Last night, we had two amazing friends over for dinner. This is a great couple we met in grief counseling, and Mike and I just love them. Mike has lots in common with J, and C is too adorable for words, which entertains me to no end. The best part about our friendship, though? They get it.
So it wasn't awkward at all when I started talking about my nightmares. (Yes, I had another one last night.) C is pregnant with what they hope to be their rainbow, and she's 6 weeks ahead of me. She mentioned she had been having bad dreams as well, and I perked up immediately.
At least it's not just me!
Maybe I'm not crazy!
Could this be normal?
So I just asked her...what was her theory? And I realized once again that C is a genius.
She told me, "Of course it's normal. When we're sleeping, that's the only time we can't control our emotions. During the day we try our hardest to keep it all inside--keep pretending to be okay. The built up stress has to leak out somewhere. So we have the nightmares."
Because she's absolutely right. We babyloss moms live a strange double-life. A few days, weeks or months after our children die, we realize that the world keeps marching on, and sadly, we have to keep up. But we wouldn't dare leave our children behind. So in public we paint on a face of "normalcy." We tell everyone--including ourselves--that we're fine. And after some time even we start to believe that.
But grief is an overwhelming force. No matter how strong we are--no matter how thick the mask--our grief still gets to us.
And it can be truly scary.