Chapter 3: As time goes on
Your grief as time passes
What has surprised me is us. At first, we wondered how we would go on or whether we would ever feel happy again. Would ever be able to live a normal life? But we survived, even when we didn’t think it was possible. It’s the only choice really. I’m proud of us.
One day, I suddenly realized that I had simply got out of bed that morning – no lying in bed, crying, and having to really force myself to get up. That was the first step, and I realized that it was progress. I laughed because I was so proud of myself; and then I cried because I felt like a horrible mom. I thought, “I’m only two weeks postpartum and I shouldn’t be doing this well."
You may be surprised if your grief lasts longer than you expected or if you start to feel better and then experience what feels like a setback. This is also a normal part of the grief process.
There may be a period when you want to avoid being around family or friends who have children or are pregnant. You may also want to limit or change your interactions on social media.
As time goes by, you may wonder who your baby might have resembled or what they would have become as an adult. You may always have a keen awareness of a due date or birthday, or a date when your child would have had a significant life passage, such as starting kindergarten, graduating high school, or turning “sweet 16.”
You might not remember these dates, and that is okay too. You might be surprised by what does or does not trigger a wave of grief. For example, you might be dreading your due date, but find that you can manage your grief when it comes. Similarly, an unforeseen event – even something as simple as an unexpected mention of pregnancy or infant loss in a TV show – can bring on a wave of grief.