Life Recolored: How Grief Changes the Color of Everything
When I think of my life before our daughter, Eve, died at 31 weeks of pregnancy and was stillborn, it seems like someone else's life. It feels unfamiliar. Could those days have really been lived by me, in this same body that bore death?
It is impossible, but somehow true.
There is life before and life after, and they are the same life, yet feel like two. And I don't know who I am, stuck somewhere in the middle of before and after. I wonder if I will be stuck forever.
It feels to me like the two lives are colored in shockingly different hues. In my memory of the before, there is so much light, so much bright color, even though there had previously been deep darkness in my growing up years. Finally, though, everything was coming together -- faith, health, family, purpose, and meaning all converging into beautifully stitched together life.
Until the unthinkable happened, and the light vanished. Or perhaps it didn't disappear entirely, but faded drastically to the point of feeling gone, and gone forever. Life after is colored differently, muted and drab, both in my mind and in what I perceive with my physical eyes.
So much of the color has gone.
And really, I'm not so unhappy about that. Because days when the sun is unclouded and the world is bright and beautiful are the hardest. I want the world to be dark and light-lonely with me, and I writhe in pain when it isn't.
But even though I am at peace with my faded life, questions still remain:
Will the colors return? Will the smooth blue of the clearest sky ever pierce my heart again, or the purple and yellow of the flowers we just planted ever conquer the stone wall of my sadness?
Will I ever love the brightness of spring and glow of summer evenings again?
Will my darkened heart ever be overcome with brightness in this life, this new and strange and grating life?
Is the person who I was, the girl who loved light, gone forever, gone with my daughter?
I don't know -- and I don't know if I care, either. I rather like the drab, the gray. For now, anyway. It feels more right than the multicolored life I used to know.
So I will wait, wait until I know what to hope for from this strangely tinted life, and try to feel my way through the dark.
Has grief recolored your life? How do you cope with that reality?