have the energy to deal with unnecessary, created drama. I imagine I’ll lose a few friends. They won’t like who I become or where I am in my journey. I do believe that some people are meant to stay in your life. Others are not.
Other friendships have been strengthened. For some it’s because we share this common, although crappy, bond. Only another mom who had to give her child back can truly understand the ache. And I have a few of those very special friends that are just there. Ever present and ever loving in my life. I don’t need to talk to them every day to know that if I called in the middle of the night, they’d find a way to be with me.
I want a relationship with Zoey. Not in the traditional sense, obviously, but she needs to remain a part of my life. What that relationship looks like will change as time passes. I’ll learn how to be her mom without her here. The pain of losing her is with me always. I’m figuring out how to live with it.
My relationship with Joe is evolving too but we vowed “for better or for worse” and meant it. We grieve differently, but we’re learning how to let the other do what they need. We’re figuring out the balance when our styles collide. There are so many reasons I’d like to tell those people that feel the need to mention divorce to “shove it”. While I know we are only two months into this journey, I fully believe our marriage will survive. He’s been strong and picked me up when I’ve been too weak to stand on my own. When he needs my strength I share it with him. We lost our daughter. That puts everything else in perspective. So many of the little things that pick at you just don’t matter. Our fairy tale may not look like all the others, but it’s ours. And beautiful in its own way. Our love created a beautiful life, a beautiful soul. And when we’re in rough waters we can lean on that. Six years ago on that beach we vowed to face life together and I would do it all again.