It’s been an OK past two days. Not perfect, but not horrible either. It’s sometimes during these periods of seemingly normal that the deepest realizations occur to me and impact me. I keep having this repeating question of who am I now? How has this experienced shaped me to become the person I am supposed to be?
I feel like I didn’t just lose a child. I have lost a entire chunk of my identity. Milo was his own person, with his own quirks, but being his mother was a large part of my identity internally and externally. Being the mother that has lost him is a new identity that has been thrust upon me and I feel like I’m fumbling to fit into this role. This is especially apparent to me with the whole blog and posting in this sort of stream of conciousness type thing. Many have said they didn’t realize I could write like this, well, I did not know this either. It was not a goal of mine. Ever.
I was your friendly neighborhood Facebook mom group friend, who was into baby wearing, crunchy mom things, who was handy with a camera, and had a couple of Etsy shops. I was that stereo type – and I liked it. I spent my time giving witty comebacks and gifs describing my toddlers behavior in one post while sharing my own version of level headed mom-advice on baby sign language in another. Every now and then someone would tag me in a baby wearing question or craft idea. It was fantastic. I also spent time sharing business and creative tips with other creative entrepreneurs – many of whom were also stay at home moms trying to keep their heads above water most days.
Now, oh man, now I can’t respond to anything without it being tinged or overshadowed by Milo’s death. I feel almost unqualified to respond to questions about ‘is your baby doing XYZ?’ type questions. I tried to answer a babywearing question tonight and as I was scrolling through my camera roll looking for an adequate picture to show was I was explaining, it hit me. I formerly wouldn’t have searched. I would have just grabbed my carrier and baby and taken a few pictures or a quick video to illustrate what I was trying to help with. I have no baby to wear now. What do I do? How can I answer these questions and field friendly comments about the baby I’m wearing in the pictures I do manage to find as examples? I am at a point where I can say the words ‘my son has passed away’ just fine, but I cringe when it happens because I know it’s going to make the person hearing it feel bad for bringing it up. Either I have to give up this part of my identity, as a baby wearing advocate, or I feel like I have to wear this big badge of mother-who-has-lost-her-baby. I’m not confortable with either.
So as some things sting a little less, and I try to push forward, I am left wondering who the hell am I now? I go back to our connection with the Moana movie and I think of Grandma Tala urging Moana to remember who she is supposed to discover she is, and when Moana gives Te Kā the heart and it causes her to remember who she is; how am I supposed to figure out who I am? Who am I meant to be? When is my heart going to be restored?
3 month old Milo in a torso carry in our custom handmade woven wrap made by one of my super taleneted January 2014 mama friends.