Lately, I have been thinking a lot about my life before my loss and after. Thinking about my relationships, my career, my friendships, and how they have changed and morphed after my stillbirth. I had my life before the loss and then after the loss, it is almost like having two different lives separated by this massive loss.
My friendships were strained for a long time after my loss.
At 26 and being a mom to a dead baby, my friends just did not know how to relate to me. They either distanced themselves or just said things that were not helpful. There were a select few friends that knew to just be there for me, to listen, and to keep reaching out. I am forever grateful to those that kept trying even when I would push them away. I learned who my true friends were and those that were not. It has been several years now, and I now make an effort to nourish and grow my friendships because I have found the ones that are worth it.
My family relationships were also strained for a long time after my loss.
I feel like my parents and siblings were always trying to “fix” me, not understanding that there was nothing to fix, I was simply changed. Part of me died the day my son did, and I think it was hard for the people who loved me the most to accept that. They also had to process the loss and process that their family member would never be the same.
It felt like they thought there should be a more consistent timeline for healing and for me to get “better.” I can honestly say they have now accepted that there is no moving on from this loss. My family relationships now are great. They understand me, what I was going through, why I was so angry and lashing out, and that I will live with this pain for life. They let me talk about my son and they honor him and they talk about him often, which I am so grateful for.
My relationships with family and friends changed, but what I was surprised about is the turn my career took after my loss.
I took a few weeks off after Grayson died and then went back to work at my corporate job. I felt like I was walking around on eggshells. My coworkers did not know how to act around me or what to say. The last time they saw me I was 9 months pregnant, having a baby shower, and now I had buried my son. It was very awkward, and I tried to make others laugh and feel comfortable so they would feel less awkward around me. I still remember feeling so numb and so weird that life was normal for everyone except for me.
I had a hard time focusing on my job and often times found myself in the bathroom crying. I honestly was not doing my job to the best of my ability; it just did not seem as important as it once was. I was also almost done with my master’s degree when my son died, and that is something I never went back to pursue. I was really struggling to find a point in life and my career in the corporate field. Needless to say, I lost my job and found out that I was pregnant again eight months after my son died! This pushed me to explore something I never imagined, photography! I bought a camera, and the rest is history. I now run a successful photography studio and am also a real estate agent. I could not be happier in these changes and find true happiness and passion in what I do. I never thought my life would change so much after my loss, but I am grateful for the passion and love I found in my career change.