It's Been Three Weeks: Are You Over It Yet?

"My friend had a c-section and she was back to class in a week, it's been three weeks for you -  why aren't you back at work yet?" she asked me. The judgement stung and my immediate thought was that her friend was able to keep her baby, while I wasn't. I wanted to scream obscenities, but instead I asked her what the appropriate healing time frame was for a parent grieving the death of their child. She didn't have an answer. 

I was so angry that anyone would try to put a timeline on my suffering and healing process. It had been three weeks. Three weeks since the day I held my daughter's tiny, lifeless body in my arms. Three weeks from the most painful experience that my husband and I have ever had to endure. Three weeks! I was so angry and offended that she (a family member) would ask this of me, until I realized that my anger and offense were because I knew what I was going through and she didn't. 

I had lived this awful experience, that she, God-willing, never would. She will never know how hard it is to bury a child and all of the hopes & dreams along with. She will never know what it is like to wake up sweating and crying in the night after dreaming of a baby she had to say good-bye to. She will never know how it feels to replay each moment of loss over and over again in her mind. These are the pains I live with every day and over time, it's true, they are becoming slightly more bearable. However, it's only been three weeks. 

I should be starting my third trimester this week, looking forward to a baby shower, dreading my glucose test and painting a nursery. I should be, but I'm not; I am grieving and grief isn't neat and clean. It's not something you can just put in a box to revisit when you have the time. It is heartbreaking, life-changing and it plays by it's own rules.