Today was the first time I cried in public, to a complete stranger. And what brought it on? Coffee!
Yesterday I was in Sainsbury’s and I walked passed the baby aisle and was overcome with sadness. My eyes welled up, my heart raced and I couldn’t get out of there quickly enough. So quick that I picked up the wrong coffee for the coffee machine and it wasn’t until I got home, opened the box and saw the pods that I realised what I had done.
Today I went to return them and exchange them for the correct ones and the man on the customer services desk said he couldn’t take them back because they were opened. Well, that was all it took.
I’ve sat in in the doctor’s waiting room surrounded by new borns, been in the park with many other families and their babies, listened to the song which Poppy plays over and over about mummy having a baby in her tummy and I have been ‘fine’. It has been difficult, I have had to use all the strategies I can claw together to keep my shit together but I have managed. But that man broke me, and there wasn’t a baby in sight.
It wasn’t the coffee, it wasn’t the money, I think it was just the final straw and maybe I needed to break. I have been trying to hold it together for the last few weeks, after receiving reports back from the hospital and finding out what happened to Gabriel, why and how he died; reading them and hearing them read to me has knocked me back.
The days after Gabriel was born, I would look out the window of my room and on occasions go downstairs and see so many people just getting on with their lives. Everyone was going about their daily business, whether it was the doctors going to work, patients attending their appointments, taxi drivers dropping people off or picking them up, whatever they were doing, they were just getting on it with. I remember sitting outside one morning watching them all and I just wanted to scream at them to stop, did they not know what had just happened? How could they laugh on the phone or smile at the person who stopped to let them cross the road? How were they able to function after what had just happened? But of course they could, because the world didn’t stop turning, not for them at least. For me it felt as though my life had stopped, dead in its tracks and I could not imagine it ever moving forwards.
But it did, it does. Each day is a new one, I’m never really sure what it is going to bring or how many moments there will be that feel as though I’ve had the air sucked out of my lungs or how many times I will have to change my train of thought as where it goes at times is a place I’m not sure I can cope with, but I make it through. And on some days, I may go into Sainsbury’s and I may ask to return something, and the man may say no and I may cry and try to explain how and why I happened to be in possession of 30 coffee pods that I have no use for, and I just want to be able to get the right ones and he won’t have a clue how to deal with the mess which has unfolded in front of him, so he will call his much friendlier manager who will just refund them anyway. And the world will keep turning, the birds will keep singing, the traffic lights will keep changing and I will just keep trying. And on those days when I don’t feel ok, that is ok.
(Although I may go to a different Sainsbury’s for the next few months.)