Part of it is that as much as I want people to feel sorry for me, as much as I want to say, this is what happened to me, can you believe this, can you believe I did this, I am afraid to actually talk to them about it sometimes. Not it. I can talk about Charlotte, but when people tell me about how sad it makes them, then I start to realize how sad it is, and my day-to-day front starts to crumble. My strategy for survival is that I have braced myself to be able to say whatever I want to about Charlotte with a straight face. This way I get to keep her here with me. If I couldn't do that, if I cried every time, I couldn't be as open about her with the general public as I am. But sometimes I find myself in a situation where I have removed myself so much from my own reality out in my public face that someone else is crying for my daughter and I am not. I am matter-of-factly explaining about how I got to the hospital with my bags all packed expecting to bring my baby home and then the monitor never beeped, never picked anything up and a doctor kindly informed me with a very gentle face that my baby's heart wasn't actually beating anymore, and the person I am telling this to is tearing up and I'm just talking about it like it's the latest price of gas or the snowstorm about to arrive. Is that right? Is that wrong? Either way it feels awkward.
But this is my strategy, I suppose, and not a conscious one. And at the same time that someone else crying makes me feel a little funny, I am grateful for their tears, and a hundred times more grateful that they were brave enough to ask me in the first place. That they thought of something to say. Even I am dumbstruck sometimes around loss, me this person whose whole life revolves around my own loss. I still don't know what to say.