Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Should Haves

This is the week that Jocelyn should have been born last year. My due date was never really agreed upon, but I would have had a c-section which means it would have been somewhere around this week.
It should have been.
I should be getting ready to celebrate a first birthday. Instead her first birthday happened four months ago and was celebrated only by a pink balloon in a lonely cemetery and lots of tears.
I think the should haves are one of the worst parts of child loss.
A friend once told me that it's so complex because it's not only the loss of a baby. But it's the loss of potential. The loss of what that child would have been. This loss of what our family would have been.

It's the should haves. And they are evil.

The should haves waste no time getting started. I should be blank weeks pregnant. I should be finishing the nursery. I should be preparing for maternity leave. I should be, should be should be.
I thought (or perhaps hoped) naively, that the should haves would slack off once I passed my due date. Once I should no longer be pregnant, surely the should haves would get better.
Oh, sweets. Wishful thinking.
It quickly became she should be this old. She should be doing that. She should blank. I should blank. We should blank.
Then I thought (or perhaps hoped) naively, that the should haves would slack off once I passed all of the "firsts". Once we made it through all of her should have been first holidays. Once we survived her first should have been birthday. Surely, then the should haves would get better.

But alas, I was wrong. Again. Damn. It is now my belief that should haves are here to stay.
They may change and they may shift. But they are a permanent part of my world. There will always be something that she or we or I should have had or done or experienced.
And my mind will always go there. It will always go to that place.  I will always wonder and wish and hope. I will always think of her in every piece of my life. In every possible capacity.
No matter how much time passes, or how many times I buy a pink balloon or hang an empty stocking.

I will never stop knowing that she should have been.

And that, I guess, is simply how it should be.