Grieving your old life
She recognizes the person she sees in the mirror as her old self, but she doesn’t feel like that person anymore. She feels as if two people are inhabiting her body, her “old self”, prior to her daughter’s passing and her “new self”. She paints a very vivid and heartbreaking picture of her “new self” asking her “old self” if she will ever come home, to which her “old self” replies “no, not this time.” After reading that line, I cried so much that I was barely able to finish the post. I, like Lindsay, miss who I used to be before I experienced stillbirth. Today, I am not only grieving my daughter’s death but also grieving my old life. A life where I didn’t know that babies died in the womb. A life where I was carefree and not triggered by certain questions, posts on social media, or scenes in movies. A life when I was genuinely happy for those who announced their pregnancy, not filled with anxiety for them. I wish I still naively believed that a pregnancy means always bringing a baby home. I wish I didn’t get jealous of every mother who has a baby girl or envious of pregnant women fully enjoying their pregnancies, announcing their pregnancies, and buying stuff for the baby in the first trimester, certain they will meet their baby in the coming months. I miss people around me treating me like a normal person. I miss how much I used to laugh and how happy I was on a regular basis.
The pain, the sadness, the grief, and the misery that I feel now is my new normal and I wish it wasn't. I too, have an “old me” and a “new me” and as the post says, the “new me” carries all the memories of my daughter. Without her, I wouldn’t be who I am now. I try to tell myself that I will be okay eventually and that although I miss the old me, there is no going back to who I was before my daughter died and I am where I am meant to be today.
I hope that this article helps you find a little bit of peace as it did for me.