Ahhh. That question is asked all the time. Either it come from my Mom or a friend who I haven't talked to much the past few weeks or the cashier at Publix. Even though the feeling is always the same, the answer changes depending on the person. So I figured I would try to explain myself.
My close family and close friends
These are the people I talk to on an almost daily basis. They are familiar with the way I am grieving and can tell when I am having a bad day or "good day". I feel comfortable sharing my feelings with them. So when they ask, I can tell exactly how I feel and they understand. Actually, they don't really have to ask, they just know. This is my comfort zone. They understand my good days are just days I am distracted from the racing thoughts in my head.
People who I don't talk to often, or haven't seen since before Nolan
They always ask how I am doing, and honestly it's hard to say "good". I mean, if I say I'm doing "okay"..it doesn't mean I'm healed and this thing they call grieving is over. Do I really want to hash out all my true feelings? Naw, I spare them those since they can change on a dime. So my usual answer is... "so, so...same crap, different day" And if I am having a good day (smiling & laughing and enjoying myself) it does not by any means, make me all better. I have not forgotten nor stopped feeling the emptiness of Nolan. He is and always will be in my mind and heart. They say "time heals" but it really doesn't. What I have come to realize is, it just means your bad days come less. You have a few more good days in between your bad days. The feelings of unfairness, jealousy and emptiness NEVER have left my heart, well at least they haven't just yet. Will they ever? Who knows?
To the long time friend I have run into, but didn't even know we were pregnant, but asks whats new in our life...
Well this is a hard one. It's happened twice so far. They get all excited and say..."Yay your married finally!!! What else is new?" or "How has life been treating you lately?" How can I lie to them and say "GREAT!" or "Not much really"...I honestly wish I could, but how can I when Chris and I have gone through HELL in the past few weeks. But I also can't pretend like Nolan never happened. He did, he was 13oz of pure joy and IS my son. Does a mother who lost her son/daughter years later ever forget their son/daughter?....NO. So why should I? Why should I lie and pretend he was never here. So yes, both times...I have told them about Nolan. May it be too much to throw on someone and out them in a possible awkward situation, maybe? BUT, I LOOOOVE talking about Nolan- so I just tell it how it really is, a very simple & bittersweet version. Does it put the person in a semi awkward position? Sure, but I don't have the guilt of not acknowledging my Nolan.
The cashier that says... How you doing?
Well they get the lie... I smile and say "good"... I don't need a pity party. But what they don't know is, I'm dying inside. I just walked through the store avoiding the baby aisles, running into pregnant women and then slapped in the face with a family/baby magazine in the cashier lane...so if I told the truth...it would just be too much. And who says they are having a crappy day anyways? I guess now I think it's a stupid generalized question to ask, but I did it too as a cashier. But now I realize I bet a lot of people lie when asked this simple question. You never know what a particular person is fighting in life.
This was just all on my mind as I realize I get asked the same question a lot, but my answer changes depending on who asks. Bizarre I know, but it is, what it is.
I'm learning how to live "new normal". I'm not the same "exact" Ashley I was before this happened and I hope people will understand this and embrace me the same as they did before. I am more humbled, quiet and life had taken on a new meaning to me. Anything can happen at any time. I was the first person to think "this won't happen to us" and it did. I'm still in shock at times that this really happened. You think I wanted to wear these "new shoes" that mothers with empty arms wear? NO. I still feel like I am suppose to be getting ready for my baby to arrive. I am still in a "mommy mode" I don't have desire to party or "go out" because I know if Nolan was here, that's not what I would be doing. This probably makes no sense, but I know it does to the Mom's that are in this. I just want my baby back, and I just want to be his mommy here on Earth. This is just a lot to take in, and it's going to take time.