Today: eleven months, 2 weeks and 4 days, I am farther away from the grief that overtook me almost 1 year ago. It lays dormant, reappearing whenever it wants, regardless of what I'm doing, where I am or who I'm with. The grief comes with a vengeance, and can bring me back to the moment I knew Nico's heart stopped beating. And when it does, the grief shows itself as a knot in my stomach, a lump in my throat and a wave of tears welling up behind my smiling facade.
Mostly, I think my friends think I'm fine now. And I am. Most days. These days, I can go about my day without the fear of breaking down at the drop of a hat. I can go to the grocery store and not have to avoid the aisle with the pregnant mother. More importantly, I can go to the places where people remember I was pregnant and not be afraid of them asking me about my son. This still happens. At the farmers markets, with the farmers from last summer still remembering me big-bellied and asking "How's your baby? He must be almost one now, right?" Or, the stranger noticing my tattoo and asking "Who's Nico?" I have my answers ready now:
Nico is my son. He was stillborn at 8 months.
Yes, I did have a baby. A boy. His name was Nico, but he died when I was pregnant.
Yes, he would be one this year.
But I cannot say this yet, without the sadness lurking just beneath the surface. So, I quickly walk away and leave them to ponder this news that I just threw at them.
Today, unlike a year ago, my happy outweighs my sad. I have no idea what the next years will bring me, but, little by little, I'm finding new reasons to stay in this world and find contentment with the direction my life is moving.