The first time you hear the doctor say that something isn’t right with your baby a thousand thoughts and feelings fly through you at the speed of light leaving you breathless. You find yourself just sitting there, almost looking on without being involved and knowing that something hurts deeply but still not really feeling anything. When the shock wears off there are moments when you wish you could go back and live in that spot where the pain hasn’t quite kicked in yet. But it does wear off, and reality does set in and the pain does become incredibly real.
Sometimes I have found in my own life that allowing the grief is one of the hardest things to do. It’s easier to just keep trucking and telling myself that everything is just fine. There is a guilt that comes along with that grief and the two seem to be best friends for a time. There is grief over what won’t be any longer, over the dreams that you had that came crashing down. Then side by side with that is a guilt for feeling as a parent you are slighting your own kids by grieving what you wanted them to have and what you wanted them to be.
There is guilt for allowing yourself to say they aren’t “normal” or in those private moments that only you know of where you feel like they are going to be “less” for their special needs. There is guilt when you place them in a special needs classroom and feel like they don’t belong, then there is guilt for knowing that they do belong. You have to adjust and redefine your own prejudices and societal expectations and suddenly make it all fit into one big, happy family. You have to face your own weaknesses in the mirror and wonder if you are capable of taking care of your own child.
All I can say is own it. Live in that grief and allow it to change you. Take it for what it’s worth and don’t allow the guilt to force you not to grieve.
What is happening to you is real. It is only fair to yourself and your family to take those moments and weep like there is no tomorrow. Because the truth is there is no tomorrow. At least not like you thought there would be. The tomorrow that you face is different now, so grieve the tomorrows that won’t be, grieve the milestones that won’t come without sweat and tears, grieve the changes that will take place in your family and in your personal life. Grieve who you were because one thing is for sure you will never be the same.