I finally worked up the courage and energy to bring some of A’s photos into work. The small company I work for was enthusiastic and supportive throughout my pregnancy and continues to be so in this unthinkable aftermath. But I was still hesitant to share his photos. I felt protective not only of my son, but of E and my family. Some of the pictures are very intimate. Also, I was concerned about how others would react; as evidenced by the public “controversy” of the Duggar’s recent loss and Rick Santorum acknowledging details of his son’s death after living only 2-hours.
As a solution, I selected only 6 photos to bring to work. This way folks didn’t feel obligated to thumb through the entire album and I could still feel like I was protecting the privacy of my family.
There’s a group of friends at work who had been asking to see A’s photos they were a given, but I didn’t want everyone to feel pressured to look at them if they weren’t comfortable. So I went around to those who had requested but did not approach coworkers I was unsure about. What I quickly learned was that many people were waiting for me to reach out. They were trying to be respectful toward me and here I was avoiding them in trying to prevent them from feeling uncomfortable! I had to be the one to initiate it; many colleagues were not going to come seeking me out, asking to see A's pictures.
After that realization sunk in, I ran around nearly the entire office and spread the sunshine of my effing adorable son. Many people cried, some smiled the entire time; I received lots of hugs. Only one person was befuddled when I mentioned I had photos of A and would he like to see them. He didn’t realize we would have pictures; but he looked them over just the same and even asked questions!
I feel as though the experience of sharing A’s photos has really opened up the minds of some of my coworkers. My big-boss, the guy whose name is on the business, hasn’t come over to view them yet, but he did share the story of his first child who died around 4 ½ months gestation. Hopefully, he’ll stop by my desk in the near future.
Overall it was a positive experience. I was quite happy and definitely proud to show off my little guy. Given the reactions I received, I'm more apt to consider sharing his photos with others again.
On a side note, the last couple weeks have been really dark for me. Prior to then, I had been feeling relatively well; having many okay days. But lately it’s like I’ve regressed back to those early days. Just yesterday I sobbed into E’s shoulder that I don’t want to do this anymore. This was a common refrain for me in the immediate weeks following A’s death. I don’t want this life without A, I don’t want to struggle each day, I don’t want to have unpredictable mood swings, I don’t want to be broken, I don’t want to be a bereaved parent, I don’t want any of this!
I wish I could hit the ESC button and end this alternate reality in Griefland like a computer game. Abort! Abandon ship! I quit! Or if some higher power could reach down into Griefland Dr. Suess-style-Horton-Hears-a-Who-style and pluck me up and out of here. *sigh*