We have been discussing a lot lately with our grief therapist about how we all live in a very assumptive world. You assume that certain things are going to happen a certain way. You get pregnant, have kids, and those kids outlive their parents. This is what most people assume will happen for them someday if they want that, and it usually does. There usually are a few bumps in the road but, overall, a lot of people will live that lifestyle.
We are very different in that our assumptive world has been shattered. We got married, had a healthy pregnancy, a baby was born, and she died at only 8 days old, and we don't really know why or how. This is what we know. This has changed how we perceive every aspect of everything in our life. Everything. No longer can we assume that everything will be OK because we know how bad things can end up.
I think it is that concept that is the most difficult for people to understand if they have not gone through something like this. Most people feel like what we have gone through is tragic and sad, but over time it will "make sense" or that we will "get better." We have been forever changed by Lila's death. Our assumptive world now includes being blindsided by tragic and life-altering events. There is still joy in our life and happiness, we still do new things and explore our city like we once did, but there is also overwhelming worry and anxiety. This is not something that can be fixed, this is just how it is.
When people come to visit us and leave again, I like to know that they made it home safely. I assume that if I haven't heard from them something bad has happened. Is it logical? No, of course not, but it is how I perceive reality now. I don't like driving more than I have to. I assume I will be in an accident when I didnt need to be on the road to begin with. I haven't been in any type of car accident in over ten years, but I feel that my risk is much greater than everyone else. After Lila died, one of her doctors told us that what happened to her was a "one in a million" type of thing. We have discussed this a lot. When something good happens to you that has a one in a million chance, like winning the lottery, you feel like the luckiest person in the world. So what do you do when when a one in a million event happens to you that is tragic and horrible? For us it has made us feel that those one in a million bad things will happen to us again and again. It has happened once, why not again?
This concept of an assumptive world resonates so much with us and it helps to explain to us why it is so difficult for people to really understand what we are going through. As we go forward it will change over time, but it will always be something we think about. Our thought process on how life works is different than everyone else. It is not the same as anyone who has also lost a child or infant, it is unique to our situation. We just ask that, as time goes on, please remember this. Our assumptive world is much different than the one most people live in.